A Look Into Me: The TV Lover

I have asked for TV shows to watch and have had several recommendations, but among them were Game of Thrones and for some reason, The Last Kingdom.

I assume this is because I have a history of love for historical series, which isn’t wrong. I love historical fiction. Let me tell you why I have tried and DO NOT watch both of these:

Rape.

I don’t read or watch anything with rape in it other than a single instance in which revenge is sought upon it. AKA Black Sails. ONCE there is a rape scene in Black Sails and shortly thereafter, because a prostitute is being raped, a lady pirate bands together with others and they MURDER all the rapists.

The only rape scene I’ve stomached since this is the one in the movie Wind River and after that, I fast-forward through it on re watch. There is no reason for rape in anything 90% of the time because there are 90 zillion other ways to progress a plot. Wind River is a special case, it’s about a known issue in America, the rape and murder rates of Native Americans. But IN GENERAL, you can have a female character progress WITHOUT her being fucking raped and I’m SICK of disgusting rape fantasy dick holes pretending that in the past, women were more raped than they are today like we don’t get raped at an ALARMING RATE these days, too!

Either way. If you can have dragons you can have zero rape. Just saying. Have your dragons murder would-be rapists. Until then, fuck you and the dragon you rode in on.

I’ll stick to TV shows with no rape.

 

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Black Sails Masters Horror Better Than Most Horror Genre Shows

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Some Background:

You guys may not know me well enough to know that Black Sails is, to me, one of the highest achievements in the history of television. Though I haven’t been reviewing this fourth and final season on here so far, mostly because I watch it so late at night on a Sunday and have to be up Monday morning, I watch it every single week without fail.

Black Sails is a prequel of sorts to Robert Lewis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. It follows the tale of famed and fictional pirates alike, names you may recognize such as Captain Flint, Jack Rackham, Charles Vane, Anne Bonny, and Long John Silver. The overarching story of the entire series is Captain Flint’s mission to make Nassau into a self-sustaining free pirate colony without any intervention of English rule.

I’ve watched this show since about midway through season 2. I remember when I first heard of it, I thought it would be cool, and then I forgot about it until the HUGE plot twist mid-season 2 that had all the celebrities I follow on Twitter tweeting about it when they never had before. I won’t give you guys too many spoilers, because I HIGHLY suggest you go watch this show! Even if you don’t see this until after season 4 has ended, it’s utterly binge-able so there’s no worries there.

Something I’ve long thought is that this show is so good because it’s very real. It shows some of the grittier realities of life in that era. However, it’s also not as gratuitous as some of the series out there in the gore, sex (there’s a fair bit of sex, but it isn’t EVERY EPISODE), rape, ect. I’m a big fan of historical-setting dramas, but most of them I don’t watch because they’re all just over the top and unwatchable, especially since I don’t watch TV shows that have repeated instances of rape without consequences.

What Does This Have To Do With Horror?

Unlike a lot of show and movies that horrify their audience with gore and overly dramatic things, the way this show uses reality to be more terrifying than anything else is exactly why it does “Horror” better than most films and TV shows of the Horror Genre.

(Some MAJOR spoilers here, but not ALL of the spoilers, so you won’t be ruined from watching the show)

I’ve seen some terrible shit on TV and in movies, and usually when something is really horrific, it’s super gruesome or whatever, but Black Sails does it differently.

In season 1, Max’s rape was THE MOST horrifying shit ever, like, it wasn’t as graphic as it could have been and that isn’t a show like most of these historical shows where people get raped left and right. It was horrifying because it happened at all. Everyone that was meant to be a liked character was horrified by it. Even the ones who didn’t do anything to stop it, they were visibly disturbed. It was something so profoundly terrifying to watch because it was realistic and the only reason I was able to even keep watching the show is because I knew from a friend that the rapists were all going to be killed for it.

In season 2, when Silver had to have his leg amputated, they didn’t SHOW the leg being sawed off or anything that closely, no, the horror came from the way everybody on the crew was so frantic, and the way he was sobbing and crying that he didn’t want this even though he would’ve died if they didn’t saw off his leg. It was the HELPLESSNESS that made it so fucking horrific, much like with Max’s rape. There was so much going on, and it was such a turbulent scene, and the terror came not from the gore of seeing a leg sawed off, but from the reactions of everyone in the scene with him.

