Monthly Archives: August 2016

YouTube Red Review

After installing YouTube music on my phone hoping for convenience to listen to music without having to keep the YouTube app open I accidentally activated a free trial to YouTube Red. Something that wasn’t mentioned for YouTube music commercials was the need to activate the YouTube Red app.

After making sure that I wouldn’t be charged if I didn’t deactivate the account in time I figured I would give it a shot. First let me say that two weeks isn’t really enough time to fully use YouTube Red beyond what was my original intentions of installing YouTube music. I had seen promotional commercials for YouTube Red with Prank Academy as one of it’s main shows. I had brushed it off as “eh” because I have no problem sitting through commercials. Looking at the quality of  content based off of commercials it reminded me of the (now dead) website take180.com where tv shows were made that were usually 180 seconds. Sadly as stated earlier take180 was axed by Disney and as a final nail in the coffin ALL of it’s content has been removed from the internet.

I will say it was a shockingly pleasant experience using YouTube Red; it was just a small relief not to hear any commercials when waiting for a video, and as I stated earlier listening to music without having to keep the app open was great (considering the Sailor Moon Crystal soundtrack is currently not available in the United States for legal purchasing).

I didn’t find too many YouTube Red originals that caught my attention, but I did enjoy Single by 30. I liked that some of these shows were made with YouTubers who already had established named collaborating together.

I did enjoy my YouTube Red experience, and I understand that all their original shows need money to conitnue being supported, however one good show is not enough for me to pay 9.99 a month, in comparison to Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu services where I’m guaranteed I can find what I’m looking for and watch it for 9.99+ a month (at this time I am tight on cash).

I give YouTube Red three and a half stars (because let’s be honest that was a better ratings system than Thumbs up or thumbs down)

Fandoms, do we Know What we Want? What we Really, Really Want?

Before the iPhone the internet was a simpler time; we had MySpace teaching us html code, no one posted intense political rants every four years, you could upload, stream, and watch anime on YouTube without having to go through the trouble of torrenting new episodes, we all used AIM instead of skype, there sadly were the origins of cyber bullying, and yes there were also complete a**holes who spoiled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to fans who didn’t realize what they were getting themselves into.

We didn’t have tumblr to show us the fanart and crafts we didn’t know that we wanted to see, we didn’t have facebook to search for our favorite books, movies, and tv shows and follow them in a convenient way, and we definitely still had to buy dvds since Netflix wasn’t what it was today. Cosplay was harder to do, and I could continue to go on and on how in nearly ten years being in a fandom has changed significantly.

We Need Things That Make Sense

Today I’m going to talk about questioning what we want from what we are a fan of. My reasoning for this is the recent rumor of there being a possibility of a Harry Potter version of Pokemon Go being made based on the success of the later and fans losing their minds over it saying “yaaas, I need dis nao!” And although it does sound nice, the truth is no, we don’t really need it.

I agree maybe there does need to be a Harry Potter app for Pottermore since the website has been re-hauled completely making it hard to find specific information than in the previous version. But we don’t need a Harry Potter version of Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go works for the Pokemon franchise because the whole point of the video games, anime, and manga is to travel around catching, training, and battling with your pocket monsters while fighting whatever evil organization is trying to take over the world with little to no adult supervision, however please make sure your child has adult supervision if they are playing Pokemon Go and always play with w friend to avoid stranger danger. Harry Potter on the other hand is different from Pokemon with deeper themes concerning love, life and death, racism, and much more. It took Pokemon up to the sixth game to come up with a meaningful plot.

While it is possible to create a tie in with the spin off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them consisting of the magical creatures of the Harry Potter universe, it would probably be sloppy at best in comparison to the time dedicated and spent to developing Pokemon Go.

The same applies to cross overs of series; a good example was a proposed episode of Doctor Who where JK Rowling’s Harry Potter universe would have crossed over into the Doctor’s world and dark wizards would be running around. At the time David Tennant demanded the idea be shot down to Russel T. Davis because “it would be jumping the shark for both franchises,” I’m not saying crossovers are bad and can’t happen, but they need to be done very carefully.

Also please stop saying either Danielle Radcliffe or Rupert Grint should be the next Doctor with Emma Watson as the companion just because “it’s them” they need to be able to add more to their resume first to become the next Doctor (however I wouldn’t mind Emma Watson or Tom Felton as the Doctor one day ).

