We’re on hiatus! But we’ll be back :)

Hello dear readers! We’ve been on hiatus for a couple of weeks now, but I’m only writing this now because–well, usually we feel like we’re just writing into the void (and for our lovely mothers, who read every post).

But one of our readers was kind enough to ask where we’ve been, so I’ll tell you–Adversion had a baby! Or, more accurately, two of us had a baby, and the third now has a baby niece. I know you’re dying to hear about her, so I will tell you: she is a human child. She has a Social Security number and everything.

Welcome to the world, Adversion baby! And to our readers: thank you for reading, and we’ll be back soon 🙂

Spike lies on a white tiled floor looking ill.

BuffyWatch: Season 4, Episodes 7-9

Janes (a True Stan) and Nerdy Spice (a New Fan) are watching all of Buffy together and comparing notes.

Season 4, Episode 7 “The Initiative”

OK, so Spike has been kidnapped by some kind of Stranger Things-esque evil experiment group, which has trapped him in a solitary cell and starved him. His next-door neighbor tells him it’s all Buffy’s fault, which solidifies Spike’s intent to kill Buffy. He escapes, and also stops by his old place and runs into Harmony, but leaves after they have sex so he can go after the Slayer, causing Harmony to pitch a fit and burn all his stuff. Meanwhile, poor Spike discovers something alarming: he can’t bite people. He catches Willow alone in the room she shares with Buffy, throws her on the bed to, um, suck her blood, and then… can’t. He’s impotent! (The innuendoes being drawn here are, to put it mildly, not subtle.) 

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The Last of Us Part II, part 1: The Internet Sucks Ass

I’m so mad about the response to this game. Some recent history: The Last of Us Part II was delayed and delayed (and delayed?) and finally released this June 19th. Somewhere after some but not all of those delays, Naughty Dog (the development company) had its servers hacked, resulting in the leak of cutscenes giving away major plot elements. How about a page break before we start spoiling everything?

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BuffyWatch: Season 4, Episodes 4-6

Janes (a True Stan) and Nerdy Spice (a New Fan) are watching all of Buffy together and comparing notes.

Season 4, Episode 4 “Fear, Itself”

It’s Halloween in Sunnydale, which means it’s time for Giles to insist that nothing ever happens on Halloween, only for something to happen on Halloween. In this case, Buffy and friends attend a haunted house at a frat (always a terrible idea) which, thanks to some ill-placed decorative occult symbols, becomes an actual haunted house. It’s pretty similar to season two’s “Halloween,” where everyone transforms into their costumes–in a great way.  Continue reading →

Buffy holds a book and looks around.

BuffyWatch: Season 4, Episodes 1-3

Janes (a True Stan) and Nerdy Spice (a New Fan) are watching all of Buffy together and comparing notes.

Season 4, Episode 1 “The Freshman”

Buffy’s off to college–and she has a roommate, Kathy, from whom she has to keep her secret identity secret, which as we all know she’s GREAT at. She’s extremely nervous, in contrast to Willow who’s excited for every class and every protest. And things don’t go super great for her: she gets yelled at by a professor for whispering in class, she can’t get into the one class she kind of wants, and the first cute guy she meets can’t remember her name because he’s more interested in talking shop with Willow about Psych 105, while the second cute guy gets turned into a vampire by a ring of goth stoner vamps that like to eat college freshmen and then just pack up their rooms and take their stuff and leave a good-bye note so that no one realizes they died. (I guess the parents never bother calling the school to find out what happened when their kids don’t come home for Thanksgiving. Just roll with it.)

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Our Favorite Books By Black Authors

Recently the #publishingpaidme hashtag highlighted on Twitter just how absurd the discrepancies between advances for Black authors and non-Black authors are in publishing. For example, NK Jemisin’s famous Broken Earth Trilogy? She got $25K advance for each book. Jesmyn Ward had to fight to get a six-figure advance (a number frequently bestowed upon White debut authors with no track record) after winning the National Book Award.

If you’re White (or non-Black) and you’re anything like us, this hashtag (and the recent uprising against police brutality and racism in general) may have made you redouble your commitment to reading works by Black voices. Anyway, here are some of our favorites, old and new. Some of them we’ve written about before, some we somehow haven’t mentioned yet. Check it out, and follow the links to purchase from Bookshop, which supports independent bookstores with each purchase!*

*We’re not grown-up bloggers, so we don’t get any money ourselves… we just want to stick it to Jeff Bezos.

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Buffy holds a big knife at the ready.

BuffyWatch: Season 3, Episodes 21-22

Note to our readers: The following post is trivial in comparison to what’s going on in the world, and we recognize that. We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement, with George Floyd, with the protesters and with all who are standing up against racism and police violence. Black lives matter!

Janes (a True Stan) and Nerdy Spice (a New Fan) are watching all of Buffy together and comparing notes.

