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Reblogged from pommedeplume  2,057 notes








A large part of my adult, career-related life has been lived by Susan Ivanova’s examples and wisdom.

i don’t really know who this is i think she’s from babylon 5 but AWESOME

Oh man.  MAN.  Man.  Lemme tell you about Susan Ivanova.

Susan Ivanova, second in command of Babylon 5, has been through a lot of shit.  First, off, Babylon 5 is a deliberate melting pot of a place where. after a really bad war, different species can come to seek peace.  Earthgov is skeptical about it.  The other species governments are skeptical about it.  As a result, the station often stands between the universe and very bad shit going down. 

Commander Ivanova is in charge of operations.  All the day to day stuff.  She handles it pretty well.


Mostly, anyway.

She is not here to put up with anyone’s shit.  Not even if you’re from Earth.

She’s second in command of a station with captains that are perpetually putting themselves and the station through a lot of political… well, ugly politics.  She’s often the one left behind, having to tell folks the Captain is not available and she’s in charge.  Honestly, for having to be the grownup among so many damned children, she’s very well liked. 

She’s not all business, though, she’s a great friend as well as commander, with a lovely, dry, gallows sense of humor.  I’m not sure there’s a person on the station who doesn’t have a private joke or at least a friendly word with her (provided they’re not fucking up her schedule).

Her family is Russian and Jewish, and it actually comes up from time to time.  She occasionally sends a shout out to god (she’s not practicing, iirc, but she still identifies as Jewish and keeps a few traditions), She commentates often on her Russian heritage.

Susan Ivanova: I know, I know. It’s a Russian thing. When we’re about to do something stupid, we like to catalog the full extent of our stupidity for future reference. 

She meets up with family and friends from her past and doesn’t shy away from them:

Lt. Cmdr. Susan Ivanova: So how are things back home? 
Rabbi Koslov: They change, they stay the same. Russia is Russia. Your father used to say: “If regret could be harvested, Russia would be the world’s fruit basket.” 

She had a rough time growing up - her mother was a telepath, and in this universe if you’re telepathic and human you have two options: join a quasi-militaristic organization called the PsiCorps that will immediately take you from your family and control your whole life (they even have a saying: the Corps is Mother.  The Corps is Father.  It’s as chilling as you think,); option two is to take some drugs that suppress your abilities.  Ivanova’s mother chose the second option, and after a long, ugly period suffering under the effects of the drug, she took her own life.

You can imagine Susan is not thrilled with anyone associated with the Psicorps. But when a Psicorps telepath named Talia Winters comes on board, some interesting things happen.

At first she avoids the hell out of her.

But then, eventually, Susan doesn’t mind her so much.

Talia reaches out, and turns up at Susan’s quarters late one night.

They actually become real friends.

And you know, they have scenes like this.

And then, when Talia is gone she confesses:

Susan also later falls in love with a man named Marcus Cole, which means for my money she’s the first bisexual lady in space that I ever saw on TV.  Possibly ever.

For all that though, for her friendships and lovely jokes and cuddly-as-a-cactus-flower appeal, they never ever forget how good she is at her job.  She is shatteringly competent.

She is a military commander, and from time to time, she shows it.

Also, she was airlocking people before it was cool.

The whole crew is in on the airlocking thing, really.  They support her airlocking habits.  It’s lovely of them to do.

In summation:

Commander Susan Ivanova, bisexual Russian Jewish space princess of my heart.  Forever.  Watch this show.

Always share St. Ivanova.

YEESSSS. Babylon 5 fandom, we yet live!!

And did we mention the part where she coopted part of the hydroponics bays so that she could grow coffee to prevent her from committing homicide?

Susan Ivanova is my queen.  Also my rebbe.

(I refuse to call her St Ivanova because what part of “Jewish” are we forgetting, thanks for the erasure).

#another on the endless list of shows I want to get around to watching

YES. Yes, you do. It has its problems, it’s the first show to do all its SFX by computer (Amigas with Video Toaster cards) and sometimes it looks it, and it starts slow but god damn once it gets going it is fucking amazing and awesome.

