Saturday, March 29, 2014

State of the Blog

If you haven't noticed yet, we're headed to Portland in a few days! The 2nd through the 9th, to be specific. We have a few things planned, some of which have no relevance to the blog and some of which may not work out due to the vagaries of scheduling. However, at a minimum we'll work on a writeup of what the city's really like (the bits we see, the bits we hear about; we plan to do a lot of walking) and hopefully wander in the vicinity of some of the exterior shooting locations.

We know that we have, unfortunately, planned this right over the first half of the two-parter Grimm that's coming up. We had to guess at possible breaks when we bought tickets and made reservations, and sadly we were off by a week. While there are no guarantees, we'll do our best to have the first half up by the time we leave for home. Worst case scenario, we're flying back on the same long flight. We can play pass the keyboard with whoever's got the most battery life. Fear our plotting and cackling.

While we're gone, we'd like you to think about and research Gittip. Gittip is a format for recurring, regular donations to people doing work you want to see more of. It requires transparent accounting for those taking money from it, but allows opacity on the part of the donors. During airing season of a show we put, at minimum, eight hours of work a week into a show, discounting refining and revising approaches over the course of a week as we get more sneak peeks, etc. Every recaplysis post you see is the work of 6-10 hours apiece. Every essay you see is 1-3 hours. But we haven't been posting beyond staying current recently because we have too many other projects, all of which are more likely to yield something more than RSI in the medium-to-long term. If supporting the blog in a concrete way is something you'd be interested in, we would reprioritize to a degree.

Gittip is the format we settled on as the most transparent, most consistent way of doing a donations button. It is by its very nature easy to see who's taking how much out of the pot, and it allows us the luxury of not working up a spreadsheet showing how much our income from the blog is, which we might feel obligated to do in a format like PayPal or Patreon. This does not mean we are closing the blog, moving the blog (unless to a domain we own), changing the weekly recaps, installing a pay wall, looking for sponsorship, or changing anything about the way the blog currently functions. We still have no intention of putting ads on the blog, and if you ever start seeing them you should let us know. (AdBlock+ can be a blessing and a curse in this regard.) We have simply reached a point where we feel experienced enough that we're comfortable asking for donations, and are generally overcommitted enough that this would help us prioritize our many to-do lists. Please leave us your feedback in the comments - if you're happy with what we're doing as it stands, there's no need to change anything. If you want us to incorporate more essays, profiles, murder dot-plots, etc., then seriously consider Gittip.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Celebrate Relentlessness Grimm S3E16 The Show Must Go On

Previously on Grimm: a lot of baby conspiracy stuff! And this, kids, is why we've been calling Sebastien the canary ever since he first showed up on our screens: when he's captured and tortured, you know shit's gotten real. Frankly, I'm surprised he made it as long as he did. (I'm also still waiting on payoff for that list of names he gave Renard back in 2x17, but alas, it seems unlikely at this point.) (K: And on the comment he made about Meisner. And the inexplicable buttling.) Oh, and Monroe was the dorkiest clockmaker Blutbad ever; I guess now we're focusing on the existence of their relationship more than the family issues surrounding it? I'm a little torn on how those have been shoved to the back-burner for the last several eps, though I will definitely say that Silas and Bree have been playing up a heightened sense of how much danger they could be in. Not quite to hypervigilance levels yet, but likely to get there as they continue to be under pressure from a variety of directions? Oh yes.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Are You My Mummy? Grimm S3E15 Once We Were Gods

Previously, on Grimm: Conspiracies abounded. Sebastien was made. Wu was made crazy, sad to say, by his fellow cops who are lying liars who lie. Seriously, you guys, this is just cruel, and we are not going to let it go any time soon.

This week on Grimm we're apparently quoting the Book of the Dead, because why not. Or at least the generally accepted translation. I'm not entirely sure there isn't a more relevant text in Egyptian lore and ancient literature to quote, but certainly there aren't many more commonly known and readily available in translation, so, eh. As is the convention with all things Egypt/mummy/ancient burial customs related, we start the episode with someone breaking through a wall. In Portland, though. Or at least, so we assume by the fact that there's no location caption to tell us otherwise. What wall are they breaking through, and is it within the university or outside of it? For that matter, what university? The dialogue, it tells us nothing except This Is A Secret Cache Of Cool Shit, which the visuals told us anyway. So, okay, for the sake of argument and in the interests of filling in the very large gaps the script is leaving, let's assume these are construction guys remodeling whatever university they're at (there are at least two in Portland just going off the first three Google hits, you guys, write better, more efficiently), and that getting someone from the university down means getting someone with authority to issue commands onsite to deal with this unexpected hitch in renovations. Someone in what looks like a lab coat comes down, yep, that's a lab coat. Whoever lit this scene was taking lessons from the X-Files in Don't Show Anything Clearly Ever. Blue light is for "this scene is dark!" Shadows and lack of visibility is for the monster is right behind you. (It also might just be my TV, there is a blue cast, just not enough light to make out individuals apart from their hats and coats.) Okay, no, we have flashlights to show us that the mysterious sarcophagus, er, crate, has passed through Malta, New York, Athens... Apparently we're not paying attention to any of the shiny other objects like some kind of gold cat or jackal statue over in the corner there, and a vase. Just the crate. Which we are opening in this very non-sterile environment. My inner archaeologist is twitching. But how are we to know there's a sarcophagus with an extremely valuable (and fragile. inner conservationist twitching so hard) and weird mummy inside? Well, at least there's a sarcophagus which looks to be NO DON'T OPEN THE SARCOPHAGUS. DO PRESERVATION MEASURES MEAN NOTHING TO YOU? I sob for all my training at the conservation lab. No, she's going to open the goddamn sarcophagus, making her the worst archaeologist ever, and she's going to oh-my-god at the jackal-headed mummy. As you do.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Boy's Best Friend Grimm S3E14 Mommy Dearest

