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02 November 2014 @ 12:15 am
Who Spoiler Thing  
essentially, Moffat made my pairing, which I have shipped lo these many years/done a ton of work for, true&het by making 1 character female
in the most--awful ham-fisted way possible? like, the most gendery bullshit? And people are hailing it as a Triumph for Feminism as newly-
female character coos 'call me Missy!' and 'he's my boyfriend!!'
I feel so like, pandered to and undermined and ganked and 'oh ffs' and insulted and told this is what I wanted
I 50% am detached now and don't care and am 50% rage-disgusted
I *should not care* and I tooootally do, it's the grossest shit, the emperor is naked, etc
I did mod the big community for this pairing forever, and this blatant attempt to Appease Critics/Fans is sort of directed at his vague idea
of tumblrinas and what fandom is etc
in some tiny degree I'm a little complicit. I just never thought this shitstain would crap on my day.
idk I'd thought for a while it could NEVER come back from him
but it's SO UNFAIR he gets to retcon it all into his bitch, we worked so hard and loved it so much for so long, why does HE get to ruin it?
and maybe I shouldn't let him, etc., but what w lj death, it's just exhausting and awful and I feel like the work's retrospectively devalued

Me: and like
we never asked for this
like I didn't WANT this to Be Canon
it wasn't what I wanted, I knew it was unrealistic etc
all ANYONE wanted was like
decent female characterization
and we get this 'teeeheeeheeheehee, well I couldn't possibly go on calling myself the Master!!' and people are like A BLOW FOR FEMINISM and it's like no, it's just Curse of the Fatal Death AS A SERIOUS THING, and you think that like--COUNTS?
Ana: Yeeeesss.
That is the /opposite/ of a blow for feminism.
The name aspect.
You...not only must gender this thing built on /degree classifications/ but must also use a diminuitive?
Me: 'Call me missy' NOW you're my boyfriend!!
tatzelwyrmasthenie_vd on November 2nd, 2014 12:38 pm (UTC)
I've not watched this new series of Who, so I've no idea how she's been characterised so far, but the whole "boyfriend" angle combined with the sex change sounds awful on multiple levels. Yeah, personality changes on regeneration but I still have a hard time ever imagining any Master calling themselves something as cutesy and dismissive as "Missy".
x_losx_los on November 2nd, 2014 01:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, same. Like I'm actually quite annoyed at people being like YAY, yaaaaaaay bc they're so thrilled to be Official--why do you want that, from /this person/, esp at the cost of someone you liked being reduced to yet another samey Moffat villain woman? Read Death of the Author and chill out. This is like my Worst Of All Possible Worlds.
unfeathered: Jack angryunfeathered on November 2nd, 2014 12:59 pm (UTC)
God, yes, to pretty much all of this. I mean, yes, the Master's always been a bit of a chariacture, and that got a lot more so with Simm, but this? It makes me sick. It is just so much worse than I could have imagined. The *only* thing that would save it for me would be to have another twist next week that Missy is actually Clara (or someone else) pretending to be the MAster and openly in love with the Doctor just to play with him.
x_losx_los on November 2nd, 2014 01:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, tho my friend Jade pointed out "I hope she's actually the master because if not they're going to do this thing where the doctor is like "you downloaded the master's memory from the cyberspace we're in right now, but you got it wrong! Cause I was never with the Master, you fangirl" and then drop her off a bridge"

Which... would be the frigging worst.

The caricature thing's an interesting point, bc yes, but there are so many levels of that, and it doesn't preclude having a strong actor presence or being an entertainingly-written, quite developed caricature? Like I have my issues w Simm and hate End of Time, but this is a lot worse, and idk why people want it to be true.
unfeathered: Giles ookunfeathered on November 2nd, 2014 02:22 pm (UTC)
I would actually in a way be happier with that!

And yeah, caricatures can definitely be well done! In the past, I've always felt the whole point of the Master, really was that he was kind of pointing fun at all those old-time villains - and that it was deliberate! But Moffat and his lack of subtlety completely misses the point and seems to actually make his characters charicatures without realising it. :-(
grondfic: Dragon Kinggrondfic on November 2nd, 2014 02:10 pm (UTC)
*cough* I kinda hated it for the 'don't cremate me' thing.

