chronikle: (gokai ☆ goodnight space captain)
Kat ([personal profile] chronikle) wrote2017-04-18 12:36 am

052. kat reviews!

I didn’t sleep well last night (from 6am until 3pm, I think?), so I’m probably not going to sleep well tonight, so here’s some recent media recommendations:

The Mermaid’s Daughter – I bought this to read on the plane on the way back from America because my tablet died and wouldn’t charge (I’ve fixed that issue, somehow). I picked it up because it was mermaids and lesbians (one character is specifically referred to as the main character’s girlfriend in the blurb), but then I spent about an hour debating with my friends if it was actually lesbians or if I had been duped by the “girlfriend” = “friend who is a girl” idea, and if it was lesbians, was there going to be a tragic death?

Turns out that it was lesbians and that—well, I can’t say anything about the latter question without thoroughly spoiling it. It surprised me, I’ll say that.

I felt like the book could have been better if it had been restructured in places or had left the fantasy element to much later (it’s apparent from the beginning that Kathleen is, in fact, descended from a mermaid, because the sea witches act as a Greek chorus to tell that story from the offset), but I enjoyed it nonetheless and was hooked on reading it. I think I just liked that it was a fantasy/fairy tale story that was about lesbians but wasn’t about being a lesbian (there’s no homophobia or the like, and there’s no big coming out story).

The Adventure Zone – Do you like Dungeons & Dragons? Do you like podcasts? Do you like well-planned narrative stories with unplanned moments? Do you like family bonds? You’ll probably like The Adventure Zone, a podcast by Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy, feat. their dad, Clint McElroy. This spun off from a bonus episode of their advice podcast, My Brother, My Brother and Me, and became its own show. They play a little fast and loose with the D&D rules to prioritise comedy and narrative over gameplay, but the end result is something so funny and wonderful to listen to that it’s forgivable.

It takes a couple of episodes before it really finds its feet, but when it does land, it lands hard. I have genuinely cried with laughter at this podcast and had to stop listening to it at work once because I was having to fight the urge to laugh. But it’s also a very genuinely cool story with incredible characters, including the NPCs. There’s a fair amount of representation: one of the main characters is gay; a character in the most recent episode is a trans woman; and there are… I think two or three background ships that are female/female pairings (the first that’s introduced are killed, but Griffin notes later how it’s problematic and does his best to be better about representation, which I think is why there’s more bisexual or lesbian characters in the background cast).

They’re wrapping up their first campaign soon, but I think there’s still about two months or more left of content in this one before they finish it and switch to a new campaign with new characters, which I’m sure will be just as good.

And it’s not really a recommendation, but I remember writing a review a couple of years ago about how I watched the first season of Grace and Frankie and I didn’t super love it but I did enjoy it. I think I felt the same way about season two, or at least liked it even less, but I watched season three and I think it’s finally hitting its stride. I could watch Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in almost anything, and it’s refreshing to see a comedy that’s so centric on an older generation and the problems they have therein (most of this season was based on them trying to market their vibrator for women of their own age). I think the more it moves away from the starting premise (their ex-husbands divorcing them in favour of coming out as gay and marrying one another) and the complicated feelings around that, the more it moves into being a funnier and more enjoyable show.

I recently heard someone describe it as being like “comfort food” and I can agree with that, at least.

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