callmeonetrack: (Kara: Smirk)
[personal profile] callmeonetrack
Not the thing I planned to write today but hey. It's a start.

Fic: Written on Your Skin, The Affair, Cole(/Alison)
Rating: PG
Length: 363 words
Written for [livejournal.com profile] waltzmatildah's 2015 ficathon redemption

He can't take another morning of waking up and looking into her eyes and seeing...not guilt. Not love either. Just...a blankness, as if she can't see him at all.

It wouldn't be so hard if he could just stop remembering what she used to look like. The way she used to look at him rather than through him. Laughing eyes and curving lips superimposed over her face like a ghost. Like their ghost.

Suddenly he's angry, furious at all that's left them.

At all that's left of them.

He stops thinking and gets up. Pulls on a shirt and jeans and his boots, his hands shaking with a restless energy that's only calmed when he's out on the waves these days.

Before he leaves the room, he looks back at the bed. "Ali?"

Nothing. She doesn't even turn to look at him.

He makes a fist and presses it to the doorjamb, debating for a minute whether he should push it. Not that that ever gets him anywhere.

When he drives into town, he doesn't really have an idea of where he'll end up, so when he walks into the tattoo parlor, it even surprises him. But then a sudden burst of clarity hits him. Cole's never been religious but it's almost like a benediction, which is fitting, he supposes.

It only takes a couple hours, but his side is sore and he won't be able to surf for at least a week.

It's worth it though, he tells himself. It has to be.

He goes to the ranch, works himself to the point of exhaustion, and that night before he climbs into bed next to his wife, he slowly, carefully peels the bandage off his hip.

The skin is red, angry and raw, but it's still beautiful.

Her eyes are closed when he climbs under the covers and kisses his wife until she opens them.

"I want to show you something," he murmurs, then turns, easing the covers down low enough that she can see it.

Cole waits, breath held, staring at the wall, for something...anything from Alison.

He's still waiting when the sun rises on a new day.

Date: 2015-01-02 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daybreak777.livejournal.com
Aww, Cole. He breaks my heart. I nearly teared up Helen. The spouses want so much to make it right. I'm supposed to root for Noah/Allison, but I don't.

I hope Cole makes it somehow without her.

Date: 2015-01-02 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
Heh, I don't either and I'm actually wondering if we are supposed to root for N/A. It's a weird show in that...if we're supposed to believe they're soulmates, their relationship is hardly romantic at all. Strange!

I hope so too. I'm very curious as to how they'll incorporate Cole and Helen next year, especially if we're supposed to be getting their POVs in S2. Do the marriages drag on a long time before they're resolved? I wonder...

Date: 2015-01-02 06:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
I don't at all root for Noah/Allison, and I'm not convinced that we're meant to? Helen and Cole are both so super sympathetic as characters (and given how they COULD be written, rich-white-privileged-daddy's girl, and badboy-surfer-cow boy-drug dealer-dude... I mean...!)

I'm not actually convinced we're meant to do anything with this show. I don't get the impression they're trying to make me believe specific things about specific characters, particularly not things like good/bad/right/wrong etc. They've all got their flaws and foibles. But they've also all got plenty of redeeming qualities (some more than others!).

I really loved season one, and am very much looking forward to season two :)

Date: 2015-01-02 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
I sort of agree but the official marketing of the show AND the showrunner's comments on twitter have explicitly stated that do expect us to see Noah and Allison as "good people who unexpectedly found their soulmate and couldn't help that they were already married." (Which...despite their wanting the affair to be realistic, it could've used more actual romance to it? And DW and RW's chemistry is...eh?)

Sarah Treem also made comments about how surprised she's been by people's sympathy for Helen and for Cole and that we're only seeing them through someone else's eyes so they might not be as likable as we think. So...that seems to me like they didn't specifically craft Helen and Cole to be sympathetic but that the actors they cast have so much good will from previous projects and are doing such a good job that people ARE reacting in ways they didn't expect.

I also am frequently baffled specifically by the choices they've made for Cole and think that their idea of who he is -- a gruff guy who can't really express his feelings/guilt/sadness and bottles everything up -- isn't exactly what JJ has been playing him as and that JJ is maybe not the actor you want to play someone gruff and remote? And also that certain things they've written for him-- the drug dealing and his actions in Alison's POV in the finale -- just don't really seem consistent with the rest of his character/who he is.)

