Midnight Texas

The first season of the show was fun enough. It had a cool setting with characters that slowly grew on me over the course of the season. So I was looking forwards to season 2. They sure kicked things up a few notches. It seems to be more violent, more emotional and hotter. There is a lot of safe-for-TV love making going on in season 2.

I like the characters in season 2. The new characters of Kai and Patience start out interesting. Kai is some kind of healer with actual powers and Patience is his lovely wife. And Kai is also up to something with a creepy head hidden away. Both of them are fun when they’re onscreen in different ways.

Still, there’s more going on than that. Each person around town has a new set of problems to solve. Fiji has a curse on her entire bloodline that keeps her from being with Bobo. Lem and Olivia are going through their life as a newly-married couple. And, unfortunately, Manfred is dealing with breaking up from Creek.

The various plots help flesh out the characters, some of them aren’t tied into the main plot. The season is fun. There’s much more going on while with a mysterious main plot happening in the background. Overall, the season seems to be more. More action, more magic, and lots more relationship drama. If you don’t want relationship drama, this might drag on.

When it comes to magic and monsters, this is still a fun show. There’s nothing that makes it stand out too much, though.

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Milly, Characters of Jathy

This time, it’s about some of the characters we meet in Jathy. First up, the talka. Tonzi¬†is the talka guide, taking Milly on his half of the quest. When I decided to have two guides, it seems to make sense to have two separate pieces to find and to have one of them be the guide to each.

Tonzi is the one that took Milly to the valley where they must find convince the local tribe to help them. He’s a friendly guy, moreso than some of his is fellow tribesmates.

The chief of the Shimmer Moon Tribe is Raerdu. I don’t have too much notes on him.

For the people of the valley, the Sand Keeper tribe, I wanted do show something different from the rest of the talka tribes. While the Sand Keeper tribe is generally suspicious of outsiders, they do try to be welcoming, especially to those that show good intentions.

On the kaafu side, the guide is Karik. So, when I decided to make two separate quests, I also decided to split up the guides. It just made things easier and to not have too many characters, especially since the guides were going to be arguing a lot if they were together.

Karik is friendly and helpful. He’s a bit more laid back out of the two.

The other major kaafu character is Jakwindo. I wanted to show another side of the kaafu, so he is an inventor. I also wanted to show that just because a race can fly naturally, they would still want machines to help them fly. He would be the steampunk inventor type of character. A haughty fellow that wants to show off his creations.

The last character I wanted to talk about is Ashar, the high priestess of the city. Now, this will be spoilers for people that haven’t read the book, so please go read it!

Anyway, when I had two separate races, of course you are going to wonder if they can crossbreed, and Ashar is the answer. While Ashar is special and the leader of a city, I wanted to show a lot of her insecurities as well. It’s not easy being the leader, especially if people only put you there because you’re special.

By using her separated aspects, I could show how she was feeling, the things she would hide when she had full control of her emotions. There is a lot of hurt and anger underneath her calm exterior.

At the end of the story, Ashar gets some support, so I hope she becomes a good leader for the first city with both talka and kaafu.

Mars

Whoa, a second season! I really liked the first season. This is a science fiction show about the first people on Mars. On the first season, the crew have found bacterial life and are now staying there. Season two opens up several years later where they have an entire town full of scientists and other support staff.

Season 2 is now about what happens when non-scientists want to go to Mars to exploit its resources. The format is similar to the first one where part of the episode is interviews with modern day people, and they relate what’s going on today to what the people on Mars is facing.

Now, there is conflict when not everyone has the same goals. This season feels more action-heavy compared to the last one, though still in a thougtful way. The miners, while they can be seen as antagonists, are really only people with different goals. They come into conflict with the scientists occasionally, but the two bases are still cordial with each other mostly.

It’s interesting seeing how the two get along. While the show represents the miners and the company behind them as not being in the right, they’re still likeable people mostly. The antagonist is mainly the CEO of the company behind the miners. He’s the one pushing them to go too hard and fast before they can properly get set up.

