1. captain-xodoe said: "#but it tripped at the finish line" one helluva fuckin trip

    elsodex:

    isagrimorie:

    tristianmakhai:

    elsodex:

    image

    Right?

    When I watched the season two opener and saw them drop Emma and Snow into FTL, I knew the show had jumped the shark. Which is tragic because it had so gloriously captivated me and one of my IRL bros and we had just been so damned stoked.

    We tried to stick with it, see if it would pull itself out, but we were pretty much done when they killed Lancelot in the way that they did (lesson for aspiring writers: if you’ve only had one character of color for a whole season don’t immediately kill the one other character you just introduced and marketed as a reoccurring guest star—you will quite literally loose viewers).

    EVERYONE I have ever spoken to IRL about this show (with the exception of that one hotel concierge, but she was just so taken with “The Evil Queen’s character arc” she’s didn’t really care)—the rank and file “average viewer”, speaks fondly of the first season. But come the later episodes they talk of the noticeable quality shift. It’s like a fucking light switch got flipped.

    And mind you, these are folks who just go home after work and flip on the TV to escape the day.

    It boggles my mind really. They had it. They had it in their grasp. A show that people would be talking about around the water cooler, because we are a cynical generation raised on Disney, of course we are ready for a deconstruction of fairytales in a quasi-Disney universe. We are downright hungry for that shit.

    But did they stick with the promise of the story to come at the end of the first season?

    Did we see Emma the-one-sane-person-in-this-small-town-of-theme-park-rejects dealing with a crazy shenanigans of her world turned over all over again? Watch her and experience with her the new status quo as she grows, reject, and rebuilds her role and self? Nooooooooooooo.

    We got a manic three parallel story structure when maintaining two was crazy and difficult enough for both the audience and the writers. We got a plot instead of character driven mess that moved waaaaaaaaaaaay to fast, and even more white characters that didn’t even TRY to subvert the tropes like they had in the previous season.

    Did we get a long, drawn out, cross continent WAR across the kingdoms as several parties—all with legitimate claims to their respective thrones—duked it out in one giant mashup of folklore, fairytales and Disney lore?

    No, we got some weird…I don’t even know what we got honestly. A couple of mentions of troops and George’s castle burning was NOT what my mind’s eye had imagined when Charming promised Snow that they would take back their kingdoms. Especially not when I heard they’d cast Mulan.

    expected and epic mid-season climax where an unknown mercenary in the Charmings army fucking buries Regina’s army under the goddamn snow on the slopes of Bald Mountain. I expected Prince Philip, Prince Eric, Aladdin and Jasmine or whoever, standing against Maleficent, Jafar, and Ursula. I expected a bunch of back door politics and daring nighttime surgical strikes because you can’t blow your season budget on animating a fucking army every episode, be you can watch the generals and major players making plans and decisions because they’re the ones we care about anyway.

    Honestly, who of our generation wouldn’t pay to SEE that?

    ARRRRRUUUUGGUGGGGGGGHHHHH!

    They were SO CLOSE. SO CLOSE! BUT THEY TRIPPED AT THE FINISH LINE. And all because…I DON’T KNOW. Someone changed the strain of weed they were smoking. Some exec thought they knew what would sell better. Maybe some intern who was coming up with half the brilliant ideas left to get paid writing Sleepy Hollow. I DON’T KNOW.

    But something happened, and I will be forever bitter.

    This phrases it so much more eloquently and neatly why I never picked the show back up after the season 2 opener.

    But… the first half of season 2 of OUAT was awesome. And it was all awesome ladies all the time! And then an awesome antagonist in Cora!

    Its after they didn’t pick up and follow up on Cora’s death and swerved into Neverland that it started going to the dogs IMO.

    I mean, I love the prospect of that whole epic showdown and I want that too, and wish they had that incorporated in the show. Because that’s awesome! But can you imagine having that with the awesome ladies road trip show too?

    Look, don’t get me wrong—I’m all for an epic ladies only road trip, portal hopping across the realms, meeting awesome literary and classic film characters and fish-out-of-water Emma hijinks and awkward White-Swan-Mills family bonding  a la the Gargoyles “world tour” arc. That’s were the show should go at some point given the nature of portals and portal jumping.

    My issue is when and where it came in the narrative.