But I do agree that they feel like they've created a show where everything is open to interpretation/there is no right or wrong, etc. And yet then they seem annoyed or surprised when people actually do take sides or want to know the "real truth" with the murder mystery. So there's a little bit of trying to have your cake and eat it too on their part.

I'm someone who likes hearing about/seeking out the behind the scenes stuff like why the writers made the choices they did with their story--but sometimes the answers are so frustrating I think we're better off not knowing. Lol.

Date: 2015-01-02 03:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
And this, right here, is EXACTLY why I steer clear of writer's room commentary with fervor! Urgh. I have been burned WAAAY too many times with this crap that, like you say in your last line, I think we're better off not knowing!

I had NO CLUE about any of this. And I'm now going to promptly forget I read it! Haha.

I'm guessing that both those things you've mentioned re. Cole (drug dealing and Alison's POV scenes at the end) are things that'll be addressed next season. I actually found Alison's POV more believable (with regard to my personal reading of Cole -- not the one the writers think they're giving us, clearly!) than Noah's POV.

Which, speaking of... Any theories as to why their stories diverged so drastically over the last couple of episodes? At the beginning, it was mostly just little details, like clothing, hair, interpretation, facial expression. But now it's whole swathes of time that you think would actually be pretty freaking memorable. Obviously there's a reason (and if you know but only because of spoilers, then please don't tell me!, but if you don't have a clue -- like me -- and want to speculate, please do!), but I can't (yet) figure out what it is!

Date: 2015-01-02 03:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
I got so jaded after BSG's ending that I even more so now want to know a writer's intentions in case there may be signs/a warning that they're going to totally betray their story/characters in the end and piss me off. I got very cynical, LOL.

I am curious as to how Cole and Helen will figure into S2. I mean how long can the marriages go on after that finale and before N/A actually get together for good? And once that happens...there's less reason for their spouses to be so prominent in the narrative, though N/H will always wrangle over the kids and Cole will be involved because of Scotty's death, I guess. (Though in retrospect, I have no idea why the affair needed to be accounted for in such detail to the inspector at all given the death happens years later? But I can go with it because it has to be the framework for the show basically.) I have heard they're considering incorporating Cole and Helen's POVs in S2 which I'm excited for. A step closer to my desire for the show to actually be "The Lockharts of Montauk." Lol.

I know, they very much broke suspension of disbelief with how varied their accounts were in that finale. And I wouldn't expect that there's obviously a reason (like say, one of them is lying to the detective and this is the way they're purposefully telling it to frame someone...or that this is the way Noah wrote it in his book...or whatever). Sarah Treem's justification is not spoilery exactly--it's the same reasons they've given all along for the memories differing. But I do not think it's satisfying or ENOUGH for the finale which is such a HUGE EVENT, but your mileage may vary?

I mean I can go with you interpreting things in your memory the way you want, but if Alison is to be believed, Noah didn't choose to remember the part that Cole was waving a gun at his wife/daughter and threatening to shoot them? REALLY? (That's the part I couldn't buy in Alison's POV actually--him threatening those two repeatedly...even if it was a bluff. It was a step too far. Threatening himself absolutely, maybe Alison and Noah--sure? But I don't think he would've pointed the gun at Whitney and Helen. I don't buy that part. I thought it was so in character when he said to Noah -- "So that's how you talk to your daughter? Real nice." and then for him to threaten her life a second later....nope. That part I couldn't buy.)

OMG I'm so thrilled to talk to someone about The Affair. I've been writing about it for an online blog but sadly not a lot of their readers are watching it.

Date: 2015-01-02 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
It's 02:44 here and I'm in bed and replying on my phone so this is just to say that I WILL be back to reply properly later on because I have ALL THE THINGS to say!

Date: 2015-01-03 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Okay, I'm back!