Last season, one of the most disturbingly horrifying things I’d EVER seen on TV was Vane’s hanging. It wasn’t gruesome, it wasn’t like having someone chopped open and their guts falling out, it was horrific because they made it crazy simple. No music played, nobody was speaking, and when he hanged, he was slowly strangling since his neck didn’t snap, and his friends were allowed to come tug down on his belt to make him die faster and suffer less. It was one of the most horrific things I’ve ever seen because they showed the faces of everyone in the crowd, all of those who had been clamoring to see a hanging, and they were all averting their gaze and stunned silent. It was raw and simple and utterly horrifying.

And last night’s scene took the cake. I won’t say who because of spoilers as it has only been half a day, but A BIT of a spoiler: someone got keelhauled. If you don’t know, keelhauling is the legendary pirate/naval punishment where they tie someone up and drag them along the bottom of the ship and, with all the barnacles basically, it’s like being dragged through razor sharp rocks and it just shreds someones’ flesh. Well, it wasn’t just that, oh no, it wasn’t just one time. The person commanding the keelhauling did it once, and then he was still alive and breathing, so he did it again. The second time they thought he was dead, but he was still alive. So they did it AGAIN. A third time. And it wasn’t the shredded flesh that was disturbing, they didn’t REALLY focus on that too much. It was the way that the entire crew was chained up and forced to watch it. It kept showing the faces of the men grabbing onto each other with shackled hands, terrified and forced to watch with the implication that each and every one of them would be keelhauled. Like with Vane’s hanging, there was no music, there was nobody making sounds. It was just the sound of the wind in the sails and the horrible scraping sound of the body going along the hull. It was so profoundly horrific and I will have nightmares over that, I’m sure.

Why Is This So Effective?

By making the horror the product of human nature, by showing the fear in others, the disgust, the trauma, it makes it not about ‘oh blood and guts’, but rather it makes it about fear. Without a scary music score, without (for the most part) a focus on the gore of the situation, and without this over the top dramatic nature, it makes it feel far more real in a way that makes it feel more human. There’s something far more disturbing about a slow, silent torture and the reactions of those witnessing it than highly dramatic music and blood spraying and guts flying.

Black Sails is honestly not that horrifying or gory of a TV show for a historical drama that’s on a pay-channel and therefore has basically no limits to what they can and can’t do. For the most part this show is about action and adventure and really compelling characters. In fact, I would say that most of the praise for this show comes from how different it is from other historical dramas of its ilk because of the focus on very compelling characters and a distance from gratuitous blood and gore.

But when it gets horrific, it gets horrific.

 

Small Update Regarding Sherlock

If you guys are wondering why I didn’t write a review of Sherlock yet, it’s because I’m going to wait and review the entire series as a whole. Sherlock, in essence, is a trilogy of made-for-tv films each season, and I feel like that works best reviewed as a whole.

Sorry for not updating sooner! I forgot to let you guys know, and that’s entirely my fault.

Supernatural(ly Young Mom You Have There)

(I chose the title because I find it funny they call her ‘mom’ out in the open when she’s like ten years older than Dean and that would be really hard to explain to a passerby)

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Okay, before we get into the episode, can we talk about why the hell the people in the opening death didn’t RUN FOR THE HILLS when they saw a creepy flickering light over a crib in an abandoned house? You can wait outside for the cops to get there to check on that baby, Fam. That was just proof these people don’t watch horror movies. Hell, I don’t watch horror movies and even I’m smarter than that!

Alright, this episode was a pretty much ‘hunting as usual’ type of case, but we got to see Mary going after a hunt to combat her disconnect with coming back to a time that is foreign to her. I really loved the opening part with her sitting on her own, unable to sleep, and having a really nice conversation with Castiel. I really like the way these two interact. They both know what it’s like to be a fish out of water and only have Sam and Dean to hold them in touch with this world. It’s a very fascinating dynamic those two have.

I love how Dean is clearly, desperately trying to count this as a win. He pushes away every negative thought because FOR ONCE, something good happened to him. He’s so cheerful at breakfast, saying, “Morning, Sunshine” to Castiel, and going all, “Wow, we are so related” to his mom when she’s just as into bacon as he is. (I still really love to see that Dean is basically his mother made over. It’s wonderful.) I also love his levity in talking about Cas fixing Sam’s “S’mores foot”. It’s so wrong but so funny.

I’m getting really bored of Rowena’s character, but I do love it driving Crowley and Cas to work together. Also, I love “Agent Beyonce” and “Agent Z”. Oh man, I can never get enough of those two snarking back and forth. I’ve always loved Crowley. I remember way back in the days of, “HE ATE MY TAILOR”. Ah, Crowley.

The story of the week was the same-old, same-old but the purpose of the ‘ghost dad kills kids and other people cause his daughter died and it made him snap’ is to be a vehicle for Mary to try and jump back into the game and realize she really can’t just do that, she has to work up to it again.

