Jan. 2nd, 2012

mcity: (Default)

This is Irene Adler, professional name "The Woman", introduced in "A Scandal in Belgravia", the first episode of the second series of the BBCs hit series "Sherlock", which is more or less the Doyle books set in the modern day. For example Watson's stories are now a popular blog, and Holmes still scoffs at the absence of science and logic in the comments.

Like, oh, just about every version of Holmes in existence, she's portrayed as a love interest to the sexually oblivious Holmes. Holmes helps people for a living, out of the sheer intellectual joy of it. Adler's a professional dominatrix, who is decidedly not in her line of work for intellectual reasons. Holmes is basically asexual, Irene is bi, and hits on everyone, everywhere, all the time. Sherlock wears the same basic outfit at all times, Adler has an large closet. Sherlock is smart, so is she. Sherlock is Connected, so is she. Adler's sleeping with her assistant/partner, and Sherlock isn't, no matter what the fanfics say. Said assistant is, naturally, submissive, while Watson is anything but to Sherlock. Und so weiter.

Basically, she's just begging to have fanfic written about her. In fact, she's like a fanfic Mary Sue, only better written, with actual flaws and weaknesses and stuff, like her habit of objectifying people. Sherlock turns people into puzzles. She turns people into sexual objects. And then blackmails them; the letter from A Scandal in Bohemia is turned into a camera-phone, and the question becomes not merely finding it, but figuring out the password.

A brief aside: the show actually does update the themes of the Doyle canon to the modern day. Sherlock uses nicotine patches instead of opium, and the close friendship with Watson is viewed, by modern sensibilities, as very, very gay. It's a running gag in the series, despite Watson's parade of girlfriends (he was a ladykiller in the Doyle canon, and modern interpretations, led by the Ritchie films, have stived to restore him to his status as Holmes competent, ladykilling partner, rather than the popular image of a bumbling nincompoop of a sidekick). The actors admit it, the producers admit it. So we have, of course, slashfics. There's even a very, very popular kinkmeme.

Some fans don't like Irene, sez TVTropes, which confused me. Why would any significant amount of people not like h--

Oh. Hang a sec, this'll take some explanation.

"Supernatural" is a show about two denimed brothers who travel the country slaying monsters and ghoulies and long-leggedy beasties in a cool car and are more than a little codependent. One of the running gags of the show is jokes about how people think they're gay, despite their denials.

This woman is Bela, a brown-haired upper-class Englishwoman with a traumatic past who..."collects" and sells supernatural artifacts to the highest bidder. She's the amoral yin to our boys' yang. Also, she's a more realistic version of Lara Croft.

While she is attracted to Dean, the older and shorter of our two denim-clad balls of daddy issues, there is basically no chance they're ever going to be in a relationship, or even sleep together. He simply does not trust her, and for good reason. Bella is a fan-favorite character in the female-dominated, slash-heavy fanbase, for all her resemblance to, again, a better-written fanfic Mary Sue. Sex positive, competent, an occasional guest star who's a counterpart for the main characters, has her own adventures, and is almost completely ignored in fanfics in favor of slashing the two male leads.

Jo Harvelle started out the show as a wannabe monster hunter, a daughter of a hunter, with a crush on Dean. Fans didn't like her much. A few seasons later, she showed up with more maturity, but most importantly, telling Dean she wouldn't sleep with him even if it was the last night on Earth. (As it probably was.) The fanbase loved her.

You may be noticing a pattern here.

The bottom line is that whatever female-dominated slash-heavy fanbases may say, they don't want Strong Female Characters. They want Strong Female Characters who can be easily ignored for their slashfics. Though to be fair, they do this with het shipping too. Just look at the "Avatar: The Last Airbender" fandom. Or better yet, don't.
mcity: (nope.avi)

This story takes place at a college that is deserted for the plot device, yet still has enough students to hold several parties, art classes, the indoor pool is open, the gym is open, and a paintball game in the woods. Almost everyone who is still on campus is male. There's a secret society that has access to magic and somehow manages to field assault teams against the invaders. You'd think that someone, anyone, would call the cops after hearing gunshots, or seeing men in tactical gear, but curiously, the assault team they sent in first never managed to get a shot off. Basically, the so-called story is an excuse for the Very Specific subject matter.

Anyway, this chapter starts with the society managing to disrupt the connection between the interdimensional invaders who have been turning people into monsters throughout the series, and the college. This knocks out the victims and changes them back to semi-normal. The team we're following enters a building and realizes the bad guys are using tunnels, and they may be at the command post. They want to purify the joint, and their command tells them to sweep the first and second floors of the tunnels to see if they can capture an enemy officer before deciding whether to perform the ritual.

Naturally, they don't see anything suspicious about command knowing how many floors the tunnels have. In fact, we're not even sure their radio's been compromised. They may just be commanded by idiots.

They don't split up entirely, just into two teams. The wizard, call him Alpha, goes with Bravo and Charlie. At some point during the sweep, Bravo finds a handheld video game system, and plays with it, with the assistance of Charlie.

In the middle of an operation where their very souls are on the line, without checking it for magic.

Alpha tells them to cut it out, and they ignore him. A few minutes later, he finds them completely engrossed in the game, and yells at them for not protecting him, threatening to report them. Even after they turn off the game and hand it to him, they still keep talking about it. He doesn't call them on it because he doesn't want an argument.

I want to make this clear. The expert they're with. Did not want. To give them a command. When they had obeyed his commands before.

When they stop and Bravo steps around the corner to take a leak, Alpha realizes Mac is staring, and scans for any magic. It's clean. He turns it on and begins to play, out of "curiosity".

Naturally, it turns him into one of the monsters. Apparently, the invaders have hax.

Since the secret society of societal secrets has already lost one team of high-speed low-drag tactical operators operating tactically, and there are several other teams, I'm going to assume those were the guys who were actually competent, and what we were seeing in this chapter is the equivalent of the special class.

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