I am TOTALLY cynical about writers! Haha! You are 1000% preaching to the converted, here! It's the biggest thing 12 and I will FOREVER disagree wholeheartedly on! If writers are going to be vocal about their work, then what they say totally matters to me. If they say they're writing A, B and C, but what I'm consistently seeing is X, Y and Z, I simply CAN NOT sit back and say, well, they're doing an excellent job of writing X, Y and Z. For me, they're doing a SHITHOUSE job of writing A, B and C. If that makes any sense?! My perpetual example is always like this; if I write in my summary that my fic is about Cole and Alison in the immediate aftermath of Gabriel's death, and then actually write Noah and Alison fic, where Cole is a bit player, I haven't written a great Noah/Alison fic, I've written a really terrible Cole/Alison fic. However, if I keep my mouth shut and just let people interpret as they will, then I actually might write a great Noah/Alison fic.

I often wonder if it's because I approach the situation from the perspective of someone who also writes (tries to!), and therefore the standards I impose on myself are standards I impose on other people doing the same (or similar) things? Like, maybe I think too much about it?!! Haha.

But I think motivation is so freaking important. And sometimes there can be plenty of interesting discussion to be had in the ~difference. The space between my interpretation and the words of the writers. Why is what I'm seeing, NOT what (they think) they're writing? I like that kind of analysis. SOMETIMES. But on my terms! Haha!
Edited Date: 2015-01-03 01:41 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-01-05 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
Hi! Finally got a chance to come back to the LJs...

If writers are going to be vocal about their work, then what they say totally matters to me. If they say they're writing A, B and C, but what I'm consistently seeing is X, Y and Z, I simply CAN NOT sit back and say, well, they're doing an excellent job of writing X, Y and Z. For me, they're doing a SHITHOUSE job of writing A, B and C. If that makes any sense?!

Total sense. I too like wondering why I'm seeing something different from what they intended--and it seems like very often that's so the case with a lot of TV shows (especially when it comes to love/shipping).

I don't know if it's a standards thing, but--and I'll probably get into this more in response to one of your other answers--I do get annoyed with writers/creators if I feel I'm giving more thought to their characters and writing than they are (as revealed by interviews they'll give.) I don't have a lot of respect for the ones that just throw in twists because they're "cool" with little regard for the previous plot/characterization, and/or then don't have a plan for resolving those twists.

Date: 2015-01-03 01:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
(Though in retrospect, I have no idea why the affair needed to be accounted for in such detail to the inspector at all given the death happens years later? But I can go with it because it has to be the framework for the show basically.) Yeah, I am really, REALLY curious about this, too. Is the assumption that all the flashbacks we're getting are for parts of the story Alison and Noah are physically telling the detective? Or do we think there are additional flashbacks that are not part of the interrogation?

HMMM! SO MANY INTERESTING QUESTIONS!

they very much broke suspension of disbelief with how varied their accounts were in that finale. Yeah, absolutely. If they try to pass that off as fallible memories, then yeah, NAH. Not buying that at allllll. Those were massive differences. Even the part where they each 'remember' finding the pregnancy test. It makes ZERO sense to explain either that or the gun-waving discrepancies as memory differences/the unreliability of eyewitness testimony.

I buy Cole waving the gun at Whitney and Helen because I don't for a second believe that COLE BELIEVED he was going to pull the trigger on them. And that's the big difference, for me, between the two points of view. I think, the way that scene plays out from Alison's POV, she didn't for a moment believe that he would ACTUALLY KILL THOSE PEOPLE, and that comes across in the way JJ plays the scene.

Whereas Cole, in Noah's POV, is much more menacing and calculated.

He just seems incredibly unhinged in Allison's POV. I'd say, Noah's impression of his menace is exaggerated, as is Allison's impression of his 'on-the-brink-ness'. Both of which are very self-serving interpretations, of course. Noah was overpowered by his mistress's husband. It's in his best interests to percieve Cole as threatening and violent because it helps him justify his relationship with Alison.

Likewise, it's in Alison's best interests to see Cole as so devastated by her leaving him that he'd be prepared to wave a gun at virtual strangers and then point it at his own head.

Also, though, don't get me wrong; as much as I believe my interpretations, I DON'T believe the difference between the two can be put down to genuine mis-remembering, if that makes sense. So while I'm justifying the portrayals, I'm NOT justifying the explanation of the differences. I should probably stop now, right?!

OH LOL.
Edited Date: 2015-01-03 01:42 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-01-05 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
Yeah, I am really, REALLY curious about this, too. Is the assumption that all the flashbacks we're getting are for parts of the story Alison and Noah are physically telling the detective? Or do we think there are additional flashbacks that are not part of the interrogation?