Also, Ivonava and Talia’s relationship is canon and confirmed and intent, and the only reason it stopped when it did is because Talia’s actress wanted to leave the show to do other things nobody cares about.

I have never watched this show but this makes me want to!

Reblogged from alan713ch  9,186 notes


consider this: 

thor is always running into little kids who are thrilled to meet him - he doesn’t really understand the concept of signing autographs, but he starts carrying asgardian toys around in his pockets to give to kids he meets (much to shield’s chagrin - how are we supposed to keep alien tech under control when the god of thunder is giving out magnetic propulsion toys to five-year-olds?) 

but one day, he meets this girl who’s nine, maybe ten, and she runs up to him all misty-eyed and immediately asks him if he knows jane foster

and her mother’s embarrassed because “honey, that’s thor, aren’t you excited to see thor?” but the girl just explains that she wants to be a scientist when she grows up, and that jane foster is the astrophysicist (she pronounces the word carefully, as if she’s been practicing) who found out how the rainbow bridge worked - isn’t that so cool? she read about it in kids discover and they watched a documentary in school and dr. foster was in it and it made her think that maybe because she likes planets so much she could be a scientist, too 

and thor smiles broadly and tells her that wanting to be a scientist is a noble dream, and he says “if your mother would be willing, i could introduce you” 

and that’s how jane foster ends up with a tiny science geek in pigtails trailing around behind her in her lab, asking how everything works. jane can’t really comprehend the fact that a kid would want to meet her, but she likes explaining things and she looks at this girl and can’t help seeing herself. thor is just fucking delighted because to him the idea of jane being a child’s hero makes perfect sense, why wouldn’t it? she’s jane

and years later the girl grows up to be an astrophysicist or an astronaut or an aerospace engineer and she never forgets the time that dr. jane foster knelt down beside her and said, don’t let anybody stop you from chasing the stars, if that’s what you want 

jane foster inspiring girls in science, y/y 

How do Tara and Cordelia have terrible narratives? I thought Buffy and Angel were well-written feminist shows.


Well, I’m a big fan of Buffy and Angel. For the most part they have gripping stories and a lot of characters that I love. And there are a lot of things about them that are very feminist! But that doesn’t mean the show doesn’t have issues, and the way Tara and Cordelia ended up is one of them. 

Let’s start with Tara. Now, Tara was one of my favorite characters. She’s a sweetheart, a great friend/steady caring figure to Dawn, and she’s the kind of understanding friend Buffy needed in her depression, and the kind of girl who would be a great girlfriend for Willow if they worked out their issues. She’s come a long way from her abusive home, and she was happy. Not only that, but she was in a (for the most part) healthy lesbian relationship with one of the main characters for a good portion of the show, which wasn’t something you saw on TV that much, especially back then. 

And she’s killed off as a cheap plot device.

Not only does this have larger ramifications in terms of the trope of killing off gay characters (seriously, its a thing writers need to stop doing), but the effects of this don’t impact the story in a good way, and I don’t just mean that it makes everyone sad. What does her death cause? Well, it makes Willow almost destroy the world, kill someone, and be basically consumed by black magic. This lasts for, what, three episodes? Then the new season starts, and its true that Willow greatly misses Tara. But the rest of her actions - murdering someone, almost destroying the world, seriously hurting people she cares about - aren’t given that much attention in the story. There’s a few times (such as the episode where she turns into Warren) but ultimately the dark things she’s done aren’t given the same weight, and they even result in some jokes. Compare this to how the narrative treats Andrew. He says funny things, but for the most part the characters can’t stand him and they regard him as pathetic, and it takes up to the last episode for him to truly find his courage and fight and try to right the wrongs he’s done. Willow, however, is hardly changed by the experience. Buffy struggles for an entire season with her darker side, but Willow gets one episode, and a few offhand mentions, and some minor concerns about her using too much magic. But even that in the end amounts to nothing, as she uses the most magic she has EVER used to call all of the potential slayers around the world. A great moment, for sure. And had it shown her truly struggling the rest of the season, it would have been a great moment of character development. But it wasn’t. Tara’s death caused some drama about whether or not she would date someone else, but the rest of it? All of that still could have happened without Tara dying. So her death was a sudden, vicious, out-of-nowhere move that ultimately did little justice to her character, or the characters that should have been effected by it. Hell, we hardly saw reactions from Buffy, Giles, Anya, Xander, or even Dawn (beyond the initial three episodes), who was one of the people that loved Tara the most besides Willow.

