Lost in Space Manifesto

Apr. 25th, 2019 12:09 pm
selenak: (Maureen im Ballon)
[personal profile] selenak
It's been a year since I marathoned the 2018 Lost in Space, which I loved. I just checked to see whether it was canceled or got a second season, and to my delight, the later is the case, though we won't get it until July, it seems. Which is as good a reason to rave some m ore about the new Lost in Space as any, and about why you should watch it, too, especially if you are on the look out for a new canon featuring not one or two, but an entire ensemble female main characters, estranged families findng each other again, cross species friendships, people being really competent at what they do, and last but certainly not least, an m/f long term relationship between partners that's not about getting together but how to live together.

So, what's the premise of the first season?: Robinson family plus supporting cast crashlands on dangerous planet, has to fix each other along with circumstances in order to survive. There are flashbacks and mysteries to be solved as well. Basically: Lost. In Space.

Do I need to know the original Lost in Space tv show, or the 1990s movie?

No, you don't.

When you say the main cast is mostly female, you mean...?

Maureen Robinson, genius physicist and engineer (my favourite!), Judy Robinson, her oldest daughter, a doctor, Penny, her second kid and the quippy middle child, and Dr. Smith (not her real name), con woman extraordinaire, main antagonist and very occasional ally. The male rmain characters are John Robinson (the only non-genius of the family, Maureen's estranged husband, a pilot) and their son Will (youngest kid). Of not defined gender, though Will calls them a he: the (alien) Robot.

Numbers don't mean the women actually get the meaty narrative stuff. Pop culture osmosis told me the original show was all about Will, the Robot and (male) Dr. Smith. Isn't this the case here?

No. Will and the Robot are an important part of the show, but Dr. Smith's main relationship with a Robinson turns out to be with Maureen. Who is the head of the family, and the one who pushes storylines forward - going into space was her idea, she figures out what's wrong with the planet (Maureen doing science is one of my favourite things about the show, and the icon displays one of the more visually spectacular examples, when she uses a balloon to go up in the air and check her theory about said planet), she figures out what really happened in the seemingly natural catastrophe that is making Earth increasingly inhabitable, and so forth.Judy and Penny are getting as much screen time and development as Will, get to save the day more often, and together they present different stages of growing up - Judy is a young adult who gets the "idealism clashes with reality" type of tales, Penny is a teenager and thus sometimes relates to Judy and sometimes to Will as a peer, and he rin-between-ness also means she's the one most likely to draw others out, and Will is a child with all the wonder, generosity but also unintentional self centeredness that can entail.

Let me guess. All these female characters are vey attractive and presented in various stages of undress a lot.

Yes to the former - it's still US tv -, no to the later. They all wear practical clothing appropriate to their situation (which is either crashed on a very dangerous planet or in space, meaning space suits and survival gear, respectively). This includes our villainess, who also at no point tries to seduce anyone by using her sexual wiles. (Her method of survival and advancement is more getting into people's heads and mess with same. )

I'm burned out by female characters first built up and then raped, or at least sexually menaced, or even getting killed. Does any of this happen here?

In a word: No. Again, this goes for all the female characters, heroines, villainess, minor supporting cast.

So far, so good, but I'm also primarily a shipper, not a gen person like you. What's the romantic potential?

In terms of "likely to be on screen or already on screen canon", Judy has some UST with smuggler-with-a-heart-of-gold Don West, and Penny has a brief teenage romance with a fellow survivor. But the main m/f ship of the show is John/Maureen, who start out estranged for reasons gradually revealed but re-connect emotionally in the course of the show. It's basically an "exes still carrying a torch get back together again" trope done right. Note: this does not happen in a Parent Trap way. The kids, who do their own reconnecting with John, leave their parents' relationship well enough alone.Also: John is played by Toby "Captain Flint" Stephens which was my original reason for tuning into the show last year.

In terms of "not likely to be screen canon but definitely great for fanfiction": Maureen and Dr. Smith have some serious foe yay going in the last few episodes of the season after Dr. Smith has been unmasked. Tropes canonically used are " enemies forced to work together" , "grudging respect", "outsmarting each other at different points" as well as "imprisoning each other and escaping another at different points".

I can't help but notice that the canon ships or likely ships are all het,while the subtext one is slash.