I still really enjoy the show because I hope to see people on Mars someday. The show presents a possbility of that happening, and it’s pretty cool. The sets look nice, and the outside shots are pretty great, too. The show gets my imagination flowing for a multi-planetary future while still relating issues back to things we’re facing today.

Maybe a season 3? Hmm?

Some spoiler thoughts.

One thing I think should be changed is having the engineer move to the miner’s town earlier. As it was in the season, he wasn’t there long enough to make the move feel like it had much of an impact at all.

Milly, People of Jathy

For a while, I decided that I wanted there to be two dominant races in Jathy. I tried to base them off common desert animals. One is a race of cat-people. The other is a race of bird people, more like falcons. While they weren’t originally going to be small, I think I like the direction with that. They are the small races of Bentas, being around children’s height. Still, both of them are quite strong.

The cat-people are the Talka. They live as nomadic tribes and are usually active at night. Everything they own is easy to pack up, pick up and move. They travel across the desert looking for supplies and water, though most of the tribes have certain routes they always follow. They even have animal pens to keep livestock.

Each tribe is like a small village that consists of a few families. There are around thirty to fifty people for each tribe.

Most of the tribe names are related to the skies above, but there is one tribe that isn’t nomadic, the Sand Keeper tribe. They live in a valley, and the valley gives them everything they need. They are the only tribe that is good at farming.

The other two named tribes are the Shimmer Moon Tribe and the Slippery Star Tribe.

The other major race in Jathy are the Kaafu, the bird-people. They are active during the day. They have great wingspans, especially when compared to their height. Each wing is around as tall as they are, maybe more. They mostly fly, but when on land, they prefer to hop around on sharp talons.

The kaafu live on top of mesas. They build small outposts with a lot of wooden towers. There are lots of places for them to perch, though it’s not that comfortable for anyone else. There are also swings that they use for fun.

The kaafu are mostly active during the day. They soar through the skies to hunt, but they also practice some farming. It’s not easy to farm in rock on top of the mesas, so they have certain spots on the ground nearby where they farm. It’s not a problem to them going up and down.

The kaafu mainly wear loose robes. They are firm enough not to snag on their wings or talons, but give good airflow and can block the sun.

Both the talka and kaafu enjoy wearing jewelry, though the talka use more bone and stones while the kaafu will use metal on occasion.

Next time, I’ll talk about the individual characters a bit more.

Milly and the City In Between

It’s finally here, for those that asked for it! (Which was none of you). But it’s time for my writing notes and thoughts on the fifth book in my NaNoWriMo series, Milly. This time, she is off to the Desert Province, and I am almost certain I spelled it wrong in the book. This one turned out a bit different than how I envisioned it, mostly due to the constraints of NaNoWriMo.

First, let me tell you what was the same. Jathy, the Desert province was always a place where there were two races. I was thinking a bit on Elder Scrolls 4, Oblivion when I made it, specifically the Shivering Isles. Of course, it’s not as dangerous, but I wanted a place where two races were in charge. In this case, they are the Talka and the Kaafu. The talka are cat people and they’re awake during the day. The Kaafu, on the other side, are bird people and they’re awake during the night. While they mostly don’t interact, I wanted the central conflict of the story to have something to do with the both of them. That’s why I had the grand city of Zhaba-Toru or Toru-Zhaba.

What changed. I think in my original notes, I had Jathy as being full of mirages, though I don’t think they played much of a part at all. I did want to throw in an oasis part and a buried temple part, though. Though not quite as grand, I wanted the buried temple part to be like having 1% or less visible above ground with a majority hidden away.

Another thing that changed was that originally, Milly was going to spend more time in the main city to figure out what was going on. To do that, though, I was going to have to write slower, since I needed to figure out what to investigate and how to lay out the clues. I couldn’t do that for NaNoWriMo, since I had to write at a certain pace. So I mainly had Milly and her friends exploring outside of the city.

