Wrapped up Disney's new Willow series... my mixed feelings at the start intensified in both directions as it went along until the 4th episode really turned me around and the 5th decisively won me over. I had stuck with it because decent fantasy is hard to come by, and now I'm glad I did (and hoping for a second season!).
The YA young adult angst and interactions were definitely annoying at first, and the modern songs in the soundtrack jarring in the fantasy setting. But the characters do develop and really start growing on you, as does the sense of tense camaraderie, humor, and modern language/music that Disney seems to have borrowed from Marvel.
To me it very much had the feeling of a D&D campaign with its diverse cast of main characters who start out at first level and grow together through various challenges of combat, magic, questing, and soul-searching... It was adventurous, fun, and kinda cool. By the end I thoroughly enjoyed it, and if you are a young adult or just tired of the serious heavy dystopian doom that hangs over contemporary storytelling, you might also love it. I definitely recommend at least giving it a try--
Happy Holidays everyone! If you have Disney+ I can heartily recommend The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. It's completely ridiculous and also quirkily heartwarming in just the way that Marvel seems to excel at managing... and it's got Bacon. What more could you ask for?!
And by the way, if you celebrate any of the many not-christmas holidays, this is offbeat and irreverent enough concerning its Christmastime setting that I'm pretty sure you can enjoy it too. In fact, you may especially enjoy the original Christmas song in the first scenes, as did I (...I'm personally still not a huge Christmas fan...)
Last night we were in the darkened atrium watching The Rings of Power on Amazon Prime when suddenly, right in the middle of a very tense scene surrounded by orcs, there was a big thud followed by thumping up on the roof...
We were startled, turned on some outside lights, and went up to the loft to close the ventilation windows. In the loft I could hear whatever it was cross from the east side all the way across to the west side as I was closing windows right below it...
Still have no idea what it was. Our roof is a high-ceilinged 2-stories without external access except to flying creatures. There are no squirrels or raccoons here. There are monkeys in nearby mountains but I've never seen any in our little valley and the nearest tree is much too far a leap. Don't know what kind of bird it could have been thumping around on an open roof in the middle of the night, but that's the most probable answer so far. The preferred answer would be a flying squirrel gliding down from the surrounding cedar trees. They do exist but they are rare and I've never seen one. I would love to add flying squirrels to the menagerie that we have somehow organically developed here over the past few years--
Let it be a flying squirrel. Please not goblins. nor monkeys.
Fluffy Flying Squirrels would be delightful. (I think)
Climbed through the ventilation windows onto the roof this afternoon to investigate during the daylight... I'm not Aragorn, but I'm pretty observant and I found nothing of interest to report. So we are left with a mystery to be solved another time...
Last week's mysterious rooftop visitor returned to thump about again, this time with more urgency or desperation or mania... but this time I was ready for action. I turned off all the lights and pointed my big flashlight through the loft ventilation windows to catch a passing glimpse of the long tail and cute face of a masked palm civet. A bit rare in this region and totally nocturnal, they look kinda like a raccoon-ferret-skunk hybrid. Not a flying squirrel as hoped, not some large bird as expected, but also not a monkey, goblin, or orc...
A NEW CHAPTER:
Well, it's been about half a year, and the situation has evolved. It turned out that our initial visitor was a masked civet jumping onto the roof from the nearby overgrown jungle trees. Civets are cute, but very destructive to houses, and this one started scratching the roof maniacally trying to get in and live in our loft. After several midnight visitations, I trimmed back the overgrown branches beyond its jumping range. No more thumping in the night, and the surrounding forest had a healthier layering to the foliage.
A little later, we were visited by a badger who took shelter from a morning rainstorm UNDER the house. Also quite cute, and also potentially destructive to the foundation, so after he woke up in the evening, we discouraged his returning by asking Alexa to play sounds of barking dogs and howling wolves... which honestly felt a little silly.
Finally, six months later in the spring, a midnight thumping and skittering on the roof signaled a new arrival from the tall surrounding cedar trees.
And guess who?
Yes, at last, a Japanese giant flying squirrel. Yay!
One of my recent "guilty" little pleasures... because I like Fantasy, I enjoy Adventure, I love Character, but I'm not fond of violence. This webseries is pretty nerdy, but it satisfies my fantasy adventure cravings and preference for character development with a tolerable level of violence, all in short, easy-to-watch clips that don't eat up my valuable time or test my patience...
So if you've ever enjoyed fantasy RPGs and need a little distraction now and then, you might find this video webseries to be nicely balanced fare-- especially for being free!
UPDATE: now that I've gone through Season 2...
It gets even better as it goes along, and I'm happy to report that it has proven to be both racially diverse and LGBTQ friendly, so now I can wholeheartedly recommend this to any of my friends who enjoy fantasy adventure, role-playing, creative reenactment, or online gaming...