I was on vacation for the last 8 days! In the Netherlands! With two of my friends! It was great, though very unusual for me. In the last 6 years I've only traveled alone (or with people I didn't know prior to the trip), often staying with locals and/or fangirls in the countries I was visiting. This time I went with two of my oldest friends and met (sadly!) no locals or fan people.
I think I've gotten used to the kind of travel where I really breathe in a new place. I've been fortunate enough that I could afford to take enough time off work to travel for 3-4 weeks at a time last few years, and when you're in a place that long and you're alone/with locals, you get a certain sense of how things work, the flavor, the pace of where you are. This trip was more like going on a school trip with your friends. The setting - Netherlands - was fun, but the REAL fun was just hanging out with my friends 24/7. In particular I loved traveling with two fellow ex-soldiers who are interested in history and military history, who speak Russian, who are into SFF, who share a lot of my interests. Like, going to see Rembrandt's works and zeroing in on the paintings of older women because 17th century paintings of older women are never not awesome.
We went to villages and museums and boats and outdoor markets and even an amusement park and I came back with way more cheese and nail polish than I'd planned. We photographed cats and shared uncomfortable beds and I ate peanut butter for breakfast nearly every day. At some point I realized the Netherlands have Green Ice Tea readily available and switched to Japan mode of consuming commercial quantities a day. We also made sure to eat as violently non-kosher food as we possibly could seeing as it was Passover. I'm still amazed that food portions in the Netherlands are bigger than in Israel, but my friends' theory was that it was due to all the biking.
Anyway, another benefit of traveling with fellow introverted geeks is that while we got up before 8am every morning, we did have 1-2 hours of evening relaxation time when each of us had her nose stuck in whichever electronic device. So, while my friends played Clash of Clans, I finished watching The 100
I've already talked about this show a bit
, but now that I'm done with both (short-ish) seasons, let me say: I enjoyed that show a lot. A LOT A LOT A LOT. The writing also received a MASSIVE upgrade in season 2, which really helped elevate the show from "nice" to "amazing".
Look, the thing is, it's been a really, really long time since I've seen a scifi show aimed at women.
The 100 has flaws. The tropes and storylines are like Battlestar Galactica, Lost and a bunch of other popular shows put in a blender and presented to a young audience without the background to spot the ripoff. Although the cast becomes progressively less white, male and straight as the show progresses, there are still representation issues, especially when it comes to race. The narrative is very much Intended For Teens and so uses a lot of YA assumptions and tropes I personally dislike, especially when it comes to romantic relationships and the lives of its adult characters. The worldbuilding is not foolproof to say the least.
But on the other hand The 100 has... women. Women, women, women. This is not a show about one girl who's a leader and one girl who's a soldier and one girl who's a doctor. This is a show about multiple girls who are leaders, fighters, doctors. This is a show that's not afraid to show mass murder, mob justice, torture, but has never once shown anyone threatened by rape. This is a show with so many amazing, complicated, essential mother-daughter relationships.
And on top of that, it's a show with interesting moral dilemmas, that deals with those dilemmas in interesting ways. I think my favorite part, actually, is that women are always the decision makers when it comes to making hard choices. They're the strategists, the generals. They're the ones who bear the brunt of humanity's survival. Men do things, they act, they accomplish, but at the end of the day they're the affected, not the affecting.
One of the biggest questions, I think, this show keeps posing over and over, is about the price of war, about the attempt to view war or violence through a moral lens (good guys and bad guys), about the institutional and personal costs of conflict. In a way I think the show keeps showing humanity making decisions about who is and isn't disposable - is it our enemies? Is it the weakest members of our society? Is it the criminals? - and asking, who do we becomes when we make those decisions, how do those choices affect us, as a society and as individuals.
That's a very tall order for a teen show. And I wouldn't as madly in love with this show as I am if the questions weren't exploring the lives of so, so many women, and their mothers/daughters.
And of course, there's also the shipping. Honestly, by the end of S2 I'd take absolutely any permutation of the characters because they're all so well drawn and interesting and I love them all a lot. But my personal favorite is of course the couple who, according to the creator, are never getting together in canon. And the funny thing is - I LOVE that they won't get together in canon? Yes please, bring me all the platonic guy-girl co-leadership stuff, give me a man and a woman who are extremely emotionally intimate with each other but have zero sexual chemistry. GIVE ME ALL OF IT. But at the same time - I need to write like one billion words of filthy porn about these characters.
Basically, Clarke who is the strategist and Bellamy who's the tactician. Clarke and Bellamy who count on each other, trust each other, cherish each other. Clarke and Bellamy who are each other's best friend and confidant, who share the burden of saving the world and split the cost of it between them. Clarke and Bellamy who understand each other as only two colleagues in the loneliest job in the world could. I think my favorite thing about them is how much they trust each other to tell them the truth. To resist, to argue, to push. It's such a partnership of equals, there's so much CARE there, so much INTIMACY. They are each other's confessors and biggest fans and fiercest critics, all at the same time. EPIC! ( spoilers for S2 )
Relatedly, I have no idea if I'll actually do this but if anyone has The 100 fic prompts
for PWPs in particular, please talk to me. PLEASE. I need fic in this universe that isn't like, a coffeeshop AU, and I need it desperately.
Things I'm particularly fond of: Bellamy being sexually subservient, any kind of kink related exploration (humiliation! praise kink! medical kink! whatever), sex problems/troubleshooting, any prompt that is a scenario like "period sex" or "on patrol" or whatever rather than a single word/object.
Basically, any Clarke/Bellamy (or Clarke/Bellamy/Lexa) porny fics you've wanted to read? PLEASE TALK TO ME.