alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
Long list of stuff I have read and played etc!

Note that almost all the tv and movies are on Australian Netflix.

Live action:

Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (ep 1, Reptilica): I never really got into the original but this was fun, the jokes not being dated helped a lot. Very silly and sometimes a bit unthinkingly ableist etc, but I eventually had to skip forward to the end because...the objectively terrible monster movie (A Danish-American attempt at Godzilla) was scaring me. I AM A SENSITIVE SOUL OK. Will probably watch any of the others that look less scary >.>

Trevor Noah: The host of the Daily Show does stand up. Ok, but I ended up pausing and not going back to it.

You, Me, Her: Drama about a poly f/m/f triad that felt like wish fulfilment for guys, the male protagonist's marriage has lost it's spark so he meets with a sexy sex worker who falls for his charming personality etc.

Shetland: a grey Scottish murder mystery show. Moody and atmospheric, with a good sense of place (remote scottish islands), but pretty generic sad middle aged male detective proecedural beyond that.

Animated:

Monsters University: the sequel to Monsters Inc. Pretty generic American College Movie about Learning Teamwork (but also being better than other people) except with monsters. VERY dude focussed. Did have a few funny/clever moments.

Voltron S2: I found this pretty lackluster until the final few episodes, and am very annoyed at how they flanderised Hunk into a food obsessed cowardly idiot, giving all the enginering competence to Pidge (Who is great! But Hunk is great too) It did still contain the bones of an enjoyable space fighty show, especially the final showdown.

Case Closed (Detective Conan): Procedural mystery show where the detective is a teenage boy trapped in the body of a child. Very long running show, Netflix just has some more recent seasons. Based on the first case it seems ok for a mystery show but didn't grab me, and was a bit emotionally hollow.

Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade: Anime about cute teen girl witches at magic school. I thought this was the tv show everyone keeps talking about but it turned out to be a stand alone movie made before that, and I found it really boring so stopped.

Game:

Terraria: A bit like 2D Minecraft with a dash of something like Stardew Valley. I liked it more than Minecraft because as well as crafting and exploration it has goals: defeat a chain of increasingly difficult bosses and find specific characters so they can join your village. The characters have like 3 lines of dialogue each but still made my base seem cosy and inhabited, and I had a lot of fun playing. I stopped when I reached a point where defeating the next boss would usher in a wave of destruction that would mess up my pretty world. The boss fights are all optional, and there's a lot to do and explore other than fighting. Also if you set things up right dying has no serious negative effects (on easy mode you lose half your money unless you put it in a container first) so it's not too stressful.

Brilliant Shadows: Pretty enjoyable coming of age visual novel about a young lesbian necromancer in a vaguely feudal fantasy setting. Has some weird edges, I was not surprised to find out it was made by one straight white dude Making an Effort To Be Diverse, but it's obviously a well intentioned labour of love. While it has a happy f/f romance in the end it's not a dating sim or romance themed. I have not played the other game(s) but it stands alone pretty well. On of the secondary characters is implied to be autistic and I thought that was handled pretty well.

Bernband: Free game with simple graphics where you explore an alien city. Has no plot or challenge, you just wander around exploring, I got bored after not very long but it was quite fun while I was into it.

Shadowrun Returns DragonFall: Finally got around to actually playing this, I died after the first fight but found how to do cheats on Mac (Ctrl Option Shift ~, I think it was) Anyway, it's an ok isometric RPG from what I've played but it took itself way too seriously for me to suspend my disbelief about the inherently silly cyberpunk with orcs setting, so I didn't get far in.

Manga:

Kase-san by Hiromi Takashima: Fluffy yuri manga about a shy girl and a jock. Sweet and funny without much too it, but it's reasonably long, fairly innoffensive, and has a happy romantic ending, which is rarer than it should be!

Books:

All or Nothing by Rose Lerner: Regency romance about a jewish woman who runs a gambling den fake dating a shy bisexual architect. Cute, and subverts a bunch of gender and romance tropes (Poly! Queerness! Kink!), but didn't quite hang together for me.

A Fashionable Indulgence by K J Charles: a pretty good regency m/m romance about a poor worker's rights activist who turns to a fashionable rich aristocrat for help passing as a Real Gentleman after a rich relative offers him elevation into society. "Friends with benefits turned to love" doesn't usually click for me romantically but I enjoyed it as a story.

Fortune favours the Wicked by Theresa Romain: The word that comes to mind describing this book is "nice". Fortune favours the protagonists but neither of them are wicked, they're both sensible decent people trying to look after their families. It was a bit heavy handed and clunky in parts but had a good heart and likeable characters. The treatment of disability is pretty good, it sometimes felt a little like an educational pamphlet on how to treat disabled people with respect but seeing a disabled character treated with respect was so lovely I can't complain too much. I feel similarly about the lack of slut shaming about the heroine's past as a courtesan. The romance didn't have a lot of fire to it, but was very believable and sweet.

