Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fifty Shades of Dramatic Readings

In case you didn't know, the inimitable and beloved George Takei (Sulu from Start Trek TOS) did a dramatic reading of Fifty Shades since so many of us requested him to do so through Facebook and his blog.

Here it is:

It's awesome because so many people imagine his voice when Ana says "Oh my," and let's face it: you do what you have to with this ridiculous book.

And how adorable is George's husband Brad when he's all, "Do you need the antacids?" I laughed out loud, for sure.

Then this morning, I was teasing my friend who gets really embarrassed about sex for some reason over a funny video of Misha Collins reenacting that scene from When Harry Met Sally (with an assist from Jensen Ackles, because why not?) and I found a video of Richard Speight Jr who plays Gabriel/Loki on Supernatural doing a dramatic reading of Fifty Shades.

It's great because Matt Cohen acts out the scenes (when Richard tells him to "Roll the shit out of [his] hips," I go from being mildly attracted to him to full on wanting to have his babies...seriously, Richard, CALL ME), but what really gets me with both readings is you realize just how horrid the books are when you hear them aloud.

And the thing is, when Gilbert Gottfried read it, it was funny because it was his voice and it was creepy when it was his voice, but Richard up there...I appreciated the low growl and all (nothing in my body clenched, however...hmmm...), but there is just nothing sexy about these books. They are tawdry and stupid, but sexy? No.

So, enjoy.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chapter By Chapter Synopsis: Fifty Shades Darker: Chapter Eight

Okay, we are 32% done, and we're still on the same damn day as we've been on for about twenty percent now. Let's see if we get another day by the end of this chapter.

If you remember from last time, Ana and Christian went to a charity ball and had sex in Christian's childhood bedroom after he bid a hundred thou for a dance with her. Sounds like he got his money's worth. Then, they went back to Christian's delux apartment in the sky and found that his ex-sub Leila had slashed Ana's tires and poured paint over her car. It's not like she liked the car or cared for it, though, Besides, like Taylor isn't going to be driving her everywhere from now on.

Ana married to Christian would totally be the embodiment of the joke, "Why do women need shoes? It's not like their feet can get dirty between the kitchen and the bedroom."

Anyway, now Christian is going to help Taylor, the ex-Black Ops Navy Seal Merchant Marine cum Bodyguard search the house even though Ana is worried. Because it's not like he'd have taken a strip out of her hide if she had pulled a stunt like this, but it's Christian, so he can do whatever the hell he wants. Because he's an asshole.

Sawyer, Taylor's counterpart (Christian only hires blonde women and men who have a "Y" in their last name, but only if that last name ends in "R"), tells Taylor that Christian is going into the apartment, and Taylor reacts like he's really concerned and frightened for Christian. Ana is worried because of this, but again, since it's Christian, it's not like there's anything she can do. The power dynamic in this relationship is completely one-sided.

Ana says she feels impotent. Oh, if only. If only.

Finally, Christian opens the front door and Sawyer pulls his gun on him. This could be a hilarious scene, but like everything else in the book, the author is completely unable to remove the spotlight from Ana and Christian for even a moment to play out what could be really humorous, but instead we get Ana still completely freaked out, "drinking [Christian] in" and just being worried about him and herself, and not caring that there's a group of bodyguards around who get paid to take bullets for her.

You can tell how much I don't like this book when my biggest beef so far is that Ana's dress apparently zips up the back. I haven't encountered an evening gown for ages that zips up the back. Back zippers are so cumbersome and show up too much. Side zippers are so much better. It makes me wonder if the author had a specific dress in mind, or if she even thought about this.

Anyway. Sorry, I know it seems nitpicky, but I've dressed up a few times recently, and even my cheapo sexy secretary dress zips up the side.

(Yes, I have one. I wear it with really high heels.) (No, you can't see a picture) (I know, your day is just ruined now.)

Nevar Forget

Ana wants Christian to call the police, but he says she needs psychiatric help, not police intervention. Goodness, it's not like she's unhinged with a gun or anything. It's not like it's something the police should be aware of.

Ana goes to bed and stares at the ceiling, musing that so much has happened today. It's taken us...five?...chapters to get through this. Five? I think so. Do you think a lot has happened in one day, Ana? Do you think?

Ana dozes off finally, and then wakes up disoriented, sure that a black-clad figure is standing at the end of her bed. She turns on the light and finds no one. Christian isn't around either, so she wanders through the apartment and finds him yelling at Elena on the phone in his study. He's telling Mrs. Robinson to leave Ana alone.