I believe they're just a jumping off point to give the audience a timeline/frame of reference. But that what we see isn't exactly what they're telling the detective? (There were a few times in the narrative, very early--like maybe the pilot?--when they said one thing in the interrogation room and then they showed us the character doing the opposite in the flashback.

I buy Cole waving the gun at Whitney and Helen because I don't for a second believe that COLE BELIEVED he was going to pull the trigger on them. And that's the big difference, for me, between the two points of view. I think, the way that scene plays out from Alison's POV, she didn't for a moment believe that he would ACTUALLY KILL THOSE PEOPLE, and that comes across in the way JJ plays the scene.

Hmm, but see I didn't think that was the way RW was playing it. I thought she really did believe he might kill someone. And I don't know how you could feel that way about your lover/husband of 20 years....unless you don't know him at all or you already believe him to be a fairly dangerous guy or you really hate him? And the Cole they've showed us seems so not that guy?

So I thought Cole came across as way more menacing in Alison's POV than Noah's. In Noah he pointed the gun at him as a scare tactic, to get him off Scotty...but that's where it ended so I could only believe there was no real threat/danger there...because the scene (and ostensibly Noah's memory) ended there. There wasn't anything important that came after that, I assume.

But I agree that the handwaving a major showdown like Alison's versus the nothingness of Noah's by saying memories differ, and this is what they chose to remember is lame/not sufficient. If anything at all of Alison's version is true--HOW THE FUCK COULD NOAH NOT REMEMBER THAT? Cole threatening your wife and kid with a gun is way more terrible/non-understandable than threatening you who cuckolded the guy, by any measure. I mean, Noah's for sure a selfish fuck, but that would be a seriously myopic world view if he forgot/handwaved the guy waved a gun at his kid and wife.

Date: 2015-01-06 08:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
I didn't think that was the way RW was playing it. I thought she really did believe he might kill someone. And I don't know how you could feel that way about your lover/husband of 20 years... I definitely did think that's how it was played and so the second part of your concern didn't even come into it for me. It's interesting how differently we've interpreted those scenes, and yet, we've STILL managed to interpret them differently to how it would seem we were meant to interpret them. Endlessly fascinating!

If anything at all of Alison's version is true--HOW THE FUCK COULD NOAH NOT REMEMBER THAT? EXACTLY!! Which is why it makes NO SENSE for either a) Alison's version to even REMOTELY resemble the truth, or) for Noah not to have 'made up' his version of events for some ulterior motive that we don't know yet.

There's just NO WAY I can put that discrepancy down to memory differences. NO CHANCE.

Date: 2015-01-06 02:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
I suppose it's possible Treem is purposely misleading us/holding back by handwaving it and attributing it to the usual "everyone remembers differently" but... I don't think so. She seems fairly straightforward in her interviews/answers/tweets. I just don't think this show is suddenly going to have a reveal that we were duped all along, etc. etc. because of XX wanting to mislead y, etc. They're too in love with the ambiguity of unreliable narration (which I tend to think needs limits in storytelling).

Date: 2015-01-03 01:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
From your blog:

Did you end up thinking worse and worse of Alison and Noah progressively as the show continued? YES. Times one thousand. Noah, in particular. I found it easier to maintain some degree of sympathy and empathy for Alison. Which also answers your second question. Kind of. This show is tricky, like that! I mean, it's in Alison's best interests to portray herself as broken. And it's in Noah's to portray her as in need of rescuing. So maybe we're cued to be more sympathetic to her because of this? But even if you take some of the ~interpretation away and just look at the (supposed) facts: her son died. Possibly in a manner she could have prevented. Her grandmother also died. Her husband is a drug dealer. Obviously, none of these things mean it's okay for her to cheat on Cole, but... yeah. Though, to be honest... he's a drug dealer... pretty much all bets are off after that, right?! Though she's clearly in on it, so...

But if, as she says, the real truth does not matter that much…is that just a cheap excuse to never truly have to take a stand with your story?) I absolutely think that's a cop out! It gives them free rein to write whatever they want without it having to make a lick of sense! And it seems like a pretty naive view to have in this, the glory days of television. Competition is stiff, and if she thinks people will continue to hand-wave a show that's trying to be Clever, then, I think she's sorely mistaken!

