Sunday, February 21, 2016

Character Development ... The 100

My posts have become sporadic at best. Life happens. Maybe that’s my new normal? I will continue to update just perhaps not as regularly. It may sound like a cop out, give me an easy out for not updating weekly anymore, but I’d much rather focus my posts from now on.

Everyone pretty much knows that I am an aspiring fiction writer, that’s the ultimate goal! I read a lot. I watch a lot of adaptations of books to movies/TV shows. I also have a lot of opinions on them.

Let’s start with my latest page to screen adaptation: The 100.

For anyone that hasn’t watched this show on The CW I highly recommend you do and I would go no further in this post, spoilers and such. Today I would like to focus on character development, specifically the character development of everyone’s favorite delinquent leader, Bellamy Blake.

For anyone that’s followed the series all the way up to the current episode of season 3 we all know that Bellamy’s story is a fairly wild ride. We’ve seen him play many different character tropes, the jerk, protective big brother, rebel, soldier, friend, hero, etc. There really does not seem to be an end to the ways in which his character has grown and changed over the last two seasons leading up to now.

At the end of season 2 we’re left off after Mount Weather has been slayed, season 3 picks up and shows us the aftermath of those events. Clarke, his partner for all intents and purposes, is gone and he’s left alone to deal with what they had to do in order to save their friends from the Mountain Men.

IMDb: Wanheda Part 2
What I really want to talk about are the last two episodes of season 3, 3x04 and 3x05. Now I follow The 100 on Twitter, Tumblr, etc. and I see other posts in regards to the show and its characters. Many of the posts I am seeing recently are claims that all the development Bellamy’s character has gone through has been ruined by his behavior/decisions in the last two episodes.

Well I want to say as a writer; that’s just not true. Let’s talk about the events leading up to 3x04. Bellamy and Kane go on a rescue mission to try and save Clarke from the Ice Nation. In the process Bellamy goes rogue and ends up with a stab wound in his leg, it lands him squarely on the bench, which is a place he hates to be. Despite all this he tries a second time to do the right thing and save his people at the summit in Polis, he wants to bring Clarke home. However, his rescue at the summit turns out to be a trap (thank you Echo, don’t trust Azgeda apparently).  While he’s gone Mount Weather, full of members of the Ark/Farm Station, is destroyed by an Ice Nation assassin as part of a coup to start a war with Lexa. Bellamy’s girlfriend Gina is among the carnage.

So that leads us to 3x04 and 3x05. Of course I agree that he’s made some bad decisions and the things he’s done the last two episodes is not the Bellamy Blake that we’ve all grown to love over season 1 and season 2. That, however, does not mean all the growth his character has gone through was for naught. If anything seeing him falter and make a few bad decisions while blinded by grief makes his character more human.

He’s still human and grief, pain, loss can make people do crazy things. He is not thinking clearly when he makes these decisions, these choices that have him slipping off the path he’s been solidly on for the last two seasons. Bellamy Blake is ultimately a good person he’s just upset, confused and being viciously manipulated by Charles Pike.

Marcus Kane has been shown as acting as a mentor to Bellamy and Marcus does what he has to in the name of protecting his people. Charles Pike believes he’s doing the same thing but only sees the Grounders as the enemy. It is a blanket view on all Grounders; his view is clouded by hate due to what Azgeda did to Farm Station when they landed. Pike has been shown as using Bellamy’s grief against him in order to gain leverage on his cause.

At the moment Bellamy is angry at losing so many people in Mount Weather, he’s upset over losing Gina, he’s hurt because he can’t seem to get Clarke to come home and he’s struggling with the revelation that Octavia, the sister he’s sworn to protect, is gearing up to leave him too. All of those emotions are clouding his mind it’s a lot for one person to deal with. Pike knows this and is exploiting that to get Bellamy on his side.

So yes he’s made some truly misguided decisions that have truly horrific consequences. But the Bellamy we watched grow over the first two seasons still exists; he recognizes they went too far by attacking the Grounder army. He’s the reason Pike did not kill Indra. Deep down he knows what he’s doing is wrong but I don’t think he quite knows how to fix it just yet. So I have hope for him, he will come back to us as the Bellamy we all know and love.