Honestly, Ana should handle this. If it comes from her, it will be so much better than coming from this lady's ex-sub. I don't see how Elena could ever really take Christian seriously since she used to Domme him, and he was an adolescent when she started raping him, so that just leaves a lot of incredulity in her mind where he's concerned. Ana, on the other hand, is sort of a threat to her, and I think she'd do better hearing it from her. Plus, it might make Ana a more interesting character. When she was yelling at Mrs. Robinson in the previous chapter, it was actually interesting.

Christian looks up finally to see Ana standing in his doorway, wearing one of his t-shirts. I'm reminded of a comedian who said that when a woman puts on her boyfriend's shirt, she looks hot, but the same is not usually true for a man putting on a woman's clothes.

Depends on the guy, I guess.

Anyway, instead of suggesting a clothing swap, Christian tells Ana she should be in satin and silk. They don't breathe as well as T-shirts do, though, so hopefully she won't go there.

Christian tells Ana that if anything ever happend to her because of him...we don't know what because he doesn't finish the sentence. Ana promises that nothing is ever going to happen to her.

They go into the bedroom and find the balcony open.

Okay, Christian lives at the top of a penthouse building. How on earth did Leila manage to climb up there? I mean, anything more than about three stories would require some pretty heavy-duty equipment, right? I mean, this story pretty much left the realm of believability a year ago, but I sort of feel like this whole Tom Cruise Mission Impossible bullshit should be left out of it just to give us a little bit of reality to cling to.

Anyway, now everyone starts galvanizing into action, sure that Leila is still in the house somewhere. I think Leila missed an opportunity to SWF these two. If she really knows the house well enough to hide from Taylor while he's searching for her, then she could have gone for months watching these two.

Ana thinks Christian should just try talking to Leila, but he won't do that. He thinks she's too unstable for that. He wants to run off with Ana instead. Before they leave, Ana gives Taylor a hug and tells him to be careful. Wanna bet that one or both of them will be in trouble from Christian in the near future?

Ana finally gets a look at her Audi A3 in the parking garage and wonders how Leila knew it was her car. Christian says that he buys one for all of his subs since it's the safest in its class. Ana snarks that he told her it was a graduation gift. He reminds her that she was never his submissive "Despite what [he] hoped."

Ana wants to know if he's terribly disappointed at her not being his current sub. He finally answers her and he's like, "What do I have to do to convince you that I don't want that anymore?" is a thought: stop treating her like she's your walking, talking doll for you to play with and dress up and fuck whenever you feel like it and start treating her like she's an actual human being.

Oh, no, Ana just wants him to tell her about himself and tell her that he loves her. She doesn't voice this because communication isn't something she does. I think this really bothers me a lot--Christian is actually pretty good about communication. He talks to her, he tells her what she wants to know. Ana just stays in her head.

Of course, whenever she does voice an opinion, he yells at her, so maybe there's a reason for that.

Ana brings up Dr. Flynn and wants to know if Christian really believes she'll leave him if she ever found out the truth about what he talks to Dr. Flynn about. Christian's sure of it. Ana thinks he doesn't have faith in her, so he brings up that she did in fact leave after the last time he showed her that part of himself to her. I just...she left him because he beat her and he wanted to continue to beat her. No matter how much they keep talking about the safe word, that was how the first book ended. It wasn't because Ana didn't use a safe word, it was because he wanted to beat her continuously to make himself feel better, whenever he needed to make himself feel better. I don't know, maybe I'm naive, but I think that once you get past that, there's not a lot he could do or say at this point that's much worse than that. We shall see, however.

Ana tells Christian that his dad told her about how he didn't talk for two years, and Christian seems upset about this. He wants to know what else "Daddy" said about him. Ana brings up what Mia said about his "brawling," and Christian is sort of exasperated, but he's not all angry that she knows about him. This is...a good sign, actually. I mean, I figured he'd be all angry at this point, but he's not.

They get to a hotel, and Ana's positive that the receptionist is trying to figure out what a perfect god like Christian is doing with an ordinary girl like her. I just want to say again that I can't imagine a guy so good looking that a woman would really be that flustered around him.

Wait, I just thought of one...
They go to the hotel suite and Christian pours them both a drink, then reminds us all that it's till the sam fucking day by saying, "It's been quite a day, huh?"

Yeah. Most couples don't go through this much on their wedding day.

Christian comments that Ana isn't whining or crying or running away, and he finds it to be amazing. I think it shows just exactly how mentally unstable she is that she's not headed towards a meltdown right now. I mean, I'm just reading about it and all I want is for this day to end and to maybe sleep through the next one or two days and then just sort of have tea and crepes for breakfast, brunch, elevenses, lunch, supper, dinner and midnight snack before going back to bed again.