    In season one, our heroine had left the ordinary world of Boston, and come to Storybrooke, introducing us the the characters and players in this new place. Strorybrooke therefore, was “the world of adventure” in the main character’s journey and thus, the audience. Emma spends a whole year refusing the call to various degrees, ultimately committing when her and Regina’s son is in danger.

    She goes off, very literally slays the dragon, returns with the ultimate boon, etc, etc, etc…

    But low and behold, there is a wrinkle in her apotheosis. Magic is coming and now, everyone remembers who they once were.

    So Storybrooke—which had become the ordinary world for our hero—has once again fundamentally changed into “the world of adventure”.

    Storybrooke is where the “problem” is. Ergo, that is where the action should be.

    Emma may have spent a whole year getting to know these people, this town, and it’s dynamics when it was cursed—but now she (and we the audience) are back to square one. We have a whole slew of emotional, mental and physical trails to watch her overcome right in her own backyard, which has once again become a very dangerous and scary place.

    Cora was a fantastic villain, and was not utilized to her full potential. If you somehow manage to get an oscar nominated actress for your show, you damn well better give her something she can sink her goddamn teeth into. For goddsake’s they foreshadowed her being the Queen of Hearts the moment they introduced her, play with that. Don’t remove her from her seat of power the moment she appears, build to her reemergence, make us tremble at her reveal. Let us feel the terror and awe that Regina (our foil and co-protagonist in many ways) feels around her, you know?

    My problem isn’t so much that what but the execution—how and when.

    Also: L-A-N-C-E-L-O-T

     
  2. Two posts about mixed-race identity (highly relevant to multi-ethnic actors and characters)


    Talking Mixed-Race Identity with Young Children
     by Sharon H. Chuang

    I know that race is very real, and that it needs to be constantly and critically addressed. I realize that my son, though he might not have the words or cognizance to tell me so yet, already knows a great deal about the racial hierarchy -– including that he most certainly does not sit at the top of it. And when I tell him he’s not white, I also know I’m telling him that some things will always be harder for him than for his white friends, and that people will sometimes treat him in ways his white friends will never have to endure. As a parent of color whose soul will be forever connected to the wellbeing of her child, it hurts that I have to be the bearer of this bad news -– especially because I worry that my son already feels “less” because of his race.

    Follow-up: Why Mixed with White Isn’t White by Sharon H. Chuang

    Telling my child he’s white also won’t help him understand why children who were less than one-quarter Japanese were interned during World War II; why a stranger would look at him and say there are no “pure races” anymore; why a leading theatre company in our city unabashedly staged a yellowface production of an operetta; why kids on the playground pull back their eyes in a slant and spit out one of those ridiculous anti-Asian chants that just won’t go away. When I tell my son that he is Asian, mixed-race, multiracial, and a person of color, I’m not denying him parts of his ancestral-ethnic heritage. I’m teaching him about the race politics that intrude upon our lives whether we want them to or not. I’m preparing him to exist in a world that obstinately persists in being racially divided. And I’m trying to let him know something about the ways he has and will continue to be judged throughout his life, not because he’s white — but because he’s mixed with color.

     
  3. juliecoopers:

    Okay, I have talked about OUAT’s race fuckery elsewhere, but the show’s treatment of Tamara irks me on another level. Because Tamara is the only character of color who has grown up in our world and has firsthand knowledge of our world’s race politics and it could have been so interesting- especially since the casting called for an African American woman in particular to play this character. We could have had Tamara actually point out the bullshit that is going on in a lily white town. Or if nothing (because ladies of color are not just there to point our your racism) she could have at least been given her meaty development and a backstory that almost every other villainous character gets. But instead here’s what we get:

    She is introduced as a love interest of a white dude purely to create a love triangle between him and his estranged long lost lover - the white female protagonist of the story. (i wonder who wins this love triangle)

    But it’s not enough that she is part of a relationship that is almost doomed to fail, she’s also revealed to be EVAL so Emma and Neal don’t feel too guilty about their lilywhiteromance and biological family and how all true love start with statutory rape and setting up a pregnant teenager to escape your own crimes.