Cos' I'm not in my first blush any more and ... and that's what I've put in my will. Don't laugh - but I lost a lot of sleep about that last night.

(Apart from the sheer irrational fright it gave me, I don't think it's a good idea to diss cremation - it takes up a LOT less space than other funeral methods)
x_losx_los on November 3rd, 2014 02:07 am (UTC)
I'm still on Shit Friends Tell me after my great 'I CANNOT do this anymore' flounce, but in general cremation does sound a solid idea.
anglophile09: Britishflaganglophile09 on November 2nd, 2014 02:31 pm (UTC)
Hello, I saw your post on "Best Enemies" and I wanted to share some thoughts as well! I am also unhappy about this reveal, and I can't understand the praise it's getting.

One of my problems with moffat's strong-female-characters (TM) is the fact that their relationship with the doctor becomes almost entirely one of a "nudge-nudge wink-wink" variety. moffat is nearly incapable of writing his female characters as merely friends with the male characters.
so what worries me about this new master is the fact that the doctor/master relationship will lose that friendship they had underneath all their interactions. The old friends aspect is one of my favourite parts about the Doctor/The Master, and I have a feeling we're not going to be seeing it here.

Also I hate the fact that the Master is now referring to herself as 'Missy' or 'Mistress'??? No matter what gender, the Master is the Master. A woman with a Master's degree doesn't say she has a Mistress degree. We don't call female masterminds, mistressminds. It's all so horrible and moffat-y.

I think a female Master can be done well, but just not be *this* writer.

Anyway, thanks for opening up a place to vent! you are certainly not alone in your dislike for this revelation..
Predatrixpredatrix on November 2nd, 2014 03:48 pm (UTC)
Yes. He went there.

I don't like the 'gay erasure' with the huge side order of Women Are There To Be Attractive To Me. So, we can get the subtext in there, as long as it's de-queered, and as long as it's played to the Straight Male Gaze. We can have a woman Big Damn Villain (as long as most of her characterisation is played Woman rather than Villain, cf River Song, Irene Adler, Mary Morstan etc).

I was always pro the possibilities of making the Doctor female, or black, or anything else. I think it's extremely plausible that a long-lived race with the flexibility and fluidity of the Time Lords wouldn't be particularly bothered or likely to have human hang-ups. The only reason I want the Doctor to sound British is the entirely Doylist reason that I like my quirky British pop culture and I want it to stay un-homogenised and un-Hollywoodised. So my first respone to Missy being the Master was 'Yay!' Unfortunately, for a cheap joke, it's ended up sounding This Never Happens But It Happened Now rather than How Did You Get Out Of That (which is what he usually thinks when the Master pops up again with another rubbish beard), so it sounds even more stupidly as though nothing is fixed except gender. They wouldn't care! If they'd have any gender it might be a Kinsey-style percentage of 'more likely' to turn up one way or another. A long-lived civilised race with technology would be able to have more complete sex changes (chromosomal? hormonal? reproductively-viable?) so it wouldn't have the same 'weight' it does in our society (so much significance on assignment-at-birth, so much asking trans people have-you-had-the-surgery-yet, so much hate on non-binary types). If you could 'flip' sexes, if you could be either (or even both/neither). Or even if there were different alien sexes.

I'm an even fifty-fifty. I think it was a wonderful episode in a wonderful series, and I wish people would stop jumping on Moffat's head because he's creating A Work of Flawed Genius, and fixing the flaws? That's what fandom does! I love the casting of Michelle Gomez because a) ever since her work on Green Wing she's been brilliant at playing Terrifying Bitch-Queen From Hell and b) I prefer my Masters at least slightly urbane rather than scruffy, I prefer the megalomaniac loony bits to come like flashes of lightning from a clear sky rather than If I Bumped Into John Simm Looking Like That I'd Wonder Why He Hadn't Been Sectioned.
x_losx_los on November 3rd, 2014 02:23 am (UTC)
I'm fine with making the Doctor or the Master other things, but I fundamentally don't trust this writing team to do it. Like, I think gender must be a TOTALLY different thing for these aliens, sure! Tho there might be some indications of human-recognizable sexism in stuff like Deadly Assassin--how few women are around, etc. Rodan does traffic and Andred does Guarding and it's otherwise a political sausage fest? And the Sisters of Karn got exiled--it's a bit Watsonian, but I could really accept a Sexist Gallifrey argument.