I haven't noticed the discrepancies with Cole to the same degree that you appear to have. I don't have Pacey goggles, either, though! Haha. I never watched DC (blasphemy?). I should probably clarify here though, I don't think Cole's inconsistency is Cole-related at all (and maybe this is where not following the writers helps?), I think it's Alison-related (and, to a lesser degree, Noah-related). And I know I've made this point previously, but I think, as her emotional state varies from episode to episode, so does her recollection of Cole. When she's feeling genuinely guilty, she's more sympathetic towards him. When she's angry or hurting or trying to get rid of the guilty feelings, she's harsher. It's one of the things I actually really like about the show. I think the same can be said, though to a much lesser degree, for Helen. Noah tends to be less emotional (imo) than Alison, and a whole lot more self-seving. Hence his portrayal of Helen is more consistent (and his portrayal of Alison, too, for that matter -- he likes to see her as a damsel in distress that he needs to rescue, because it gives the affair an added air of justification for him).

And all of the above is why I'm having such a hard time believing that the discrepancies in the finale could EVER be due to just memory failure! So far, everything has made SO. MUCH. SENSE. when examined from a psychological perspective. I really need for there to be a 'proper' explanation for the ending!

• Were you moved by Alison’s recollection of that one moment where Noah pulled her to him and she thought it was the most erotic moment of her life? NO! That reeked of desperation to me!

did you feel for Cherry that they lost the ranch or did you think she was irredeemable after blaming Alison for Gabriel’s death last week? I find it really hard to make meaningful impressions of the supporting characters, as far as things like motivations and personalities go, because we're only seeing them through Alison or Noah's eyes. Maybe Alison exaggerated Cherry's reaction? Or maybe what Cherry said in the flashback was just Alison putting her OWN words in Cherry's mouth. Or maybe Alison was trying to balance out her own threat to tell Cole about the debts. I don't believe that scene happened the way Alison reported that it happened. And because I don't know the truth about Cherry, I can't really say how I feel about her.

Edited Date: 2015-01-03 02:04 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-01-05 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
See, I feel like the Cole being a drug dealer thing is one of the first things they really lost me on. I just don't think it fits at all with the rest of his character unless he's a huge hypocrite. The guy that got up at the town meeting (ostensibly reluctantly because he doesn't like to talk/speechify) and railed about how their community was changing too much and catering to city folk...would not logically turn around and sell drugs to city folk and basically attract that element to his community. I just...logically that makes zero sense to me. And I have a hard time believing a family as high profile as the Lockharts with the ranch and all would do this with no repercussions for years before this. (Also--the whole finances of dealing drugs to save the ranch is spotty at best.)

That's an interesting point about Alison's emotions changing her POV, but I still don't quite understand why *his* characterization is so wildly different (even if you chalk it up to Alison and Noah wanting to remember him as a bad guy) when Helen is...pretty much the same in both? I mean sure sometimes she's snobby/entitled but...that's a bit different than waving a gun and being a drug dealer! The drug element is the part of this whole show that is the least necessary I think. It's a red herring probably to make the mystery of Scotty's death more dramatic/potentially have another suspect, but...I wish they hadn't gone there.

I don't believe that scene happened the way Alison reported that it happened. And because I don't know the truth about Cherry, I can't really say how I feel about her.

And this gets right to the heart of what's intriguing but also rather problematic about the show. Sooner or later, they have to pick a lane...i.e. we have to know there are SOME incontrovertable truths. Not only because there's a murder investigation here--which by law has to have some facts to solve it, but because if we can't trust anything, than how can we believe in anything and attach to the story? I really think this is the kind of thing where you can be tricky temporarily but if you start having wildly dramatic plot happenings and never will say which really happened (like the finale), audiences will eventually get upset and tune out. And they don't have enough audience to alienate folks.




Date: 2015-01-06 08:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
unless he's a huge hypocrite. Which, if he IS a drug dealer (maybe it'll turn out that the drug dealing thing is something that Noah and Alison have made up?!) then really, him being a hypocrite too is REALLY not that big of a stretch!! Drug dealers are rarely logical and can generally do some excellent mental gymnastics in order to justify their actions.

when Helen is...pretty much the same in both? To me, this actually makes total sense. We see A LOT more of Cole from Noah's POV than we do of Helen from Alison's. The majority of what we see of Helen is from Noah's more consistent POV. Yeah, the variability in Cole that we don't see so much in Helen makes total sense to me.

