Wednesday fic recs (Madoka Magica, She-Ra, Temeraire, Good Omens)

  • Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika | Nagisa, ensemble | T | booboo the fool
    Well, something’s wrong with Homura, Madoka and Sayaka are being rather ambiguously gay, Mami’s adopted a clown, and Kyoko is hungry as usual. In short, it’s just another day for your resident magical girl Nagisa Momoe.
    genfic,fic:one-shot,series:puella magi madoka magica,amazing

  • Good Omens | Aziraphale/Crowley, demon | T | damn.nation, now available on itunes
    When lowly tempt-pusher Amphora (formerly of Stairwell 7B North, before she Fell,) gets the notice that end times are nigh, she gleefully quits her job and cancels her Netflix subscription and takes her place among the legions of hell.

    This, it turns out, was a bad plan.
    series:good omens,trope:outsider.pov,pairing:crowley_aziraphale,fic:one-shot

  • Good Omens | Eric Legion, Aziraphale, Crowley, Anathema | T | Disposable
    Eric Legion, Hell’s punching bag, leads a horrible life. And with the failure of Armageddon, it looks like it’s never going to get any better. Unless, of course, he can get any help from the one demon ever to beat the system.

    He has absolutely no idea what to make of the angel.
    series:good omens,pairing:crowley_aziraphale,trope:outsider.pov,fic:chaptered,genfic

Wednesday fic recs (Good Omens, Murderbot, Leverage, Red Dwarf)

  • Good Omens | Crowley, Aziraphale | T | Whatever Road We Choose
    Technically, any being that had ever been an angel could have heard his call for help. He hadn’t had the time to secure the request. It was just…. He had been attacked by demons. Why would another demon intervene? They might have an Arrangement, but at the end of the day, they were on opposite sides. You didn’t rescue the Enemy. You especially didn’t rescue the Enemy from your own people.
    pairing:crowley_aziraphale,series:good omens,fic:chaptered,genfic,trope:hurt-comfort

  • Good Omens | Aziraphale/Crowley, new Antichrist | T | Point Four
    Because Crowley has a vexing habit of being right in matters such as these, the Glorious End does come exactly as he said it would—with Heaven and Hell joining forces to sack the Mortal Realm. And while most would probably have expected it to be inked into the Great Plan with grace and blood and tears, it’s actually typed, with clear bullet points and headings, in the font Papyrus.
    series:good omens,pairing:crowley_aziraphale,series:religion,fic:one-shot,trope:apocalypse

  • Good Omens | Crowley/Azirapahle | M | Love in All the Hollow Places
    Look, demons have issues, all right? It’s been a long six thousand years, and some needs don’t go away. They just get twisted up and turned around and tangled up tighter than someone’s first knitting project. Luckily, Crowley has Aziraphale to do some untangling.
    series:good omens,fic:one-shot,pairing:crowley_aziraphale,kink:bdsm,trope:hurt-comfort

  • Good Omens | Aziraphale/Crowley | T | Some strangeness in the proportion
    ‘I assume your punishment involved the destruction of the demon, but I am not aware of the details,’ says the Angel. ‘The description was redacted from your file and labelled “Highly Classified” with a red stamp.’
    series:good omens,pairing:crowley_aziraphale,trope:amnesia,fic:one-shot,trope:hurt-comfort

  • Good Omens | Crowley/Aziraphale | M | Duress
    “This court places the angel Aziraphale under the dominion of the demon Crawly until such a time as Crawly withdraws his claim, upon which the principality will be executed,” the demon said, with a wave of his hand and an air like Aziraphale’s fate didn’t matter so long as it was no longer weighing down his docket. “Next case.”
    pairing:crowley_aziraphale,series:good omens,fic:one-shot,kink:bdsm

  • Red Dwarf | Lister, Rimmer | G | Good Enough
    After their return from the mechanoid vessel, Rimmer sneaks off to the Observation Dome to brood and Lister decides to follow. Code to Siliconia.
    pairing:rimmer_lister,series:red dwarf,trope:hurt-comfort,genfic,fic:one-shot

  • Red Dwarf | George McIntyre | G | Last Man Standing
    The hardest moment in George McIntyre’s life had not, in fact, been his death. Nor was it the moment he was left standing in the Drive Room as the entire crew was killed by a radioactive explosion. No, the worst moment was a single word, uttered at his Welcome Back reception: “Speech!”
    trope:outsider.pov,fic:one-shot,genfic,series:red dwarf

  • Red Dwarf | Rimmer, brothers | M | No Reason to Scream
    When Arnold tells on his brothers to their father, John and the others decide to remind him of his place. Or, what if Rimmer’s brothers were truly terrible people who want their little brother to suffer?
    series:red dwarf,trope:hurt-comfort,trope:non-con,fic:one-shot,pairing:rimmer_brothers

  • Red Dwarf | Lister/Rimmer, Holly | G | The Silicon Place
    The Good Place AU

    “Human heaven? Goodness me! Humans don’t go to heaven! No, someone made that up to prevent you all from going nuts!”
    series:red dwarf,series:the good place,pairing:rimmer_lister,fic:one-shot,crossover

Music recs: Steve Perry, Superchick (who seriously need to be used for some Catradora fanvids), Tenth Avenue North

Steve Perry: Lead singer of Journey as a breakout soloist, whose work still has the vibe of soft ’70s prog rock well into the ’90s. (Not a bad thing. I like soft ’70s prog rock.) (Steve Perry playlist.)