My issue with Moffat isn't that I think he's imperfect or just sexist, I fundamentally dislike his writing on ideological and craft levels? Like, the only things he's ever done I was okay with are Blink, The Empty Child and the Doctor Dances, and the latter two, despite Davies saying he didn't edit Moffat, have to have been fairly collaborative because Jack, for example, is credited to Davies rather than Moffat? I can't stand his non-Who work either. Coupling will play on a loop in my personal hell. I'm fine with Gomez, and I share your opinion on point B, but I'm not a fan of the last several series and can't help but feel that, as with Capaldi, we're using gourmet ingredients to make an unsalvageable recipe that also contains some stuff that's gone off. :/

Edited at 2014-11-03 02:25 am (UTC)
x_losx_los on November 3rd, 2014 02:13 am (UTC)
One of my problems with moffat's strong-female-characters (TM) is the fact that their relationship with the doctor becomes almost entirely one of a "nudge-nudge wink-wink" variety. Yes! There's the fact that her being a woman makes it /possible/, dragging it from implicit to explicit? Whatever issues these people had before, I don't think gender plays aaaaany role there. For these aliens. Who must a priori have a different relationship to gender? It doesn't feel /earned/.

If we found out they used to sleep together or whatever because some situation caused it to be mentioned after several Master eps played a la Delgado or something, or if it was mentioned in some casual sideways way, that would be ok? But instead--yeah I think a female Master can be done well, but just not be *this* writer. , exactly. It seems so identical to--What He Does With Mysterious Evil Women.

And the Missy thing isn't even a character decision, just maybe a silly dominatrix vibe and a GASP reveal for this series that will never play well on rewatch, and which actually isn't even functioning as a GASP reveal bc we'd all thought of this obvious possibility and put it aside bc we hoped it wouldn't happen/it seemed too stupid.

And your friendship point is a VERY good one.
Bagheerabagheera_san on November 3rd, 2014 08:39 pm (UTC)
I've been following the reactions on Tumblr, but I haven't seen the episode itself (I watched the first four or so Capaldi eps and then lost interest... also rolled my eyes a lot at the depiction of Gallifrey/the doctor's childhood). I didn't think Missy was 100% horrible, the virtual reality/resurrection thing that was hinted at in the first few eps had me interested in spite of the cringe-worthy name and stereotypical depiction.

But I'm still not sure if I want to watch it? I don't include Moffat-era in my personal headcanon, but still, some eps were bad enough that they spoiled my general enjoyment of the pairing... then again I haven't been doing much enjoying...

So how bad is it?
x_losx_los on November 8th, 2014 11:51 pm (UTC)
I'm not watching, following via people who are etc. bc it's impossible for me to avoid it? I get the impression that the Master's gender shit is the worst, that otherwise the Master is... ok? And that the eps themselves are Moffat Shittiness of the degree you might expect. So essentially... why do it to yourself, but personal call? Idk I long sense stopped being *able* to enjoy it, at all? Some people are ok with some fundamentally f'd shit and can still appreciate the good bits around it. If there's a core element or premise that annoys me, I really can't do it--maybe in a few years, once/if things get at all better, but I'm caught between not caring and feeling quite bitter (obvs).
Bagheerabagheera_san on November 9th, 2014 03:47 am (UTC)
So I watched both eps (today's and last week's) just now and actually I did enjoy the first one in places, like, I almost got excited about it, the D/M chemistry was sort of there, but the second half is just shit, as per usual, only more offending because it gets not one, but TWO of my favourite DW things wrong. There are several elements in this that you could take and turn into a DW episode I'd love, but... not like this.

