Galavant, Season Finale

Galavant is a musical comedy extravaganza! Their words, might be paraphrased, I can’t remember. But I do agree with that phrase. I enjoy musicals and comedies so of course I dove right into this.

Gaaaaa-laaaaa-vaaaaant!

Ahem, Galvant stars the knight known as Galavant, of course. His beloved Madalena has been captured by the evil King Richard. So of course he tries to save her. And that’s where everything stars diverting from traditional stories for a humorous and clever twist. For one, Madalena turns out to prefer a life of luxury to true love and King Richard is pretty ineffective at doing things himself.

The plot then kicks off one year later with Galavant riding to Madalena’s rescue after receiving word that she regrets her decision. Of course it’s all a trap by the King. So in some regards he shows pretty good smarts for how Galavant would act.

The story goes through Galavant, his squire, and the Princess leading Galavant into the trap. They meet many strange people and have odd situations. All set to some fun and catchy tunes. As a comedy, they play the musical angle from every way from people joining in to people wondering why people are singing. It happens enough to keep it fresh and funny without being tired. Oh, and most of the songs are some of the cheeriest tunes about death and sickness I’ve heard.

And it helps that the plot is pretty great even without the music aspect. There are many cute and quirky side-characters that play well with the main characters. A few of them even evolve to be more than just joke characters, which I really liked. And the guest stars all chew up any scene they are in to great effect.

The main characters are all great. Galavant is charming with just the right touch of jerkishness. His squire has a sort of reverent while snarky attitude. And the King is just adorable making you forget all about the atrocities he’s done. He wants to try and be a good king, but he is just not thinking far enough ahead for that. Madalena and Princess Isabella contrast greatly. But my favorite of all would have to be Gareth, the King’s personal guard. He gets some great scenes all throughout the series. A real manly funny-serious man.

Time to go into some more spoiler-y thoughts on the plot development, so stop here if you want to have the musical magic for yourself.

Now then, despite being Galavant’s story, he actually does nothing to move the plot along. I mean, even at the end, he does nothing. All of his development over the course of the series seems to be for nothing. But with such a cliffhanger ending and the promise of a season two, I hope they deliver on one. It had better not be one of those joke cliffhangers. The characters and relationships are much too likeable and well-written for that.

Yeah, the ending seems far too well thought out for just a joke, so I’m hoping for more Galavant! That main tune just gets stuck in my head.

Milly, the World of Benavill

This time, I will be going into my thoughts and design notes about the world of Benavill. For one, I do sort of regret the name. It’s too long and a mishmash of words. Oz is a nice and short name. Wonderland is made up of two well-known worlds. Benavill just kinda sounds like a medicine. What I was going for was Bien, meaning good, and vill a short of village. So Good Village, which makes no sense and Benavill is a collection of eight provinces.

Speaking of the provinces, boy do I have to try and avoid speaking about them. Yet I couldn’t help but indulge in the first book to list all eight of them. But I try not to talk about provinces that are not central to the story as a way to keep the amount of strange fantasy words one needs to keep in mind to a minimum.

I decided to have eight separate provinces because I wanted a wide variety to landscapes and creatures. Having a clear separation for each of them allowed me to throw what I want into each one without regard for ecosystems of other provinces or why temperatures are so different. It’s magic. I don’t have to explain poo.

In the backstory, three sisters uses giant threads to hold the eight provinces together. Originally, I sort of modeled them based on the Fates that weave, deal out and cut the thread, which was why it’s like that. I don’t know if that will be the case in the future, though.

Sometimes I think it would be better to cut out the strange names and just go with normal descriptors of the region, such as Forest Province for Lillilin. But I also like giving things names and like differentiating different places by name. I just worry that since this is meant for a younger audience, it would be too overwhelming. I even have a ninth province which is the Wizard city in the middle of the other 8. Aretto is both the name of the city and the province. Not good for lessening confusion.

Next time, I’ll go into individual provinces in detail!

Also, since I already named all of the provinces, I’ll list them out here.

Swamp Province: Herghkl. Located in the northwest.

Sky Province*: Raltia. Located in the north.

Forest Province: Lillilin. Locted in the west.

Cliff Province*: Balab. Located in the southeast.

