Den-O ep 1: Ryotaro and Shinji, Momo and…?

So, starting with the Den-O (re)watch.

Personally, I didn’t realize before the link between Den-O and Ryuki, but now I do, and Ryuki being my favorite it’s inevitable that I’m going to be drawing conclusions, the first of which involves Ryotaro himself and the ways in which he is like Shinji, and the ways in which he’s not. Obviously, they’re both “Fail!Riders”, but their attitudes are very different. Ryotaro is resigned to be bullied, both by other people and by the universe itself, really, while Shinji kind of… just creates his own shenanigans, but meets everything with what can only be called feistiness. But really, even in this first episode, the real similarity between them is their drive to do the right thing. Shinji gets involved in things that are not his business out of his sense of justice, and Ryotaro, even when kicked to the curve, is always all about doing the right thing… to the point protecting those that have wronged him. And there’s kind of an innocence, I think, in that, in their overpowering goodness.

Read more “Den-O ep 1: Ryotaro and Shinji, Momo and…?”


Super Hero Time! Den-O (re)watch?

So Kate (greatfountain at LJ/ @yanasoro) and I have been thinking about doing a Kamen Rider Den-O rewatch (rewatch for her, half rewatch for me, since I actually have not finished the series). In light of the fact that Ozu debuts September 5th and that the writer is Kobayashi, who also wrote Den-O (and Ryuki!), it might be fun to do it before then.

Mostly we’re just going to be watching a certain number of eps per week, and talking amongst ourselves, but we thought that Den-O being Den-O there might be others interested in watching along, so we’re testing the waters and asking if there’s interest (in other words: if you might be into it, comment and say so… we’re not going to hold you to it or anything, we just want to know if others might like to try it :D).

Anyway, we’d be watching 8 episodes every week starting next week, with the exception of the 6th week (August 28 to September 5th), when we’d watch 9 eps. If others are into it, we’ll see about setting up weekly discussion posts somewhere (I’m thinking separate spoilery and spoiler-free versions?).

So once again, comment if you’re interested~ \:D/
(Here on my blog, or on the crossposted entry at my LJ)

Neal, Peter and White Collar’s season 2 premiere

…Way to post a late reaction post, huh?

Late as it is, there’s one thing in particular I wanted to post about, in regards to White Collar‘s season 2 opener. In the last couple of weeks before season 2 started, in the midst of being really excited about the show being back, and getting more Neal and Peter, in the back of my mind there was one little detail I wasn’t sure how to feel about: when I was hunting down interviews, I read that at the beginning of the episode Neal was back in prison, so Peter had to get him released into his custody again.

In the end, I liked how this was dealt with, it all felt really organic, but the reason I’d worried a bit that maybe it was sign that the intention was to wipe the slate so that everything could start from square, as it were, but Neal being in prison was very logical and felt natural, things picked up in a logical continuation from where the first season ended. But even more importantly, Neal and Peter’s relationship picked up where it left off. It was the relationship we’ve come to know and love, but it was also an evolved version of it.

In some shows, when a particular dynamic is the driving force, there might be a fear of altering the balance and screwing it up; and so maybe situations are manipulated so that the dynamic doesn’t change. The problem is that relationships aren’t static, and they do evolve, and to force a relationship to stay the same unnaturally is counterproductive; the trick, obviously, is to keep the essence of the dynamic intact while letting it evolve. This is most obvious in the “will they or won’t they” type of romantic relationship, but it’s also true of platonic, complicated relationships like Neal and Peter’s.

One particular example where this was completely botched is season 2 of Merlin: through the first season, Arthur had gone from being a jerk to Merlin, to having a grudging respect for him, and then to seeing him as a friend (even though Arthur wouldn’t admit that to himself); and Merlin had also come to see Arthur as a friend and leader he could follow. But come season two, Arthur is once again behaving like he thinks Merlin is just an uneducated, stupid servant he can jerk around. I guess that the logic behind it is that that was the base of the relationship when the series started, and it generates both humor and angst for Merlin, but personally, I had enjoyed seeing the evolution of their relationship, and to see the slate wiped clean left a bad taste in my mouth, and it’s part of what soured me on the show in season 2.

