They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, a weekly column where we gab about the greatest in geek. This week, we’re all about fairy tale-inspired fashion, the latest season of a seriously good sci-fi show, a scene stealing mutant from the latest X-men movie, a magical new YA book, and a consistently strong supernatural TV show. Intrigued? Then read on for more!
Kelly’s Favorite Thing is…the Tale as Old as Time Collection from Unique Vintage
As far as I can tell, the twenty to thirty-something people who grew up on the cartoon version are far more excited about the new live action Beauty and the Beast movie than any child. Any grown-up female Disney fan is going to flip over Unique Vintage’s Beauty and the Beast-inspired Tale as Old as Time clothing collection. When I choose my favorite thing for the month, it’s normally something that I enjoyed or appreciated, but I wanted to shriek with joy like a five-year-old when I first saw these clothes. A clothing collection inspired by a Disney movie runs the risk of looking like Halloween costumes, but these dresses, skirts, and accessories are elegant, stylish, and gorgeous. I am coveting the 1950s Style Black and Red Half Sleeve Dolores Swing Dress. I adore the Beauty & the Beast Stained Glass T-shirt and the Danielle Nicole Brown & Woven Beauty & the Beast Clutch. Many of these items would make a nice present for a little girl — the backpack, the Cogsworth purse, the earrings, and the rose necklace. There is nothing that struck me as being too childish for an adult, especially with Disney nostalgia being all the rage right now. My one quibble with the collection is that the sizes seem to run a little small. Most of the time, an extra-large doesn’t translate to a size 12. If I had unlimited funds, I would buy one of everything.
J.L.’s Favorite Thing is… The Expanse, Season Two!
After how intense season 1 was of The Expanse, I was afraid that the show wouldn’t be able to maintain its momentum. I thought I’d get lost in the endless politics, or perhaps get bored of the Rocinante’s crew careening around the system with no endgame in sight. Luckily, I was completely mistaken. The politics have gotten more convoluted as the cold war between Earth and Mars heats up, and as a character recently reminded us all, the Belters are the ones who will pay the final price. Though some characters have left us, newcomers like Gunny Bobbie Draper continue to suck me in (and I was not disappointed after all the hype about her character). The first book languishes on my Kindle, but I keep putting off reading it because the experience of watching this show is almost perfect science-fiction, and I’m loving every moment of it.
Nu’s Favorite Thing is… X-23!
My favorite thing this month is the character of Laura (X-23) from the movie Logan. I didn’t know much about the character until I learned she was a clone of Wolverine. The actress, Dafne Keen, was brilliant in her role as the stoic but dangerous girl on the run. Even though she is only 12, she has that old soul look in her eyes. When I found out she was trained in martial arts and that she did some of her own stunts, I was even more impressed. Her chemistry with Hugh Jackman (Logan) and Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier) really showed on screen. But it was her acting that really sold me. Her vulnerability made me sob, and her kickass fighting scenes made me cheer. I’d be happy to see more of Laura (and Dafne) in future X-Men movies!
Nicole’s Favorite Thing is… Caraval!
Stephanie Garber’s debut novel was quick to catch my eye at the bookstore. Both myself and a fellow co-worker did a lot of “Ooooh”-ing over its sparkly cover, and even more so when we cracked it open to peer at the summary inside. Scarlett is unexpectedly whisked away to the magical world of Caraval, a once-per-year performance in which the visitors actively participate. Think scavenger hunt in Diagon Alley only with the magic and color amped up to 100. Where you buy things not with money, but with secrets and time and lies. This year’s game? Find Scarlett’s sister Tella before the fifth night of the game is over — and the winner receives one wish. But what is real in Caraval and what is a performance? The line gets blurry when magic is involved.
I dove into this book because I love places soaked in magic like Caraval. The descriptions and places reminded me of Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series (highly recommended). Likewise, the gentlemen Scarlett found herself working with was named Julian — and she wasn’t sure how trustworthy he was. The last time I encountered a boy with that name was in L.J. Smith’s Forbidden Game series (more magic and also very highly recommended!) and I adored him, as unsafe as he was. With so many components to lure me in, I bit down on that shiny lure and was happily tugged along until the final surprising end. Definitely give it a read, and no, you cannot trust anything that happens in that book. Even when you think you know the end, trust me, you probably don’t.
Venessa’s Favorite Thing is… Grimm!
Grimm is probably one of my favorite spec fic shows out there. I’ve been watching it since it began about five years ago. The premise is that there is a parallel group of human-seeming beings called Wesen (pronounced Ves-sen) that are something like a blend of human and animal. They’ve stayed in the shadows for fear of their safety in a mostly-human world. Throughout history there have been semi-supernatural humans called Grimms who hunt the Wesen and kill them, as they’ve been perceived as dangerous to humans. Nick Burkhardt, a Portland detective, finds out abruptly that he’s part of this tradition as a Grimm. But he’s a cop, so defaulting to killing someone is not in his nature. He has to balance his new found heritage with his responsibility as an officer of the law.
The show has a great balance of good vs evil and the fantastic in a mundane element. The cast is diverse from both a human perspective and a Wesen perspective. Over the life of the series, we’ve seen good and bad Wesen, good and bad humans, even good and bad Grimms. There was even a faction war, where some Wesen were trying to take over all society, even killing other Wesen who opposed what they were doing.
Often a series jumps the shark after a few years, but Grimm hasn’t yet. It loves the characters and the stories the series tells are fun, even when they’re serious. If you haven’t checked out Grimm yet, you should! You can watch some of the current episodes for free on NBC.com!