'fraid you're stuck with just me this week, kiddos. Kitty's off seeing her family, which means you get nothing but pure undiluted batshittery on my end. It's okay, we're all mad here, and you wouldn't have come here if you didn't like the flavor of crazy we provide, right? Of course right. Apologies for the resulting delay, though honestly it's not as bad a delay as I feared it might be. Apparently doing this a lot means building up the muscle to marathon it alone if necessary. WHO KNEW. One note before we get started: neither one of us knows a great deal about Filipino culture, nor do we know Tagalog at all. (Or, for that matter, anything in the Austronesian language family; it's not something that comes up much in either our general geographic areas or in our specific social circles.) That said, I'm trusting that the people in cast/crew/writers' room with Filipino background supplemented whatever research Brenna Kouf did for the ep, and that the script went through many notes as a result. (Based on what I watched, it seems like she was willing to listen to those notes, which is a feat of grace for any newbie writer to accomplish. Ask K sometime about the early years of our partnership.) If any of our readers cares to offer a more informed opinion about culture and language than can be acquired through brief immersion in Wiki and its sources, please feel free! All I've got is the usual round of generalized anthropological blather. (Edit 3/18: go read the comments for Kris Q's extensive explanations and analysis, all of which were awesome and incredibly cogent!)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What Rough Biest Grimm S3E13 Revelation

Previously on Grimm! Adalind has clearly never seen Rosemary's Baby. Stefania should not be trusted at all. The police have no idea what kind of serial killer they're dealing with, and Monrosalee are still the adorablest. Although Monroe is rather swimming in denial at this point, until he has his nose rubbed in it by his parents' bad behavior. Aaaaand fight!

Or not. Monroe does manage to keep everyone from doing serious physical damage to each other, though his "Nick is a friend" sounds eerily like someone trying to calm a dog, and Nick apologizes about as profusely as he can when he's not the most emotionally intuitive in the room. Monroe's parents aren't really in a mood to listen to reason which, aside from the species prejudices of last episode/very shortly earlier in the night, is reasonable. Grimms have a history of beheading first and sticking the heads on poles to answer questions later, and let's all not forget the entry about the peaceful turtle Wesen species on the Galapagos, about whom the one Grimm wrote that their peaceful nature only made them easier to kill. Because they looked at that Grimm funny? Yeah, no. Monroe has reasons for defending Nick the way he does, but his parents have reason for reacting the way they do, and when everyone's blood is up no one's that inclined to listen to these reasons. Monroe doesn't help with essentially tacitly threatening to have Nick kill his father, though I'm sure that's not what he meant. While the most emotionally intuitive and the heart and center of the show in that respect, he still manages not to figure out the right words during times of stress. Better would have been "Nick would not like to take it outside because he's a cop," but Nick not wanting to take it outside because he would murder Monroe's parents is probably valid, too. Nick wouldn't like to murder the parents of his friend because they're the parents of his friend. There's some interesting hospitality laws that are being tacitly stated here, too, mostly of the I Am The Ruler Of My Castle variety. Now, actually, while I'm thinking of it, a potentially decent way to prove that Nick's not like the other Grimms would be to have him arrest them for assault, at least long enough to drive them around for a while. Surely there's a protocol at the precinct for "situation got heated we're holding these people for 24 hours to make sure they know attacking people is wrong"? But then we couldn't have the later action, so we don't do that. Meanwhile the parents are shocked that Monroe has just confessed to hunting with a Grimm, at least inasmuch as he's witnessed kills, and that seems to be the last straw. This does, too, serve to highlight just how far from Wesen norms Monroe has come in the last two? years, year and a half, whatever we're running on for in-universe chronology. (Yes, we've given up keeping track. It doesn't seem to matter.) Nick continues to be incapable of diplomaticking his way out of anything. Nick, honey, saying you don't want to cause any problems without providing evidence or at least something to back it up more than your word is not going to help, and maybe nothing you can say will help right now, so please don't make it worse by giving Monroe's parents something else to be stubborn against. Yes? Yes. Monroe's parents storm out with their luggage, not the best sign ever, and with his father saying that whatever they're doing is wrong in the sort of tone that speaks to an underlying fundamentalism, and the mother taking more of a soft stance of not recognizing who her son has become. That, at least, can be eased back down and she can be slowly introduced to Monroe's view of the world. The father will take some doing. Let's all take a second here to shake our fists at Silas Weir Mitchell for selling this entire episode amazingly. You bastard.

PSA: Possible posting delay

Due to a death in Murderboarding's family, there may be a delay in getting the next two episodes up. We are both working on yesterday's episode right now, but I'll be handling next week's on my own while K is away attending to family business.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.