Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Parker Family Christmas

A Parker Family Christmas by Orangesky

This fic is fun, funny, light, entertaining and pleasant. It is a thankfully angst free zone. Don't let the fact that it has Christmas in the title put you off reading it now that it's not Christmas. In fact this fic has spanned two Christmas's and is still going strong.Orangesky is a talented writer, there's no doubt about that. She knows how to set a scene, write good dialogue and has a well thought out plot developed.

So far so good, right? I do have a criticism though.

Don't read it all at the one go because you'll overdose on saccharine and fall into a sugar coma. There are a few scenes that are so over the top sweet and cloying that it's hard to stomach.

The Parker family, namely twins Kyle and Michael and twins Liz and Alex and their widowed father Jeff, are so absolutely perfect. They can do everything, everybody loves them, they have no faults.

It's so annoying to see a writer with genuine talent and not just a good fanfic writer, fall into the trap of making her main protagonists total Mary Sue's. That's right. Mary Sue alert.

Mary Sue Alert: Mary Sue Alert: Mary Sue Alert:

Take Liz for example. She is a black belt, has a beautiful singing voice, can play the guitar and piano, is a talented photographer, everybody adores her, she never makes a mistake, never does anything wrong, always knows everything, always knows what's wrong with somebody and exactly how to handle it. Sigh.

The whole family is like that. And they talk like people from seventh heaven. Sometimes I want to tell them to shut up and be real people.

Anyway in the course of the fic all four siblings have met their anam cara - that's soul mate to you and I. The Parkers couldn't be normal and use the term soul mate. Did I mention that three of them are male? Hetero males? Because they talk and act like girls.

So where was I? Oh yeah, the soulmates. Liz's three brother have met three lovely young women and fallen in love with them. Which is funny because it's quiet clear that all three brothers are in love with their sister. Seriously they are like infatuated with her. Those poor girls are supposed to measure up to Liz and take her place as the most important girl in the guys life?

I'd love to see a little more of the non Parkers now and then to see if everybody is this annoyingly perfect or it's just those four plus their Dad. Who by the way has psychic powers!! Not really in the fic but yeah, he's like psychic. He's a very cool dad though.

But, it is actually very will written and because Orangesky is just starting out and will learn and progress to become a really awesome writer. I can forgive her for the Mary Sue's. Also she's a very funny writer and her whole story is infused with warmth and joy. Even an old mean cynic like me can't help fall in love with it. Perfect for Christmas. Perfect for anytime you need to be cheered up.

Burning question: Is there anything that the Parkers aren't great at?

Drinking game you can play: Take a swig everytime the Parkers reveal another hidden talent. Down a shot every time one of them starts preaching.


Broken, the latest offering from Emz80m.

Emz80m is a wildly popular author of Roswell fanfic. And not without reason, she is arguably the most prolific and reliable updater around. She always has a fic on the go and often has two or three at a time. Emz80m is an unashamed Liz worshipper which appeals massively to the many other Liz worshippers on the scene.

For me, Emz80m is the single most frustrating author I’ve ever read. She always has interesting ideas for her fic, always a new and interesting twist on the Rostale. Yet, despite this her fics are incredibly predictable. They all go the same way.

* Liz is the heroine.

* Somebody hurts her and she ends up alone.

* And usually pregnant. (Liz always ends up pregnant in Emz80m’s fics.)

* Maria is a bitch.

* Maria has feelings for Max.

* Max and co find Liz.

* She’s too noble and self sacrificing to be angry at them so even though she’s really hurt she forgives everyone. Because she’s such a good person.

* Liz faints or gets sick or is kidnapped and everybody has to save her.

* Maria apologises to Liz. Liz of course forgives her but things will never be the same again. Instead Liz’s new best friend is
Serena, (a total Maria clone.) Maria never has a new friend.

* Maria ends up with a new haircut that makes her unattractive or she has put on wait. She can’t end up 100% happy.

