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Monday, Monday (or Go Read My New Blog)

Hi everyone!

As you may (or may not?) have noticed, this blog is no longer receiving updates.

But I’m not done writing by any means! Please check me out at my (kinda) new blog, The Monday Diaries. The topics there are just as random as they were here, maybe even moreso.

Hope to see ya there!

 

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5 Shows I’ve Watched: Losing a Sense of Community While Goofing Off in the Valley

April was a busy month, which meant I had little time to dedicate to television shows. (Or TV-on-the-Internet shows, if you will.) My May calendar, on the other hand, was much more open for nights of show binges, for better or worse. Here’s what I’ve been watching (or not, in one unfortunate case):

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Community Season 6 Checkpoint: A Tale of Two Characters

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Dean Pelton wonders why Chang is still on campus

Community’s sixth season is three episodes old. How has it been? Quite good, considering that a significant portion of the original ensemble is no longer around, among other circumstances. I wouldn’t rank it among the show’s glory run (mid-season one to season three), but it’s certainly streets ahead of the “Gas Leak Year” (season four). In fact, I’d say it’s on-par with the beginning of season five. I just hope season six doesn’t sputter to the finish line, like its predecessor did.

It may be too hasty for me to make a judgement call, seeing as we’re only three episodes deep right now, but two characters have already made strong impressions on me in season six, each for different reasons:

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My Official Goodbye to Glee

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Four years ago, I was alone in a hotel room in Kyoto. It was the day after an earthquake and tsunami had devastated northeastern Japan, only a few hundred miles away, and I wasn’t keen on sightseeing. I was longing for the comforts of home. I had been in contact with family and friends to let them know that I was okay, but brief phone calls and email tag could only bridge the gap so much from thousands of miles and twelve time zones away.

I had kept up with the news of the disaster constantly, making myself aware of the possibilities of potential aftershocks and/or nuclear fallout. It was informative, but also depressing. Instead of watching repeated footage of communities being washed away by nature’s fury, I sought an escape in the form of a popular television show from back in the States.

That was Glee: Season One.

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Community: Season-Before-The-Movie is coming! So why aren’t I excited?

Community Yahoo! St. Paddy is going to have to share the limelight this year. On March 17, Community, the sitcom that stars a lovable group of oddballs in a community college, is returning for a sixth season. If the hashtag prophecy is to be believed, this will be the final round of episodes before the eventual movie. Continue reading

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Writing About Stuff I Read: Speedrun: The Unauthorised History of Sonic the Hedgehog (Julian Hazeldine)

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Last week, I stumbled across a piece that called for the death of Sonic the Hedgehog. Author Mike Diver explained that a long spell of lackluster games — including the most recent (and purportedly unplayable) Sonic Boom for Wii U — are only tarnishing the reputation of the once-celebrated mascot of a once-prestigeous hardware/software company. Thus, Diver implored that the spiky blue character be euthanized posthaste, as a means of being spared from further humiliation.

Between the ages of ages six and ten, Sonic the Hedgehog was a significant part of my childhood. I owned most of the games for Genesis and Game Gear (and no, I wasn’t good at most of them), watched both animated cartoons religiously (although my preference was the lighthearted slapstick version over the darker SatAM show), collected the comic books, and even had an army of plush dolls. I (pretended I) could run fast and forced myself to like chili dogs, just like my virtual hero. I even went as far as creating my own Sonic the Hedgehog comics, complete with original characters, including a pink hedgehog called Sonia. (Sigh. Apologies to Amy Rose.) When I was in grade school, I got into an argument with a classmate who criticized me for not faithfully following Sonic canon in my homemade creations. (IT’S CALLED FAN FICTION, YOU PUNK.)

The last time I played a Sonic game in earnest had to have been Sonic Adventure for Dreamcast in the early 2000s. I have vivid memories of racing home to fire up the game after being dismissed early from school for midterms. (I didn’t fail any of those midterms. I think.) Beyond that, I picked up some of the handheld titles, such as Sonic Advance for Game Boy and Sonic Pocket Adventure for Neo-Geo Pocket (!!), but with minimal investment of my time. I have a vague recollection of playing Sonic Adventure 2. I think I liked it, but I was more fascinated by its soundtrack. Post-Dreamcast, I haven’t paid much attention to the ever-growing collection of Sonic games, but if the review snippets I’ve seen are any indication, I ain’t missing much.

Shortly after reading Mike Diver’s acerbic piece on the proposed fate of the world-famous hedgehog, by sheer coincidence my boyfriend surprised me with a thinking-of-you eBook: Julian Hazeldine’s Speedrun: The Unauthorised History of Sonic the Hedgehog. To cleanse my palate of the bitterness left by Diver’s article, I dove into this book immediately as a means of revisiting the glory days of Sonic, and remembering ever so fondly the days of my Sonic Youth. (Er, wait…)

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Sailor Moon Crystal: A Season Review (it did end, right?)

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One arc ends, another one begins — that’s Sailor Moon Crystal’s 14th episode done. So do we consider it a season finale, or would that be the episode before it, with all of that big, bad final battle buildup (that really led to the greatest battle to ever make my eyes glaze over)? Is it a season premiere, despite the fact that a new enemy and a key character were introduced with about five minutes left? Are they really doing “seasons” in the traditional sense of the term, or is it just one big lump of a show? What, really, is going on here, guys?

When Sailor Moon Crystal was announced, I was cautiously optimistic. I was in favor of the promise of closely following the original source material, Naoko Takeuchi’s beloved manga, in both story and character design. However, I wondered if a new anime adaptation was even necessary. I have a personal beef with this trend of “rebooting all of the things!” that’s plaguing the entertainment industry as it is. Although it was loaded with gratuitous filler (including the entire SuperS season, OH BURN), the 90s anime continues to attract new fans and remind established fans what drew them to it in the first place. (Viz obtaining the licensing rights to sub and re-dub the original series in English likely plays a huge role in this.)

After a litany of delays and a bi-to-tri-weekly broadcasting schedule, one season (or arc? storyline? thingie?) of Sailor Moon Crystal is finally in the books. Was it a pleasant surprise, a monumental disappointment, or “other” (somewhere in between)? I see you sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation, reader. Sit back and relax. You’re making me nervous.

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