They go and have sex, and I don't fault them for that. It's comfort sex, I'm sure. I hope they're going to fall asleep after that, but of course we have to talk more.

Ana muses that Christian is so much more "open" with her than before, and she doesn't want to lose sight of his "Simple, honest journey" or some such shit. IT'S BEEN THREE WEEKS, OKAY?

Finally, they fall asleep.

Oh thank whichever deity or non-deity you believe in. Good GOD that was a long day.

Christian tries to get Ana out of bed once she's awake, and this is a nice change from how he's usually trying to get her into bed. He swats her on the ass, and she decides that it's his idea of affection.

Um...ain't nothing wrong with a good ass-slap first thing in the morning, babe. There really is this sort of all-or-nothing thinking in this book, which is odd since it's called Fifty Shades of Grey. You'd think there'd be more gray areas to work with. Just saying!

Ana chalks her soreness to the sex and the dancing and the high heels. After a day like hers, I'd have called it muscle fatigue. Because, lest you forget, it was a long fucking day.

Christian tells Ana that she needs to eat because she'll need her strength. Ana's hopes it's because they're going to be locked in the bedroom all day, but Christian says they're going out. Ana tries to tease and asks if it's safe. Christian is of course all clowny faces and smiles when he tells her that it's no laughing matter.

Get a sense of humor, asshat.

The doctor arrives to give Ana more contraception, and Ana grumbles internally that she can never have a nice, normal morning.

Hey, that's her fault.

The doctor decides to give Ana a contraceptive shot. I don't know...since Ana doesn't want to get pregnant any time soon, wouldn't an IUD or an implant be better? One of my friends gets the shot, though, and she likes it. You go in every three months and they inject you. Anyway, I'm sure that this information isn't just in here for no good reason, so I'm sure it'll be important in the future! (Yeah, right), so yay! We know what kind of contraception Ana is on!

Christian notes that Ana's in a bad mood, so she finally confesses that the doctor scared her into thinking there was a chance of pregnancy. This is stupid; it was really stupid of the doctor. Yes, there's always a chance when you have sex that you could get pregnant, but they used condoms, and Ana was on the pill and had her period, so everything really should be okay. Ana tells Christian that she was more worried about his reaction than anything else, really, and he says that he doesn't know what to do about her bad mood. He would normally beat it out of her.

How would beating someone put them in a better mood? I don't see how that would work.

Ana tells him that him holding her helps.

They shower together, and after Christian washes Ana off, he asks her to do the same to him. She notices how tense and frightened he is as she touches him, and she starts crying because it's sort of upsetting for her. She keeps imagining him as a hurt little kid, which I guess would be sad if it's someone you love, and Christian tries to reassure her.

This is a scene where you see what this book could have been in the hands of a better author. It could have really been quite a good book.

Ana tells Christian that he's a lovable person (yeah, right) and that she does love him, and so do his family and even Leila and Elena. She then says that she knows he loves her back.

"Yes," he whispers. "I do."

Hey, there's a chapter break here! That's really good. We're now at 37%. Huzzah!

Ooh, one last picture of Richard Armitage and Neal McDonough. I hope I didn't just melt your computer.
(Yes, he's pasty and blond, but he's pretty cute.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chapter By Chapter Synopsis: Fifty Shades Darker: Chapter Seven

Hey, everyone. I know I haven't been around a lot. Some of you took me off of your "feed" or whatever. Some of you are probably seeing me again and like, "Meh. I lost interest."

Yeah, whatevs. I'm seeing this to the bitter end! And bitter it is.

Anyway, huge crapload of excuses are back here, but mostly, I just finished my semester of college, got on vacation, and didn't feel like writing. I mean, do I have to?

Yes, I probably have to.

But you aren't here to listen to me talk about being in college as a thirty-something, as the title of my blog would imply. No, you are here for Fifty Shades of Idiocy. Let us slog on.

When last we were with Christian and Ana, lo those many months ago, they were at a charity ball following a huge, complicated day full of ex submissives, hair cuts, ex dommes, fighting, sex, make-up sex, and blatant foreshadowing about said ex submissive.

Yes, that all happened in one day.

Now they are at the ball, and Ana just bid all of her car money for a weekend at Christian's place in Aspen. That sound you hear is John Denver rolling in his grave.

"I dream of my home Starwood in, don't go there!"


Now Ana is freaking out because naturally, Christian is going to be pissed. How dare she give her own money to charity! That little bitch! Christian says, "I don't know whether to worship at your feet or spank the living shit out of you."

Yes, this is a man who has charity at his heart. This guy is a keeper.