    We also have Emma disrespecting Tamara’s privacy bigtime and also  involving her son in her suspicions (a child who would be Tamara’s stepson if you believe in Neal’s parental rights- i don’t) because white girls walking over African American girls rights is totally normal and  awesome and ofc, the white girl is validated in her suspicion.

    She kills off oneshot characters and tries to kill August and we learn that she is partners with Greg Mendell- oh and also sleeping with him because wild exotic promiscuity stereotype.

    Greg, the white dude, gets his backstory for hating Regina, SB and Magic. So, Tamara’s backstory and why she faked a long term relationship with Neal and why does she care about destroying magic is just right ahead, right? Lol, no, despite the fact that her role in the “Destroy Magic” storyline was far more involved- she was engaged to Rumpelstiltskin’s kid - we still don’t know why she hates magic.

    And then BOOM, she shoots Neal and kidnaps Henry and HEY, MAYBE NOW ITS TIME THAT TAMARA GETS DEVELOPED and maybe we see her relationship with the ‘son’ of a man she was pretending to love, maybe she see her guilt at having to shoot Neal. maybe we see her reacting to the fact that her anti magic mantra was actually orchestrated by a magical (white) boy (they r all white and not 1 of them ur friend, Tamara), maybe she has a secret deal with Pan where she gives him Henry and he promises to not let his Shadow attack young boys in her world anymore.

    LAWL NO, she is attacked by Lost Boys almost as soon as she gets there.

    And unlike Greg, she doesn’t die then/ She lives long enough to serve a purpose to Rumplestiltskin (yet another white dude of the same family tree, no less) before being healed and coldly killed by Rumple and it’s seen as a badass moment with audience loving every second of it because who doesn’t rejoice when a fan fave white dude kills a lady of color?

     
  4. juliecoopers:

    So, my discussion with Mari  has gotten me thinking about race and OUAT and just how much more problematic OUAT is about race than other lily white tv shows just because of how the show’s premise is built.

    OUAT conveniently has an in-text  explanation of why it gets a free pass in not engaging in race narratives because the main characters (aside from Henry who is born to white FTL natives) are all literally from another world. A world which happens to be mostly white but it is also a world with no explicit or implicit colonial or race narratives. Which means the race issues we see today- whether on a global level or the race politics of North America- do not apply in FTL and by extension in the ”protected from real world by a boundary” Storeybrooke if you are doing a Watsonian reading. POCs just conveniently don’t happen to exist for the most part in either the cursed Storeybrooke or the leftover FTL that Cora protected from the curse. Or even Neverland.

    So, if you are doing an in-universe reading of the show and relaying on canon events rather than your knowledge of the world we live in, you cannot claim conclusively that racism- as we understand it today to be a power imbalance skewered in favor of white people against other races through systematic oppression- actually canonically exists in FTL. Because we have no evidence of that. We don’t have evidence of POC smallfolk being mistreated in disproportionate amounts as compared to white smallfolk. We don’t have Prince Henry or Princess Rapunzel’s respective kingdoms being conquered by white royalty or young !Regina mocked for speaking Spanish. FTL is a raceblind  place. It’s not even post racial, it’s like racism never existed.

    And that’s what makes OUAT worse in many ways than any average racist show on American television. For instance if we take idk Gossip Girl. we can infer that the character of Vanessa- who is a person of color in a show that doesn’t engage in race narratives- has suffered from the effects of racism simply because the show is set in our world and she’s a woman of color in North America even if the narrative itself never explicitly refers to the racism. However, when it comes to any of the handful of POC characters in OUAT except Tamara (i have a whole caveat on why this show sucks ass because of its treatment of Tamara), we cannot look at the text and say that what these characters are suffering from is racism rather than individual instances of violence against people who happen to not be white…. simply because the show isn’t set in our world and most of the people were not born or raised in our world and there is no evidence of racism in FTL.

    And to add the cherry on top, OUAT then uses racist tropes for its treatment of POC while still forcing us to engage in a universe where racism doesn’t officially exist.

    - So we have a Latina Regina who is forced into service as the young  bedslave/concubine/nanny to a powerful white man by her white mother but what we don’t have is the text saying it’s because she’s Latina that she’s forced into this role. What we don’t have is textual evidence that it’s common in FTL to exploit young girls of color this way as it is in our universe. We don’t even have in universe acknowledgement that this is exploitation by the white man. Regina is is shown as an individual case rather than one of the many victims of the systematic violence against Latina women in FTL. 

