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Thoughtful Fan

Newsletter for thoughtful fannish discussion

Journal Info

Newsletter for thoughtful fannish discussion



July 30th, 2008

Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of the Dark Knight (History Channel) – a report by seacrystal
"One thing that has particularly stood out to me is how they've emphasized the concept of choices and personal responsibility. Batman is a hero by choice, because he has made the choice to keep on being Batman, because it's the right thing to do."

Battlestar Galactica
Gender, Morality, and BSG. by swallowedbysky
"Does Laura Roslin's gender matter in a gender-equal society?" Also general issues about strong female characters, feminism on BSG, and the appropriateness of rape & torture.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Deconstructing Dr. Horrible. by karjack
"I think it was fairly biting social commentary, and I wonder how many people even realized they were being bitten."

Horrible Thoughts by Rebecca Allen
"And so the end of Dr. Horrible pisses me off hugely, because it really seems like he didn’t even try, and embraced everything he’s always stood against."

Batman's Sing-Along Blog by hth_the_first
Discussion of Dr. Horrible and The Dark Knight in terms of the individual's essential powerlessness vs. the need to believe in individual power.

Doctor Who
In which there is Doctor Who: Kinda by spiralsheep
"People have written deep academic analyses of Kinda. All you're getting from me, however, is a brief recap with lolmacros."

So just what DOES Heroes look like in regards to race and gender, anyway? by kattahj
"For each character, I have listed the number of eps they're in (still according to imdb, which may not be completely updated), as well as yes/no/maybe-answers to the following questions: white, WASP (white Anglo-Saxon protestant), male, good, and alive."

Heroes by The Angry Black Woman
"So, portrayals. One of the biggest problems in this arena is how many of the CoC are first presented to us as negative stereotypes."

What's wrong with this picture (2) – House edition by nekocat
Discusses the characters of Cuddy, Cameron, Thirteen and Amber.

Resignation- Scene Analysis by fox_hunt
Examines the text, context, and subtext of the dialogue from the House–Wilson scene in 'Resignation,' in which they discuss Wilson being on anti-depressants.

Talking about Firefly. No, really. by fox1013
"When the movie points River as the only one, the Special-est Special in Specialdom, that changes the context of everything. If River is the most special person at the Academy, then she is not just Brilliant- she is the top of the top of the top, the single figure who could do what she can do- so what do they do? They break her."

Escapade Panel: John: Good Hero, Bad Dad? by sylvia_bond
"I think it would be interesting to discuss what kind of father John Winchester actually was. He has so many good qualities and so many bad ones....people get so riled about this subject, it might be nice to hear some debate on it."

Hello, I'm a minority! by tanarian
"Jack's reactions during this episode [Meat] were different to previous episodes. … Gwen is very confrontational with him and he refuses to back down to her, which he has done on previous occasions. And he's very emotional. More so than usual. So why and what does it mean for the glory that is Janto?"

Terminator 2: Judgment Day by coffeeandink
"Sarah and the Arnie terminator have similar narrative trajectories: they are both violent, unpredictable, and initially solitary, and are humanized by the civilizing, pacifist influence of a small (male) child."

The Dark Knight: Batman's Sing-Along Blog by hth_the_first
Discussion of Dr. Horrible and The Dark Knight in terms of the individual's essential powerlessness vs. the need to believe in individual power.

The Dark Knight: Burtonverse vs. Nolanverse, focused on Batman and Joker by kowaiyoukai
"These are just a few thoughts that I had regarding the differences between the Burtonverse and Nolanverse.… The summary of the rest of my post, or TL;DR: Nolanverse wins over Burtonverse in almost every way."

March 13th, 2008

Obsidian Butterfly by melpomene
"I wanted to talk about how OB stood out as an awesome treatment of mixed race issues. Because it takes Anita out of her surprisingly monoracial St Louis context, and plunks her down in the middle of New Mexico, you’d think there’d be tons of discussion of Anita as a mixed race Latina. Since the plot revolves around Aztec mythology, you’d also think there’d be something on the various ways indigenous beliefs inform mainstream faith experiences as well as understandings of history."

Primer: Alan Moore by Noel Murray and Keith Phipps
Examines the works of Alan Moore.

Doctor Who
Martha as Mammy and yet more 'ism's in the Whoverse by karnythia
"I'm noticing a lot of people insisting that the portrayal of Martha as strong and capable automatically negates any accusation of sexism in the latest season of Who. And people demanding step by step proof of the racism, because apparently it's all just the way things are written and we're making too much of it."

Donna's character by paulpogue
Compares Donna, Martha, and Rose.

2x09: Cautionary Tales by coffeeandink
"[Matt] was the head of the Gestapo in "Five Years Gone", and we see here how he could start on that path: not by deciding to take power, but by deciding to take advantage of what power gets him and by rationalizing the abuse he's committing."

2x09 Cautionary Tales Census started by oyceter
Discussion of gender and race in the episode, particularly of powered girls being protected by men. Excellent thoughts in the comments.

A Heroes Alphabet: 2x08 "Four Months Ago" by technosage
Discussion of Angela Petrilli's power and what it means for her sons, theory on powers, various characters, race politics, incest shipping, and Mohinder love.

