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Monster High dolls

Monster High dolls published on No Comments on Monster High dolls

I really like Mattel's Monster High dolls. Each has a unique headsculpt, which I appreciate, and I like the bright colors, patterning and funky layering of the clothes. Not to mention the fact that they are well-articulated!  I've even watched some of the online cartoons, which are pretty cute. My favorite character is Ghoulia Yelps because she is a nerdy zombie. 😀 But I will not be getting any MH dolls because there's no need for me to go into a new size or scale of dolls. I'd love to see someone do BJD versions of MH dolls, though. That would be really cool.

Review of new show: ABC’s Once Upon a Time

Review of new show: ABC’s Once Upon a Time published on 1 Comment on Review of new show: ABC’s Once Upon a Time

In ABC's Once Upon a Time, which debuted last week, fairy tale characters are trapped in Storybrooke, Maine, unaware of their true identities. Bail bond person Emma Swan must accept her destiny as mother of Henry, who she gave up for adoption as a baby, and Snow White's daughter to reverse this evil curse. On her side are Henry [her kid], Henry's teacher [Snow White] and probably the sheriff. Against her are arrayed Regina [the evil queen], Mr. Gold [Rumplestiltskin] and Henry's therapist [identity not known].

While I don't think Grimm is making much of the fairy tale concept, I think Once Upon a Time has the capacity for greater insight into these stories, as it's showing how they act out in characters' lives, forming sort of primal motivations. So I like the concept, the jewel-toned cinematography and Jennifer Morrison's sarcastic expressions as Emma. I find Lara Parrilla's evil queen broadly overplayed, though she did gain some interesting backstory during ep 2, and Jared Gilmore's Henry borderline annoying. So far I'll keep watching because I think the quality is slightly above average.

Grimm: a review of the pilot

Grimm: a review of the pilot published on No Comments on Grimm: a review of the pilot

In NBC's new procedural/fairy tale production, Grimm, Nick Burkhardt is the last in the line of the Grimms, apparently NOT collectors of fairy tales, but instead people with the gift to see folkloric monsters as they truly are, though they walk among us looking like humans. Nick develops his new abilities when he senses a wolf-like creature dismembering women wearing red sweatshirts. His skeptical fellow police detective is along for the ride, while his police chief appears to be in cahoots with the monsters. Shenanigans ensue.

This show has very little to recommend it, besides its concept. Even then, the concept isn't much good. If the first ep is any indication, Grimm will use fairy tales as sources of monsters without plumbing the psychological hold and resonance these stories still have over us today.

Furthermore, I find the plotting in this ep jarringly ridiculous. While on the trail of the killer, Nick and his partner are about to give up the search until they realize that the killer was humming the same song that was playing on the first victim's music player. This coincidence causes them to turn back. Fortunately, their hunch that a connection exists between the killer and the first victim is correct, but it's a pretty huge stretch to call a guy humming a popular song a real clue. That's just silly.

Additionally, when Nick and his partner turn back into the house, guns drawn, to find the second, still living victim that the killer has hiding in his house, the killer rushes both Nick and his partner, throwing each of them to the ground. As the wolf-like creature runs away, Nick's partner shoots the man several times in the back, killing him. I do not understand why the creature was shot in the back when fleeing from the scene. I was under the impression that police aren't supposed to shoot to kill unless they are imminently threatened, which they were not at the moment. If a story follows the form of a procedural, it shouldn't be sloppy with the basic rules of the genre. Bad idea.

With nothing original about it and no actors that rise above the level of competency, Grimm is a waste of time.

Ableism in American Horror Story

Ableism in American Horror Story published on No Comments on Ableism in American Horror Story

So FX network has a new series out this season, American Horror Story. The story concerns the Harmons, mother, father and teenaged daughter, who move into a haunted house in Los Angeles, complete with past murders, creatures in the basement and eccentric neighbors. Among the neighbors is Adelaide, or Addy, a young woman in her mid- to late 30s. She has Down's Syndrome and lives with her mother in the house next door.

At first I was all excited to see an actor with Down's Syndrome playing a character with the same condition in a television show. I suppose I was entertaining visions of Life Goes On, a feel-good sit-com from the 1990s centering around a family in which one of the members had Down's. I'm not here to discuss the complexities of the portrayal of Corky, the young man with Down's, but just to say that, in my memory, the show at least gave him a personality and character arcs, treating him as a well-rounded character.