Ammonite Nicola Griffith: I can't give a proper review of this book since I had to stop reading when it started triggering my dysphoria. Afaict it's a good old school feminist scifi book with slighty new age-y 90s era ideas about gender, if you like that sort of thing. The premise is that the heroine is an anthropologist investigating a rediscovered human colony where a virus wiped out all the men and the women now reproduce parthenogenetically. The things that made me dysphoric were (a) the idea that "women" and "men" are cleanly divided biological categories (b) the subtext that the man-killing virus is a Good Thing. I stopped, read a summary and skipped to the end, and, yeah. I mean the narrative is sympathetic to the people of all genders who died when the planet was rediscovered, and actively subverts the idea that women are all fluffy and nice without men, but it still felt a bit radfem feminine-mystical lesbian separatist to me, which is really not my jam. Also the plot felt a bit Dances With Wolves/Avatar except with white Native People.

Date: 2017-04-27 04:05 pm (UTC)
bunny_m: (cape hare ears!)
From: [personal profile] bunny_m
Oooh, I hadn't heard of Shetland, and I see it has been really well received. Two BAFTAs for the first season!

*goes hunting*

If you liked this, (pretty generic sad middle aged male detective procedural and all,) and can handle the unrelenting grimness in exchange for a really strong if cold and fading sense of place, Y Gwyll/Hinterland is very good.

I especially like it not just for the really strong sense of place and tone it gives the Welsh countryside, but also the way that so many of the characters just drop into Welsh, (which the main character does not speak at all) throws his isolation into sharp relief. Note also, however, that the Netflix version is almost entirely in English, so is deeply inferior, IMO.

And the acting is, IMO, so damn good from all the main characters. SO much is conveyed in silence and expression.

Content warning: The first episode of season one (3x90m episodes per season) revolves around an abusive (on multiple levels) and now closed in disgrace children's home and the history of the now-adults that lived there in younger days. Plus, of course, it's at the pretty grim end of police procedural.

River is also really good, and IMO handles a very touchy subject (lead character is very clearly not neuro-typical, and also not dealing especially well with the stresses in his life,) pretty damn carefully and respectfully. Stellan SkarsgÄrd and Nicola Walker, so more excellent acting, but again, not cheerful watching and not for everyone. One reviewer (5 stars) called it "Creepy yet ultimately uplifting", which I think is a really good encapsulation. 6 x roughly 1 hr episodes and done, as is often the case with really good British shows.

Last I saw this was available on Netflix.au

Date: 2017-05-01 01:54 pm (UTC)
bunny_m: (arctic white)
From: [personal profile] bunny_m
I should probably have put some emphasis on 'If you liked this' also.

And not let my brain go for a marathon down Ramble Lane, either.

Re Ammonite: I did finish it, but came out of it pretty skeeved by the constant attitude of 'Oh, but all women are actually really lesbians, even if they don't realise it, and everyone would just be happier if the men died horribly.'

The 'reason' for the main character to land on the planet of death struck me as barely suspendable, disbelief-wise, also.

Of course, it was a *long* time ago that I read it, and it has not left me well-inclined towards the author.

Maybe I'd feel differently about it these days. Will likely never know, because life's too short to read the books I actually want to read. Why waste time re-reading books you hated the first time?

Date: 2017-05-13 02:51 pm (UTC)
bunny_m: (snail slow)
From: [personal profile] bunny_m
Having spent most of the past two days binging on Shetland, if you found the lead of that too much a sad middle-aged white dude, then Y Gwyll is definitely not for you.

The lead in Hinterland is much more so than the lead of Shetland, and part of the hook, for me, was that you only get occasional background stuff to point out that something big and relationship-devastating happened to him in the not too distant past, without ever being given anything concrete in the first season.

For me, that was another interesting mystery, but I suspect you'd find it irritating at best.

I think River may well be more palatable for you, but could easily be incorrect. It is, after all, about the title character, who is an older white man, even if he is non-neurotypical.

Date: 2017-05-18 12:38 pm (UTC)
bunny_m: (arctic white)
From: [personal profile] bunny_m
It's certainly got it's sombre moments, but ultimately a lot of people, myself included, found it pretty uplifting.

YMM, of course, V

Date: 2017-05-03 04:31 am (UTC)
moonvoice: (calm - lamplight)
From: [personal profile] moonvoice
I couldn't play Terraria at all. I kept dying during the first night, and found that so tremendously offputting - especially with how fast night came (I've played Don't Starve, I don't need to go through it again, especially if I have to absolutely gut the game of its mechanics to play it in a way that I'll enjoy it) that I think I stopped short of deleting it outright. I know the people who love it tend to *love* it though.

I'm sure it's fun if you don't keep getting killed during the first night and having to restart the game three times etc.

All or Nothing loos interesting! Especially with all the tropes. How did you stumble across it?

Date: 2017-05-04 12:00 pm (UTC)
leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)
From: [personal profile] leecetheartist
The monster in the 1st of the new MST3K was pretty scary, actually!

The next episode features a lot of very pretty landscapes and animals. And terrible, terrible acting, plot and writing.

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