Sarah Connor Chronicles
1x05: Queen's Gambit by coffeeandink and veritykindle
"Queen's gambit: sacrifice the queen to save the king. And John's the king now, all important and powerless." Also, "I actually think it's really interesting to see how differently Sarah and John react to Cameron."

Star Wars
Clone Wars news and thoughts, and a couple random Anakin thoughts by imadra_blue
"I think I can sum up everything I find wrong with Anakin/Padme by pointing you to the scene where she goes to comfort him in the garage after his mother dies. It reminded me of why the relationship sort of creeps me out and appears as infantile."

Anakin's slaughter of the Tuskens by pyramidhead316
"I sometimes see criticism of Padme for not slapping Anakin after his confession in AOTC, or not yelling at him, or calling him disgusting and never speaking to him again. …Maybe the fact that the Tuskens kidnapped and murdered an innocent woman had something to do with Padme's indifference?"

Stargate: Atlantis
SGA: my view of John by loligo
"In the wake of Outcast, it seems like there's been another fandom-wide round of Who Is John Sheppard, Really? I thought I'd share my interpretation of John, which is colored heavily by my experiences with my college friend who I'll call "Tom"."

The Rodney/Katie Brown question by horridporrid
"I *love* how Carl Binder and Martin Wood and Brenda James and David Hewlett handled the Rodney/Katie Brown question. Seriously. Loved it. Even though (actually probably because) it broke my heart."

Stargate: SG1
Canon vs. Fanon, part 14: A Sam Carter Edition by sg_fignewton
Takes on nicknames, 'Holy Hannah!' and Sam's age.

Humanity, Sleeper, CW, Gwen, Ianto and a mix of Analogies by sarcasticchick
"I've watched Sleepers quite a few times now. Make that, a ridiculous amount of views. Not to mention Cyberwoman and Countrycide. And I was struck by the similarities between Ianto's pleas and the team killing Lisa, and Gwen's pleas and the team killing Beth."

Relationship Mirrors in Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang by crabby_lioness
""Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang" reestablishes the relationships between the Torchwood characters, while taking those relationships a step further. In the process it highlights some of the mirrors and parallels between the characters."

Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang: Relationships Revisited... by fajrdrako
Considers Captain Jack and Ianto, Captain Jack and Captain John, and Captain Jack and his team.

The X Files
Dana Scully: X-Files by Tracey
"We have seen Scully experience the highest of highs both professionally and personally, and also seen her suffer through her lowest, most desolate of times. While she doubts herself and her beliefs at times, Scully is a fighter and she will always endure."

10 Most Moving Deaths by Robin Brownfield
"On occasion, though, a character dies and stays dead, or at least mostly dead. Since we’re in the dead of winter, I thought it would warm the hearts to remember 10 of the most moving deaths that stuck in the past 10 years.…"
Angel, Buffy, BSG, Jericho, Moonlight, Smallville, Serenity, Trek

Poll: Which sci-fi/fantasy presidential ticket gets your vote? by Jay Garmon
Tickets include Roslin/Airlock, Picard/Riker, Kirk/Spock, Baggins/Gamgee, Vader/Skywalker, Dumbledore/Snape and several candidates without running mates.

November 29th, 2007

Battlestar Galactica
Battlestar Galactica And The Myth Of No Antagonists by teh_no
"So the humans have goals that I can sympathize with, even if they occasionally do horrible things to get to those goals. As for the Cylons, I have no idea what their goals is, just that they're going to do horrible things (a LOT of horrible things) to get it."

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Dating Death: Love and Sex in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer [sic] by Jennifer Crusie
"Buffy has had three loves in her seven-year fight against the Hellmouth, and three of these relationships followed the basic psychological progress--assumption, attraction, infatuation, and attachment--which is why they all felt true emotionally."

Doctor Who
"Smith and Jones" - In Which We Meet Martha Jones by intrikate88
The thing that struck me the most about Martha’s character is how she acts. Rather than being written as strongly active, she is instead reactive."

Rome and why the Peacekeepers are Roman and not Nazi by tassosss
"[The Peacekeepers] were a conquering army in the sense that they put the rulers of worlds into power and kept them there, which if I remember correctly is what the Romans did after they conquered a land (although I think they were usually Romans, but no comparison will be perfect)."

Heroes Theories: Peter vs. Sylar, The Company and Papa Parkman by rogueslayer452
"I love how parallel both Peter and Sylar are this season, like a reversal of roles shall we say. They're both entirely different and complete opposites from where they were last season."

A Hiro's Journey by boji
"I've been trying to find an angle to discuss what I love about the show and what I could happily leave. I've been thinking about it as a cohesive whole and realising that thematically it's a show about parents and offspring. It's a show about the journey sons take to walk in, or out of, their father's shadow."

Heroes through 2x04: Claire's storyline by coffeeandink
"This isn't going to be very long [eta: hahaha], because I am too disheartened. Claire is my favorite character and I've been finding a lot of her storyline in the past two episodes just too painful to watch.… Once she has a romantic subplot, the active Claire of S1 becomes passive, or active primarily in defiance of paternal strictures on romance."