Night Province*: Murt. Located in the southwest

Mountain Province: Dorr. Located in the South

Snow Province*: Vias. Located in the East

??? Province*: Jathy. Located in the northeast

Things labeled with a * are not final and might change.

The Librarians, Season Finale

The Librarians, a show about a group of people who save the world every week from the forces of wild magic and other dangers. The series spran forth from a trilogy of movies. I had not watched them before, but because they were coming out with the TV series, they ran all three movies on TV for me to catch up on. It was a campy fun magical adventure. And that also describes the series.

The main heroes are called librarians because they use their smarts and wits to win battles more than strength. They have gaurdians for that part. And the series opens with the return of magic to the world. That means a lot more problems, more than one Librarian can handle. Now there’s a team of them!

The funnest part of any team is how they interact, not only with each other but how each one will interact with the same situation differently. This show captures the wit and quirks of each character from the brainy Cassandra to the guardian weary about all the antics Eve. All characters work well together or apart and are fun to watch.

Fun. That is the main point of the show. It gives out an interesting magical case every episode while giving each character a share of development. The episodes all take a spin at some well-known historical artifact or story while putting wacky twists on them such as a seventh-dimensional Minotaur labyrinth. I don’t even know what that means, but it’s cool.

And the final episode of the season was really good. It surprised me just how much it tied every episdoe together. Pretty much everything that happened previously is imporant in some way to the final episode happening, and that was great! I was watching one arc of a story and didn’t even know it.

If you’re looking for a magical adventure that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still knows how to drop some emotional moments, this would be it.

Milly, Design Notes

It’s been a while since I wrote I would put out some of my thoughts and design notes for Milly, so I’m going to do it now. Milly is a story that I came up with about one week before Nanowrimo. I got the idea after watching the Wizard of Oz on television. So the story of Milly is the girl gets whisked away to a magical and strange land tale.

I know Nanowrimo suggests planning things out, writing outlines and all that stuff. But I wanted to do a sort of improv writing with it. I also decided to do this book in first person because I’ve never done so before. Boy do I accidentally switch between first and third person at random when going back to my third person stories.

Though that was only for the first book. For the second book, I had an entire year to think about what could happen. I still don’t have outlines or a plan, but I do know where I want to take the story now. Looking at the pattern in the second book, you probably can, too.

Now then, I’ll round out this first design notes with the character of Milly!

I don’t mention it outright, but Milly is Australian that lives in Australia. I am not sure why I did that. She has a light accent, but due to watching a lot of American cartoons, she only uses the Australian slang when wanting to be sarcastic. For the second book, that trait dropped way down because I didn’t feel like researching Australian slang again.

Milly is adopted and her adoptive parents are the nice, kind ones. They are unable to concieve so that’s why they have three adopted children. I don’t know why, but I feel like the youngest of the three kids is named Colin.

I do have more backstory to give for Milly if I can figure out how to do it. Writing an eleven, or was it twelve? year old girl in first person is tough. I hope it’s not too unbelievable. I have no idea how young people talk nowadays. Those whippersnappers. That’s pretty much why she speaks more calmly. In story, I attribute it to her needing to move around a lot so she doesn’t have many friends her own age. Also, she is more independant, preferring to stay outside by herself.

Next time, whenever that happens, I will talke about the magical world Milly got whisked away to!

White Collar Series Finale

Ah, another show come to an end. This time, it is White Collar. The show is about conman Neal Cafrey and his deal with the FBI. Work for the FBI, and he won’t have to spend his time in jail. He might even get early release for good work. His handler is of course the man that caught him, Peter Burke. The show focuses on white collar crime, hence the name.

The criminals are mostly con artists, forgers, thieves and embezzlers. The target is usually a lot of money or some valuable artifact. Peter and Neal rely a lot on smarts and Neal’s abilities to catch criminals. There’s undercover work, tricking the villains and good old fashioned arresting.

The most compelling part of the show is the relationship between Neal and Peter. Peter wants Neal to reform and become a good member of society while Neal struggles with the fact that being a conman is what he is. Even with all of the criminals around, there is always a sense of Neal versus Peter. Neal usually has some tricks each season, and Peter is always on the lookout for any signs of something not right.

A fun collection of side-characters makes things fun. Mozzie is highly enjoyable in his distrust of the government, yet he becomes great friends with Peter’s wife. His unique view on life is always fun to watch.