    - And then again in Storeybrooke,  we have Regina, a Latina single mother whose son is snatched away from her by a white family on the basis that she’s an unfit mother, a criminal and also not his real mother. Now, we can argue that Regina in season two might be anunfit mother  who is abusive towards Henry in a single instance of We are Both Now but it doesn’t take away the fact that OUAT decided to show a Latina woman as the person whose son was snatched by a white family and the text unequivocally condoned the actions while still dancing around on the mantle of :”this isn’t an example of systematic oppression against Latina women because racism doesn’t apply in Storeybrooke.”

    (Add in the fact that Regina, as the caster of the curse, is consciously aware of and tries to hide her ‘immigrant’ status from the white raised in our world Emma in season 1 specifically so she doesn’t lose her son- a son that  was born in “our/Emma’s” world and therefore doesn’t really belong to Regina- and it’s just a messy pile of racism here.)

    - We have Sidney an African American dude (the only recurring African American dude) who is literally and metaphorically enslaved and trapped in service for eternity but that’s because he’s a genie- not because he’s African American and oh, whaddaymean it’s problematic that an African American dude is shown to be evil as well as subservient to the point of obsequiousness in both FTL and in Storeybrooke before being put on the bus. Again, we have no way of saying that the poor treatment and exploitation of Sidney in-universe is because he’s African American and he’s suffering from racism because it’s actually because he’s a genie. oh and evil. He also happens to be African American. oops.

    - We have Prince Henry who is shown to be a weak and ineffectual man who is too powerless to stop his white wife from abusing their daughter and forcing her into marriage with a white dude. Who is such a non entity that cursed!Regina’s last name comes from her white mother’s background than Prince Henry’s background. 

    - And let’s not talk about the Asian Mulan being in service to our white royals, Aurora and Philip. You can call it friendship or true love but Mulan is pretty much ready to sacrifice herself for Princess Aurora because her sole purpose is to protect the white girlfriend/wife of a white dude because he asked/ordered/same diff. And it’s not like we have any other Asian in SB/FTL to see if there is a pattern of systematic oppression here.

    So, tl;dr

    1. There are barely any POC characters in OUAT

    2. Those which are are there killed off, evil, put on the bus or used in racist tropes (usually a combination of two or more of these).

    3. All while the universe of SB/FTL is set up in such a way that racism does not actually exist in-universe

    4. OUAT is the worst

     
  5. Regina, rape, and the myth of the perfect victim (MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING for frank discussion of rape)

    Placing under a cut for those who may be triggered by frank discussion of rape.

    Read More

     
  6. tldr; actually, leopold is the worst

    queen-of-my-own-reverie:

    "Leopold was never even implied to be vile."

    You’re right, the narrative never presents him as anything less than the good king.

    Except that’s the entire thing that is so wrong with his character.

    That’s what makes him all the more fucked up.

    OUAT does this thing where it boasts about how its characters are so morally ~complex~ but the problem is that even when characters are written as morally gray, the narrative itself does not treat them as such.

    On OUAT, where a character supposedly falls on the morality scale is almost completely, if not entirely, based on how the narrative presents them. It’s all about how we’re supposed to see them, because good and evil is somehow tied to their very beings.

    The very issue with Leopold is that he does all of these fucked up things, and yet none of the characters ever consider these actions of his and determine his character based on them. Rather, the very first thing he is seen doing (freeing the genie) is perhaps the one genuinely good and selfless thing he actually does, and this one good action, simply because of its placement, is seen as the determining factor for who he is – a kind, fair king – and thus we are meant to overlook his awful actions that follow because the narrative already told us he was supposed to be one of the “good guys”. People continue to tell us this, and yet what we are shown is a different story.

    Truly, one does not even have to look at “The Stable Boy” or “Bleeding Through” to make this argument, because Leopold’s problematic nature as a character can be traced all the way back to “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”.