Law and Order: Criminal Intent
The Goren and Eames Divide of 2006/7 by aj
"All that being said, the reason I think he contributed to the massive MEOW-BOOM that was Bobby and Alex this year is that from the very first episode, he planted a seed of distrust. He flat-out told Alex that he was watching Goren and that he wanted her keeping an eye on him. And yes, Alex told Bobby about this, but that little sting was already there. The knowledge that his boss didn't trust him to do his job.… That was a big, honking blow to Bobby's professional ego. Not to mention a really new and different stress thrown onto his partnership with Eames."

The Road to Hell is Paved With 'Em: Colorblind Casting and SPN by minim_calibre
"The season had three African-American characters who appeared in more than one episode, and all three of them were either allies turned antagonists or antagonists from the start"

let me show you them by vaznetti
"What's fascinating, of course, is that what came back from the dead is 100% pure unadulterated Sam Winchester. He's always been ruthless, and he's always been willing to sacrifice other people's wellbeing for his own…. Now he's more mature and less selfish, but the ruthlessness is still there."

The X Files
The X-Files Timeline by Mike Marek
"Careful review of the many mythology arc episodes of The X-Files produces a picture much more complete than the series finale gave us. If it is not definitive, it at least holds together, in my opinion."

Vague questioning thoughts engendered by a vid started by kernezelda
"Does anyone have any other shows that don't follow the pattern, that don't portray specifically female victimization as erotic?"
Supernatural, Blake's 7, Farscape, Battlestar Galactica

November 1st, 2007

How not to write a hero by League of Substitute Superheroes
"Heroes shouldn’t be built on fear, or on all the niggling insecurities that can make us poor, workaday humans sometimes behave like pricks to our fellow humans. … Frank Miller doesn’t write about heroes. Frank Miller kind of misses the point entirely."

Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
"No. Not this girl. Not this Day." by ishkode_fyre
"I felt like we really were incredibly gifted in Buffy, where we had to face and empathize with the characters as they went through personal trials, and that all that vital human stuff was cut short in Angel and we didn't have to deal with the very things that could have and should have made the story even more powerful."

The Assassination of Cordelia Chase by Jenny Crusie
"The writers at ME have played fast and loose with character before but they never sinned so deeply as they did when they destroyed the character of Cordelia Chase."

Battlestar Galactica
Sailing the Ship of State: Political Philosophies on the Battlestar Galactica by nnaylime
How the two undisputed leaders--Admiral (then Commander) William Adama, a military veteran and head of the military and Laura Roslin, the civilian President--used their natural abilities to perform different, but important and necessary, duties to keep the ship of state afloat.

Doctor Who
Who meta braindump discussion started by ionlylurkhere
On Earth, the undeniability of alien invasions, and the Doctor's post-colonial, paternalistic tone.

Mickey, Martha, and the Message that Doesn't Belong on Who by neadods
"When it was just Mickey, it was an unpleasant circumstance that could be handwaved. Now that it's Mickey and Martha, the implications that the black characters just aren't as interesting to the audience or beloved of the Doctor is unmistakable."

Yo ho, yo ho a pirate's life for me - Musings on Martha by salienne
"Ok, so after watching 'Gridlock', I've been trying to explain Martha's instant faith in the Doctor to myself. And I think I have, more or less."

Free Willie by truepenny
"The first two seasons of the show are powered by the tension between Fraser's worldview (openly Capra-esque, viz., "One Good Man") and Ray's. "You know what your problem is?" Ray says to Fraser. "You think if you're nice to people, people are going to be nice to you." Fraser does believe this, and the show again is very careful about the tension between pararealism and realism in the responses he gets."

2x02: Lizards by laurashapiro
"This episode is all about identity: knowing who you are, or not knowing; accepting who you are, or rejecting; pushing the limits of who you are, or hiding."

Losing Libby by Mickle
"Libby is the very epitome of the WIR phenomenom. Abrams and Linderlof may not have created her just to kill her off, but she was created (or at least given a more prominent spot) with the express purpose of furthuring Hurley's character development." Also includes a Lost body count categorized by gender.

Star Wars
"Star Wars" despots vs. "Star Trek" populists by David Brin
"By now it's grown clear that George Lucas has an agenda, one that he takes very seriously. After four "Star Wars" films, alarm bells should have gone off, even among those who don't look for morals in movies. When the chief feature distinguishing "good" from "evil" is how pretty the characters are, it's a clue that maybe the whole saga deserves a second look."

IBARW: No Tragic Mulattas on "Route 666" by sparkymonster
"It's sad that I'm insanely excited to see a mixed race person treated as a human being, and an interracial relationship as being normal (or as normal as you can get in a demon hunting world)."

"Star Wars" despots vs. "Star Trek" populists by David Brin
"By now it's grown clear that George Lucas has an agenda, one that he takes very seriously. After four "Star Wars" films, alarm bells should have gone off, even among those who don't look for morals in movies. When the chief feature distinguishing "good" from "evil" is how pretty the characters are, it's a clue that maybe the whole saga deserves a second look."

Terminator series: Gotta Make Way for the Mother Superior: Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008) by Jennifer K. Stuller
"But after considering heroic daughters and their influential fathers, it appears that more often than not, while the female hero’s mother is dead, mentally ill, or otherwise unavailable, the male hero is, as Campbell observed, nurtured towards his destiny by mother."