No such luck for Addy on American Horror Story. Her primary function is to give warnings about ghosts to people, who then ignore her, and also to sneak inside the Harmons' new home and startle them. In fact, the first scene of the first episode has a young Addy warning twin brats who vandalize the house, "You're going to die in there." Naturally they do. Grown up in the present day, Addy continues pestering the Harmons with similar admonitions. From her initial appearance, then, Addy is shown to have unusual insight into the creepiness of the house, in the same way that so many blind characters in TV and literature can't see, but have unusual insight into people's souls [or something]. This subtle display of a compensatory strength — maybe Addy has intellectual disabilities, but, as a substitution, she can sense ghosts! — starts Addy's one-dimensional portrayal as a character solely defined and developed by her disability.

The TV show itself presents Addy as a strange sort of disabled object, and the able-bodied characters in the show continue such alienating, abusive treatment. In the first episode, Addie's mother refers to her derogatorily as "the Mongoloid." In the second episode, Addie's mother refers to tying Addy to a chair "again," about which the Harmons make no comment, thus passively colluding with the ableist, demeaning treatment of Addy. We are also shown a scene in episode two in which Addie's mother abuses Addie, locking her in a closet full of mirrors and telling her to "look at [herself]." Though Addy's screams follow us, the camera quickly cuts away, denying the audience any chance to sympathize with a grown woman being manipulated by her cruel mother by being shoved around and locked in a closet. The show doesn't care about Addy as a person, and neither do the characters.

In the two eps of American Horror Story I watched, I also noticed how Addy's mother subtly infantilizes her through controlling her appearance. As I mentioned, Addie is in her mid- to late 30s, so figured because she was shown to be somewhere between 6 and 8 in the initial scene in 1978. Addie now wears the same type of pastel pinafores that she did when she was less than 10. Furthermore, her mother keeps her hair in long curls. I assume that her mother controls these aspects of her appearance because she treats Addie like a stupid child on other occasions, so why wouldn't she continue this abusive attitude with Addy's dress and self-presentation?

I'd watch a show about a woman with Down's Syndrome growing up next to a haunted house, dealing with her abusive mother, if the show focused on the protagonist as a full, rich character who was affected by, but not defined by, her disability. But American Horror Story is not that show, and I will not be watching it any more.

Thanks to Fangs for the Fantasy for summarizing [and calling out various prejudices of] this show.

Doll meetup, 10/22/11: Old Mill Park, Jericho

Doll meetup, 10/22/11: Old Mill Park, Jericho published on 1 Comment on Doll meetup, 10/22/11: Old Mill Park, Jericho

After lunch today at Tiny Thai, vermont chick and I ventured into the muddy confines of Old Mill Park in Jericho in hopes of capturing our dolls along with fall colors. Sadly, rain had knocked most of the leaves down, and the ground was too squishy for extended photoshoots, but we got some good shots of our dolls, my Sarah [Dorothy stayed in her glasses case box, not wanting to deal with large, wet leaves] and her Jamie [Iplehouse Claude]. Jamie is quite handsome, with a serene smirk.
Continue reading Doll meetup, 10/22/11: Old Mill Park, Jericho

Ellery the geek and Lucian the sly

Ellery the geek and Lucian the sly published on 1 Comment on Ellery the geek and Lucian the sly

Ellery and Lucian's clothes from Andrea came today! Sadly the jeans and the underwear did not fit because the measurements that I gave Andrea were too small, though I took them from Lumedoll's Web site. Regardless, here's Ellery the geek with her questionable sense of style and Lucian the sly, finally with pants. Bonus picture of them together!!Continue reading Ellery the geek and Lucian the sly

