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Blue is the Warmest Color
This was a lot of graphic lesbian sex. The story bored me, but I was very attracted to Emma, especially when she was blond.

Breaking Bad
Watching this on Netflix with my sister. It's really good! Very exciting! We're a few episodes into Season 2, and I've been adding to the amusement by pretending that we are watching a movie about a bad student who has gotten a second chance at chem under the guidance of his tough but dedicated teacher. Sometimes we also pretend we're watching an episode of Malcolm in the Middle that parodies Breaking Bad.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
I watched only the first episode, and it was so full of fluff that I don't know if I'll continue. I hated the historical portion because the way it was narrated and voice acted, and the "man against all odds" tone of it, made it difficult to tell what was historical fact and what was straight fiction. Meng read up on the figure whose story was told in the first episode, too, and essentially said Cosmos had cherrypicked its facts to tell a very biased and misleading story.

Parks and Recreation
I'm partway through Season 2, and this show makes me happy. I'm not sure why so many people recommend against he first season. It's only six less-than-half-hour episodes, and they're not bad, though they're not as funny as Season 2. My first laugh out loud moment was during the first or second episode of Season 2, in which Ron has a hernia and throws a burger at himself.

Marvel 616
It took all year, but I've made it to 2005. I'm currently reading She-Hulk, The Pulse, and Astonishing X-Men, among others, and will be starting New Avengers, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Iron Man v4, and Captain America v5 soon. I really like this period of Marvel. Probably not as much as I'll like the 2010's, but it's such a drastic improvement on the 90's and I am so grateful for that.

My favorite series that I've read recently are Daredevil v2 by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev, which I'm still working on, and Uncanny X-Men v2 by Chuck Austen and various artists. Bendis and Maleev are such a perfect team for Daredevil, whom in this series is a dark, confused, lonely fuck-up. It's a crime noir character story recalls and improves upon the Frank Miller period with so much happening even when the page is standing still. It's one of my favorite comics of all time. I might love it more than Alias? (Although Alias is so important.)

Uncanny X-Men has been wonderful but also kind of terrible. I'm not ordinarily a fan of X-Men. I've never cared about Charles Xavier or Emma Frost or Nightcrawler or Rogue. But Chuck Austen's X-Men has a few things going for it. One is Northstar, who has always been one of my favorite Marvel characters. He is less of a dick in this series than he was in Alpha Flight but no less biting. He had a brief crush on Bobby, which was weird, but it was handled very well, with Northstar understanding that Bobby isn't interested in men and not pushing it. Another great character in this run is Annie, a nurse who fears mutants but has a mutant son and who befriends the X-Men, especially Northstar. She as a character raises a lot of interesting discussions about race; not cheap metaphors like the ones used in certain other X-Men series, but real, valid conversations. (Plus, she is Armenian. It's nice to have a person of color bring up these discussions, even if she is passing white.) But the subplot that has appealed to me most is the relationship between a young fish-mutant boy named Sammy Pare and his unlikely friend the Juggernaut. Sammy, like Cain, comes from an abusive household, and Cain tries to protect him, making a lot of mistakes along the way. It's such a heartbreaking story and I'm disappointed in how it ended, but mostly because I wanted to read that story forever.

Marvel Ultimateverse
The current phase of the Ultimateverse has been disappointing. After the Cataclysm crossover event, the universe relaunched with three series: Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man, All-New Ultimates, and Ultimate FF.

Spider-Man has been excellent. We're still exploring the question of whether Peter Parker is really back from the dead. I hope he isn't because his death meant something, and his continued death means something, and not just a nebulous "something" but specific statements about how the world could be and should be and statements about superhero comics and other things that I can articulate but don't want to right now because they're complicated. The point is that I believe very strongly that Peter Parker should remain dead.

All-New Ultimates is not the series I wanted it to be, nor the series I firmly believe it should have been. It features a team of teenagers. It ought to have been a teen series. Instead, it is a clearly adult series dealing with drugs and murdered boyfriends and featuring art that is clearly not meant to appeal to teens, and I'm just upset because it has such a great cast and could have been so much. It's ending after eight issues. Probably because it wasn't a teen series!!

Also, I can't be the only one who thought there was some clear flirting between Jessica and Lana pre-series, only to see it dropped as soon as the series began??

Ultimate FF is kind of a mess and was canceled after six issues. Welp.

There's supposed to be big news coming out of the Ultimateverse soon ("about six months," said Bendis in July), but I'm just kind of shocked and saddened by the current state of the line. It's looking like there's less and less reason for Marvel to keep the Ultimateverse around instead of just moving Miles into 616, which I would hate to have happen because I love the Ultimateverse for far more than Miles.

That big news had better be Ororo Munroe as the new Captain America, I'm just saying.

Ultimate Spider-Man
Julie and I marathoned more than twenty episodes of this in one pho-filled day to finish all of Season 1. I was very emotional about the Osborns, as can be expected. It was a peculiar experience for me because I'm familiar with so many Harry Osborn stories, including the main one on which the show is based, so it's interesting to see where it does and doesn't follow the comic(s). We were both in love with Ava Ayala and wanted more for Luke Cage. We both side-eyed Danny Rand's entire role. I also love both Aunt May and MJ in this show; the former is so lively and is in some ways an improvement on the already amazing and superheroic May Parker from the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, and I love love love the emphasis on MJ's journalistic ambitions. I wish they would get Gwen Stacy in there. Gotta figure out when I'm going to be free and have enough stamina for Season 2.

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September 2016

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