And if it’s not on his own I’m sure Clarke and the rest of the original hundred would surely help move the process along. His character growth has not been destroyed, not by a long shot, as long as he recognizes that what he’s doing is wrong there’s hope for him. He will get back on the right path … and for the love of god, STOP LISTENING TO PIKE!

This season has been a wild ride so far I can only imagine what the rest will be like!


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

From Page to Screen: The 100

Barnes & Noble
From Page to Screen: The 100

All right, all right I broke the rules. Yes, I watched the TV show before reading the book. Sue me, it happens on occasion, not many but it does. So of course having seen the show first you would assume that I would like that better than the book, that she show would be my baseline to which I compared every little detail and aspect of the story that Kass Morgan so meticulously created.

And that’s where you’d be wrong.

I mean of course I’m going to notice the differences between the two, characters, language, setting, etc. and there are some MAJOR differences! (Um, Jasper & Monty? Hello where are you guys?)

Now at two-thirds of the way through the Morgan trilogy I’ve come to the conclusion that the differences between the novel and the show are not bad, not in any way. Sure the differences are pretty obvious and I find myself searching for those characters I fell in love with on the show but at the same time I got to meet new characters, who I fell in love with for entirely different reasons! We’ve got our favorites around to tether us all together (Clarke, Bellamy, Octavia) and yes Octavia Blake is still chasing butterflies and making friends with the Grounders (Earthborns). Bellamy Blake is ever the protective older brother of his little sister and one half of the only set of siblings in space. Clarke Griffin is actually a doctor guys! Well almost, she kind of gets arrested before finishing training and you can kind of piece together what happens from there.

Maybe I am not judging this adaptation as harshly because I watched the show first and had already resigned myself to the changes that had to be made to stretch a three book trilogy into a whole show. Even still I find myself enthralled with the world, the same basic story, and not minding those changes in the least. It’s clear to me that the books and the show can have two entirely separate fan bases without ever really needing the other; but it is also possible to be a fan of both, as I have recently become part of that category.

For anyone that has seen the show but not read the books yet, I implore you to give them a try! They are a world apart and just as thrilling. Fans of the show we have Jason Rothenberg to thank for keeping the integrity of the story but should praise him for creating such a fantastic world of his own. The TV show is and adaptation in its truest form.
For those in the back the meaning of adaptation, according to Oxford Dictionaries, is …
  • The action or process of adapting or being adapted
  •  A movie, television drama, or stage play that has been adapted from a written work, typically a novel
  • Biology A change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment

Ironically it’s the last one that I think is most relevant in this instance. This is a case of Jason Rothenberg taking the idea created by Kass Morgan, changing and altering it to fit its new medium. What Morgan does in three books Rothenberg has to stretch over as many episodes and seasons he can muster. So yes, while I am the nerd that would gladly sit through a seventeen hour Harry Potter movie if it meant nothing had to change, I make an exception to my general rule. The 100 is fantastic regardless of whether fans came by page or by screen.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 ... A Year in Pictures

St. Jude Walk/Run - Sept 2015
Fallon vs Yerger Cards Against Humanity Showdown - Dec 2015
MSMC Commencement - May 2015

Islanders Game - April 2015

Pansy Breakfast - May 2015

Islanders Game - April 2015

MSMC Commencement - May 2015

Pansy Breakfast - May 2015

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

MSMC Commencement - May 2015

AU Young Alumni Reunion - June 2015

Birthday Shenanigans - July 2015

Manhasset Bay - August 2015

7's Family - July 2015

Manhasset Bay - August 2015

St. Jude Walk/Run - Sept 2015

Delta Delta Delta 127th Founder's Day - Nov 2015 
Ellie Goulding Concert - November 2015

Archery - November 2015

2015 has officially come to a close, here's to 2016 and all the new and exciting adventures ahead!