July 27th, 2007

(no subject)

tegan down
No newsletter this week. I'd claim Potterdammerung, but really it's because of King Tut.

July 19th, 2007

This issue is all about characters.

Gotham Girls: Harley Quinn
"As a woman fighting a losing battle to retain her sanity and her lover - losing the one because of the other, the other because of the one - Harley Quinn is potentially far more interesting than Catwoman, Poison Ivy or the other femmes fatale."

The Universe Hates You (Seamus Harper, Andromeda) by chicafrom3
Harper "mocked the Maru crew's employer, … bragged about his genius, lusted after technology, and daydreamed about buying a seraglio. But we were also shown that his bragging wasn't empty, as he consistently pulled engineering feats that left his crewmates pointing out the impossibility of what just happened."

Women of Angel: Cordelia Chase by Penny
"This rich, beautiful, spoiled cheerleader did not appear to be meant for a life of heroism, but her dynamism and athleticism would prove indispensable to her future career as a formidable heroine."

Doctor Who
The Noblest Romana by lizbee
Romana through both tv series regenerations, the novels and audios.

A Rose is Still a Rose: What Will Become of Rose Tyler? by sizequeen
"Is Rose the pathetic, needy thing that many in fandom think her to be? I’m trying to figure out what connects her so closely to the Doctor."

Stargate: Atlantis
discussion of Weir in comments to Grace Under Pressure- mini review by sanssong
"I'm really interested in why you think [Weir]'s not interesting. Obviously she's got about triple the amount of potential that the writers give her but I still think she's a strong interesting lead."

Thinking of Weir by natlyn
"I have never been on the 'Weir sucks' bandwagon, but sanssong identifies problematic points that I have never heard presented. I agree with her on potential fixes, but I probably still see Weir in a better light than many."

Stargate SG-1
Why I Would Love Sam Carter Even if Jack O'Neill Had Never Been Born by annerb
"I do not simply love her as a convenient foil for our fabulous hero. I love Sam Carter despite Jack, not because of him."

Ianto Jones by shaggydogstail
"But this is Torchwood, a world in which love never saved anyone, doesn't offer salvation or completion, and where romance is dangerous, ugly, and doomed. Ianto isn't a hero because his efforts, his love, his devotion, are all in vain.

July 12th, 2007

Blake's 7
STAR ONE - Wading in Blood and Bad Temper by Sally Manton
"My view is that Blake's decision to destroy Star One is in fact not only justifiable, but the only just decision he *can* make - and also that Avon actually agrees with that decision. He's fighting Blake on personal grounds, not political, and certainly not humanitarian."

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Vampires amidst the Community: The Role of the State in Dealing with Supernatural Threats to the Civilian Population by dlgood
"Investigating the question of whether The Initiative was a logical answer to the Demon world, and whether the Buffyverse still needs such an organization even now? The response will consider the role of civic institutions in a world with a shadow supernatural element."

Doctor Who
Two Views: Doctor Who, "The Runaway Bride" by Nicholas Whyte and Tony Keen
"New Who has tended to opt for exploring character rather than plot"

The Brute, the Brawler, and the Ballerina: Fighting Styles and Character Development in Firefly and Serenity by Jason Couch
"A subtle aspect of the character development is the way each character’s style of hand-to-hand fighting reflects his or her broader character traits, and in some instances reflects growth experienced by the character." Jayne, Mal, River

Working out Hanna Gitleman's biography by hagar_972
"Hanna's biography bugs me. It really does. 'Cause she's Israeli, and it shouldn't be hard to make her bio work, but they messed it up five different ways in the comic."

recent thoughts by cadesama
Discusses the Evil Parental Conspiracy of ensuring the bomb went off and the inevitability of Peter/Niki.

Cicero and Pullo by vaznetti
"I still don't like the way they handled Cicero's final scene. I think that for me, the problem is Pullo's innocence."

Stargate: Atlantis
Miscellaneous Meta Thoughts II by zincpiccalilli
Meta thoughts on early history of the Pegasus Galaxy, inside Genii politics, and ATA gene controversies.

*HUGZZZ* (and kisses!) by liviapenn
"So I was thinking about the SGA characters and how there's been a lot of hugging this season and I decided to count up all the hugs, by season (and sorted by who hugs who.)" Spoilers thru 'Sunday'.

Stargate SG-1
Canon vs. Fanon, part 12: A Jack O'Neill Edition by sg_fignewton
Examines fannish tropes regarding Jack griping about trees, being Hammond's second-in-command, and playing practical jokes.

July 5th, 2007

Sibling Rivalry: Spike&Angel and Dean&Sam by yourlibrarian
"At the heart of it I see the two pairs as having much the same bond. The differences come from their respective “family” environments."

Blake's 7
Blake and Avon and the early relationship between them by Judith Proctor
"I think trust was the key ingredient in their relationship"

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Everything to everybody by ginmar
"I wish the writers of Buffy had had some of the deftness with their characters that the Supernatural writers so obviously have. It would have been nice to have some recognition of just how depressed Buffy was after the death of her mother and the end of her vacation from Slaying, how shocked she was by the sudden cluelessness of her friends---and how startling she might have found Willow's transformation--and her emotional defection."