The drug element is the part of this whole show that is the least necessary I think. Yeah, same. I hope it becomes significant, because otherwise it's kinda meh.

And this gets right to the heart of what's intriguing but also rather problematic about the show. Yep. Agreed. But, that said, I disagree that they HAVE to do anything about this. If the whole thing remains only from Alison and Noah's POV, then they can keep on going with what they've done in season one. I'm not saying I think people will necessarily stick around for that, but they definitely don't HAVE to do anything different. Even if there IS to be a court case. I guess it'll depend on how (and how much) they deal with present day stuff in season two. If it remains heavily flashback reliant then... yeah. I personally find the POV thing absolutely FASCINATING and I don't at all NEED actual, factual explanations (though, if this is to continue, then I need to keep AWAY from what the writers are saying and just go with my own theories!), because I think there's a really worthwhile story to tell in the difference between the two re-tellings. But the thing is, what I DO need for this to work is to be confident that the differences are a product of skewed remembering, motivations, perceptions etc and NOT the result of lies or manipulation that are never explained or justified. If that makes sense?

Date: 2015-01-06 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
Right, but the whole salt of the earth cowboy thing he's got going on (not to mention his laid back surfer dude side)...none of the other elements of his personality as they've constructed it seem to jive with him being a shady lying drug dealer. The desperation to save his family is the only justification (and I guess if you believe Oscar's line about the family being into illegal peddling since prohibition...) that makes any sense but for me...it's not enough. Maybe because they haven't taken any time to set up the details logically of how the ranch runs, etc. because that's not really the focus of this show. I guess I don't think drug dealing is a great choice for a tersely handled secondary plotline meant only to throw shade onto one character? It's too big to do justice and thus it doesn't really make a hell of a lot of sense from either a characterization or a plotting standpoint.

Well they don't have to keep their story compelling, no, but...wouldn't you want to? Lol. If there's a lot of critical reception to the show out there saying how it got increasingly less interesting/believable and never paid off after the great pilot....which there is... I think I'd listen to that criticism and weigh it if I was an episodic storyteller. The nice thing about TV is that...you can always correct your course if you're not stuck in a bubble. Sadly, showrunners seldom do.

What I DO need for this to work is to be confident that the differences are a product of skewed remembering, motivations, perceptions etc and NOT the result of lies or manipulation that are never explained or justified. If that makes sense?
Yeah, I don't think you'll ever get that verification/confidence you're seeking on that point. Because how would they definitively do that unless maybe there was a scene (let's say there's a trial) where Noah or Allison is testifying and the other hears their recounting of something and explicitly says "Wait! That's not how it happened!" And as I said in another comment, I don't think it's purposeful manipulation exactly but they're very in love with the idea of memory's ambiguity and don't seem inclined to put any limits on that concept? Which, personally, I think is a bit of a betrayal to the idea of storytelling. Thoughtful storytelling should have a verifiable arc and not just be a muddle of thoughts, memories and impressions that someone threw up on a page/screen. I always like some ambiguity and unreliableness in the story but I also need to know there's a storyteller behind it that has an actual method to their madness and a plan and a way to magically resolve the strange developments. Sadly, that doesn't happen a lot of the time. But hey, I'm here for the ride because the middle is intriguing. The end just might make me ragey though. Time will tell. ;)

Date: 2015-01-07 09:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
But is he a salt of the earth cowboy? I mean, like I've already said, every now and then, that's the way Alison seems to remember him, but then again, there are periods where he's portrayed as either wholly predatory (by Noah), and or unhinged (by Alison). I know you have more problems with this than me, but we actually have no clue what Noah is really like, and predatory and aggressive is just as legitimate as salt of the earth cowboy-y, imo.

I know that's not enough for you, but it absolutely is for me at this point (having still not read anything from the writers etc and with no intention of doing so).

Well they don't have to keep their story compelling, no, but...wouldn't you want to? But compelling is such a subjective proposition. What's compelling to you, isn't necessarily going to be compelling to someone else, and you can't please all the people, all the time, so you might as well write the story you WANT to write (unless you have a network telling you what you have to do, of course). If they have such a love of unreliable narration, and think they can write a compelling story that relies heavily/almost completely on it, then I don't see why they wouldn't.