Television viewing this season

Television viewing this season published on No Comments on Television viewing this season
  • Bones. I'm rather worried for the start of this season, which is the last one. Now that Brennan is pregnant with Booth's child, I fear that the season might do away with all her character development and just show her as a mindlessly joyous mommy-to-be, in the way that the previous season was all about Angela and Hodgins having a baby, blech.
  • Fringe. Previously extolled.
  • Haven. In this summer SyFy series, FBI agent Mary Sue Audrey Parker investigates people with unusual powers, who all live in the small town of Haven, Maine. Helping her in her quest are police chief/ love interest Nathan Wuornos and the guy who just hangs around being a lovable scoundrel, Duke Crocker. Intriguing hints of an overall conspiracy or mythology rise above thoroughly mediocre acting and predicatable mysteries of the week.
  • Sanctuary. One of my friends turned me on to this Sy Fy show last year. It's about an immortal genius, Dr. Helen Magnus, who preserves, studies, rescues and allies herself with "abnormals," or paranormal, mythological, folkloric beings. Amanda Tapping, as the indefatigably capable Magnus, is an exemplar of feminist heroism, besides being really sexy. The constant time-traveling, season-end cliffhangers and whammy-like game-changing twists [Magnus' daughter dies! Her supposedly dead father comes back! There's a Hollow Earth inside this one! It's invading our Earth!] provide mindless entertainment. It's a silly series, but I keep coming back, even though Agam Darshi as Kate Freelander is a character so annoying and useless that she needs to go away.
  • Supernatural. Why do I even bother with this misogynist drivel? Must be my crush on Jensen Ackles, whose portrayal of the long-suffering Dean continues to attract my eyeballs. Since it burned out its universal apocalypse storyline at the end of season 5, this show has had nowhere else to go, instead just preferring to hang around into irrelevancy. I only watch occasionally.
  • Warehouse 13. This SyFy series concerns two Secret Service agents, Myka and Pete, who happen across a warehouse filled with magical, semi-historical artifacts. They join the quest to snag, bag and tag artifacts when the artifacts are wreaking havoc across the world. Repartee between the two agents, the silly Pete [played by Eddie McClintock] and the more tightly wound Myka [played by Joanne Kelly], provides chuckles, as does curmudgeonly leadership from Warehouse head Artie [played by a dry Saul Rubinek]. Add a computer genius in her 20s, Claudia [played by Allison Scagliotti, who is way hot], always ready with a slick phrase, and you have a low-key, good-natured series.

The Great Sarcasmo, or, Ellery scribbled on [=painted]

The Great Sarcasmo, or, Ellery scribbled on [=painted] published on No Comments on The Great Sarcasmo, or, Ellery scribbled on [=painted]

I painted Ellery this evening. She's much more sarcastic than I expected. :p I have also included a picture of my messy desk with faceup supplies all over it.
Continue reading The Great Sarcasmo, or, Ellery scribbled on [=painted]

More pictures of Stardoll Barbies!

More pictures of Stardoll Barbies! published on 2 Comments on More pictures of Stardoll Barbies!

I found large pics of the other 4 in the Stardoll/Mattel collaboration Barbies. They are below. I can't really tell because of the paint jobs, but there seem to be some new headsculpts there!
Continue reading More pictures of Stardoll Barbies!

First real shoot with new camera part I: Sardonix praying [?]

First real shoot with new camera part I: Sardonix praying [?] published on No Comments on First real shoot with new camera part I: Sardonix praying [?]

She was supposed to be rubbing her hands together evilly, but she looks like she's praying for an afflatus of sarcasm…
Continue reading First real shoot with new camera part I: Sardonix praying [?]

Some shots from my new camera!

Some shots from my new camera! published on No Comments on Some shots from my new camera!

I'm slowly learning how to use my DSLR. Here are some pictures from my second round. I reduced my first round too greatly and had to trash them. From top to bottom, Ellery's desk, Ellery's desk, Ellery's desk, and Jareth.Continue reading Some shots from my new camera!

La la la, using my new camera

La la la, using my new camera published on No Comments on La la la, using my new camera

So I used my new camera this morning and took some awesome closeup shots of my dolls and their accessories, but you can't see them because I haven't figured out how to get them off the camera yet. Things I have learned about my new digital camera:

  1. It is very sensitive to shaking, so I have to hold it very still.
  2. It's also very sensitive to light, and I haven't figured out how to compensate for that.
  3. The greater the number of mm in a lens, the closer it can get to the subject!

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness published on No Comments on A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

In A Discovery of Witches, magically gifted but power-blocked witch Diana finds a medieval manuscript that witches, daemons and vampires want, falls in love with a 1500-year-old vampire and struggles to prevent war between various groups of supernaturals, all while trying to master her own magic. Grace notes about the joys of old books and libraries, as well as a learned, persistent treatment of alchemy, make this one more interesting than the average, but it still is a heavily predictable and somewhat silly beginner for a trilogy. I’m still curious to read the sequels, though.

Jamisia with wire and also Lucian’s clothes

Jamisia with wire and also Lucian’s clothes published on No Comments on Jamisia with wire and also Lucian’s clothes

Now with 23 gauge brass wire in her arms, Jamisia poses much more effectively. In the second picture, she shows off Lucian's blouse and vest, nabbed from a Mattel Pirates of the Caribbean Jack Sparrow Ken doll.
Continue reading Jamisia with wire and also Lucian’s clothes

Jamisia’s messy, sketchy faceup

Jamisia’s messy, sketchy faceup published on No Comments on Jamisia’s messy, sketchy faceup

Just did Jamisia's messy, messy faceup with my new watercolor pencils. They behave much better than chalk pastels, but I still wish I could find some medium that would apply to resin as easily as colored pencils to paper.Continue reading Jamisia’s messy, sketchy faceup

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