thinking about baby hawkeye and hawkeye’s mom and scenes that couldn’t make it into maple syrup
“Ben’s asked me to take him to the museum after school every single day for a month,” Hannah says one night after she’s slipped into bed with her reading glasses on.
“I don’t mind,” she explains quickly. “It’s not a long drive.” She takes her glasses off and smiles. “I actually think it’s kind of... interesting. Kind of... I don’t know.” Her smile expands by the second. “I think he’s trying to see everything. Like, I think he’s trying to learn the whole thing.”
“I mean, how many seven year olds you know you want to read every single plaque at the art museum?”
“Not many,” Daniel concedes. He props himself farther up. “So... so he likes the museum. That’s all right.”
“That’s what I figure. When he gets tired of it– if he gets tired of it– I’ll try and take him to the library. Maybe he’ll try to read every book.”
“Now that’s something I’d like to see.”
“I– I like him!” Hannah, says, putting her book aside entirely. “I don’t– I mean– I love him, he’s our son, I’d love him no matter what, but Dan, I like him! I think he’s really charming. Is that– is that weird?”
“No, I don’t think so. I like him, too. Guess it works out we didn’t keep the receipt.”
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Word of Honor - thoughts on the drama vs. the novel
Props to the screen writer of WoH for making it so much more than the source material. The drama is a huge elevation of the story and characters compared to the novel. The drama provided greater depth and likeability for the characters and story, and developed the relationships far more than the novel did.
Even though the drama is censored, I enjoyed WenZhou's relationship far more in the drama. Their relationships blossoms beautifully throughout. They are flirtatious and tender, and their deep connection, love and care is evident from early on. And the chemistry between the actors is just so amazing. The screen writer also makes great use of poetry to express their love. This all just created a wonderful romance which outshone the novel. The only thing really missing in the drama is for WenZhou to outright say "I love you". But there was almost no need because they were already saying it in every other way possible.
The drama also gave me the found family dynamic I crave. I was a little surprised that novel Chengling isn't as close to Wei Kexing as he is in the drama. There is also a bit more distance in Zhou Zishu and Chengling's relationship, with it feeling more like a teacher/student relationship. A-Xiang and Wei Kexing's relationship is pretty similar between the drama and novel, but Zhou Zishu and A-Xiang's relationship is sweeter in the drama. For A-Xiang and Cao Weining we get to see them fall in love in the drama. In the book it's love at first sight for Cao Weining, but we don't get to see how A-Xiang falls for him.
In the drama, they all truly acted like a family and they refer to each other as such. It was also so sweet that Chenling's daughter's name means in memory of A-Xiang, showing he truly viewed her as his older sister. The drama also made Wei Kexing and Ye Baiyi's antagonist relationship so much funnier. Ye Baiyi really felt like the grumpy grandpa with the trio.
Additionally, I really liked the changes they made to the characters overall. The novel never delves much into the secondary characters, thereby never allowing the reader to develop any real feelings towards them. On the other hand, the screen writer took the time to dwell on the secondary characters and make them more intriguing and interesting. They also introduced some interesting dynamics between certain characters which I loved. This is especially true of the Scorpion King, Liu Qianqiao and Tragicomic Ghost.
Overall, the novel is good, but I wouldn't recommend it. It took me a weekend to read so it's not too long, but it's vastly different from the drama.
I had hoped for happier endings for the secondary characters as we actually got to like a lot of them. But even though it was devastating, climaxing the story at the wedding was a great change. It gave us an illusion of a happy ending before shattering everything. Though it made me cry, it was one of my favourite episodes. Which I can’t say for the finale. The finale felt rushed and they seemed to just cram in a lot of things without proper build-up. And that ending… I’m just thankful for the special episode.
Overall, WoH was such a wonderful surprise. I had just finished The Untamed and did not expect much when I watched WoH on a whim. I certainly didn’t expect to fall in love with the story and characters. It’s only a shame I caught everything at the end.
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Logging in briefly to drop thoughts on Shadow & Bone:
1.) The word building is pretty good. The Fold is a nice, big, scary problem driving the main conflict.
2.) I can see why they combined the two series because, uh, Mal and Alina are pretty boring, aren’t they? Lol. The Darkling is definitely the stand out character from the trilogy, and if Kaz and crew weren’t there, you can see how boring it would be once he goes ~over the line.~
Which is like...why? Why not have the obvious — and actually meaningful for once — love triangle? Why not a redemption plot line, especially after showing us a fifteen minute backstory of how completely fucked up Aleksander’s backstory is? (Notice how he had to be flattened and dumbed down shortly after.) It would certainly have made Alina a far more interesting character. Completely unsurprising Darklina dominates the fanfiction. Kind of a shame Netflix wasn’t willing to diverge from the primary material a little more because it probably would have made the story stronger and more nuanced.
Literally guys, if you could just switch the villain/heroine storyline dynamic for S&B and the Star Wars sequels, it would vastly improve both stories, right?
3.) Goddamn Ben Barnes is so hot. The rest of the cast is more in the cute territory to me, but Inej’s actress is also bangin’.
4.) Mal and Alina are kind of terrible friends. I guess it’s supposed to be romantic that they’re each other’s “true north,” but they racked up quite a body count getting back to each other with their dumfuckery, didn’t they? Those poor cartographers.
5.) I find it bizarre how many writers want to write characters like Danaerys and the Darkling being driven to extremism or madness by the horror of their experiences but don’t want to explore the nuances of what it says about generational trauma or the world they inhabit. We can’t just keep writing villains and heroes who use violence to solve problems and only creating a nebulous moral reasoning as to why the latter is to be celebrated for it while the former is not.
Like...how do you watch that backstory in episode 7 and think it flattens Aleksander as a character? He represents a people who have been on the wrong side of genocide for literally centuries, both from internal and external enemies. He’s already tried serving the crown to get respite and lost everything for it. Their enemies to the north want to wipe them out, too. The only reason they have any protection now is because Aleksander carved out a space and weaponized them. He’s literally the only one doing anything! His own mother wanted him to leave the rest of the Grisha to die! He’s not wrong to think he and the rest of the Grisha are in danger if they aren’t in power.
It’s just...vaguely uncomfortable to continually see traumatized, nuanced characters turned into villains and then not letting any of the moral complexity that turned into extremists touch the heroes, too. The big obvious elephant in the room is that The Fold is being carted around as the way he could have brought the world to respect Grisha by using his power alongside Alina. Fine, but the story doesn’t examine two huge issues there: 1.) He had to create The Fold in the first place to make something big enough to make the statement of Grisha power, so essentially making the world embrace Grisha requires them to fear their power (“Make me your villain”) first before they can be amazed by it, 2.) you just showed us in ep. 7 that he had no reason to believe that destroying the Fold would ensure Grisha safety! The king’s already betrayed them once! (For that matter, character complaint here: why doesn’t he bring up Alina’s Shu heritage as an appeal to knowing being different makes you a target for danger?? Why doesn’t she make that connection??)
Just so bizarre to me how you can miss the real core of what’s interesting in the story.
6.) This is of course me telling you I’m total Darklina trash. Aesthetics, baby.
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