Posts tagged vampire diaries.

Thankgoodness for Mary Sue

The term Mary Sue is quite common in discussions of urban fantasy. It has become so ubiquitous that  I often wonder if everyone is truly aware of not only what the term means, but how it effects historically marginalised women.  A Mary Sue is a character who is perfect, flawless or only having very cutesy flaws (cute non flaws), and who is instantly adored by all of the cast.  If someone is not instantly enthralled with a Mary Sue, it is because they are jealous and or evil, and sometimes even both.

Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood,  Elena Gilbert from the Vampire Diaries, Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments Series, Tessa Grey from the Infernal Devices series, Elena from Kelly Armstrong’s Otherword Series, Clare from the Morganville Vampires, Abby Corrigan from Sanctuary, Bella Swan from Twilight, are just a few examples of the Mary Sue phenomenon from books, movies and television.Each one of these characters is beloved for absolutely no reason. The people around them follow them without question and without cause quite frankly (especially considering that these women have the sense of a concussed penguin), even in cases when doing so places themselves in jeopardy. Mary Sue represents the most privileged form of femininity in that she is normally straight, cis gendered and White. 

It is rare to see a protagonist of colour in this genre and they never ever fulfill the role of Mary Sue. (In fact, when “Mary Sue” or “self insert” as a criticism is levelled at authors of colour and other marginalised authors, it is usually because the mere presence of a POC character that is capable and not a side-kick is considered “overly perfect” in a genre that frequently prevents POC from being main characters) Mary Sue then on some level relates to the perfection of White womanhood and marking it as superior to women of colour.  In many ways, it reminds me of the faux pedestal that White women have historically been placed upon.  This pedestal exists solely to give them race privilege and certainly does not apply to equality with White men.  

Even as it works to oppress in terms of race, it is also extremely sexist as it leaves no room to appreciate strengths based in intelligence, loyalty, speed, humor or strength.  It tells women that they must perform womanhood in a very specific manner to be considered truly feminine. Mary Sue is not complimentary to women, and in fact acts as a sort of literary corset, restricting individuality even as it promotes a false form of agency.  Real women are not made of sugar and spice and all that’s nice.

Read More

The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Premier, “Happy Birthday Elena”

Now that True Blood is done for the season, vampire fans are forced to resort to the teen angsty CW’s The Vampire Diaries to get a fix.  Last Thursday was the season premier and we would be remiss if we didn’t cover the show.  Do you see how much we sacrifice for you readers?

Two months have passed since Stefan took off with klaus in exchange for curing Damon of a werewolf bite inflicted by Tyler Lockwood. Elena, Damon and Alaric have spent the time looking for him. Each new tip that Elena gets, she passes it on to Damon but what she does not know, is that Damon has been following Stefan the ripper through the news articles detailing his murders.  He didn’t want to share the news with Elena because of the extreme violence with which Steffan feeds.  Apparently, he feeds so hard that his victims end up decapitated and then he feels remorse, so he puts their bodies back together. 

Much of this show was spent angsting over Steffan’s involvement with Klaus. I know that we are not supposed to like murdering, blood drunk Steffan; however, I think it is a far sight better than mopey musty Stefan on animal blood.  At least he is interesting and a touch bad ass, when he is not moping about how he is going to get Damon and Elena to stop tracking him.

Caroline planned a huge eighteenth birthday party of Elena. How old does this make Jeremy? I had to laugh at this because the idea that Elena is only 18, yet never attends school except to be front in center in some founders day celebration, and goes to bars and drinks, though the legal age for that is 21. At seventeen she went where she wanted when she wanted, up to and including romantic getaways with her boyfriend. I don’t understand for the life of me why the writers didn’t just make the cast 21-25.  They would still be young enough to be considered in the YA genre, and it would make more sense in terms of what they have the characters doing. 

Caroline and Tyler still have some pretty interesting chemistry though Damon has warned her that being friends with a werewolf is dangerous, because werewolf bites kill vampires. In one scene they discuss how they are always horny thanks to their awesome werewolf and vampire powers.  If they are always horny its because their teens.  Teenagers are one walking hormone so how about we dispense with the woo woo explanation.  Tyler tells Caroline that he is bringing a date to Elena’s party and she calls her slutty Sophie.  Nice CW, real nice.  Tyler can’t be a slut for wanting to get laid, because of his werewolf nature, but Sophie a human girl is most definitely a slut for having sex without attachments.  This is probably why I didn’t feel terrible for Caroline, when she was shot with vervain needles by Carol Lockwood, while she was attempting to do the walk of shame, after sleeping with Tyler.
Read more

Urban Fantasy from the Fangs for the Fantasy team.

Today we talk about the Vampire Diaries season finale, the Vampire Academy by Richelle Meade, the Connor Grey Series book 1, Unshapely Things by Mark Del Franco, Soul Song by Marjorie Liu, Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments, with occassional digs at Charliane Harris as well as our desperate anticipation for True Blood

Our previous episodes can be found at:

Urban Fantasy Podcast from the Fangs for the Fantasy team

Today we discuss Vampire Diaries, Richelle Meade’s Vampire Academy, Charlaine Harris’ new Sookie Stackhouse novel, Anya Bast, Marjorie Liu and Cassandra Clare

Our past episodes can be found