But, you may be thinking: Willow was supposed to have gone down that dark path! What would you suggest happening instead of Tara dying to push her down that path? It was the logical narrative choice!

To which I say:


Nope. There was a better choice, if one wanted to go the route of character development through the death of a loved one. Xander. He’d been around longer. He was the only one to get Willow out of her dark mindset. He was a main character loved by everyone, and his death would not only potentially push Willow down a darker path, but it would have had a profound impact on EVERYONE. And you can bet if this had happened, there would have been episode upon episode of people dealing with his death. He would have been mentioned constantly. There would have been close-ups on pictures of him every other episode. They would have likely done some kind of before-the-battle speech saying how they would do it “for Xander”. It would have been a heartbreaking death (and that’s from someone who doesn’t like Xander much) but it would have come after a lot of character development, and it would have huge consequences. 

But we didn’t get that with Tara’s death. Instead, she’s killed off in the only episode where she’s credited as a main character. She’s killed for the sake of drama, and to set off a three episode arc that has little to no effect on the later story. They did it to pull a shocker at the end of the episode, to make people feel sad, not for the sake of storytelling. And it shows, and her character (her wonderful, sadly unfulfilled character) suffers from it.

Now, let’s move on to Cordelia. Now, unlike Tara, Cordelia was on the show long enough to get a good story arc. She started out very spoiled and a bully, and then she grew into a genuinely kind person, and that was without losing any of her personality, strength, wit, or assertiveness. She’s a great character, and she had a huge impact on the story. She also, unlike Tara, got a great farewell episode.

Then season four happened. Or more accurately, Joss Whedon decided to act like a child and blame an actress for getting pregnant and punish her by turning her character into a villain. 

For three seasons, Cordelia was one of the main characters. She was closer to Angel than anyone, and arguably just as important -if not more important - to him than anyone else. She was best friends with Gunn and Wesley and Fred. And she was turned into a hammy, over-the-top villain in a way that feels like an asspull and doesn’t even make sense in the story. And she spends a good portion of the rest of the show catatonic, and she’s mentioned, what, three times? There were no episodes showing them desperately working on a way to wake her up. There were no episodes solely about Angel brooding over his guilt about Cordelia. Fred didn’t try to come up with a scientific solution. Gunn wasn’t shown visiting her in the hospital. Wesley didn’t pour over his books to see if there was a magical solution. She was all-but forgotten, and all because Joss was being immature.

In fact, the only mention Cordelia gets after she dies is a general, not-even-by-name one. It’s in ‘A Hole in the World’, when Angel says he “wouldn’t lose Fred too”. That’s it. Her character was first hijacked, turned into one of the worst villains in BTVS/Angel canon (and no, I’m not actually talking about Jasmine, because the last few episodes were good and Gina Torres is amazing), then she’s forgotten for pretty much an entire season, comes back for ONE episode, is promptly killed off, and it has no direct impact on the plot whatso-god-damn-ever. Hell, we don’t even see the reactions of the other characters to her death. Add Fred’s death on top of hers, and the only two main female characters were killed off. Obviously, we still get Illyria, but it still doesn’t change what happened, and she then becomes the only main female character on the show for the rest of the series.

TL;DR: no, not all of Buffy and Angel is terrible (and I’m a huge fan of both). But its narrative treatment of Tara and Cordelia was. 


Reblogging this again.


Leslie Knope tries impressions and accents