* No matter what dumb or hurtful things that Liz has done she is never held accountable for them or has to apologise to anybody for them.

* Liz and Max end up happy, in love and with a beautiful child who of course is the perfect copy of her parents. It’s always a girl.

Broken starts with Liz running away from a controlling creepy boyfriend. She’s ill and dying. She’s obsessed with having a child. She turns to Isabel for help.

Cue Major Plot Hole Number One. Liz left her husband Max, she broke his heart. She has been living with another man for over a year. She has no apparent valid reason for leaving Max that Isabel knows about. However, Isabel is not angry with Liz. She does not blame Liz for hurting Max. She adores Liz despite the fact that she left Max and hurt Max. Isabel is angry at Max. If you didn’t know the full details of their relationship, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Isabel was Liz’s sister and that Max left Liz. Emz80m makes no attempt to explain Isabel’s reaction. Isabel and Kyle rescue Liz and call everybody to come and help her. Liz faints or gets sick or is kidnapped and everybody has to save her. Check. Michael shows up.

Cue Major Plot Hole Number Two. Michael adores Liz. He’s her number one fan. They have a wonderfully close friendship. They type of friendship that people only develop after they’ve known and loved each other for years. It’s very strange when you consider that Michael and Liz never liked each other while they were in Roswell. They never had a friendly conversation. And despite what polarists say, there was no spark between them. So somehow in the space of two years they’ve developed a strong, deep loving friendship. One where Michael Guerin talks about his feeling, is open with his affection and is gentle and sweet. Michael Guerin!!! He’s nicer and sweet and more open with Liz than he ever was with Isabel his lifelong friend and sister. Or that he ever was with Maria, the woman who is the love of his life and whom he chose to stay on the planet for.

Michael and Liz are very sore because Max and Maria have a close friendship. Huh? There’s no mention of course that Liz and Michael’s friendship could ever have hurt Max and Maria. They didn’t spend hours with each other bonding and getting close. Watching that didn’t hurt Max and Maria. But Max and Maria keeping up their old friendship is bad, bad, bad. Liz had a vision of Max and Maria having an affair. Somebody hurting Liz, check.

Max shows up with Maria. Everybody is nasty to Maria including Isabel. The fact that Maria has been the only one to support Max after his wife left him apparently means nothing to Isabel. Michael’s new alien girlfriend knows what’s wrong with Liz. Liz has to have a baby. It’s an alien thing, if she doesn’t have Max’s baby like immediately – she’ll die!!

Cue Major Plot Hole Number Three. When Max came back from fourteen years in the future to break himself and Liz up he never mentioned this. Even though he must have known that breaking them up would mean Liz would die. Also, Max and Liz didn’t have children in the other timeline, the one they had to change, and miraculously Liz didn’t die. (Or are we supposed to believe that Max and Liz were willing to sacrifice their children lives instead of finding another way to save the world?) Why couldn't they just have asked Max to be nice to Tess. Of course that’s a major plot hole for another day.

We get flashbacks to Max and Liz having problems before Liz split. Liz wanted a baby, she was trying to force Max to have a baby. Max, for many and for very good reasons didn’t want to have a baby. He made that clear to Liz. Strangely instead of being sweet and kind about it as Max usually is, he was mean and cruel. Some body hurts her and she ends up alone check. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Liz because Max wouldn’t give her what she was demanding. Liz is a saint for putting up with Max. Max was a jerk, true. But Liz ignored his feelings too. They were both to blame.

Maria is in love with Max. Maria is in love with Max, Check.

In the past Maria told Liz that if she didn’t understand why Max didn’t want children that Liz didn’t deserve Max. Maria is a bitch, check. Cue Major plot hole number four. Maria is Liz’s bestfriend. She loves Liz and is always supportive of her. When Liz very cruelly walked away from Max the day after he had been kidnapped and tortured by the FBI, when she abandoned him for the summer and left both Max and Maria who had also had her heartbroken as Liz swanned off to Florida for the summer, Maria didn’t make any suggestion that Liz was being selfish and self centered. Maria has always supported Liz. But now she’s being a mean bitch. People hurting Liz, check. Do you see the pattern here?