    What is Leopold seen doing in that episode? After the genie scene, he ignores his now-wife at his daughter’s birthday party, instead singing praise to his late wife, not so much as glancing at Regina. He later reads her diary, discovering that Regina is perhaps gaining feels for a man because he actually pays her the time of day. Leopold’s response is to summon the genie (evidently, freeing him from his bottle is enough to expect Sidney to, what? Repay the favor? Even that one kind/selfless act leads Leopold to later employ the genie for his own benefit) and ask him to find the man who has “stolen his wife’s heart”, as if she is a possession without agency. He admits he knows she is unhappy (which also makes his neglect all the worse, for he is making no attempt to rectify this), but overall seems less concerned with her feelings than the fact that, by her displaying a sense of emotional independence, she is less his. While the genie is, to his knowledge, “investigating” the matter, he places Regina under house arrest. She has not even committed any sort of adultery, only privately expressed the stirrings of for someone who might be able to love her in the way Leopold admits he cannot, and his response is to lock her away and ban anyone from seeing her, including her father.

    "But this was all part of Regina’s plan!" you might say, but this only makes Leopold look worse. Regina did not force him to do any of these things – they were his own actions. For her to know he’d read her diary, or that his reaction to her expressing agency would be so extreme?

    Regina wouldn’t have formed such an important plan based on hunches, which means these are things that have probably happened before.

    That’s not something we’re supposed to think about, though, not something we’re supposed to ponder on, as it violates the “good king” image the narrative wants to believe in.

    So the story does not address it.

    Meanwhile, what does Regina do in this episode?

    During the birthday party, her look is forlorn, tearful, lonely – and more than likely fully genuine, for who would even be watching her in this moment? She has no audience, no point to prove. Which is why she gets up and leaves. The genie follows her, and you know how the episode goes. In the end, she uses his feelings for her to her advantage (in order to eliminate her abuser), and sure, it was wrong of her to manipulate and frame him in the way she did. But, besides the fact that she actually organized him an escape plan, she seemed legitimately upset and conflicted over letting him take the fall. She didn’t do it just to screw him over; she saw her Leopold’s demise as an end that justified the means. It is only Sidney’s objectifying wish, to gaze upon her face (reducing her to her appearance, showing that he was primarily attracted to her beauty, not her personhood), and the result of his own wish that she becomes truly victorious.

    It is interesting how Regina shows inner conflict over her actions in this episode, and Leopold does not.

    But, anyway, guess which one of these two the episode presents as the big bad villain, and which one is shown to be the poor innocent victim.

    Because the narrative has already established that Regina is badbadbad and that Leopold is goodgoodgood, and this is the more important than their actions in this particular episode. The hero and villain were decided before the battle had even begun.

    (A semi-related sidenote: I find it interested that people will argue that Regina is responsible for all of her actions because she made a choice – which is absolutely true, even if this is often used as an excuse to handwave Rumple’s, Cora’s, and yes, even Leopold’s immense influence on how she became the way she is, but yes, Regina’s choices were her own – and yet frequently say that Regina murdered Leopold, with no mention of Sidney, as if Sidney himself did not suggest they use the snakes to kill Leopold, as if he did not offer to do the act himself, as if he did not go and stick those snakes in Leopold’s bed all on his own, as if he is not, y’know, Leopold’s murderer, as if Sidney’s choices were not also his own. But that’s an argument for another day.)

    I really, really should not have to go into how The Stable Boy and Bleeding Through only make Leopold look even more disgusting, and I already feel like I’m losing my original point, so I’ll leave you to think about those two episodes yourself.

    The important thing: none of Leopold’s actions are outright called into question by the characters. Never are we, as an audience, formally prompted to consider his actions and determine him to be anything less than the good man we are supposed to see him as.

    Leopold is one of the best examples of OUAT’s twisted way of morally defining its characters, of the toxic idea that people are innately “good” or “evil” and that this is defined by something they just are, rather than their actual actions.

    And he is an example of how harmful this narrative method is, because, while fandom may take it upon itself to analyze characters and plotlines think about them on a deeper level, many casual viewers do not.

    And for every casual watcher you have who calls out Leopold on how gross he is, you have people who swallow him just as he is served.

    I have a friend who I once mentioned my hatred of Leopold to, and she seemed confused, like she couldn’t think of why I could possibly hate him. I brought up his actions in “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree”, as well as reminded her of the details of his proposal to Regina, and the expression on her face was one I will not forget: one of vague horror, of suddenly seeing what the narrative did not mean for us to see.