Doctor Who
Untitled discussion started by nostalgia_lj
"We talk about healing, but... the very worst thing Rose Tyler could have done to the Doctor is refuse to leave him voluntarily."

Stargate: Atlantis
SGA S3 thought experiment by liviapenn
How would the rest of S3 have been different if, in between episode 3x04 and 3x05, ("Sateda" and "Progeny,"), there was an episode in which Rodney finds an Ancient lab with a big red button on it that says "To blow up all Wraith cruisers and hive ships, push this button." He pushes the button. Every hive ship in the galaxy blows up.

Thoughts on "Michael" by lemurgrrrl
"I find this to be a very disturbing episode. Are you disturbed by this episode? I am."

Everything to everybody by ginmar
"[T]he characters have been shown to be flawed early on, which makes portraying them in difficult situations later easier. Even more than that, the flaws have been portrayed as damage resulting from the life they lead."

Sibling Rivalry: Spike&Angel and Dean&Sam by yourlibrarian
"At the heart of it I see the two pairs as having much the same bond. The differences come from their respective “family” environments."

The X Files
The Smallpox and the Bees: The X-Files Model for Gene Therapy by Anthony Leong
"What exactly are the roles of the smallpox virus, the closely-related cowpox virus, and the genetically-engineered bees in the colonization plans? Based on the evidence seen during the series, the smallpox virus is most likely being used … to introduce alien DNA or some kind of biological toxin to human populations, with bees as the delivery vehicle."

Magneto through the three films by penknife
"Mainly, though, too many of Magneto's plans in X3 were just stupid."

June 29th, 2007

Doctor Who
Unrequited love by jedi_penguin
"[W]hen have we seen [the Doctor] face unrequited love? I can think of one or more Companion that might have been in love with the Doctor, but when have we seen the Doctor love somebody who didn't love him back?"

You could've come back by brak666
"An idea about why the Doctor doesn't visit his old friends as often as he maybe should."

Salman Rushdie and 'Heroes' by tastyfusionfare
"While [reading Salman Rushdie's novels] I noticed that they contain a lot of things which Tim Kring obviously used to create Heroes. I don't know if he ever mentioned Rushdie or anything about the origin of his ideas but I thought I collect a couple of places from Rushdie's books which can be directly related to Heroes."

Shouting At, With Heroes Tonight by megatrouble
"[N]otice that both of the female characters, Niki and Claire, are encouraged to suppress their powers, while Parkman, Hiro, and Peter all get use them for either for the defense or dismantling of the state."

Stargate: Atlantis
The Problems With Stargate Atlantis - 3.17 - 'Sunday' by tielan
"They needed to do this episode last season. At the very least, they needed to do parts of this episode over the course of the last three seasons of Atlantis."

Women in Torchwood by the_unoriginal
"I wish Torchwood would promote more positive, stronger female characters. Tosh and Gwen are never on missions alone (following up on Eugene's death wasn't a dangerous situation), and they're quite unstable emotionally."

Impossible yet Inevitable: Unintended Pregnancy in FARSCAPE, DEEP SPACE NINE, STAR WARS, and THE X-FILES by Arwen Spicer
"[M]uch of science fiction TV and film treats unplanned pregnancies as if they were the natural order of things. This stance not only constitutes dubious storytelling but implicitly undermines the social benefits of responsible family planning."
Why are you looking down here? Didn't you read the title? Farscape, ST: Deep Space 9, Revenge of the Sith, The X Files, Battlestar Galactica Weren't expecting that one were you? Good thing you looked.

June 21st, 2007

I now have high-speed internet and so returns thoughtfulfan. Thanks for sticking around.

Avengers: The Initiative is the creepiest book on the stands by mightygodking
"It's creepy because Dan Slott is a competent, intelligent comics writer, and therefore he writes the winning pro-registration faction exactly how they should be written: as authoritarian fascist fuckheads."

The Hero, The Homecoming Queen and the Whore: Three Female Fantasy Heroes for the New Millennium by Alexis Muirhead
"By examining the circumstances under which [Catwoman, Wonder Woman, and Buffy Summers] were first created, their role in their fictional communities and their interactions with various love interests, it is possible to determine how the characterization of female heroes has changed in fantasy literature over the past sixty-three years."

Battlestar Galactica
Britney Spears: She's sort of like Laura Roslin in a way by nnaylime
Compares Britney to Laura, Paris Hilton to Lee Adama, and Katie Holmes to Gaius. Photoessay.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Oh Dean by sharpest_rose
"Watch Mary as she blithers a lot about the new Supernatural and draws parallels to a couple of Buffy episodes!"

The Hero, The Homecoming Queen and the Whore: Three Female Fantasy Heroes for the New Millennium by Alexis Muirhead
"By examining the circumstances under which [Catwoman, Wonder Woman, and Buffy Summers] were first created, their role in their fictional communities and their interactions with various love interests, it is possible to determine how the characterization of female heroes has changed in fantasy literature over the past sixty-three years."

Doctor Who
Rose and Martha by oracne
"I have begun pondering ways in which Martha, so far, is different from Rose as a character."

Why You Should Hate Nyssa, and other stories by nostalgia_lj
Three short takes on why you should hate Nyssa, the contrasting use of violence by Leela and Ace, and why there are only three companions.