And speaking of Peter’s wife, Elizabeth, the writers were smart not to make her a complete killjoy. She likes both Neal and Mozzie and accepts certain risks with her husband’s job. She is not a major source of drama nor does she get in the way of the cases. At times, she’s more than willing to help them. It makes her enjoyable and refreshing.

The last season was short, with the main villain not being all that threatening. But it’s the returning villain that really causes the conflict. It was the final game between Neal and Peter, as well.

The series has fun writing and cases that rely more on wit and charm to solve rather than straight investigation. It plays to those strengths well with the cast. Neal is suitably charismatic in all situations, and his struggles with what he wants is the major conflict of the story. The other characters are all fun to watch, as well.

For some high-class conmanship, give this a look.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Yep, this is a bit late. I was debating on whether to put it out on the normally scheduled Tuesdays or not, but I already have stuff planned on Tuesdays. And putting it off for too long would just make it weird.

What are my New Years resolutions? Eh. I have none. I doubt I’d keep them. I do have plans, however, and most of that involves writing. For one, I am about 50% done with Feast of the End, Book 3! Note that it is a rough estimate based on word length and not actual progress in plot. It might be lower or more depending on how much I write.

Yeah, that’s actually a bit slow, but I got sidetracked by Nanowrimo and then other writing projects. But I’m ready to start again! The only thing is that after a long time, I got to pick up the tone and direction of the story. Sometimes, that’s not easy. I also have to remember who knows what and is doing what when. How? Where, who.

I am excited to conclude the story on Selaf. Though I went with the old-time huge world-shattering event thing. Ugh, it just got so big. I think I’ve mentioned before, but there is more to the world’s story that I want to do, but I am definitely going to take a break and work on other things afterwards. I just have too many ideas and not enough time to get them all down.

Mm, so many different genres and stories to make. Feast of the End is actually a bit of a departure. It’s much more serious whereas I tend to write with a lot of jokes and wordplay. Even in the more lighthearted moments in Feast of the End, there was little of that. I want to try to write a darker, grimmer story. I don’t know if that’s me, and I can’t stomach bad things happening to my characters, but I do want to try. Maybe it won’t be totally grim. But it should be a fun experience all the same.

Here’s to another year of writing!

Into the Woods

Into the Woods, the film version! I have not seen the theater version, so my views will not be based around that. From interviews with the cast, I knew there was a bit of music in it. The film turned out to be a full-on dark musical. And yes, this film is dark. It’s a lot more based on original fairy tales rather than the recent children versions.

Be wary of mild spoilers!

That means I would not recomment taking kids to the film. They would also need to know at least the stories of four separate fairy tales just to understand why some of the things are happening as the events are based on the Grimms brothers version rather than later adaptions. Either way, probably a bit dark for the kids.

The film is called Into the Woods and boy do they spend a lot of time in the woods. It’s not the pleasant kind of woods. You got fifties gangster wolves (the big bad wolf) and it’s not really a bright place. Little Red Riding Hood’s red hood is singly the most colorful thing in the film, almost unnaturally so when compared to the rest.

Being a musical, the music in the film is great. They don’t do an overblown dance number, opting more for natural actions while singing. I enjoyed all of the actors and their singing. I know from interviews that some of the songs weren’t live, but it’s still good. The way they act and move is a bit reminscent of stage theater. There is a dramatic flair to a lot of things that add to the fairy feel of the movie.

The first act goes on much like a normal fairy tale, with happy endings all around. The songs are humerous with the characters doing all sorts of crazy stuff during them.

Oh, notice how I said first act? Happy ending? I was lying. It is a happy middling. Stuff starts going down later on that brings the story out of fairy tale mode and into real life mode. I won’t go into it too much, but it’s safe to say that the second part is the dark part of the movie.

While the second part might seem like an entirely too-long, I think it’s needed. Otherwise the story would be too much like just another mash-up of different stories. It’s the second part that gives it the difference and memorability.

The main character all shows some great singing, and the film is (apparently) still lighter than the original theater production. If you want a musical, this film will greatly fill that desire. If you want some dark, twisting intersecting fairy tales, this will also do that. (Though twisting intersecting fairy tales seem to be all the rage). There’s a bit of realism about this one that makes it memorable.