Archive | March, 2013

Worst Sci-Fi Fantasy Couples

21 Mar

All right, we’ have the best sci-fi/fantasy couples, as well as the sexiest pairings known to televised censorship. What, though, about the worst couples? I don’t mean the couples that are purposely bad, or the couples that get together just to keep the True Love Pair from actually hooking up.

Their love was so misunderstood.

No, rather than talking about the Rose-and-Mickeys of the romance world, I want to talk about the worst couples that the producers and writers force-feed you. The ones that, for inexplicable reasons, you’re supposed to like and support. The people that are terrible but are pushed together through contrived banter and nonexistent chemistry, and that leave no satisfaction afterwards.

The McDonald’s of romantic decisions, essentially.

[*Editor’s note: This list contains neither “Bella and Edward” nor “Bella and Jacob”. Nor even “Edward and Jacob.” Yes, there is evidence that the author wanted any and/or all of those pairings to be viewed favorably. No, I don’t care.]

7. Westley and Buttercup, The Princess Bride

“This is true love. You think this happens everyday?”
“I sure hope not.”

It’s a wrench including this couple, it really is. But I have to, because for years when I thought of “true love” I thought of Westley and Buttercup: she waits for him loyally, he fights his way home to find her, they cover insurmountable odds and live happily ever after (except for the whole him losing 50 years of his life to Count Rugen. So I guess they live happily for like, five minutes.)

“I turned it up to eleven.”

Okay, but let’s talk for real about this couple. It starts out with Buttercup ordering him around like her little bitch. He always responds with “As you wish” which is code for “I love you” (hopefully not in a romantic way, otherwise the grandpa at the end of the story is going to jail.)

So what, either he gets off on being dominated or it’s just because she’s hot? Fine. Whatever. They fall in love. She learns to say please. Everyone grows as a person.

Then he leaves and apparently dies. She loses her shit and shuts down completely. But he’s not dead! He’s off becoming a pirate! Not just a slave to a pirate, but a head honcho pirate. He becomes the Dread Pirate Roberts and does piratey things! Like having a parrot, wearing a mask, plundering gold…oh, and probably raping and murdering. How attractive.

So does he send word to let his beloved know he’s alive? Nah. He waits five years to see if she’ll remarry. Then he kidnaps her, threatens to backhand her for lying, and taunts her about her fiance.

Also, that ponytail. God, that ponytail.

Let’s face it. Buttercup is useless (can’t even fight off an R.O.U.S, for fuck’s sake) and Westley is a douche.

My apologies for the destruction I just wrought on your childhood.

6. Willow and Kennedy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Kennedy, the only reason to open your mouth is that pierced tongue.

Sadly not the worst relationship to happen in the Buffyverse, Willow and Kennedy are still difficult for me to handle, mostly because Willow was the best thing to happen to relationships since crotchless panties.

Go ahead and imagine the two together. I’ll wait.

Willow was the first person in the series (including Giles, the grownup) to have a stable, committed relationship that wasn’t all about drama. She and Oz had a quiet, realistic coupling that still managed to be sweet and endearing and wonderful. Then they got rid of him, so he could go make shitty movies.

“No, I’ve made good life decisions.”

Then she slowly fell for Tara, a sweet, deep, mystical girl without a violent bone in her body. It was amazingly tender and thoroughly erotic. And then they got rid of Tara.

Enter Kennedy. Whiny, obnoxious, self-absorbed and spoiled, she was unapologetic about her egotism and completely wrong for Willow. They had nothing in common except that they were both lesbians, and Kennedy neither understood nor sought to learn about Tara or what made Willow tick. I was sad to see Willow end the series on that note. I would have preferred almost any other pairing.

YES.

5. Saul Tigh and Caprica Six, Battlestar Galactica

“I got an eye patch. Bitches love eye patches.”