Inara's misogynistic client by Beta Candy
"I've been trying for ages to pin down what doesn't quite work for me about Inara on Firefly."

a really incredibly rough, non-illustrated timeline for Heroes 1x20 by mimesere
"I went with 2007 as a year because the bumper put the "Five Years Gone" in 2012. Specific dates where I have them, the dates around "Homecoming" are iffy, largely because I couldn't see the calendar in the background clearly and I haven't given this the thorough rewatch that I should and it's harder to tell what the subsequent dates are without those."

The Nurit-Hagar Wave Theory by hagar_972
"The Petrelli family are a good case study 'cause that's a lot of different powers packed into 2-3 generations. nurint and I tried to figure the number of genes (and loci) required to explain this family. This required figuring what each individual actually does on the mechanisms level."

Oh Dean by sharpest_rose
"Watch Mary as she blithers a lot about the new Supernatural and draws parallels to a couple of Buffy episodes!"

Tomayto, Tomahto: The great John Winchester defense post by cofax7
"I like John Winchester. I don't think he's a bad father, or abusive, or alcoholic. I think he's a decent flawed human being caught in an impossible situation. And this is what I think happened to him, and why I like him so much."

10 Worst TV Dads by TVLover
The Sopranos, Married with Children, Lost, The Simpsons, All in the Family, Arrested Development, Grey's Anatomy, Beverly Hills 90210, Friends, House

Pirates of the Caribbean: Sharp as a Two-Edged Sword by fabu
"Elizabeth is a satisfyingly complex character. She's a heroine who holds her own with the male characters and is often instrumental in rescuing them, but she's also less worldly than she realizes and more than a little arrogant."

April 19th, 2007

(no subject)

tegan down
I humbly apologize but thoughtfulfan is going on indefinite hiatus until my life is back on an even keel. Please continue to send me stuff and it will appear upon the return.

Sorry and thanks.

April 5th, 2007

(no subject)

tegan down
I sincerely beg your pardon, but there will be no newsletter for the second week in a row.

March 22nd, 2007

There's Something About Karen by jarodrussell
"[I]f what arcana_j says is true, 'It’s a proven fact that as soon as a woman finds the perfect bra, the manufacturers stop making it,' then I can think of one Power Girl story that I would read, one that would even go to explaining all those insipid 'boobs don't work that way' covers."

In Touch with Dark Phoenix: The Jean Grey In Everybody by Julia
"The Dark Phoenix Saga is considered by many to be one of the most important story arcs in Marvel history. … But why? Why is Jean Grey’s tale of power, sacrifice and humanity so captivating?"

Battlestar Galactica
Fictional Gender-equal or Gender-Blind Socities & the Portrayal of Rape by sabonasi
"Rape as a tool to control women specifically is a product of a misogynist patriarchal society. If you are a storyteller and you create a fictional society that is intended to be either gender-equal or gender-blind, rape should not be a treated as a tool to control women specifically."

Doctor Who
A question of momentous import started by tinuvielberen
Daleks vs Borg? Poll with discussion in the comments.

Doctor Who and Foucault... by ana_khouri
"And because power is dependant on the knowledge that speaks of it, then it is by the belief in the knowledge that power truly has power. This creates power as a shadowplay that can be disrupted with the proper information and it is in this gap that The Doctor thrives."

Spearhead from Space years later: Evil Doers by jeriwho
Discusses Liz Shaw, her concept of evil, and the nature of evil in 'Spearhead from Space.'

Fictional Gender-equal or Gender-Blind Socities & the Portrayal of Rape by sabonasi
"Rape as a tool to control women specifically is a product of a misogynist patriarchal society. If you are a storyteller and you create a fictional society that is intended to be either gender-equal or gender-blind, rape should not be a treated as a tool to control women specifically."

Stargate: Atlantis
wraith theories..? by center
"Okay, so uhm, I don't believe the whole 'wraith evolved from the iratus bug and the humans (seeded on the planets by the ancients) they fed upon.' It just doesn't make sense based on their level of technology, their ability to defeat the ancients, the fact their language is based on ancient, the fact they are psychic and have other special powers, etc."

Dean's Girls: demons, doubles, sisters, moms, and hot chicks in peril by dotfic
"Dean's interaction with Molly in 'Roadkill' in a couple of ways is a combination of what we've seen before, and also something new for Dean and the show. Dean treats some women with an odd combination of leering innuendo and respectful protectiveness, some like a long-lost little (or big) sister, some like a mom (either his, or someone else's), or as mere sex objects."

Mary & Jack by the_unoriginal
"Mary [of Greeks Bearing Gifts] compares more directly with The Empty Child Jack, but she can also serve to show how much Jack has changed, through his experiences with the Doctor and his accompanying abandonment on the Game Station."

A question of momentous import started by tinuvielberen
Daleks vs Borg? Poll with discussion in the comments.