What Happens if we get What we Want?

Sometimes what we want is given to us; case in point, the Star Wars series. After Revenge of the Sith it looked like the Star Wars franchise was going to be dead with fans buying as much merchandise as possible to see how much it would be worth in the future. Big fans of the franchise had novels of the expanded universe to enjoy, some of them going beyond the events of Return of the Jedi.

Then fans were given, The Clone Wars tv series with a movie to kick it off. Fans hated it (initionally), I think it’s because the art style was a little weird and the fact many fans did not want a fourteen year old girl to be the padawan to Anakin Skywalker. Little did we know we’d all come to like her. Then came the purchasing of Star Wars by Disney with the promise of new movies and destroying the library of the old expanded universe. Fans who followed the expanded universe were rightfully pissed that their established universe was labeled as an alternate universe and all ongoing stories were cancelled as a result. Some enjoyed the recent Force Awakens movie, some didn’t. My point is that sometimes if we’re given what we want we probably won’t like it like we thought we would.

Same goes for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, some fans loved it, some fans despise its existence and condemn JK Rowling even though she just provided an outline. I intentionally feared what would become of the franchise with the announcement of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film trilogy since, let’s be honest with ourselves, it was turned into a spin off for the sake of continuing the franchise in the eyes of Warner Brothers. Seeing the work and effort JK Rowling has placed into setting up the world of FBaWtFT after stating she needed a ten year vacation from Harry Potter I’m confident to say this won’t (entirely) be a soulless attempt to continue to cash in on the franchise.

Also sometimes getting what we want is a good thing; let’s look at how Netflix and Hulu have saved some of our favorite tv shows like Longmire and The Mindy Project from being cancelled for good. Fans rejoiced and are happy at these turn of events. Now if only we knew how not to binge watch a whole season and realize we have nothing to watch for a whole year. Still waiting on the return of Firefly though…

How do we Know Anything Anymore?

I can’t tell anyone how to be a good fan, or what they want in a fandom, but I’ve been around long enough to know what’s a good idea or bad idea. It’s fine to cosplay, buy merchandise, write your self insert fanfiction, and create fanart. It’s fine to love everything that comes out of a franchise, and it’s fine to enjoy something and still critique what you love. “To be a fan is to have hope.”

 

Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Nine years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows JK Rowling (and two other muggles) bring us one new and last story for Harry and his family in the form of theatrical play…but not everyone has the money to go to England to see a play. So for the rest of the fans we have the script of the play to enjoy.

Spoilers from this point on, if you or someone you know can perform a memory charm you’re welcomed to read them.

We have the adventures of Albus Potter after nine years of open ended thinking our canon is changed. I never gave it any thought what did happen outside of “Albus is probably in Slytherin and will be the new Molfoy’s BFF” and that’s what happened.

We see something not everyone probably thought of, the struggle of this friendship and how the actions of their fathers affected their current life. In Albus’ case, being sorted into Slytherin has made Albus the blacksheep of the family. Meanwhile Scorpius is hated by his peers because of how much of a jerk his father was to everyone growing up.

While reading the book I was led to believe that Scorpius is gay and in love with Albus. No it’s not me caving into the Harry/Draco ship, but there are passages that to me showed Scorpius cared more for Albus beyond friendship. Yes Scorpius asks Rose out near the end of the book, but she’s probably just a beard. I don’t think Albus is gay, but there is one passae showing Albus longing for Scorpius.

That’s enough about relationships though, I need to talk about the actual story itself. I felt like I was reading a Doctor Who story with all the time traveling and future changing present. To the point where the suggestion that bringing Cedric Diggory back to life resulted in me yelling “it’s a fixed point in time!”

It was interesting to see what affects a time turner could have on the future when used for the wrong reason. We also see something no one expected; the child of Voldemort and Bellatrix Lesrange. She’s just as nutty as you would expect.

Harry Potter and the cursed was a nice return to the world of Harry Potter, however some fans will be disjointed at the lack of magic, younger fans may be turned off with themes of depression being present in the book . The book being in the format of a play may be a turn off to some fans.

I give Harry Potter and the Cursed Child four exploding pumpkin pastries out of five.