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19 March 2012 @ 10:47 am
It was and is a blur...  
So, the weekend. \o?

I finished reading The Bards Of Stone Plain. It had one of the slowest, most painful builds ever (unlikable main characters, and 140 pages of dull flailing before things snapped into place) followed by a cannot-put-it-down plot. McKillip's editor really should have weighed in there: 140 of 322 pages at snooze? Tighten things up, woman!

I finished my Real LJ Idol fic early, so I asked to be tagged for silverbullets. LJ Idol reading and Spring Break are coming, and who knew when I'd get another window to write? Stayed up WAY late, had a sleepless night of bizarre dreams (gym hockey, boat tours for drinking water, murder, replicating character "casts") and plowed through foggy-headed Sunday morning to finish just in time before the deadline and Christopher's first B-ball playoff game.

More dizziness and fog (and garage biking) between games, another playoff, and Christopher's team's going to the finals! \o/

Last night: more sleepless weirdness, miserable coldness, backache, and crazy dreams. Okay, NOW I recognize this gig: fever delirium. Yay.

I feel better than yesterday, though my left middle-ear is staticky, but my head's clearer and my heartbeat is more regular. And what set off the sleeplessness on Saturday? Watching the Justified, S1 finale on DVD, and going off on a slashy mental tangent about Raylan and Boyd. Plus, the show made me feel sorry for Boyd. Oh, the complexity of his arc—who saw that coming?

I didn't expect Raylan and Boyd's relationship to get so complicated. They were friends once, they parted sides of the law, things got ugly at the showdown in Ava's house, and then... Boyd had a religious epiphany? After that, he seemed to be half in love with Raylan and what Raylan represented in his life, but Raylan didn't trust that change for a minute and yet couldn't help his own natural politeness and the patterns of their distant past. Someone did a slashy vid at YouTube about the whole thing, stressing the "mixed signals" of their relationship that really caught that vibe perfectly.

By the end, Boyd is truly devastated by everything that happened, and he's practically begging for Raylan to console him. And the viewer (who has seen the truth of what Boyd tried to do in his mixed-up, misguided way and how it all went so wrong) can't help but feel devastated for him, even though we know all the bad things Boyd's done. The writing, it tortures us!

I do love that, midway through the season, we see that Raylan's offhand comment about Boyd's pattern being "stealing stuff and blowing shit up" turns out to be utterly true.

As for Raylan himself, those mixed signals with Boyd are echoed in Raylan's relationship with his own father. You know why Raylan left (and doesn't ever want to see his father again), and yet despite Raylan's volatile temper and tendency to shoot too quickly, he also can't seem to be as mean to his father as Arlo deserves. It's as if there's a reserve of nearly-extinguished love that still keeps him from being cruel, something more than just ingrained Southern manners. It shows there's a deeper complexity to Raylan than first indicated.

We've got S2 in the Netflix queue now, which rumors say will be a different setting/dynamic entirely. Still, more handsomeness from Olyphant to come, and probably a rich collection of character actors passing through.

All right. Feeling more stupid again by the minute, but I must try to get some work done now. Back to the grind...

cindy: fangirltsuki_no_bara on March 19th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
justified s2 is indeed a slightly different dynamic and there's a whole new slew of characters, but there's still a lot of good raylan/boyd stuff to chew on. they're interesting people in their own rights, but together they're really fascinating. (s3 is good that way too.) the writers are really good about giving us three-dimensional, believably complicated characters, and the actors are just fantastic across the board. i'm so glad you like it! there can never be enough fans of this show.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: TVhalfshellvenus on March 19th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC)
I'll admit to liking Raylan going back to Harlan (I've seen others complain), because part of what reveals his character is his (understandable) avoidance of the people from his past who just can't be who he wants them to be. If that were my hopeless asshole of a father, as well as past friends, I wouldn't want to have to deal with that either! I've heard rumors that S2 is elsewhere, and S3 back in Harlan.

I'm always happy to see Walton Goggins get work (he was fantastic and realistically frustrating on The Shield). It's funny that at some point in "Justified," I had that same Crazy Hair thought I'd had with The Shield (where his hair's too short on top and it sticks out like he's electrified himself). But his Justified character is kind of crazy-ass too, so the hair seems fitting. It just isn't his best look. :D

Part of that is probably me thinking that Raylan's hot, and Boyd should be as hot as possible just to satisfy ME on the Raylan/Boyd front. Which isn't exactly fair...
cindy: fangirltsuki_no_bara on March 20th, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
raylan trying to renegotiate harlan county and everyone in it, after having been gone for so many years, is one of the things that makes the show so interesting! why would people complain? if he spent all his time in lexington chasing down city criminals and not having anything to do with his dad or aunt or ex-boyfriend anyone from his former life, that would be boring.

i think s2 is set mostly in harlan county, or at least it's harlan-adjacent. it feels like harlan, anyway.

walton goggins is kinda funny-looking, even when he isn't standing next to timothy olyphant for comparison. and he does have crazy hair! but it works for him. (he was in an episode of criminal minds and had kind of crazy hair in that too, but also a priest thought his character was possessed and needed to be exorcised, so it made sense.)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: TVhalfshellvenus on March 20th, 2012 05:09 am (UTC)
raylan trying to renegotiate harlan county and everyone in it, after having been gone for so many years, is one of the things that makes the show so interesting!

I agree-- him having to confront his past (and some of those very frustrating people) is part of what reveals the character's complexity. Maybe it's the problem of wishing the show were more of a thriller than a drama? Something flashier rather than intriguing?

Maybe people were hoping for Burn Notice with a cowboy (based on the pilot), and didn't expect what they got!
realpestilencerealpestilence on March 19th, 2012 08:54 pm (UTC)
I increasingly find that I don't care for McKillip's contemporary work. I find them obscure to the point of confusion, rather than tantalizing. Also, there's often not much actual ~plot, and she tends to use and re-use her character types. They usually have some lovely imagery, and use of language; but I don't tend to buy them any more. It's sad, because the Riddle-Master trilogy and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld are some of my favorite books; with Song of the Basilisk being one of her few more recent titles that I love.

Nothing that's not fixable, imo, but there does need to be an involved editor. Too many established authors are allowed to become lazy, because of their popularity.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Bookshalfshellvenus on March 19th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
I've never liked mcKillip's contemporary stuff, and I almost gave up on this novel because of the slow start.

It's not quite contemporary, but something strange is at work. Perhaps because she insisted that one of her main characters be a Princess instead of a Prince, and was trying to get "modern" enough to let the Princess pursue an archeological hobby without being denied it and without having the reader go, "Princesses, bards, and CARS? Are you INSANE?"

But she pulls off the fantasy part in a believable way, and the payoff is worth it. Just frustratingly slow at the start.

She does meander, plotwise, more than I'd like, but then you get to something like "The Alphabet of Thorn" and it just floors you.

At this point, though, I find that her heteronormativity gets on my nerves, and that because of her settings, her female characters are often seriously constrained.

Also, I think she should be lifetime banned from ever again using "loose" in place of "release." It really peeves me, and for the love of god-- if you're the only one doing it, perhaps that's a sign to STOP.

*koff* ;)