March 18th, 2007

Admin: Manifesto

I was going to call this a FAQ, but noone has ever asked me any questions. Therefore, the following constitutes a manifesto: a public declaration of what thoughtfulfan is about. These lists are not exhaustive but are intended to be broad categories of articles thoughtfulfan will include. I probably have included (and may include in the future) articles that don't quite fit into the first list or that do fit into the second list. Usually the decision to include or not include an article is based on the primary emphasis of the article, which may or may not be the author's stated objective. (For example, if a writer's stated objective in writing an article on Samantha Carter is to help other fanfiction writers, that does not preclude the article's inclusion in thoughtfulfan if it contains insight to Carter's character.) However, sometimes it is based on how insightful a particular statement is even though it is buried in the middle of an otherwise not-for-thoughtfulfan article. And I sometimes include thoughtful discussions that occur in the comments to a post when the original post is not one that I would have included.

I am telling you all of this because I very much want you to send me articles for the newsletter, but I realize you need to know what I'm looking for and I don't want you to become discouraged if I do not use it. So, check it out:

The types of articles thoughtfulfan is looking for:

The types of articles thoughtfulfan is not looking for:
  • Critical essays that examine fanfic.
  • Explorations of aspects of a show/movie/book's fandom (i.e., the people or culture of those who participate in the fandom).
  • Episode recaps or reviews that do not offer insight or analysis.
  • Individual or group reactions to a show/movie/book that do not offer insight or analysis.
  • Essays that break the fourth wall, i.e., whose main emphasis is on the writers, actors, or directors of the show/movie/book.

Shows/movies/books eligible for inclusion
  • Almost all television shows and comics
  • SF/fantasy genre movies or movies that have fandoms
  • Books that have fandoms

If you have read this far, I have one question for you: Would you like to be a compiler for thoughtfulfan? Seriously, drop me (natlyn at mindspring.com) an e-mail if you are interested.

March 16th, 2007

Is Willow the female Spiderman? by Lee
"Ok you read that right. I’m posing the question is Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer the female equivalent to Spiderman or to be more precise Peter Parker?"

Secret Identity by Mad Goblin
"Spider-Man's secret identity is now public.… Other than the origin story, this may just top them all. So, let's look at the questions raised by one of the most significant events EVER in the Spider-Man mythology"

Does What a Spermatozoon Can by odditycollector
"So in Reign 3, we learn that Mary Jane was killed from exposure to Spider-man's radioactive sperm. Which is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, this is comic books. People don't die from exposure to radioactive sperm in comic books. They get super powers!"

Spike's development in S5 (of AtS) by elisi
"Spike’s development in S5 runs contrary to every other character’s on the show."

Battlestar Galactica
Okay, so I lied. *Now* I've exceeded my doing stuff quotient for the month by verstehen
"The entire Cylon race is a metatextual discussion of minority. People get caught up in the religious element (and the obvious parallels to Iraq and the Iraq war) but in the end, Cylons are a stand in for any oppressed minority."

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Is Willow the female Spiderman? by Lee
"Ok you read that right. I’m posing the question is Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer the female equivalent to Spiderman or to be more precise Peter Parker?"

Hiro Nakamura & Don Quixote by fujurpreux
"So, thinking about Hiro's role within the series' plot as a whole, something dawned on me; there are certain things and situations that connect him with a particular character of the Universal Literature: Don Quijote [or Quixote] de la Mancha."

Okay, so I lied. *Now* I've exceeded my doing stuff quotient for the month by verstehen
"The point is that the totality of the show and the representations they give us buy into ethnic stereotypes big time."

Race in Heroes by oyceter
"I personally think that the show has done some very good things with regard to race, …. On the other hand, the show has also done some not-so-great things with regard to race, one of these things being the stereotyped roles."

Law and Order: Criminal Intent
Law and Order: Paranormal Detectives by daegaer
"[L]ast night, as I watched Goran fidget and bounce his way into yet more leaps of logic that always seemed to work just right I realized why it is that he always solves the cases while Eames trails half a step behind despite being an excellent detective.… Detective Bobby Goran has some form of ESP."

The O.C.
Keystone Mother of the OC - Kirsten Cohen by Tracey
"Just as one species in an ecosystem can be ‘key’ to its continued health and survival, one person can be just as critical in an urban ecosystem. This importance can be traced on many levels, from within a single family unit to within an entire community; such is the role of Kirsten Cohen in the OC."

Princess Tutu
ballet and Princess Tutu by loligo
"It intrigued me that at the end, when most of the animal-people turned into humans, Neko-sensei turned into a plain old cat. As far as I could see, he was the only one besides Ahiru who became an animal, and that makes me wonder if their stories aren't more parallel than they appear at first."

Hunter and hunted: Jo in Born Under a Bad Sign by missyjack
"It’s been a while since we’ve seen Jo - so how did she end up in this bar in Duluth?"

(no subject)

hyper ein
The next edition will be posted late Friday evening.

March 9th, 2007

(no subject)

tegan down
Sorry. No newsletter this week.

March 1st, 2007

Marvel Comics' Civil War by babbott
"Don't fight for your civil liberties. Give up, let the government take care of you and control you. While it got me thinking, I'm not sure I like the message I'm walking away with."

Why Civil War may be like DK2 by stillanerd
"Civil War is, just like [Dark Knight 2], one big ironic joke. This time, however, it’s a satire on the post-911 mindset."

The Changing Face of Supergirl by Mary Borsellino
"Once upon a time, Kara toured the DC universe searching for other heroes (and always ended up fighting them). Now she's on another journey, and this time she's looking for herself."