True. But Penny's first teenage fling (where btw she took the initiative, much like her Mom) is over, so who knows, she might acquire a girlfriendi in s2. Also: arguably the true heartrendering romance of the first season was the (asexual, don't worry) one between a boy and his robot (think E.T. with Elliot and E.T. for the type of story this was), so who knows what Will is going to be, orientation wise, once he grows up.

Okay. Is this a sci fi show where everyone in the future is a white American?

No. The Robinsons and Dr. Smith are, with the exception of Judy who is Maureen's kid from an earlier relationship (pleasingly, there is no difference John makes between his biological children and her) and placed by a black actress. But virtually the entire rest of the colonists who crashlandwith the Robinsons aren't. The ones we get to know best are a Japanese family (Maureen's scientific bff is the dad) and an Indian-or-Pakistani/British family (i.e. accent British, ethnicity of Southasian origin) (the leader of the community, Victor, and his son, Penny's temporary romance, belong to it), plus there's Angela, the survivor most traumatized by the original catastrophe at the start of the pilot, who is black and US American.

Now we've established there are no fridged (and/or raped) women: any other potential triggers I should know about?

Well, the first season puts our heroes through just about any surviving-in-dangerous-natural-situations suspense you can think of. The first three episodes, for example, milk the "crashed on a glacier with the ice engulfing them" scenario for what it's worth,and once they've left that behind, the joys of tremors, swamps and alien equivalents to dinosaurs await. I should add that the show doesn't forget adding moments of beauty and wonder among all the threatening environment, but what I'm trying to get at: if you, for example, are claustrophobic, what happens to Judy in the first two eps is probably going to resonate. Otoh, since someone asked in a comment to my original post on this show - there are no dead pets, don't worry. This includes the chicken.

You may love the estranged/dysfunctional familiies getting back together again trope, but I, for one, am fed up with jerks being forgiven just because they're related. Especially when the show doesn't sell me on these people not being better off far away from each other. What do you have to say to that?

That I empathize. There have been several instances in recent tv years where the balance between dysfunction and closeness/fondness for me hasn't worked, where I either didn't believe the people in question had ever been close in the first place, or that they should be, given how they were characterized. But with the Robinsons, I love that even at the start, at their most estranged, there's still mutual respect (very important to me when I want to root for reconciliation - do the characters respect or belittle each other?). And John, whose fault the original estrangement mostly is, really is shown working for winning Maureen and the kids back. He doesn't take it for granted he has a claim there. And he accepts Maureen's lead throughout the show. That this is a show whose main relationships are between family members who does entirely without that overused trope, the Mean Dad (tm), is another part of the attracton for me. (Not just in terms of John Robinson. Mr. Wattanabe, the Japanese scientist friends with Maureen, has two adult daughters he's getting along very well with. And community leader Victor might be somewhat harsh with our heroes at times - he and Judy have an pragmatism vs idealism/ good of many vs individual life fight at one point, for example - , but not with his son (Penny's fling). There isn't a Mean Dad (tm) around in s1.

Okay, I'll give it a shot. Where do I find this show? On Netflix, though given it's now a year old, there should be dvds as well.
[syndicated profile] daily_illuminator_feed
The Fantasy Trip Decks of Destiny The Fantasy Trip Legacy Edition has shipped to the Kickstarter backers and is now in stores . . . which means it's time for the Decks of Destiny expansion! Or expansions, because there are so many different card decks packed into the upcoming Kickstarter campaign. Steve has been working on these cards for months, and we're almost ready to launch the Decks of Destiny campaign under the Warehouse 23 account on Kickstarter.

What's inside the Decks of Destiny campaign? Characters, treasures, rumors, and more! How much more? Lots, including new megahex tiles compatible with the tiles in the Legacy Edition box. We're putting a lot of energy into The Fantasy Trip this year, and everyone is having a great time creating new support for this returned classic roleplaying game. Follow Warehouse 23 on Kickstarter today so you don't miss out on the Decks of Destiny!

Phil Reed

Warehouse 23 News: An Announcement From The Secret Masters!

Illuminati Coins are here! Missed out on the Kickstarter? Need more sets? Ready to join the conspiracy? This set of custom metal coins work with any game . . . or may be used for any number of other nefarious purposes. Just note we are not responsible for any failed bribes. Get yours today at Warehouse 23!