Ana's like, "Spank me, yo."

Freakin doormat.

This is what I imagine Ana looks like.

She starts fondling him under the table. I need to find that list I made of what they should be doing instead of having sex, because I have a feeling I'm going to need it soon. Why? Because "Everything south of my navel contracts. This is becoming unbearable."

Oh, Ana. Truer words were never spoken. Only, I need to make one small correction. It's been unbearable since the beginning.

Mia cockblocks the couple (oh, thank GOD that girl is good for something!), and she pulls Ana over to be the person to auction off men for a charity dance. Christian's all, "We won't be dancing, though." Ew.

Now we get to remember that Ana is making Christian into something that no one has ever seen before, because she leans down and kisses him, making just absolutely everyone at the table gape at her and him. They've never seen him with a date before, see, so this is just ca-razy!

Oh, wait, the girls are being auctioned off. Ten bucks says that Ana will fetch a higher price than any other woman there, and not just because Christian is bidding for her. Because she'll be the one all the men want. Just wait.

Okay, in the last chapter (or maybe the one before that), Christian bought Ana some Cartier diamond earrings. Those things had to have been tens of thousands of dollars, but Ana had no qualm about accepting them. Accepting money for her car, however, was a note of contention. And now she's feeling guilty that Christian will be spending money on her to dance with her. It's for charity, but that doesn't matter to her.

Seriously, I know I keep saying that it doesn't make sense, but everytime I think I've gotten comfortable with the levels of nonsense going on, the author just pulls me down another rabbit hole. This doesn't make sense!

We find out from Mia that Christian used to get into fights when he was younger. This somehow astounds Ana. I keep saying she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but jeez louise here, people. Oh, duh, I wonder what Christian used to do for fun when he was a kid? The same thing he does for fun now, of course! Beat the crap out of people! Good God, y'all.

Oh, I see. Since he likes Tudor choral music, he can't be a brawler.

I just want to point out that Anthony Hopkins beat a man to death (after biting him) while listening to J. S. Bach and then skinned another man's face off so he could disguise himself, while listening to the same Goldberg Variation.

And he enjoyed himself while doing so.

Christian is now watching Ana like a hawk. Again, thank goodness we know the difference between that and a handsaw by this point.

Now Mia discloses that around the time Mrs. Robinson took Christian in to be her sub, he stopped getting into so many fights. Oh dear. So the author understands these things are connected too.

This is what I find so troubling: The author knows Christian is a terrible person. She just doesn't care. I'd think this was all some social experiment to see if women really forgive handsome men for doing anything to them, but it's been too long since the books released, and she hasn't confessed yet. I think she's serious about this. That's the scariest part. She really thinks Christian is all that.

The "And a bag of Doritos" is silent.

It's Ana's turn to be bid on, and Christian offers ten thousand bucks. Some other guy counters with fifteen. Oh please. Of course he's some friend of Christian's, helping Christian out.

This is the thing here: this is a charity auction, so it's really awesome that Christian and whoever want to up the bidding amount and really get a lot of money for the charity, these guys are making it about themselves. You can actually donate as much as you like anonymously to these causes. You don't have to put on some huge show so that everyone in the world can see you humping your girlfriend's leg. These are the people who propose on that huge TV at sporting events. They're the ones that make out in public. They're the ones that ignore everyone around them in favor of each other because no one in the world is nearly as interesting or important as they are. They are class A assholes, and they think that they're awesome.

Christian "buys" Ana for a cool hundred grand.

Ana's all, "Who was that masked man?" only the author doesn't take the time to write that out, much to the detriment of the book. I mean, come on! You're at a masked ball! It's the one time you can say something like that! Anyway, Christian's fine introducing the guy to Ana, but first he's going to have sex with her. As you do at a ball.

Christian takes Ana into his childhood bedroom to do what every teenaged boy has ever dreamed: Have sex with a girl. Except, he's nearing thirty and he admits he's never had a girl in his room. Ana reacts like this is a good thing. I mean, I was an overweight, awkward kid with glasses and bucked teeth, but I still managed to get a boy in my room. I mean, I was a senior in high school, but I managed it!

Anyway, we are a-go for masked sex during a charity ball at Christian's parents' house with people milling around all over the place, so that means they're having sex in a way that would not be normal for a normal couple. Maybe doubly so because he brings up how she bid on his charity package which was just such a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad thing for her to do. Or at least it is in whatever alternate reality these people exist in.

So, what could they be doing instead of having sex? The thing is, they're at a charity auction. It's not like they should be eating dinner or in the middle of a movie, they're actually in a place where they should be doing something good for...uh...*reareads* kids who are addicted to drugs. Right-o, that's what they're there for. See, it's been so freaking long since she started all of this that I've forgotten what's going on! This is not how you write a book!