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Forgotten Heroes – Why Tara Matters by Tracey
"Sometimes the less obvious characters are heroes in their own right and it is only once they are gone that their value is truly recognised."

Lord of the Rings
In Defense by Werecat
"This essay will discuss several aspects of [Queen Beruthiel's] character as described by Tolkien, including her personality, her relationship with King Tarannon and the court of Gondor, her relationship with her cats and the influence of various superstitions on her tale."

The Perfect Show for the Angsty White Male by megatrouble
"Despite a cast as diverse as LOST’s, the show continues to deflate its female characters and push its angsty white men to the forefront."

The snogging scene in "Countrycide" by fajrdrako
"Snogging: an interesting topic, on Torchwood. No, I don't mean the almost-snog at the tree between Gwen and Owen, I mean the conversation Gwen initiates at the campsite: "Who'd you last snog?" That's a delightful scene in terms of characterization."

Terminator series: Sarah Connor and sacrifice by Lee
"I don’t think that we as viewers are left with any doubt that Sarah Connor from the Terminator franchise would be willing to sacrifice her life for her son’s.… Upon examination though has Sarah already made the ultimate sacrifice?"

February 22nd, 2007

Dick Grayson's Robin by bradygirl_12
"Dick Grayson would become one of the most famous and enduring characters in the DC Universe, integrating the light of Superman and the darkness of the Batman while retaining a strong, distinctive personality all his own, and symbolize the balance of the DC Universe."

DVD time by frenchani
"So what I mainly see in [Why We Fight] is Angel and his boys! Those boys being Spike and Lawson, avatars of his real son, Connor. That's why he fights even though sometimes it means fighting them!"

5.13, or Corruption by Italian Opera by the_royal_anna
"This episode is all about doors. Opening them, closing them, letting people in, stopping people from getting in. Doors and control. Who’s in control? The person who walks through the door or the person who lets them? No coincidence that a vampire has to be invited in. Being on the right side of the door matters, and control of the door is everything."

Doctor Who
Doctors and companions and love oh my! by srin
"I've gotten hooked on the 8th Doctor audios recently, and the relationship between Eight and Charley has gotten me thinking about the relationships between the Doctor and his companions, particularly Nine & Rose and Ten & Rose, in exciting new ways."

Lord of the Rings
The Problem of Eowyn: A Look at Ethics and Values in Middle-earth by MadGamgee
"Some call her a heroine while others consider her a deserter. But it is not a simple question; to give an unqualified answer on either count ignores important nuances."

Star Wars
A New Sith, or Revenge of the Hope: Reconsidering Star Wars IV in the light of I-III by Keith Martin
"If we accept all the Star Wars films as the same canon, then a lot that happens in the original films has to be reinterpreted in the light of the prequels."

Stargate: Atlantis
SGA meta musings by lierdumoa
Of Kavanaugh and explosions and Weir and leadership.

Fear of Irrelevance: Dean in "In My Time Of Dying" by ataniell93
"'In My Time of Dying' brings Dean face to face with his worst, most secret fear: that he is, essentially, irrelevant to what his brother and father are doing, that the quest is all theirs, and he is disposable."

Jean Grey, meet Jane Eyre by therem
X-Men: The Last Stand and Jane Eyre--"Both fictions take on the subject of women and madness, with a special focus on the split personality."

February 15th, 2007

Why exactly is Dick more sane and balanced than Bruce? started by natlyn
"Is it because he was raised poor? Or because even had Bruce's parents lived, he would have been an uptight, insane hardass, albeit with no reason for it?"

why the alpha/beta pack model really does work for Angel and Spike by thatotherperv
"The basic premise of the essay is that Spike and Angel don’t fit classic alpha / beta roles if you are thinking in terms of the old model—which most people are. When you get into the complex workings of a wolf pack as we now understand it, they actually fit quite well."

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Spike and Andrew by sarah_mascara
"What do you think [Andrew's] opinions on Buffy getting kicked out of her own house would be?"

More Meta: Women in Heroes/Simone Deveaux specifically by acaciaonnastik
"Why Simone Deveaux Is Not A Raging Hypocrite And Does Not Need To Die For Making Isaac and Peter's Love Lives Complicated, No Really"

Thoughts on "Houses of the Holy" by marinarusalka
'The impression I carried away from the episode wasn't so much "Sam believes and Dean doesn't" as "Sam really, really wants to believe and Dean really, really doesn't."'

SPN 2x14, the Uncanny Valley, not!Sam and other natterings by technosage
Various character and plot-arc observations.

The X Files
"The Seven Basic Plots," Feminism and Fandom by emily_shore
"[T]here is the lovely Special Agent Dana Scully, who in some ways has become the poster child for the late twentieth-century reversal of masculine and feminine qualities. While she is rational and controlled, her male partner Fox Mulder is intuitive and spontaneous. Yet, as plenty of commentators have noted, this reversal of roles is problematized during the series."

Peace through Strength: THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL by Arwen Spicer
"The movie adopts a utopian pose in which advanced, peace-loving aliens enlighten humans to the folly of their self-destructive course. But the narrative itself shows a dystopian society ruled by a robotic dictatorship whose authority is based purely on superior weaponry."
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