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The family MCU watch-through is up to Infinity War

…it’s not a very organized watch-through, we’re not really going in order, except to the degree of “if Movie X contains spoilers for Movie Y, watch Movie Y first.”

As in, we started with Doctor Strange, since (a) it works just fine as a standalone and (b) it was one of the Top MCU Favorites among family members who actually have favorites. But my other top pick was Captain Marvel, so we’ve had to save that for after IW, and we had to save IW for after “everyone in the family has seen every preceding movie at least once.”

Had the same criteria for Age of Ultron, and then for Civil War (which, okay, that wasn’t hard, just had to watch Ant-Man in between).

Around that point, I had enough general MCU feelings to put together a whole “well, if I was in charge of the Phases” movie lineup. Like so:

Phase 2: same as IRL, but end it with Avengers: AoU

Phase 3:

  • Black Widow solo movie fits here
  • Wanda & Vision badly deserve a “how they first fell in love” adventure
  • Ant-Man (same as IRL)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 (same as IRL)
  • optional: pop Doctor Strange back here, purely for phase-length balance
  • ends with Avengers: Civil War (same as IRL, except we admit it’s an Avengers movie)

Phase 4:

  • GOTG vol 3, w/the Adam plot they cut from v2, plus “Gamora & Nebula get a whole movie of Awkward Sister Bonding”
  • everything left in IRL Phase 3
  • except that Avengers: Endgame is, uh, the End

Now Phases 1-4 = the Infinity Saga, and post-EG content (so far, WandaVision & Spider-Man: FFH) = the start of Phase 5.

And, well. Having rewatched through most of IRL Phase 3, I stand by all of this.

Especially the Wanda-and-Vision part. I remember the first time I watched IW, being so unmoved by their romance. (I was sad when Vision died, because it’s always sad when a likeable character dies — but not, you know, extra-sad on Wanda’s behalf.)  They only got, what, 2 scenes together? maybe 3? across all the preceding movies, and presumably a bunch of development happened since then, but it was all offscreen. IW just opens with “hey, update, they are In Love now” and, welp, you gotta roll with it.

Fast-forward to present day, I’m 8 episodes deep into WandaVision, these two have gotten so much screentime being visibly, palpably In Love, go back to rewatch IW and — that death scene had me in tears.

(These actors are so good. They absolutely sell the dynamic and the weight of feeling between these characters, in a way that resonates with later on-screen developments which at this point they don’t even know about, the scripts aren’t even a twinkle in Disney’s eye yet.)

Anyway, in conclusion, we were absolutely cheated out of a Wanda-and-Vision “adorable falling-in-love rom-com where the gimmick is that they’re superheroes” movie. And if Marvel ever considers doing a flashback to make one, the way they’re (finally) doing with Black Widow, I would be there with bells on.

Yuletide mostly-cheer

It started snowing on the night before Christmas, and kept going on-and-off ever since, so everything outside the window is carpeted with perfect winter scenery. Seeing as I don’t have anywhere to go, this has been great.

I got an absolutely heartwarming Yuletide fic, a new take on “Ozma decides to spend some time in Tip form”, featuring some quality Worried Dorothy and Protective Aunt Em:

Homecoming (6127 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Oz – L. Frank Baum
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorothy Gale/Princess Ozma
Characters: Princess Ozma, Dorothy Gale, Aunt Em
Additional Tags: Comfort, Genderqueer Character, genderqueer character misread as male, mentions of past emotional / physical abuse, aunt em has a bunch of unexamined gender and class biases
Summary:

A nice young person with experience on a farm comes to help Aunt Em with the chores for a celebration.
Meanwhile, Ozma isn’t in the Palace, and Dorothy goes looking for them.

More rec posts to come. I’ve been churning my way through all the promising-looking fandoms, trying to read everything in-the-moment instead of letting it disappear into marked For Later.

…with the exception of a bunch of Locked Tomb fics, because I’m still only 80% through Harrow the Ninth (the second novel), and any time I’ve looked at post-Harrow writing for more than 5 seconds I’ve been spoiled for something. (Fortunately, there are So Many wild and unpredictable twists that it’s turned out I was still unspoiled for most of them.)


On less fandom-y notes:

Half my family is being scrupulous and careful about COVID restrictions, and the other half is…not. I don’t know what to say. They’ve already had two scares (notable COVID-like symptoms that ended up testing negative), you’d think that would make them more cautious, not less. The hospitals are full of people who thought “oh, nothing bad will happen to me.” And by “full” I mean record-breaking cases, record-breaking deaths, “lining up beds in the hallways because all the rooms are occupied” full.

This Week In Virology had a good discussion of the new COVID variant that’s developed in the UK, including a breakdown of why it’s not likely to be more vaccine-resistant than any other variant. There is a serious chance it’s more transmissible, but even if that’s true, it’s not so transmissible that it can overcome all the usual measures — keeping distances, wearing masks, washing hands.

So we just have to stay serious about doing those.

Music recs: We The Kings, Wendy Matthews, Within Temptation

We The Kings: American alt-pop, full of earnest feelings, with just the lightest shiny glaze of fantastical imagery. (We The Kings playlist.)


Wendy Matthews: Clear, soulful, ’80s pop. The playlist gets pretty samey part of the way down, but there’s good stuff at the top. (Wendy Matthews playlist.)


Within Temptation: Gorgeous, epic, symphonic goth rock. (Plus some of those growly male vocals they love in goth-metal. Those tracks, I skip.) The soundtrack for your tormented hero’s fall into anguish, or your fantasy team-up’s desperate last-stand battle. (Within Temptation playlist.)

This first track is another of my Top Favorite Songs, Period:

Music recs: The Veronicas, Vienna Teng, Walk The Moon

The Veronicas: Australian electropop-punk. Lots of powerful, fiercely energized songs about intense yearning in all its phases — for a bad relationship to get better, a bad breakup to be forgiven, a good relationship not to blow up, a hot stranger to, ah, answer their thirst. The singers are identical twin sisters (neither one named Veronica). (The Veronicas playlist.)


Vienna Teng: Soft indie chamber pop. Her performance range goes from “a-capella singing group” to “clasically-trained pianist.” Unmatched at wistfulness. (Vienna Teng playlist.)

That last one is boundlessly joyful — don’t miss it.


WALK THE MOON: Ohio new-wave dance-rock. Energetic, offbeat, if neon lights were turned into music this is what they’d sound like. (Walk The Moon playlist.)