?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
29 January 2014 @ 04:52 pm
Meme (Again So Soon)  
Revived for 2013, originally taken from fannish5:

Five canon moments that turned a casual fandom into a hardcore fandom for you.

I'm sure my flist is getting tired of this but it's grabbed me in a vice grip: I did Welcome to Night Vale.


1. "Listeners, guess who called me this weekend?" (Cecil examines his conversations with Carlos on air) - In an interview somewhere, Cecil Baldwin stated he almost wished it was possible to re-record some of the earlier Night Vale podcasts as he felt like his interpretation of Cecil Palmer back then was much more reserved and distant than it is now. While I don't want anything re-done, I do agree that Cecil Palmer was much more your average, distant radio announcer who just reported really bizarre things in a serious tone. And then we had this episode where he unleashed his inner fangirl after Carlos calls him. The effusive joy in Cecil's tone of voice as he breaks down his conversation with Carlos is truly a thing of beauty. I also loved how Carlos is basically calling Cecil in a panic because nothing makes sense and he's getting stalked by someone. Meanwhile, Cecil is listening with hearts practically exploding from his eyes. This episode as a whole hits all the right notes in terms of what the podcast is striving for which is humor (Cecil lamenting about saying "Neat!" in response to Carlos' frantic science talk), eeriness (time has slowed down in Night Vale and all the clocks only have fur and teeth in them!!), and fuzzy feelings (Cecil is so grateful that the entire town helped him with his love life).

2. "Kill your double"/"Is this hell?" (The sandstorm arrives and we meet the town of Desert Bluffs) - Like many fans, this two parter is one of my favorite episodes to date for this podcast. We finally get a glimpse of Desert Bluffs and are treated to a town that makes Night Vale pale in comparison in terms of how messed up it is. The fact that Cecil gets frightened out of his mind when he visits Desert Bluffs says something about what it's like over there. This episode also introduced many of the elements that are now paying off in the later episodes, such as the slow takeover by StrexCorp and the greater mythology of what Night Vale is and what Desert Bluffs is. To me, this was the episode that began the road of the podcast shifting from more episodic stories to an overarching plotline.

3. "After everything that happened…I just wanted to see you." (Carlos actually returns Cecil's affections) - I knew the Cecil/Carlos pairing was the big ship in this fandom but I didn't know enough about it to know whether this was canon or complete fanon. xparrot said it best that this is the first fandom she (and I) have been a part of where the slash pairing is 100% canon while the demographics of the characters are mostly left up to the fanon. For awhile I really thought Cecil's idealized love for Carlos was going to be more of a running joke or just one more "quirky" thing that the podcast throws at the listeners. So I was really, really pleasantly surprised that it turns out that Carlos has 1) taken Cecil's obsessive broadcasts about him as signs of affection and 2) returns them. The fact that the relationship also managed to grow and mature so that Cecil no longer considers Carlos perfect and that's a good thing only makes me ship them even harder. Because none of the drama comes from their relationship. It's the town that provides all the drama. Cecil and Carlos are just two people in love who are thinking about dinner plans.

4. "Look around you: Strex." (StrexCorp comes to Night Vale) - Danger is always with Night Vale. Like, 24/7 the town is a pile of Causes of Death just waiting to happen. But StrexCorp, who is also in control of Desert Bluffs, coming to Night Vale and buying the radio station felt like a huge ominous cloud was now cast over the entire place. We don't know yet what the corporation is up to, if they're up to anything in particular. But their presence continues to resonate through the later episodes as more and more it's starting to feel like the noose is tightening around the citizens of Night Vale in a way that the town has never experienced before despite every other dangerous, crazy thing that's happened.

5. "Finally, on this show, something strange to talk about!" (Cecil plays an old cassette tape from his childhood) - Despite being the main character, we know next to nothing about Cecil, particularly his background. "Cassette" was the first time we got some sort of glimpse into who he was and is and of course the entire thing is completely sinister and frightening. This episode was the very first that inspired me start posting about WTNV as the show managed to sketch in some stuff about Cecil's past but also left us with bigger questions that we didn't even know we had to ask.
 
 
 
X-parrotxparrot on January 29th, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm not getting tired of it, anyway~ :D

These are most of my favorite moments too (shocking I know). Sandstorm was definitely the eps that made me sit up and take notice - the first time I went back and relistened, to compare Cecil and Kevin's experiences. Also having a whole ep in Desert Bluffs, with another host, was just so shocking! It's amazing how much you end up bonding with Cecil, bizarre and creepy as he is - you feel at a loss when he's gone (just like everyone in Night Vale, one imagines...)

Because none of the drama comes from their relationship. It's the town that provides all the drama. Cecil and Carlos are just two people in love who are thinking about dinner plans.

This is occasionally my favorite thing about sf/other genre fiction - because the conflict tends to be external (and often lethal and/or monstrous) relationships can be lower-key and more stable than in fiction that relies on person vs person for its drama. But WtNV is one of the more extreme examples of this, because Cecil and Carlos have such a normal relationship, against all odds considering Cecil is a long-time Night Vale dweller and Carlos has definitely drunk the local koolaid...(and I do love that as soon as they get together Cecil does start seeing Carlos as less than perfect and that just makes their relationship stronger...)

And ahhhh STREX what will happen!?? (the slow build on that is frustrating as anything but also kind of awesome, it's more insidious because it is so gradual...)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 29th, 2014 11:45 pm (UTC)
It's amazing how much you end up bonding with Cecil, bizarre and creepy as he is - you feel at a loss when he's gone (just like everyone in Night Vale, one imagines...)

It's so true. I was glad that I got into this podcast well after the Sandstorm episodes had aired because if I'd had to wait for the next episode to come out in real time to return to the safety of Night Vale and its Voice (Night Vale is the SAFE one, yikes), I would have been really anxious.

and I do love that as soon as they get together Cecil does start seeing Carlos as less than perfect and that just makes their relationship stronger...

I remember how some people on Tumblr started having meltdowns that Cecil and Carlos were going to break up around the time Cecil had stopped calling Carlos "Perfect Carlos" at every mention. I really like that the writers of this show are doing a nice job of modeling what a healthy relationship looks like.

True Love in fiction tends to get so overly idealized where either the object of your affection is perfection or the concept that you're supposed to be together is SO PERFECT and destiny that it doesn't matter if the people involved are jerks (Twilight, I'm looking at you). It's nice to see a realistic portrayal that people sometimes need to work on their relationships with the imperfect they love.

the slow build on that is frustrating as anything but also kind of awesome, it's more insidious because it is so gradual...

I love the small asides we get that just show you how more and more StrexCorp is taking over. Like the ice cream shop they absorbed (ingested? swallowed?) and that they pay Cecil in scrip now, redeemable at StrexCorp-owned merchants. For some reason this scares me more than John Peters' sinister orange grove.