That said, the end result of the episode is so annoying. I get really tired of this story line. It seems to happen in every TV show these days it seems. HILARIOUSLY, it’s happened in three of the four CW shows that I watch, which is just a mark of how overdone it is (it’s far from unique to CW shows). The story line I’m talking about is, of course, the ‘things are finally okay so I’m gonna leave’ trope. It happens so often and it’s so stupid because it’s always weak.

In The Flash, Barry spent 15 years trying to prove his father’s innocence, and the very day that Henry was released from prison he pulls Barry aside at the ‘yay! you’re not locked up!’ party to tell him, “I have to leave so you can be the hero that the city needs you to be, and you can’t do that if I’m around.” …. yes. Obviously that makes SO MUCH sense.

In Arrow, I feel like it’s happened more than just once, but the one most recent would be how Felicity got back the ability to walk and used her first steps to walk out on Oliver over… I still don’t know why she left him. I know originally it was because he hid finding out he had a son from her, but that got erased because of time travel, and I feel like it was something else in the newer version. But it was something super random that’s a personality trait of Oliver’s that he’s had since the beginning of time, so it was really stupid to suddenly not like it anymore.

And now in Supernatural, Mary feels unbalanced and it’s like, “I’m feeling really out of place and I miss the family I remember, so I’m gonna go be alone for a while in a world I don’t understand because that’s totally gonna help.” Because OBVIOUSLY, that’s totally realistic and makes any sense whatsoever.

All I’m saying is that this is an overdone trope that I’m really getting tired of. The whole “THINGS ARE FINALLY OKAY so I’m going to leave so you have some new angst to deal with even though it’s not rational” thing is entirely annoying. It can be done well, such as on Arrow when Diggle chooses to leave the team because he killed his brother and can’t handle what he did. That makes sense, he wants to go back to the army to find himself in the structured life. That’s a VERY big difference from “I’m a fish out of water and feel like I don’t fit so I’m gonna go be alone for a while in a world I don’t even slightly understand.”

Her character hitting this downfall was very fitting, and everything she feels is totally textbook and I really enjoy it, but the leaving when it makes no sense just to conveniently give more angst to the protagonist thing is so overdone and I’m so tired of it.

What about you guys? I know these questions are entirely useless because I’ve yet to have anybody answer them, but how do you feel about that trope? Do you think I’m being over-dramatic? Do you agree that it’s a super lame and boring story choice? Let me know!

Update For You Guys

I’m really sorry about this week’s lack of reviews!

I’m only just now watching all the TV shows from this week. I still haven’t watched Agents of SHIELD or the Scream Halloween Special. I also won’t be able to review Rocky Horror Picture Show on Fox until I can find it online somewhere, because DirecTV customers in my region have no local channels for some reason tonight.

I’m very sorry, but Tuesday I went to the movies (be sure to check out my review of that movie over on Chelsea Loves Movies) and then last night was the final presidential debate, and tonight the plan was to watch Rocky Horror, so I didn’t set Legends of Tomorrow to record on the DVR, so I’ll have to watch that some other time as well.

BUT! If all goes to plan, I WILL have Supernatural reviewed later tonight. I’m so sorry for the week of no updates.

 

So I’ve been binge watching Prison Break….

Oh my God like WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME THIS SHOW WAS SO DAMN GOOD?!

I’ve only heard of it at all before because I watch the CW Berlanti ‘verse and Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell are both semi-villains on two of the shows there, and I kept seeing mentions of how they were both well known for Prison Break, which apparently aired while I was in high school.

I don’t know anybody that watched this show, I didn’t watch TV back then, and I don’t know anybody that has binge-watched it since it aired, so I honestly heard NOTHING about this show until I saw the hype about it getting a season 5 next year, and saw the re-runs coming on Audience around the time Kingdom was on (one of my favorite TV shows ever).

It was on my ‘because you watched *insert show here*’ suggestion on Netflix after I finished binge watching Ripper Street two weeks ago, and basically, for the past 12 days, every night I watch at least an episode of Prison Break.

AND I AM ANGRY AND UPSET THAT NOBODY EVER TOLD ME TO WATCH THIS SHOW BEFORE NOW!

WHY DO YOU ALL HATE ME?!

My friends are useless!

Anyways, I’m going to wait until I finish the entire 4 seasons before I actually talk about it and give a review. I just wanted to let you guys know that it’s probably going to be incredibly long or possibly in ‘one post per season’ style, because this show is amazing and I love it and I’m angry at you guys for not telling me to watch it before now.