Yeah, I don't think you'll ever get that verification/confidence you're seeking on that point. That may well turn out to be the case, but given I steer WELL CLEAR of writing room chatter these days (and the few bits of info you've told me here have really only emphasised why I NEED to do that!), I'm not going to start getting upset yet about things that haven't even happened. I was wholly satisfied by the events and my own interpretation of them in season one, and am very, VERY much looking forward to season two, whatever it may bring!

Because how would they definitively do that I actually think there are plenty of subtle ways this could be achieved without need for definitive statements of facts or challenging of accounts or whatever. Small things that CAN be attributable to the differences in memory can be left as is, and anything that is more than that can be examined deliberately through as the narrative unfolds, because, presumably, if a difference has been made deliberately significant, then they're going to want to address it**. But I guess we'll see what happens next season :)

** I realise this relies upon the idea that the writers are thinking about more than just memory differences, which I know you don't believe to be the case. As it's something I have no interest in 'investigating' from a spoiler point of view, I'm more than happy with where things currently sit from my POV.

Date: 2015-01-08 04:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
I'm looking forward to it as well. But I can't turn off my analytical side or my expectations that there is some kind of internal logic/truth to the story I guess! Regardless, for now I'm enjoying, and if we really do get Helen and Cole's POVs in S2, I'll probably enjoy it even more than S1.

Date: 2015-01-03 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Also, excuse me, but can we please talk about how Max is the actual most greatest??!!

"Getting huge, obviously..." is the greatest line to have been uttered in 2014, imo! I don't even care if Noah made it up!!

Date: 2015-01-05 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
Heh. I wasn't sure what to make of Max at first other than "Does this show really need another douchebag when we've already got Noah?" but he kind of grew on me. And apparently he'll be a regular in S2 so you'll get a lot more of him!

Date: 2015-01-06 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
I think Max is a COMPLETELY different kettle of fish to Noah. At least, he is from Noah's POV. And yeah, I heard that he's been signed as a regular for season two. YAY. I really just want him there for the one-liners, I don't need a storyline for him or anything like that.

What I REALLY just want is a .gif of that scene! Then I'll be happy. But tumblr keeps letting me down!

Date: 2015-01-03 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daybreak777.livejournal.com
I think the casting of Cole and Helen are gold. And I don't even like Josh Jackson much but he breaks my heart over and over again here. I actually do sympathize with Cole and Allison for losing their son. When she said she couldn't be with him because "it's just too hard" I felt that. Seeing him every day and all those memories of her little boy. Wondering if he was inattentive and that led to Gabriel's death. It's just too much. Cole is a walking wound and Allison is too. They can't heal one another. I do think his character is supposed to be gruff, but under that he's so kind. He was so patient with Noah's son. I'm glad Josh Jackson is playing him.

As for the plot, I just watch it unfold. Nothing is really reliable, you know? But it teaches me how memory works. I don't care what the creators intend. What matters is how we feel. I listen to that Fiona Apple song and think about these people. Frankly, I don't care of killed Scotty, though!

Date: 2015-01-03 05:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
Me too. I probably wouldn't have watched were Jackson not cast because I was neutral or didn't know the others. It would be interesting to see flashbacks of when the marriages did work, I think? The losing a child scenario is way more sympathetic and understandable that they can't make it work...and yet...as someone who doesn't have children, it does kind of make me cringe when she says she wants to forget Cole. It's as if she's saying all the years with him weren't worth anything to her besides them having a son together. 20 years is a long time to just give up on a spouse even in the face of a terrible tragedy, IMO. Seems they both have lots of guilt over their parts in his death (Cole being in the water with him and Alison not taking him to the hospital), but Cole has frequently tried to reach out to her, but she's so shut down she won't even entertain the possibility of trying to make it work. Which makes me wonder how much she ever could have cared about him. :( It's sad.

Date: 2015-01-02 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
I'm still so excited that you wrote this! SO MUCH YAY!

Thank you (again)!

Date: 2015-01-02 03:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] callmeonetrack.livejournal.com
Oh my pleasure! Thank YOU for having the ficathon in the first place!

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