I mainly cut out a lot of the getting to know the city part by turning the inhabitants into some sort of magical state where they were stuck in a loop. That gave me an easy way not to have Milly bothering with more long-term actions.

I think it turned out fine. It gave me a lot to do around the desert. I had a lot of cliche settings I wanted to show off. I know you might have seen them before, but I think they’re still great fun all the same.

Next time, I’ll get more into the people of Jathy as well as the city. Stay tuned!

Aquaman

Alright. Let’s do this. Arthur (Aquaman) is a bro jock throughout most of the movie with a some surprising history knowledge, but he mainly likes solving problems the direct way. It makes for a fun character and movie. Aquaman, the film, is fun, fantastical and full of great visuals. It’s the underwater Star Wars movie I didn’t know I wanted. (And I do know there was an underwater part in Star Wars).

This movie is pretty fun.¬†Arthur’s half-brother, Orm, is trying to start a war between Atlantis and the Surface world The scenes between Arthur and Mera are great. Mera is the one with all the goals and ideas, Arthur just wants to punch things. The two of them work together well and both learn things through the film. They are fun to watch together.

On the bad guys side, you have Black Manta and Orm. Both of them have some great scenes. While Black Manta isn’t in the film as much, he has a good amount of scenes and doesn’t linger to the point of being extraneous. Ocean Master has some good development, and he has great fight scenes with Arthur. I think both of them are great villains that match up against Aquaman in different ways. It’s great to see the difference in style of their action scenes.

There are several fantastic visuals in Aquaman. This is a fantasy movie with some technology elements. You have soldiers riding seahorses wielding laser rifles. It’s a cheesy kind of awesome. Then there is the trench scenes. That part was great. There are big, wonderful places everywhere in the film. The climax of the movie is really fun and fully shows off the underwater people.

This film tells a more light-hearted story that’s filled with jokes and quips, but there are a lot of serious moments there. It has an earnestness to the cheesy parts that make it work. Aquaman has a different tone compared to the previous DC Cinematic Universe movies, but it works really well and it builds a wonderful world all under the water. You won’t see any new side to superheroes here, but it is a lot of fun throughout.

Doctor Who

So this is the first time I’m watching Doctor Who. I have only the basic idea that the Doctor regenerates into a different person every so often. Then they go around in strange adventures with some regular people. It’s a science fiction show, but a lot of the stuff that happens just feels like magic. It’s a space fantasy.

Overall, this show feels half-baked. There are good ideas at the start, but the resolution is usually lacking. The only episode I felt that was good from start to finish was the one with Yaz’s grandmother. Things that were introduced earlier had meaning and there were twists that made sense. In the other episodes, things just sort of happen until they resolve.

It’s a shame the plots are so uneven. The cast is pretty good when they get a chance to shine. That, unfortunately, isn’t often, unless you are the Doctor. Now, I like the Doctor. She has some kind of joyful wonder. I like how she acts around all these situations. However, it’s tough to see her as clever when most of her ideas are just random things that might as well be magic.

As for the companions, it feels like there are too many of them. When they get some focus, all of them are great. But most of the time, they don’t and the episode struggles to find something for them to do. The problem comes from them not getting any better at adventuring with the Doctor. They always defer to her and don’t do anything unless the Doctor tells them to. It reminds me of a similar problem with the British Sherlock show. Unless you’re Sherlock, you’re not doing anything important.

It’s a shame how all of the great setup done by the first half of the episode is let down by the conclusion. Sometimes, it’s the message that’s unclear and confused. The episode is uncertain about what it wants to say. Other times, it’s just the solution is so snappy and out there that there’s no sense of tension or struggle.

The cast is good, and the Doctor is fun. The writing needs to be better, though. Also the Doctor’s companions need to be more competent so they don’t need to rely on her to come up with everything. I mean, one of them is a police officer (rookie), but nothing she does reminds me of that part. It’s a shame.