Awesome Con 2019

Apr. 25th, 2019 02:31 am
[syndicated profile] lawmultiverse_feed

Posted by James Daily

For DC-area readers: I will be at Awesome Con in Washington, DC this Friday, April 26th! I will be part of a panel on “Law and Order in Comics” along with Law and the Multiverse contributors Scott Maravilla and Brad Desnoyer as well as She-Hulk and Daredevil writer Charles Soule! Come check us at in Room 154 at 1:30pm!

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[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • New estimates suggest the costs of global warming will be in the tens of trillions of dollars, with warmer countries taking a particularly big hit. Motherboard reports.

  • Indigenous bumblebee populations in Canada are fast approaching extinction, with a certainty of major negative environmental effects. CBC reports.

  • MacLean's reports on the return to prominence of Jim Balsillie, this time not so much as a tech mogul as a sort off tech skeptic.

  • This Motherboard article makes a somewhat far-fetched argument that Game of Thrones demonstrates the need for human civilization to have backups.

  • The Conversation reports on the recent discovery, in Serbia by a joint Serbian-Canadian team, of a Neanderthal tooth, and what this discovery means for our understanding of the deep past of humanity.

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[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • La Presse notes how Montréal is placing limits on new construction, and why.

  • JSTOR Daily looks at how Basquiat interacted with his surroundings in New York City, using them for art.

  • CityLab reports on a study of gentrification and displacement in Philadelphia.

  • Guardian Cities reports on the remarkable speed with which Turkish Airlines shifted to a new airport in Istanbul.

  • This article in The Conversation is entirely right about the importance of Indigenous urban reserves: Why cannot First Nations be as urbanized as other Canadians?

  • Chris Fitch writes at CityLab about how, as part of a new policy, Maori placenames are being introduced (or reintroduced) into the New Zealand capital of Wellington.

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[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • I should have gone to see that house in the Junction with the terra cotta tiles before it was no longer. blogTO reports.

  • White nationalists are putting up posters around the city. blogTO reports.

  • The Grand Gerrard Theatre is set to re-open, continuing a century-long tradition. blogTO reports.

  • Urban Toronto notes how construction continues for Canoe Landing Centre, at CityPlace down on the waterfront.

  • Can the Vision Zero plan help protect public spaces in Toronto from terrorist attacks? CBC Toronto considers.

  • Why, exactly, did a Starbucks in Cabbagetown close down? blogTO reports on the local confusion.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

Apr. 24th, 2019 03:02 pm
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait notes that methane hydrates on the ocean floor will only pose a catastrophic risk of climate change if we do nothing about climate change generally.

  • Centauri Dreams reports on the massive flare detected on L-dwarf ULAS J224940.13-011236.9.

  • Crooked Timber considers a philosophical conundrum: What should individuals do to combat climate change? What are they responsible for?

  • The Crux considers a few solar system locations that future generations of hikers might well want to explore on foot.

  • Joe. My. God. notes that Pete Buttigieg is becoming a big star in his father's homeland of Malta.

  • Language Log considers the idea of learning Cantonese as a second language.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the policy innovations of Elizabeth Warren.

  • The Map Room Blog looks at how the Russian government is apparently spoofing GPS signals.

  • Marginal Revolution reports a claim by Peter Thiel that the institutionalization of science since the Manhattan Project is slowing down technological advances. Is this plausible?

  • Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society Blog notes that the Mars InSight probe has detected marsquakes.

  • Starts With A Bang's Ethan Siegel notes that, finally, astronomers have found the first cold gas giants among the exoplanets, worlds in wide orbits like Jupiter and Saturn.

  • Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy notes how some of the praise for Daenerys Targaryen by Elizabeth Warren reveals interesting and worrisome blind spots. (Myself, I fear a "Dark Dany" scenario.)

  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Russia is not over the fact that Ukraine is moving on.

  • Frances Woolley at the Worthwhile Canadian Initiative takes issue with the argument of Andray Domise after an EKOS poll, that Canadians would not know much about the nature of migration flows.

  • For Easter, Arnold Zwicky considered red and white flowers, bearing the colours of the season.