So, anyway, since this is a charity that *foreshadowing* is near and dear to the Grey household, particularly the Eltern Grauen, I propose that they do something to actually benefit those that are impacted by drug abuse. This could be as simple as helping to sponsor a meeting place for the local chapter of Narcotics Anonymous. Or, you know, this is a really crazy idea, but they could get the heck back down to the party, talk to people, encourage them to give, and keep their minds on what's going on around them.

As they get dressed, Ana notices a small black and white photo on the bulletin board. It's of a woman who looks familiar to Ana (dun-dun-dunnnnn), but Ana can't place her. Who is it? Oh, no one of consequence.

Come on. I mean, really. Who is it? Duh, Christian's birth mother, maybe? Jeez.

They dance together (this is still the same day, remember?), and finally, Ana gets to meet themasked man. It's Christian's psychiatrist. He's British. Well, thank goodness we have that descriptor. I mean, the author can't give anyone a personality, but she can give him an accent.

They talk nonsense, and when Christian gets her back, she's all, "Oh, he told me everything." This panicks Christian because that's a normal reaction. Ana tells him she's just kidding, and he visibly relaxes. Oh yes. I hope I can meet a man like this some day. That would be so very nice. Oh my.

Ana remembers that she left her purse at her table, and she goes back to get it....

.....and runs into Mrs. Robinson.

Yes, this is still the same day!

Mrs. Robinson says that Christian is in love with Ana and Ana's all, "Bwuah? Really?" I'd go for "Same Shit, Different Day" here, but it's the same fucking day! The same day! 25% of this book is all spent on one stupid, never ending day! It's the day that never ends. It just goes on and on, my friends. Some people started living it not knowing what it was, and now they'll be living it forever just because...

Mrs. Robinson gives Ana the "You hurt him, I'll kill you" speech. Ana finds this deliciously ironic. No, not because he hurts her, but because Mrs. Robinson molested him when he was a teenager. Mrs. Robinson brings up last Saturday (yes, it's only been a week since they broke up and got back together), and Ana feels bad.

Do we have to go over this again, too?

Ana's like, "If I ever leave him again, you come and talk to me. I'll give you a piece of me then."

Both women are staring off here. Ana leaves and Christian sees her. He finds the irony in the situation, but Ana still doesn't. Christian offers to talk to the lady, but Ana's all, "No way, Jose...remember him?"

Ana goes into the bathroom, but when she comes out, Christian is on the phone, obviously with Mrs. Robinson. Ana doesn't get all possessive (that's Christian's job...), but she is a little upset. They decide to stay and watch some fireworks.

Since this is still the same day, Christian's dad asks Ana to dance with him. Ana uses the time to interrogate the poor man and we learn that Christian didn't speak for about two years after he was adopted. Grey Senior acts like Ana's going to marry Christian, and let's face it; it's a foregone conclusion. I mean, that's how this thing is going to end, right? Married, happy, 2.5 children?

Oh my gosh, it's still the same day and the same chapter. Now Christian and Ana are strolling around the grounds until they feel at home. Here's to you.

The fireworks finally start, and when they are ove, Ana's all, "Suddenly, I feel very tired."

You and me both, chica. You and me both.

Mia tries to detain them, but they're both too tired. Good gracious. IT'S STILL THE SAME FREAKING DAY, PEOPLE! Making it worse, Christian says that tomorrow is going to be a big day.

I'm starting to fear for my sanity. No wonder Christian's insane. Doesn't he ever just relax and read a book in front of the fire place? Maybe he should get a cat. If I stay out too late, Mr. Chekhov is always on hand to scold me like I don't already have a dad.

Christian says that it will be a big day because Dr. Greene is coming by to give Ana more contraception because he hates condoms. Ana's all, "It's my body." Christian's like, "It's mine too."

Oh, ugh. Welcome to the 21st century, y'idjits.

Have I mentioned that we're still on the same chapter?

Mrs. Robinson left Ana a letter inviting her to lunch for a chat about Christian. Christian's like, "I'll deal with her later."

Back at the Grau Haus, Christian notes that it's been a long day. You're telling me, buddy.

They can't go into Christian's apartment. Someone (Leila) slashed Ana's tires and threw paint all over her car. Christian, Taylor, and two other guys go to investigate if anyone is in the house.

Thank God, it's over. This chapter is, anyway. We're 32% done now, guys! Whew.

Okay, I'm making a committment to update once a week with this. Hopefully we'll be done soon.