    "Bleeding Through" is the nail in the coffin. Leopold’s relationship with Cora ultimately solidifies his later proposal to Regina as, yes, vile (and it was really not that much less even beforehand; it’s only now more so), except this entire situation was done for plot purposes. To give Cora a reason to give up Zelena, to further explore the Cora/Eva blood feud (and, surprise surprise, root it in a rivalry over a man), and perhaps to make the family tree that much more fucked up.

    Leopold is never called out by anyone for proposing to the young daughter of his old flame. Regardless of audience reaction (because the writers frequently underestimate the intelligence and attentiveness of their watchers). The narrative does not even attempt to address this. In fact, it all but states him to be the only innocent party in the mess…

    …Because, ridiculously so, Leopold’s vileness is fully overlooked in favor of framing Eva as the one with “darkness in her past”.

    Goodness gracious. At least Eva outgrew her classism, yes? After all, when young Snow shows signs of being a classist, Eva quickly calls her out on this behavior and attempts to correct it.

    Obviously, Eva did not tolerate this type of thinking anymore. So I wonder which parent Snow learned it from.

    I understand that I’m reaching into subtext and probably headcanon now, but the point is that this is undoubtedly another thing we were never supposed to actually think about.

    Leopold was never even implied to be vile.

    You’re right.

    That’s the problem. That is the proof of my point.

    Not once – not once – has the narrative encouraged us to actually think about Leopold’s actions, the harm they have caused. Not once were we ever meant to think of him as anything than what we were told he was.

    Leopold is a character who displays possessive tendencies, who grossly puts a ring on a girl maybe a third his age despite the horror on her face because her mother’s consent meant more to him than her own, a girl he later ignores once she’s under his ownership, a girl whose probable depression he handwaves, a girl he locks up for displaying agency.

    And he is never actually presented as anything less than a victim. He is not held responsible for his actions because people are too busy babbling about how he’s such a “fair king”. As if his awful actions are excused or a non-issue because of who he fundamentally is.

    Add in the fact that he’s a rich white man in a position of high power, and the fact that there are so many people out there, on tumblr and off, who do not even regard his actions as anything problematic, and the fact that he is not the only character this line of thinking applies to, and this narrative becomes toxic. It is harmful.

    That is what makes him so vile.

     
  7. How many people do you have to kill to be considered Evil?

    deemnfic:

    customdomaynname submitted:

    Deemn, something I have been thinking about a lot is that there are so many deaths attributed to Regina but so many of them are second or third hand accounts from less than trustworthy sources (ie straight up gossip/lies) so how many people have we seen her actually kill? All I can remember is Graham, her father, rando flying monkeys, that rando guard/blakknight are there any other that she actually killed on screen herself, I ask because so much of the bad side of fandom want to paint her as this mass murder, but I just don’t think she has that many actual victims ? 

    HELLO AND WELCOME TO “LET’S TALK ABOUT MURDER.”

    Obviously, I will be talking about murder below.  I will be talking about murder in rather… absolutist, abstract, amoral ways.  If discussion of murder in ways that are not concerned with the humanity of the victim makes you uncomfortable and/or angry, this is not the conversation for you.

    Read More

     
  8. We think of men as antiheroes, as capable of occupying an intense and fascinating moral grey area; of being able to fall, and rise, and fall again, but still be worthy of love on some fundamental level, because if it was the world and its failings that broke them, then we surely must owe them some sympathy. But women aren’t allowed to be broken by the world; or if we are, it’s the breaking that makes us villains. Wronged women turn into avenging furies, inhuman and monstrous: once we cross to the dark side, we become adversaries to be defeated, not lost souls in need of mending. Which is what happens, when you let benevolent sexism invest you in the idea that women are humanity’s moral guardians and men its native renegades: because if female goodness is only ever an inherent quality – something we’re born both with and to be – then once lost, it must necessarily be lost forever, a severed limb we can’t regrow. Whereas male goodness, by virtue of being an acquired quality – something bestowed through the kindness of women, earned through right action or learned through struggle – can just as necessarily be gained and lost multiple times without being tarnished, like a jewel we might pawn in hardship, and later reclaim.
    — 

    Foz Meadows (Gender, Orphan Black & The Meta of Meta)

    Look at your stories - don’t just count who gets to be the hero and the villain (what kind of hero? what kind of villain?); count who gets the redemption arcs.