MCU: A Warning About Spoilers

Apr. 24th, 2019 11:23 am
dewline: (SHIELD)
[personal profile] dewline
Since I haven't seen the movie yet.

I will let you know when I do. Until then...?

Be warned. Tell me nothing of Avengers: Endgame until that time. Not here at Dreamwidth.
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[personal profile] dewline
Thank you, [personal profile] kaffyr, for pointing this manifesto out.

rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Regent Park is a neighbourhood in the middle of transition, shifting from a notoriously troubled public-housing district to something different via a controversial regeneration. On Parliament Street one block south of Gerrard, this one building remained, some windows missing but otherwise intact; on Gerrard Street east of Parliament, you could see inside into the ruins made by the demolition crews.

Regent Park demolition (1) #toronto #regentpark #parliamentstreet #demolition

Regent Park demolition (2) #toronto #regentpark #parliamentstreet #demolition

Regent Park demolition (3) #toronto #regentpark #parliamentstreet #demolition
rfmcdonald: (photo)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
I passed by the visited the Andrew Posa 1982 sculpture U.V. Ceti, poised in the middle of a temporarily quiet fountain, last night.

U.V. Ceti, by Andrew Posa #toronto #wellingtonstreet #stlawrence #uvceti #andrewposa #sculpture

It had been ten years since I had last paid particular attention to that statue, attracted by its name the astronomical reference to nearby flare star Luyten 726-8 B.

Front view of UV Ceti, 30 Wellington Street East

Sculptor Andrew Posa chose the name UV Ceti, this Flickr photo and commentary suggests, because it was an obscure astronomical name. I'm a bit sad that I didn't photograph the message in garbled Hungarian that's apparently written inside the statue.

This statue was dedicated to one Edward Isaac Richmond, 1908-1982, "A kind man who shared his love of beauty." A quick googling turns up this 2007 article from The Globe and Mail, which reveals Edward Isaac Richmond to have been an architect of note.

Frank Richmond remembers the time his father, architect Edward Isaac Richmond, heard about a unique house party where guests were handed sledgehammers with their drinks and encouraged to take a few swipes at whatever struck their fancy. It was an old house, and the architect who'd purchased it was having it bulldozed the next day in order to build something new.

"My father was so upset by this because he viewed a home as almost a holy place," Mr. Richmond says. "When you demolish a building, there had to be a degree of respect."

[. . .]

The architect's own striking 1948 home, which he occupied until just before his death in 1982 at age 73 (and where son Frank lived until 1998), is right where he left it at 37 Burton Rd. And while it may have been a shocker to frill-obsessed, WASPy, postwar Toronto, his practice flourished. "That home got replicated in hundreds of different kinds of iterations [post-1948 and] for the next 15-odd years," his son confirms.

Perhaps that's because the 1931 University of Toronto graduate, one of the first Jewish architects in Toronto — if not the very first, his son suggests — had many Jewish clients eager to eliminate painful reminders of the old world, even architectural ones.

In a career that lasted a half-century, Ed Richmond worked on the old Mount Sinai hospital on Yorkville Avenue (a part of its façade is currently undergoing restoration and will be incorporated into a condo) during a short-lived partnership with Ben Kaminker in the early thirties. By the seventies, he was designing high-rise towers, including Palace Pier 1 on the Etobicoke waterfront.

The John Warkentin book Creating Memory: A Guide to Public Outdoor Sculpture in Toronto says this of this statue: "The sculpture reveals fundamental natural forces: within this maelstrom something new is occurring, possibly the beginning of a civilization. It is a much more substantial sculpture than is found in most late-twentieth century Toronto condominiums."
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Last night, I came across these two toy sets, survivors of 2016's Star Trek Beyond, for sale at $C 4 each in the Dollarama at 425 Parliament Street in the heart of Cabbagetown. Should I have gotten them? Star Trek Beyond was a fun film, though it felt more like a 1990s Trek two-part episode than a fully-fledged feature film in its own right.

Star Trek Beyond fighter pods @ $C 4 (1) #toronto #dollarama #parliamentstreet #cabbagetown #startrek #startrekbeyond #toys

Star Trek Beyond fighter pods @ $C 4 (2) #toronto #dollarama #parliamentstreet #cabbagetown #startrek #startrekbeyond #toys

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