There’s actually not much to say about this couple, since it was getting toward the end of BSG’s decent episodes and descending right into the chewy nougat center of their weird religiosity and bizarre hallucinations. Basically, Saul Tigh bones Caprica Six which, if you look at the two of them, proves that this is, indeed, a fantasy story. She gets preggers and there’s a lot of fuss about their child being the destined Cylon/human hybrid. Then the baby dies. Then it turns out it wasn’t even actually a hybrid, because of lazy writing.

“Shit, I was supposed to plan this?”

I can’t even talk about how stupid this couple is. Tigh is a decorated war hero who has every reason to hate the Cylons. Caprica Six is in love with Baltar and possibly her own clone, and who gives a shit if they have a kid? It’s a stupid plot point, it’s a lie to the characters, and it only seeks to tear jerk where the well is completely dry.

The same is probably true for Tigh’s well, if you know what I mean.

4. Merlin and Gwen, Merlin

The BBC show Merlin is not an especially feminist text. By that I mean that every female character is either mindlessly evil or blandly, one-dimensionally good. Sadly, no character is flatter than Guinevere.

Not literally.

Gwen loves everyone in the show, and I mean everyone. Arthur, Lancelot and yes, even Merlin. For a while in Season 1, the writers apparently thought it would be great to hint at a romance between the woman destined to be Queen of Camelot and the weird little wizard boy who looks like the bastard son of Chris Eccleston’s ears.

Dumbo may also have been involved.

Anyway, there’s a lot of awkward intimations and Merlin remaining staunchly asexual throughout Gwen’s fumbling hints at attraction. The whole thing is frankly embarrassing, and not worth the halfhearted effort the show made trying to get us to care.

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The 6 Best Resignation Speeches (from Famous Characters)

19 Mar

So, the Pope resigned.

Ratzinger (as he may rightly be referred to now), voluntarily gave up the power over the entire Catholic church and whatever Babelfish he’d stuck in his ear that could translate the direct commands of God.

“Hey, I know one thing you guys should probably stop doing.”

This got me thinking about all the times when you might need a really good resignation speech for super legit reasons. Maybe you’re leaving a partner. Maybe you’re quitting a job. Maybe you’re telling God to talk to his own damn kids, you’re not his messenger anymore. Whatever the reason, I think all of us can learn something from these fictional resignations, and apply them to our own lives.

6. For When You Don’t Want to Burn Bridges

Martha Jones, Doctor Who

This is one of those delightful examples of someone who manages to say something they really need to say without being too critical and with no one feeling attacked.

Have you ever felt the need to tell someone that their behavior makes you feel shitty, without blaming them? It’s super difficult.

“But seriously, no hard feelings.”

Sometimes you have to tell your boss that it hurts that he never comments on the quality of your work. Or you have to explain to your partner that the way she leaves toenail clippings on the bathroom floor means that you must leave her forever. Or you have to explain to your friends that by not reading your blog, they are slowly destroying your happiness.

The internet is a lonely place.

Martha Jones exemplifies the classiest way to do this without playing the blame game. She gives good, rational, professional reasons for her decision to leave, making it clear that the Doctor is not at fault. Then she comes back and says what’s been bugging her for over a year: she likes him, she knows he doesn’t like her, she has to protect herself emotionally. Notice she doesn’t ask if the Doctor likes her back. She doesn’t put any pressure on him. She doesn’t even explicitly state that he “never looked at her twice.” She avoids “you” words at all costs. Then she makes a gesture.

No, a gesture of goodwill.

She gives him a phone and says she’ll keep in touch. They end on a good note. She gets her big speech off her chest, he doesn’t have to awkwardly try to make her feel better or lie about his feelings. They stay friends, she gets over him. And that, folks, is how you manage to leave a bad situation and keep from burning bridges.

5. For When You Want to Burn Bridges

Lester Burnham, American Beauty

I don’t like to get too far outside of the realm of sci-fi/fantasy with this blog, but let’s face it, this is a fucking great speech. This is something every single one of us has wanted to do. Not just quit a shitty job, but quit a shitty job with relish.

I looked up “shitty job with relish” and I swear to God, this is what I found.

Not only does Lester look really satisfied through this entire exit interview, he’s typed up a description of sick fantasies and masturbation jokes, and then he mouths along while the guy reads it out loud. That is dedication to your craft right there.