Though actually my main problem isn't gender shit (it's comparatively mild, imo) - this just isn't the same show that I liked. Also, I cannot suspend my disbelief for Moffat plots, and I think that goosnakes are an acceptable plot point, so...
x_losx_los on November 9th, 2014 03:58 am (UTC)
Yeah? I mean I have NOTHING against the IDEA of a female Master, I just did aaaaalways say I didn't want this writing team to do a female Doctor, bc I don't think they're fucking mature enough. Like give me a white male Doctor who is not an AWFUL DICK, and some companions who EXIST, LIKE FOR REAL, for 2 SEASONS WHERE YOU DON'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THEIR BUTTS, NOT EVER, and then your hardcore writing team with any women on it can try and tackle the bigass challenge of doing a female Doctor. And so... I just don't think they can execute this well. There's almost a priori no way it's not weird because it's them doing it? And then what I know about how it plays out isn't wretched but also has issues. (And I think the TVM is v watchable...) Essentially--the mildest gender shit sits in this echo chamber of how this is his bazillionth Indistinguishable Sinister Sexy Business Lady Overly Interested in the Doctor. And yes the Master was ALWAYS overly interested, but if you can't tell in the lead up whether it's the Master or a strange re-incarnation of River or something, if that ambiguity powers your whole 'twist'... thaaaaat is an issue. There's sexism, and then there's--your relationship to gender being poor in a way that cripples your storytelling?

Augh, I hate that Major Shit Wrong thing worse than anything though? Like... plot crapness okay, I will suffer a million weak, dull, wonky eps before dealing with a shiny ep that actually presents a difficult to gloss over core challenge to something that, for me, was important about the text.

Yeah, agreed re--is it the same, and suspension, which IS ODD, as you suggest, because we can accept so many media and production regime/genre/mode changes and so many naff plots? What about this is TOO MUCH, will it look better in time, is this actually distinctly different from those other variations, etc.
Aster: orsinoaster_dw on November 9th, 2014 10:51 pm (UTC)
"Essentially--the mildest gender shit sits in this echo chamber of how this is his bazillionth Indistinguishable Sinister Sexy Business Lady Overly Interested in the Doctor. And yes the Master was ALWAYS overly interested, but if you can't tell in the lead up whether it's the Master or a strange re-incarnation of River or something, if that ambiguity powers your whole 'twist'... thaaaaat is an issue"

That's actually a very good (and sad) point. For me, the main mystery of the character before the "reveal" was that it obv could have been the Master (subtle as a brick), but there were SO MANY OTHER possible Sexy!Older!Obsessive!Evil!Moffat!women it could have been that I genuinely was kept guessing until the very end.
- Has River Song regenerated, with her enduring love for the doctor now dark and twisted?
- Is this older Clara, who has finally gone off the tracks from her deep feelings for the Doctor unrequited?
- Is Tasha Lem showing her true (sexy but sinister!) colours?
- Is some new Kovarian-like matron figure hatching an evil plan?

Literally, with the current writing team it could have been anyone because they are all kind of the same.

And in a sense, they got some things right with the new Master probably because he already has some established character traits/mannerisms that happen by a fortuitous coincidence to overlap with the current Older Woman Trope. (Being overly interested as one of them). So as a result, it was not ALL horribly OOC but in a bit of the same way as a broken clock shows the right time twice a day.
(I was relieved by those small mercies and enjoyed some bits in the eps, but that's largely because rock-bottom expectations and my miraculous powers of being in denial about/ blocking out the vast amounts of shit that did actually happen. Like...pretty much all of the finale plot. )
x_losx_los on November 16th, 2014 12:46 am (UTC)
Yeah? And that's not... a clever twist, that's an 'ambiguity' generated by their being several things it could equally plausibly be. That's not a mystery, it's a spinning wheel that could land on like 1 of 6 things.

I bet you're right about the overlap, though that in itself is a bit sad, bc what neither the Doctor nor the Master should be is 'able to be mistaken for randoms'--they should be too themselves and unique for that, right? They're interesting bc they're like but not even THAT able to be confused with other Thems, let alone random megalomaniacs and protags. And I'm sure that if I watched I could like--enjoy a lot of her. I'm sure people can make something of this. But I'm not v good at blocking, and shouldn't have to, come on guys. :/