Superchick: Girl-power rock, fingers perfectly on the pulse of the emotional turmoil of being a teenage girl. Unfortunately a Christian band, so some tracks are cringey and others have disquieting purity-culture stuff, but when they’re on, they’re on. Motivational in the face of everything from restrictive gender roles to toxic boyfriends to eating disorders to the general awfulness of high-school drama. (Superchick playlist.)

This first song is genuinely one of my absolute favorites — I don’t mean from this group, I mean, from music.

…and when I said someone needs to use them in a Catradora fanvid, these last two are the top tracks I was thinking of. She-Ra vidders, please, get on this.

Tenth Avenue North: Acoustic rock meets power pop. More overtly Christian, so, uh, maybe don’t watch the videos. The nonspecific lyrics still make amazing hurt/comfort anthems — and/or odes to your favorite god-tier character. (Tenth Avenue North playlist.)

This first one, for instance? 100% a Madokami theme song.

Music recs: Roxette, Sarah Brightman, Savage Garden

Been a while since I’ve done a roundup of musical recommendations. But, listen, music makes us braver, so it seemed like a fair time to jump back in.

Roxette: Swedish ’80s power pop/rock. Heartfelt female vocals, from sugary pop to resounding ’80s power ballads. (Roxette playlist.)

Sarah Brightman: Classical soprano. I feel like most of her recordings are from multilingual opera or musicals (she was married to Andrew Lloyd Webber for a while), but I’m mostly here for her crossover into operatic pop. Her live shows are about the spectacle — lush costumes, weird sets, elaborate light effects — as much as the songs. (Sarah Brightman playlist.)

Savage Garden: Australian ’90s soft rock. They went from “bonkers heights of mainstream popularity” to “nobody even brings them up anymore,” which, I get it, they’re not exactly groundbreaking or innovative, just warm and sweet in a comfortingly consistent way. But they did use their platform to release a pro-queer-polyamory song, and let me remind you this was in the ’90s, so give them a little credit. (Savage Garden playlist.)

Erin Watches: The Resident season 3; The Good Doctor seasons 1-3; Carol’s Second Act season 1

Nothing like a bunch of hospital shows to fill your quarantine media-watching needs…

The Resident

You know how in some medical procedurals, half the conflict is from the characters’ romantic drama? Well, in this one half of it is from medical abuse, corruption, over-the-top unethical schemes, and general shadiness.

Just finished season 3. The writers are trying a little too hard to make a couple of those shady characters feel sympathetic, without substantially changing their behavior. But in general, it’s been good.

Production of the last few episodes was cut short by COVID-19, so they did some hasty shuffling to turn episode 20 into a reasonable finale. At least the case-of-the-week was appropriately dramatic, and creepily timely — it’s the back half of a 2-parter about [how unethical medical exploitation led to] a super-infectious fungus propagating in the hospital, and the perpetrators scrambling to cover it up before anyone with a conscience notices.

The writers even managed to slip in a couple last-minute lines like “at least it’s not airborne like the coronavirus.” Per the producer: “The way we were handling the superbug is very different from the way that you would handle a virus like COVID-19. We wanted to make sure the audience didn’t get those two confused, because it would have made us, as storytellers, look irresponsible.”

I wonder if, when the pandemic recedes enough that they can start filming season 4, they’ll set it during the outbreak? Or will they do a time-skip to the aftermath?

I’m wondering this about a lot of medical shows, tbh. But this is the only one I’ve seen where they managed to reference it in-universe before going dark.

The Good Doctor

This is the one with the super-anvilicious trailers, characters yelling “Do you REALLY think he can be a surgeon when he has…AUTISM?!?!”

And the first few episodes were about as bad as you’d expect, based on that! But then it settled into a groove, chilled out about the main character, and I made it through all 3 seasons on streaming.

