Monday, 11 February 2013

Always On My Mind


The idea of fans taking things into their own hands and coming up with their own finals for a piece of work they like sounds one of those silly new Internet social media fads. Marauder Shields is one such case, providing a lot of what fans have been missing with Mass Effect 3’s original ending (which I personally found adequate) or the Extended Cut (which, by now, I consider too superficial).
The Marauder Shields concept expanded with time. What started with parody comics has evolved into a full fledged storyline with its own sound and video production. I have been enjoying it quite thoroughly lately.
One of the faults Marauder Shields sets out to address is the rather passive nature a lot of the Mass Effect 2 characters take upon themselves in Mass Effect 3. Sure, each of them has their farewell, but it feels like an add-on rather than the active part that others have. Probably the most notorious example is that of Miranda’s, the character who owns the second biggest role in Mass Effect 2 after Commander Shepard but takes only a rare guest appearance role in the third episode. While the writers’ original intention is clear (they take the main love interests away from Shepard in the second episode and bring them back for the finale hence leaving no room for Miranda), that does not help the fans.
Thus Miranda takes a central role in Marauder Shields. And thus, between me reading this comic, playing Mass Effect and watching Chuck, I get to see the face of Yvonne Strahovski during the bulk of my leisure activities. This past weekend it was actually during the whole of my leisure activities. Not even in the heydays of my Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger fandom did one person dominate my reading, playing and watching as much. (I will ask, just to be on the safe side: Strahovski doesn’t do recorded music, does she?) Not to mention that in the stardom scales of clout, particularly the non geek realms, Strahovski is a minor and virtually unknown character (and parsecs away from the likes of Solo/Jones/Deckard and The Terminator). I am pretty sure none of the regular readers of this blog ever heard of her before I started mentioning her name on a regular basis here; however, given the above insight, it’s no surprise I have been mentioning her a lot.
I find it rather scary. Then again, I find us getting towards the final end of Chuck’s episodes even scarier.

Yvonne Strahovski

Overdoses aside, there is another Strahovski related insight I’d like to discuss. It’s related to another theme running through this blog lately, the Twitter accounts of the rich and famous.
After a bout of original enthusiasm I realized the latest adventures of these gentle folk is not as rewarding as, say, the insight that the likes of Richard Dawkins or Leslie Cannold provide me over Twitter. Indeed, I don’t even have to fetch these heavy guns: Hollywood stars may bear the occasional good joke, but generally their inputs are significantly poorer to those of the teachers, writers and activists I follow. Hardly ever is there worthy competition.
Not unexpectedly, Strahovski is one of those stars I follow. After all, anyone related to Mass Effect is at least a demi god by my current account keeping. Amongst these demi gods, Strahovski’s Tweets stand out for their relative rarity and cryptic nature. I suspect I (together with many others out there) can give her a few basic lessons on the art of self promotion; then again, perhaps she’s at a position where she couldn’t care less? After all, I’m not the figure who played next to Robert De Niro in a major film release, took a central role in a 90+ episode TV series, took part in a Broadway play and played a major role in the best video game ever.
Some people do not need promotion. Movie stars probably live in these vast mansions of theirs by the Californian sea, indulging themselves by their swimming pools and living a life of no worries (in between divorces). Or do they?
Well, yesterday Strahovski went out with an atypical and therefore noticeable burst of five consecutive tweets, shot faster than Sarah Walker could cock her pistol or Miranda launch biotic attacks (see here, here, here, here and here). All were complaining about next door’s dogs howling her out of sleep. Perhaps the life of the movie star is not as idyllic as I have been imagining it to be? Worse, perhaps their lives aren’t enviable at all: after all, no one has been keeping me awake at night (other than Strahovski & Co through me playing Mass Effect) since our baby stopped doing so years ago. In other words, perhaps my life is superior to that of a Hollywood Star’s?
Just a thought.

Yvonne Strahovski image by vagueonthehow, Creative Commons license


Uri said...

Assuming I'm a regular reader, you're wrong.

Moshe Reuveni said...

Cool! Assuming you did not hear of her through Mass Effect (otherwise why won't you tell me how good the game is?), I will assume you've heard of her through Chuck. In which case, why didn't you tell me this series existed?

Uri said...

Probably because it didn’t affect my life as much.

I watched the first two seasons in 2008/9, and thought it was pretty cool. I was glad they managed to pull a couple of more seasons, but never watched them (Chuck super-spy didn’t seem as interesting).

Moshe Reuveni said...

1. We're on agreement about Chuck being super spy = not very good. However, by then we were too attached.
2. They managed 3 more seasons (5 in total, 92 episodes).
3. I suspect differences in appreciation come from watching the series on a daily basis vs. the occasional. For me there is also the Mass Effect factor.

Can I ask how you learned of Chuck's existence? By now I note Zachary Levi's Nerd Machine is a good source of nerd news, but still - don't want to miss the good stuff.