Season 3, Episode 21 “Graduation Day, Part 1”

So, Graduation Day is finally (almost) here. As far as we know, Buffy and Angel are still broken up, but… come on. It’s a tossup. Everyone’s nostalgic, including a blonde popular girl who was always mean to Willow, and Percy, Willow’s dumb, muscular tutee, who thanks her for not beating him up again like that time she was Evil Vamp Willow. Except for Xander, who’s convinced he’s going to die, because as we know, Graduation Day is also Ascension Day. The Mayor is going to be the graduation speaker, on the very day his plan is to turn into a demon and “snack on populace.” Not a good sign for the seniors.

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BuffyWatch: Season 3, Episodes 19-20

Janes (a True Stan) and Nerdy Spice (a New Fan) are watching all of Buffy together and comparing notes.

Season 3, Episode 19 “Choices”

Image description: Buffy and Angel having a picnic at a cemetery.

We’re getting closer to finding out what the Mayor’s endgame is. It involves a package shipped to him from Central America, which he informs us of while creepily feeding Faith homemade cookies. He also gives Faith a shiny new knife to play with. She promptly uses it to kill the courier who’s delivering the Mayor’s package.

All the other kids have the future on the brain, since graduation is fast approaching: Willow got into Oxford, Xander is planning a big Kerouac-style backpacking trip (insert massive eyroll here), and Buffy got into Northwestern but can’t go because Faith is no longer a very good backup Slayer. Oh, and Cordelia appears to spend the episode shopping for fancy prom dresses–but we find out at the end that she’s actually working at the fancy prom dress shop, throwing her college plans into question even though she got into good schools. Meanwhile, Buffy and Angel have gotten back together, and are patrolling for vampires every night together. But Buffy’s also a little worried about their future together if every date night is gonna just take place in the cemetery.

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Westworld: Season 3 — a review?

Well, that kinda sucked.

My reaction to prestige HBO series’ final seasons keeps being “Why did that have to get packed into one season?”, which bothers me for a number of reasons. First, do I really want more Game of Thrones, if the Game of Thrones I got made me so miserable? Why would I trust someone who made me watch Westworld Season 3 to instead make me watch Westworld seasons 3a, 3b, and 3c? Short answer, because I’m a masochist. Second, why can’t I just say that a season is bad, instead of trying to imagine a world where it was better?

Also, yes, this was the final season of Westworld, because I’m done watching it. As should you be.

Let’s try to recap this series in 3 sentences.

  • Season 1:  Dolores is conscious, and Old William is Young William is the owner of the park.
  • Season 2: The park existed to recreate human consciousness, but that project never worked, and now Dolores has escaped with the resulting data to destroy the human world.
  • Season 3: The world was run by a new omniscient AI, Rehoboam, but it could only predict humans, so Dolores could destroy it because she’s not a human, and she did but she needed help from a human who was Jesse Pinkman, and now humanity is going to destroy itself, and Hale-Dolores is making new hosts to take over the world which is still going to be destroyed, and also Jesse Pinkman is in charge of some “revolution” which has already ended, I guess? and everyone in the world knows what their future will… ok I think I’ve made my point here.

Instead, let me try to list all of the atomic plot concepts that were introduced and then discarded in this season:

  1. Hosts set loose in the human world
  2. Copies of Dolores interacting with each other and with their new bodies
  3. Hosts body-snatching real humans
  4. Omniscient predictive AI
  5. Ownership of said AI being its engineers or their capitalist funders
  6. Crime for hire
  7. Humans’ awareness of high-likelihood predictions of their future
  8. Reprogramming humans with false memories
  9. Icing thousands of non-compliant humans
  10. Certain human-generated apocalypse in ~200 years.

I got to ten massive ideas without even trying, and without discussing any of the relationships between pairs or sets of those ideas, like the hosts’ decisions about their morality with respect to these various actors. Can’t you imagine spending a compelling season of television on just one or two of those ideas? How about the first two: Westworld season 3 is about Dolores getting her footing in the human world, and her selves deciding who or what they are. Doesn’t that sound better than what we got? It’s crazy to realize that we actually… skipped that. By the time we see Dolores in season 3 she already knows that there’s an omniscient AI that rules human affairs and has decided to destroy it. Hale-Dolores has her subplot about self-harming into discovering love for her family, but all the other Doloreis are… fine. Wouldn’t it have been worthwhile to follow her/them in those discoveries and decisions?

One reason why I think I take this critical approach is that it lets me skip so much else – characterization, cinematography, soundtrack… 

Some of those might have been good, some were definitely bad, but you can just look at a storyboard for this season—not even a storyboard, a bulleted outline—and realize that it could not possibly work inside 10 hour-long episodes, no matter how good or bad those executional choices ended up being. 

As I said: that kinda sucked.