    (via notsosilentsister)

    And how does race impact this, especially if we’re talking about women of color in the anti-hero or redeemed villain role?

     
  9. racethewind10:

    heartsways:

    It’s inside you, Emma. Save the bridge. Save yourself.

    I really do wonder if the show runners have ever read a single bit of narrative theory when I read (wonderful) tags like this and then think about some of interviews the cast and crew give. Because even the cliff’s notes of Campbell or Burke would be enough to make you realize that Regina and Emma are THE relationship in this show. I see interviews with Kitsis and Horowhatever his name is and they talk about Emma and Regina as adversaries and Regina finding true love and opening her heart to Robin and I just want to staple Burke to their foreheads.  Because they have “unintentionally” created an expectation of a narrative trajectory that can’t do anything else but end with Emma and Regina together as equals. Perhaps not in a romantic/sexual way, but in every other way that matters. The narrative of this entire show depends on the connection between Emma and Regina and their son. You can’t break the curse without Emma and Henry to move time forward. You can’t have Regina’s redemption arc without Henry (and therefore Emma) in her life. You can’t have any of the victories they’ve had without Emma and Regina working together.  You can’t have Regina protecting Snow’s child or working with the Charmings. You can’t have Emma working toward her powers as the Savior.

    You can’t actually have a relationship like Robin and Regina without Regina’s relationship with Emma and Henry because if it weren’t for Emma and Henry, Regina wouldn’t have the ability to “open her heart” (or whatever that stupid phrase was they used) in the first place. 

    Nearly every major plot point in this show is founded on the connection between Regina, Henry and Emma. The narrative construction of this show is literally dependent on that connection and yes their relationship absolutely started off adversarial, but stories have to go somewhere, they have to move somewhere. Narratives have an arc - as Burke would say, they create a desire and must move toward satisfaction of that desire. And for the last three seasons that movement has been to take Regina and Emma from adversaries, to allies, to something we can’t yet define but looks an awful lot like partners.   

    And that is why I physically cannot understand the (apparent) approach of the show runners and why I get so angry about things like Robin/Regina. Not because I dislike the character of Robin, nor because I have anything against the ship itself, but because when you bring in a character and create a relationship that suddenly, without bothering to anchor it in the previous narrative arc, and then try to claim that relationship is central to the show, you are essentially saying that the story before this doesn’t matter: that the story the audience has been engaging with until now isn’t the story they think it is and they should just forget it.  And that is just bad storytelling. I don’t mean bad writing. Bad writing is the little stuff like plot holes and goofy dialogue and the fact Zelena is all powerful but too dumb to realize she could just take over Oz and rule and instead is all hell bent on making the life of her sister she never met really crappy. That stuff is eye-rolly but forgivable. Once is bad narrative

    To use an analogy, it would be like Castle saying that Demmings really was Kate Beckett’s one, when of course the audience knows that is ridiculous because for 3 seasons the narrative has been about Castle and Beckett’s relationship and Demmings only exists as a speedbump/plot device in the overall story of Kate and Rick. Because Castle is a love story. The audience has been given those narrative clues from the very beginning and so there is a desire that has been created (Rick and Kate will get together) and the only way to satisfy that desire is for….wait for it….Rick and Kate to get together. 

    You can’t build an story on a relationship and then tell the audience that relationship doesn’t matter whether that relationship is romantic, sexual or completely platonic. 

    And that got really long and ranty and I’m sorry but I just don’t fucking get this show and what the writers/producers are trying to do with it because the entire fucking narrative depends on these two women and their son but at every turn I see cast/writers/show runners going “Lol no!” And I JUST…

    (Source: aunicorndumbass)

     
  10. thisrevolutionwillbeliterary said: Hi! I know you've talked a lot about the double standard between Regina and Rumple on this blog before. I'm not sure if you're an Avengers fan, but I feel like Rumple is the OUAT's version of Loki, where his atrocities are glossed over entirely because the fandom prefers him as a woobie. Thoughts?

    I’ve seen the Avengers, and I enjoyed the Thor films, but there are other fans who can probably do the topic more justice than I. Publishing so they can respond.