Most of the time, you can never use a speech like this. Unless you won the lottery or you’re prepared for some messed up blackmail, you have to continue kissing ass long after you walk away from a potential reference. But if you are, as Lester so eloquently puts it, “an ordinary guy with nothing to lose,” use this speech.

And then videotape it and send me the link.

4. For When You Want to Come Back

Han Solo, Empire Strikes Back

Youtube does not believe I should show you this particular clip. Clearly it’s because the sheer sexiness of it would melt your eyeballs right out of your goddamn head (and that’s just when Han is talking to General Rieekan.) Here’s a run-down of the speech I mean*:

Han Motherfucking Solo approaches General Rieekan on the Hoth Base, while Leia stares covetously at him from the corner.

Rieekan: Old person noises about going outside.
Han Motherfucking Solo: General, I’ve got to leave, I can’t stay anymore.
Rieekantotes indifferent: I’m sorry to hear that.
Han Motherfucking Solo: I’ve got a price on my head, if I don’t pay off Jabba the Hutt, I’m a dead man.
Rieekan: A death mark’s not an easy thing to live w–oh, you’re not even paying attention to me anymore, you’re eye-fucking the only female within three hundred solar systems from across the room. Jealous.

Han Solo is already gone. He approaches the Ice Queen.

Han Motherfucking Solo: Well, I guess this is it.
Leia IceBitch Organa, coldly: That’s right.
Han Motherfucking Solo, not taking this shit: Well, don’t get all mushy on me, so long, princess.

“So long” was actually referring to something else

This is the greatest resignation speech ever given for two reasons: 1) There’s no bullshit and 2) It is just begging to be rejected. First of all, the professional resignation: he doesn’t beat around the bush, he doesn’t kiss Rieekan’s ass, he doesn’t get emotional. He just says he has to leave and he gives a really good reason for doing so, i.e. his imminent death.  When you’re not caught up in “oh, um, I really learned a lot and I loved working here and killing lots of people” you can hear that this guy doesn’t really want to leave. He may want to come back. You will always give that man back his job, because he’s a man and he just does what needs to be done, no bullshit required.

“I’m sorry, General, I have to go plow the crap out of that girl over there.”

Which leads us to the rest of it. This is the way to say goodbye to a girl if you really want her to chase you down and bring you back. Be distant. Out-aloof her. Say as little as possible. Then piss her off a little bit and add just enough irritation to show that you’re a little bothered by her indifference. Oh, but one thing: you have to be the hottest badass in the universe to pull that off, or she’ll probably just let you go.

[*Note: This dialogue is pulled directly from my memory. Instead of correcting it, just do what I do, and play Han Solo’s voice in your head. Now you don’t care.]

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Hottest Sci-Fi/Fantasy Couples

12 Mar

I learned something disturbing about myself while writing this. While some of my favorite couples in sci-fi and fantasy are based on affection and shared interests, the sexiest romances in my canon share two main traits: lust and violence. As we were all taught by romance novels and Wuthering Heights, the hottest couples are so conflicted that they’re always about two inches away from murder-fucking each other in the middle of a dinner party.

What, you thought it was just a chick flick period piece? Read the damn book.

So. There will be no soulful resonance in this list. No emotional safety. Certainly no romantic stares. Just two people who are designed to bone each other. Let’s see who they are.

*[Editor’s note: My top three picks change places depending on my mood, age, and how many times I’ve re-watched Buffy today. Keep it in mind.]

6. Jon Snow and Ygritte, A Song of Ice and Fire

“You think this is big?”

If your only experience with this medieval, sword-happy, incest-is-the-bestuous murderfest fantasy is the TV show Game of Thrones, then you probably don’t know what I’m talking about yet. You think that a sexy couple is Renly and Loras, or Dany and Khal Drogo or Littlefinger and the sound of his own voice.

Providing monologues over the sound of two women fucking since 2011.