There were a few deeply off-putting episodes, but they were basically isolated incidents, not ongoing plotlines. The standouts:

  • A patient is a mute kid who signs, so everyone repeatedly conflates “nonverbal communication” (the kind without words) with “sign language” (which is language, as complex as any spoken language, with words and everything!)
  • A 17-year-old trans girl, brought in with complications that turns out to be caused by her puberty-blockers, so she wants to skip straight to a double testectomy. Her parents are generally supportive of her gender, but don’t consent to this because it’s “a permanent change” that she’s “too young to decide to make”, never mind that the physical changes brought on by puberty are also a permanent change and they’re deciding to force it on her, and the doctors end up not doing it, and everyone’s insufferably smug about how it’s for her own good
  • (note to the parents: your daughter will always remember this as the moment when she learned that, no matter how much you profess to love and support her, she can’t actually trust you with anything important)
  • In a separate episode, a teenage cis girl comes in with a fake ID to get genital surgery without her parents’ consent, and, guess what, the doctors move heaven and earth to sidestep the rules and make it happen
  • In another separate episode, a cis man comes in with complications that turn out to be from taking estrogen, and wants a testectomy as an alternative — the reason he’s trying to crater his libido is because, although he’s never acted on it, he’s physically attracted to kids — and the physicians won’t do that either! He’s an adult, he gives his full consent, but they want him to go through a 3-month psych evaluation (you know, just to confirm that he’s sure he wants to stop being aroused by children??), and, long story short, he unsuccessfully hurts himself and then successfully jumps in front of a bus. Exactly one (1) doctor feels any kind of regret about this, while another outright says “eh, the world’s probably better off this way”
  • (you know what would really make the world better, is if doctors heard “I want to volunteer for a treatment that unequivocally helps prevent child abuse” and went “hot diggity dog, we love preventing child abuse, get this patient to the ER, there’s not a moment to lose!”)
  • …So that’s not exactly an isolated incident, it’s a pattern of the show being convinced that “ability to produce sperm” is more important than anything else, including patient wishes, mental health, child safety, and human life

…Put all together like that, it sounds pretty awful, but this was spaced out over 56 episodes and there was a lot of more-palatable stuff in between!

Including things like “an alt-right radio host comes in with a ton of conspiracy theories about how he’s been poisoned, then it turns out he’s been sent to the hospital by his own brand of unregulated supplements.”

Until the end of s3, when the writers jump right off the MRA cliff. Our hero’s girlfriend dumps him because “you’re obviously in love with Woman #2, and you should tell her” (okay, this is part of another pattern, where characters chronically insist on contradicting the autistic guy about what his own feelings are), Woman #2 turns him down (as she’s already done earlier in the series), and he fixates on “women only want to date men who are tall, handsome, and neurotypical.” (Note: he’s only ever wanted to date women who are thin, beautiful, and neurotypical.)

Aaaaand then there’s a whole thing with a patient’s girlfriend finding out he’s been cheating and taking a golf club to his car, which inspires the main character to show up at Woman #2’s home with a blunt object, visibly agitated, and tell her “I want to smash your car. I want to hurt you the way you hurt me.” And her reaction isn’t “I’m calling the cops now”, it’s “I’m sorry.”

Two episodes after that…in spite of a pep talk from a patient who reminds him that he can find love in many places, he doesn’t have to fixate on a specific person who doesn’t even return his feelings…Woman #2 is kissing him and telling him how stupid she was for not agreeing to go out with him.


And the writers had previously spent so much time developing their dynamic as “a man and a woman can have a platonic friendship that’s healthy and loving and supportive”! I would’ve been disappointed no matter how they made it romantic, but might’ve kept watching, annoyed-but-not-surprised, if they’d done it another way. Like this, though? Hard no. I’m out.

Carol’s Second Act

Okay, gonna end the post on a lighter note. I haven’t seen the whole season — “which episodes are available for streaming” has been patchy and incomplete — but what I’ve seen is adorable.

It’s a sitcom about a schoolteacher who made a late-in-life career switch, so now she’s a medical intern, in a class of other interns who are young enough to be her kids. (Her actual kid, a pharma rep, shows up a few times too.) So there’s generation-gap humor, and “folksy teacher wisdom is surprisingly applicable to medical issues” humor, and Mom Jokes, and hospital-type workplace jokes, and it’s just absolutely charming.

You can tell they have a sitcom budget, not a network-drama budget. At least the rooms look like they’re in hospitals, not “a bedroom with white walls and one character wearing a stethoscope” — but they’re still low-res versions of the equivalent rooms in another show, and you can tell which part of the set is the fourth wall. Cases-of-the-week don’t involve anything too visually elaborate. Definitely no “close-up shots of the doctor’s hands mid-surgery.”

And, you know, they don’t go for horrible complications or tragic deaths. It’s not one of those shows where the setting is completely incidental — the writers have put some actual effort into medical details, there are plotlines about symptoms and diagnoses and treatments alongside “someone accidentally ate the senior resident’s lunch” or “one of the interns is secretly doing standup and the gang goes to watch her set.” But the tension in the patients’ cases isn’t “will they die horribly at the end of it,” and, sure enough…they don’t.

(Granted, since I haven’t seen the whole season, I can’t guarantee it’s not another “season finale takes a disappointing dive” show. I sure hope not. Either way, nobody spoil me.)

So if you generally like hospital procedurals, but right now you’ve maxed out your limit on stories about medical tragedies? This is the cheerful and uplifting version. Highly recommended.