Posted in Books, Movies, Television, Theater

R.I.P. It or Ship It: Round 10

For round 10, I picked

Kyo Sohma from Fruits Basket
and
Mark Cohen from RENT

Background
Kyo Sohma can turn into a cat. That’s kind of his thing. If involuntarily turning into an adorable animal isn’t embarrassing enough, he’s an outcast in his own family, forced to spend the remainder of his life in a locked room.

Image result for kyo sohma true form
Mostly because this…happens…sometimes…

Mark Cohen hates paying rent almost as much as he hates the virus that keeps killing off his closest friends. He struggles to create while squatting with his best friend Roger in New York.

Art
Art is hard, guys.

The Couple
Kyo hates everything and everyone and expresses all emotions as poisonous rage.

Kyo gif
Our romantic lead, everyone.

Mark hates plenty – his parents, his job, Roger’s abandonment issues – but prefers to observe rather than engage. According to Roger, Mark uses art to numb his emotions so he doesn’t have to face them…ever. In fact, he only really brings up his feelings as a way to win arguments or push people away.

Blow off auntie Em

Two people actively pushing each other away? That screams health to me.

Maybe, despite all this, these two can work it out. The two have complementary personality traits: Kyo is loud, Mark is quiet; Kyo is aggressive, Mark is passive-aggressive; Kyo perceives constant rejection as a result of his family’s hatred, Mark experiences crushing loneliness despite group acceptance…

Now that I think about it, Mark has a lot in common with Yuki Sohma, Kyo’s canon rival.

How did that relationship work out again?

Adorable fighting
Oh.

Verdict: R.I.P. It

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Posted in Movies, Theater

R.I.P It or Ship It: Round 4

For round 4, I picked

Roger Davis from RENT
and
Queen Amidala from Star Wars

Background
If Roger Davis isn’t singing about his problems, he’s running away. Granted, he has depression, something I’ve only recently been able to appreciate. He sulks in his apartment. He worries about his lifespan. He picks out melodies on his untuned guitar. His most unforgivable sin results when he mocks his roommate Mark after the funeral of a mutual friend. Mark wishes all his friends would stop dying; Roger spits, “POOR BABY,” and moves to Santa Fe, leaving his best friend and his dying girlfriend behind.

tenor1
“It’s true.”

Naboo elected Queen Amidala when she was 14 years old for unknown reasons. While on the throne, Amidala navigated a siege, political intimidation, and a planet-wide war. She frequently switched places with one of her handmaidens, claiming safety concerns, though one suspects she just liked doing it.

Amidala
“Deal with it.”

The Couple
I’m not even going to fight for this one.

Roger’s depression has him resigned to death. He can’t confront intimacy – he can barely leave the house!

Roger Davis
Pictured: Roger’s contribution to the plot.

Queen Amidala would not have time for that. She is running a PLANET. Her people are under SIEGE. What would taking care of an emotionally volatile man do to her political career?

Anakin
…don’t answer that.

Verdict: R.I.P. IT

Posted in Books, Movies

R.I.P. It or Ship It

It’s time to ship some characters.

love stupid ships. When writing with friends, my go-to prompt is always, “Write the most unlikely couple you can think of.” I find this exercise fascinating even if they hate doing it. Some of my favorite ships have started as a joke; the more I laugh, the more sense the pairing makes.

So I played “R.I.P. It or Ship It” and the results were intense.

I picked 30 characters from 15 of my favorite franchises. To make things interesting, I picked a character I love from each franchise alongside a character I have more complicated feelings for.

Then I made some arbitrary rules:

  1. I tried to pick only 2 characters per franchise. (I may have cheated with “Star Wars.”)
  2. Any underage characters were aged up for the purposes of this game.
  3. Because I was more interested in dynamics than in canon potential, incompatible orientation was not a dealbreaker.

Here were the players:

The Lunar Chronicles
Jacin Clay (love) and Cress Darnell (loathe)

Harry Potter
Harry Potter (love) and Remus Lupin (loathe)

Fruits Basket
Kyo Sohma (love) and Shigure Sohma (dislike)

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Prince Zuko (love) and Princess Azula (despise)

Star Wars: New Trilogy
Kylo Ren (LOVE) and Admiral Hux (dislike)

Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy
Queen Amidala (like) and Anakin Skywalker (despise)

The Raven Cycle
Ronan Lynch (LOVE) and Adam Parrish (long story)

Northanger Abbey
Henry Tilney (LOVE) and Catherine Morland (resent)

Jane Austen’s Emma
Emma Woodhouse (like) and Harriet Smith (LOATHE)

You Know Me Well
Kate (like) and Ryan (DESPISE)

BBC’s The Musketeers
Porthos (LOVE) and Athos (LOATHE)

The Princess Diaries
Mia Thermopolis (like) and Lilly Moscovitz (loathe)

Tamora Pierce’s Tortall Universe
Alanna of Trebond (like) and Daine Sarrasri (despise)

Hamilton
Aaron Burr (love) and Alexander Hamilton (hate)

RENT
Mark Cohen (like) and Roger Davis (long story)

Thus occurred 15 rounds of romances so impossible they each deserve their own post.

Posted in Entertainment, Movies, Theater

MAKE-YOU-CRY MONDAY: “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” from Rent

So far, I’ve never attended a funeral.

Christian funerals have a different focus than others. Even the word “funeral” is avoided; many Christians prefer “celebration of life.” Because we believe the deceased person is better off in heaven and we will see them again, there’s an emphasis on joy rather than sadness.

I don’t disagree with that perspective, but it’s hard to imagine making that my reality. To lose someone–a friend, a lover, a brother–you love so much and then acknowledge it’s for the best seems impossible to me. Even knowing that person is in a better place, I would rather they were still here with me. That’s why watching “Rent” cuts me up (aside from the fact that it’s one big sobfest). No matter which version you watch, all of the characters want the same thing: they wish Angel was still alive.

Lucky for me, there are billions of versions of “I’ll Cover You (Reprise)” on Youtube. Today’s post came down to three: Jesse L. Martin’s rendition from the 2005 movie, Michael McElroy portrayal from the filmed Broadway play, and Michael Levesque’s version from a more recent production.

A lot of people didn’t like the film version, and I can see why–compared to the stage play, it comes off as restrained. It, however, has most of the original cast. Jesse L. Martin’s tremulous vocals and shots of the others crying are enough to get me–by this point in the film, I was weeping (though that was in large part due to “Without You,” the subject of a future post.)

I’m not in love with Michael McElroy as Collins, but I loved the other actors. Their voices got progressively shakier as they proceeded with the funeral, so much that I was crying before I even got to the song.

I found the ensemble cast in the last version less than impressive. When Michael Levesque started singing, I was first impressed that that voice was coming from that body. His voice cracked several times and he had trouble standing. Finally, near the end, he broke down completely.

It’s still a toss-up and I’ll probably change my mind later today, but for now I’ll go with the Broadway version because I can’t get past the intro without tearing up. If you have time, please check out the other versions. Jesse L. Martin is forever my favorite Collins.

Need cheering up?
Several songs were cut from the film version of “Rent,” so I had no idea this existed until I saw the Broadway version.

Pure chaos. Intricate harmonies. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. The best Roger I’ve ever heard. This is “Christmas Bells,” my favorite song.