At any rate, the point is that White Collar evaded that pitfall beautifully. I read an interview with Jeff Eastin today where he talked about resisting the urge to change everything up in season 2 (…completely the opposite of what I said up there, yeah) and how he wanted to stick to what works, and that Neal and Peter. But he also clearly understands the need to see the relationship evolve, and the characters through it; and in this episode, after all that’s happened, both Neal and Peter now freely admit that they consider each other friends. I mean, it was obvious last season that they cared about each other, but I don’t think we ever saw one refer to the other as a friend. And that, to me, was the most satisfying thing about this episode.

Quick thoughts on Covert Affairs pilot

I’m apparently not going to make the longer post I wanted to about the Covert Affairs pilot,  so I’m just going to make a few quick points about it. :D

What I found kind of meh:

Annie’s lost love. I dunno. I thought the flashback scenes to Sri Lanka were too ~Ideal Tropical Tryst~, so starting with that I just wasn’t really sold on the idea of this guy. Later when he shows up to save Annie’s ass… well, I just wasn’t into that. I mean, I get that is A Plot Point, and leads to the reveal that she’s being used as bait to draw him out, but it kind of bugged me that she had to be saved. And lastly, I’m not sure that if a guy bailed on me like this guy did on Annie, that I’d lovingly save mementos from him in a scrapbook.

What I liked, and a lot:

Auggie! I loved Auggie, I love that he’s snarky and smart and that he’s a player. I like that his being blind is just one more fact about him and that, at least in the pilot, we are never asked to sympathize or feel sorry for him for it. Not even when he tells the story of how it happened.

Speaking of which, I thought that was a pretty clever to do the requisite exposition about it, having him assume it’s what Annie is curious about and then it turing out it’s not what she was going to ask.

Annie and Auggie’s rapport. They play off each other really well.

Something I’ve mentioned in regards to White Collar, I love the little details that reveal the characters’ quirks. Like Annie having a cat, and her driving a little compact hashback that is more han a few years old, as opposed to having her drive a shiny cool car. It’s details like that tell you who this girl is.

The car thing also fits in well with stuff that has been said in interviews prior to Covert Affairs starting by Doug Liman and Piper Perabo, about trying to make it true to life, in so far as young CIA operatives are people that live on a government salary and how at the end of the day Annie is a woman in her late 20s, starting out her career, and all that that entails.

I really liked Joan. She’s no-nonsense and badass. I also think her relationship with Arthur is interesting, even if I’m not all that interested in Arthur himself just yet. Of course I love messed up relationships in fiction, the more issues the better, and Jack and Irina were my ship of choice in Alias, so bring on the trust issues!

Speaking of Alias, I think it bears mentioning that I was very clearly wrong in my guess that Annie would be like Rachel Gibson. They’re both rookies, but Annie is very sure of herself, and not at all a klutzy nerd who happens to be hot the way Rachel was. But I would still say she’s also very much NOT like Sydney, beyond being a hot badass female spy. For one thing, she’s got none of Sydney’s self-righteousness, which was the main reason that I actually didn’t particularly like Sydney’s personality. But Annie is fun, and easy to relate to.

Checking out new shows

Been kind of busy and tired, and when I’ve had time I’ve been playing around with WP3’s custom posts and taxonomies (because I’m a geek like that). But at any rate, I’ve watched several things in the past week:

Moyashimon. With Channaka and Kato Natsuki. It was cute and cracky and amusing. Kato Natsuki really knows how to work the leather… in spite of her germ-infested toes. ¦D

Kaname Jun in Unubore Deka is FABULOUS \:D/ on TwitpicUnubore Deka. Watched basically because Kaname Jun is in it. Ikuta Toma was a plus, too (I’m not into JE, but I like him). Anyway, it was hilarious, so will keep watching. Also? Kaname Jun. In pink pants. Dancing and grabbing himself. Need I say more?

First two eps of Burn Notice. I actually had not watched before, figured I should. It was a lot of fun, although so far Michael is the only character I’m really loving. He’s enough, though, and Fiona did grow on me in ep 2. Which means I have 3 seasons of catch-up to do.

White Collar season 2 premiere (okay, so this is neither a new show, nor new to me). It’s great to have Marsha Thomason on as a regular, loved Peter and Mossie’s secret meetings in the park. Didn’t love the greenscreening in the Let’s Hide Tiffany Thiessen’s Pregnancy scene. Loved Neal, obviously. Also, I think it was a good setup for the season, and I’ll probably make a longer post about it.

Covert Affairs. So far? Really promising. I already love Annie (I admit, at least in part because she has a cat that looks like my Otto). Chris Gorham’s Auggie is probably my favorite element of the pilot. Will probably make a longer post about this one too.