Category Archives: thursday tropes

Thursday Tropes: After the End

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I love a good post-apocalyptic story. Hell, I even enjoy ones that aren’t that good, because just the hint of one will perk my ears. And given the proclivity of this kind of setting lately, it’s safe to say I’m not the only one. Just

It’s Ellen Page in the post-apocalyptic future! (Actually, the resemblance is a coincidence, but I’m sure she’d have something quirky to say if it were her.)

yesterday I came across some trailers for an upcoming game, The Last of Uswhere a version of the Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, the fungus that can create a zombie ant, has jumped to humans and created zombies and lead to the collapse of civilization as we know it. I know so very little about the gameplay, the plot, anything, but I know it looks gorgeous and I’m suddenly we’ve got a PS3 and I’ll be able to play it! I’ve also written before about another such setting I ate up (a coincidentally interesting choice of words on my part) when I wrote about Feed by Mira Grant, which features fantastic world-building. The third book and final book in that trilogy, Blackout, releases later this month and I can’t wait to read it.

When reading up on TLOU the other day, a few things occured me. One, this was a perfect topic for my next Thursday Tropes post! Two, I clearly have an itch to write my own post-apocalyptic story, so I should work on that at some point. And three, why are we obsessed with post-apocalyptic stories? I’ve come to at least one conclusion: it’s real-life fanfiction crossed with cautionary tale. Read the rest of this entry

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Thursday Tropes: Badass Normals

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This.

Like everyone else in the world, I saw the Avengers this past weekend. And like at least 75% of the world, I emphatically implore you to go see it now, because it is everything a superhero team-up movie SHOULD be. Superheroes who war their uniforms with no sense of shame or awkwardness, being heroic without being cheesy, being realistic without being average…it was just a fantastic and fun time. And yes, obviously, stay until the end of the credits.

So, this being a Joss Whedon flick, there were Strong Female Characters. No surprise there. (Here’s where I tell you up front, I’m a big fan of Whedon’s work, so, FYI.) The most notable is Natasha Romanov, a.k.a Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson. I absolutely loved how she was portrayed in this movie, for a number of reasons. One, I don’t think I’ve really ever seen Johansson in much, and didn’t have a real idea of her acting ability. She does a really solid job in this movie with a role that has considerable nuance required for it. Kudos to Johansson for her work here.

Black Widow also gets an impressive chunk of screentime, something I feel was a huge plus for this movie, and something that had a very Whedonesque touch to it. In this breakdown of screentime per major character, Black Widow comes in third, in fact. Considering her small role in Iron Man 2 and that she is the token female superhero here, as well as one of the only ones without a full movie of her own like most of the male heroes, I didn’t expect her to be doing a whole lot in Avengers. Boy was I wrong, and I am so glad for that. Read the rest of this entry

Thursday Tropes: The College Application Process

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Everything you’ve seen on TV about getting into college in the US is pretty much completely and utterly FALSE. In a variety of ways, so let’s break this down. The latest offender is, of course, Glee. But I promise I’ll pick on Gossip Girl, too, this time!

The Long and Fairly Specific Process

In the US, there’s a pretty standard system for how the college application process works. You spend the latter portion of your junior year researching and checking out schools, as well as the following summer and some of the fall of your senior year. Most applications must be submitted by January 1st (with some early admission deadlines around early to mid-November). Some school with rolling admission may take applications into March. You will hear back on whether or not you’ve been accepted between April 1st and April 15th, and you are expected to respond by May 1st as to whether or not you will be enrolling at the places you have been accepted. Read the rest of this entry

Thursday Tropes: The Love Triangle

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The Love Triangle.  Because we all know that love and relationships are only complicated when a potential second suitor comes along, and apart from that, it’s all rainbows and good times and everyone gets along.

Waaaait a second.

Why hook up with the still living when you can have the undead popsicle, amirite?

My beef with the love triangle is how overused it’s become. Now, do love triangles happen in real life? Of course they do. And do they keep fiction interesting? They certainly can. But it’s become a staple, it often seems, rather than a useful tool among many others in the writer’s toolbox. I get the impression that a lot of them are added in because that’s what people are told will sell books (or other media), rather than it being in there because it helps the story and develops naturally.

Of recent love triangle fame is, of course, the Twilight series. Which is funny since this is a triangle that isn’t a triangle. Yes, I read them, and yes, I’ve seen the movies. Yes, I think it’s awful. It’s like a train wreck, I can’t look away! Plus the unintentional hilarity is fantastic. But I digress. This now hugely famous love triangle isn’t one because at really no point does Bella ever seriously consider Jacob. Briefly in New Moon, when it looks like Edward’s gone forever, but hot damn, she literally jumps on a plane to fly halfway across the world the second she learns that’s still an option! Jacob, buddy, that should’ve been your first enormous clue that she was just not that into you.

But thanks to this series, love triangles have taken on new life as a given in YA, it feels like, becoming cliche, boring, and overused in the process. Read the rest of this entry

Thursday Tropes: Pretty Hurt

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Part of my new attempt at a schedule, I’m going to aim to talk about a TV trope on Thursdays. I say “TV” because it’s largely inspired by the website TV Tropes, but these might come from books, movie, TV, games, any media or entertainment for mass consumption there is, really. Plus, Thursday Tropes has some nice alliteration to it.

I know, I know, today’s Friday, deal with it. I’m just getting this thing started! (Glee and The Killing spoilers ahead.)

Also, check out the new look! What do you think? The background is from Cutest Blog on the Block.

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