Max and Liz go away and Max gets her pregnant. Pregnant, check.

The whole theme of the fic is supposed to be poor Liz, look how alone she is and nobody around to support her. Actually, it’s Maria that I feel sorry for, as she’s alone and unlike Liz has nobody in her corner that she can turn to for support. Her last ally, Max is now back with Liz.

Now Liz’s creepy ex boyfriend, the one she prostituted herself with, is searching for Liz. He has traced her origins back to Roswell. Maria has decided that she can no longer tolerate being with Max and the others because they all hate her even though she did nothing to earn their hatred. She doesn’t want to live with Max and Liz. Michael is being an utter ass towards her. Isabel is a bitch. Maria would rather walk into the FBI’s arms than stay around people who are pricks towards her. She thinks that because she’s human that they’ll leave her alone. The fact that she has valuable information on the aliens, and their whereabouts hasn’t entered her pretty little head. Looks like Maria and Eric will cross paths. What will happen?

Will Liz and Max be able to work through their problems? Will something happen to Liz? Will everybody just ignore the fact that they’ve been horrible to Maria? Will Liz accept Maria’s apology but always know that things can never be the same? Will it be made clear that Maria and Michael will never have the same kind of happiness that only Max and Liz and are allowed? Will Michael remain closer to Liz than he is with Maria? Will the sun shine out of Liz’s ass? Will Liz have a daughter? With Max’s ears for comical effect? Will Emz80m ignore the huge plot holes?

The answer to all of the above is YES, of course.

This is a good fic. It could have been a great, classic type of fic. So many of Emz's fics have that potential but never quiet live up to it. I believe that the reason for that is she is too biased. In this fic for example, Michael and Liz have a very close friendship. Now you and I know that there's no way that could just happen. Michael is not the type to form strong and deep emotional relationship with anybody. Liz must have had to put a lot of work into getting close to Michael. But all that is glossed over in the fic as if it's no big deal. For a candy, that's a huge deal. For emz80m the fact that there is somebody who knows Liz and doesn't worship her is unthinkable so Michael must adore Liz in her fics. So Emz80m writes about how close Michael and Liz are and then cannot understand why candies get so upset about.
So she's never going to address the issue of that relationship or what implications it would have had on Maria's feelings. A less Liz biased writer would have a more balanced fic that looks at how seeing Michael and Liz form the emotional attachment that Maria craved from Michael would have hurt her. Maria's motivation would have been jealousy and hurt caused by Liz's betrayal. (because that's what it is, just as Max forming an emotional connection to Maria is.) and not because she's a bitch.

Oh well.

Burning question: Why do all the American characters say Mum instead of Mom?

Drinking game you can play. I started it because she has a habit that drives me nuts. I had to have a drink to keep myself calm. Everytime Emz80m uses the term ‘Her and Max, Her and Maria, Her and anybody, him and anybody’ instead of She and Max, she and Maria, she and anybody, he and anybody. – do a shot. You’ll be sloshed by the end of the fic. Fun.

Greetings Earthlings

Hello Earthlings.

I am from planet Antar.

Ok, that's a stupid way to start off.

Never mind, I'm from earth. If you know what planet Antar means then you're in the right place. Welcome my fellow Roswellians.

I have been an avid Roswell fanfic reader for years. But I've never bothered to post feedback before. Mostly because what I have so say is bitchy and mean and would get me kicked off fanfic boards. So I have decided to create my own space where I can put my thoughts out into the atmosphere and if anybody ever reads it - or even finds it - then that's their choice.

And ok, so I will be bitchy and mean about some of the fics that I'm reading but it's not coming from a nasty place. I wouldn't still be reading roswell fanfics if I didn't absolutely love them

So on with the show.