You’re wrong, though. All of those relationships (especially the latter), are caught up, to some degree, in politics. In getting something out of the other person (gross.) Jon and Ygritte, though, have a fantastic chemistry outside the bounds of societal strictures that makes their coupling totally sexy. For Jon, it’s the forbidden. He can’t take a wife or sire children according to the vows he’s taken. For Ygritte, there’s the total freedom to do whatever the hell she likes. This amazing combustion of “Holy crap, no rules” and “Oh my god, this is so taboo” is what makes this couple so freaking sexy. There’s no thinking, reasoning, or scheming, just hormonal teenagers keeping warm the only way you can in the medieval equivalent of  glacial wastelands.

Which is basically Yukon Territory.

Best Moment: When she tries out her old “You know nothing, Jon Snow” catchphrase and then–bam–he introduces her to oral sex.

(I know it hasn’t happened in the show yet. Pick up a book every now and then, will ya?)

5. Malcolm Reynolds and Saffron, Firefly

Sometimes the special hell is worth it.

Malcolm Reynolds was a strong contender with several candidates for this slot. Everyone wants him to hook up with Inara (except for me, because I think they would make a terrible couple. More to come on that.) And he did have incredible sexy-time with the terrifying cat woman who looks like Angelina Jolie’s mom.

Porn music invariably starts up wherever she goes.

In the end, though, the best coupling involving Malcolm Reynolds is with Saffyobridge, the mysterious, psychotic con artist who goes from sweet and innocent to terrifying in less than a second. What’s great about this couple is that their sexual dynamic shifts as the show goes along, but no matter what, you always feel a resistance to them hooking up. It keeps the tension alive and kicking. First it’s because she’s so child-like, but then it’s because you’d rather have them fight than bang.

Or both. Both is good too.

Best Moment: The look on his face when she recites her wifely duties from the world’s greatest Bible.

4. The Doctor and Madame de Pompadour, Doctor Who

Ohhhh, yeahhhhh.

The problem with making Doctor Who as a serial television show is that, by his nature, the Doctor must always be alone. Sure, he has companions, but no one that sticks around longer than two or three seasons. He’s immortal and ever-changing and always in the process of leaving. They did a great job with the Rose storyline, but he had to really think about it and have a lot of conflicting feels, and there was nothing spontaneous or sexy about it because he never lets himself lose control.

Doctor: “That was a genetic transfer.”
Martha: “But you also grabbed my-“
Doctor: “GENETIC. TRANSFER.”

That’s why the episode “The Girl in the Fireplace” is so brilliant. Reinette is straightforward, collected, decisive and uncompromising. She sees the Doctor for the first time in years and does what anyone seeing David Tennant would do. She makes out with him. She gets behind his defenses and keeps him off-balance and smitten for the rest of the episode. He never gets the chance to act untouchable and god-like, or to set up barriers.

What does he have time to do? Slip her the tongue.

“Actually, I’m 945 years o–well, okay then.”

The brilliant chemistry between this couple packs a three-punch wallop: Steven Moffat’s brilliant writing, the French people’s inability to hear the word ‘no’ when it comes to dancing or sex, and the fact that David Tennant was totally plowing Sophia Myles at the time.

Best Moment: Scroll up half an inch. There it is.

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Avatar Quiz (Subtitle: WordPress Quiz Fail)

3 Mar

So, I made this super awesome quiz to help you figure out if you’re a Fire Bender, Earth Bender, Water Bender or Non Bender (hint: it’s mostly based on the personalities of the main characters.)  Whatever. At least I didn’t ask about eye color. (Who has golden eyes? No one. It’s like all the Fire Benders died out or something.) I actually did research into martial arts styles and philosophy for this one. And by research, I mean I blatantly stole ideas from a cool person.

Anyhoo, WordPress.com is tragically incapable of embedding quizzes, which is the new saddest thing ever. So instead  you get to go take the quiz at my other hangout, CohesiveThesis.

So take the quiz and let me know! Who are you most like? Douchebag McZuko? TooMuchSugar von Aang? Or this guy?

Sucky Let’sHopeNot