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I watched the second half of The Time Traveler's Wife on HBO last night. Oh god was I crying by the end. Tears, streaming. It was fantastic.

I'd definitely had an interest in reading/watching the story as soon as I heard about it. (Though, I didn't seek it out, because it seemed popular among women, and I know I shouldn't say it, but you know. In general, things that are popular with American women are often dumb.) I famously dislike (detest, even) romantic comedies on principle (notable exception being When Harry met Sally . . . ) though I won't now go into the reasons why, because they are boring. But man, give me a romantic tragedy any day. I eat that shit up. And romantic tragedy brought about by science fictiony situations? Yes please. Star Trek would explore this sometimes, and it's always so fascinating to me. It's such a shame that they didn't do it more often, but you know, to speak in broad generalities, boys watch Star Trek, and boys aren't interested in love stories. (Though you and I both know that neither of those things are entirely true.)

One episode that springs to mind is the TNG episode "Second Chances." Okay, so here's the deal: in present day, as we know, Deanna Troi and Will Riker are exes, working on the same starship. They used to be hard-core full-on in love. (Riker is Troi's Imzadi. That's like being her lobster.) It turns out that eight years earlier, Riker had been in a transporter accident (the most fictionally useful kind of accident!) and had been duplicated, unbeknownst to Will. So this whole time, another Riker -- the exact same person -- has been trapped on a planet or moon or something. When they find this Riker (who eventually decides to go by his middle name, Tom), he's been pining for Troi the whole freaking eight years. Because they had been totally in love at the time of the accident; Riker later chose his Starfleet career over his relationship. So Deanna, who has come to find a peace with working with Riker, now has a new Riker -- but the same dude -- who is still in love with her. Who won't choose his career over her. Or maybe he will, eventually! But he's in love with her now! And he's the same dude, sorta! But then Will is still around, and all, hey, maybe I do want to go after Troi again, I don't know! It's like Troi can go back in time to a better stage of a relationship, can do it over again, knowing now what she didn't know then. Can you imagine? That is fucking fascinating! To me, anyway. They had to wrap it up in one episode, which is a shame, because I would have loved to have them revisit that over the course of seasons. And have THAT be the focus. Because there's so much to explore there! Anyway, that's the kind of shit I like, it's a pity there's not more of it.

Hence my interest in The Time Traveler's Wife. I'm glad it's on HBO; that means I should be able to catch the first half eventually. (Though I already read the plot summary on Wikipedia to answer some questions.) The end seems more concerned with !SPOILER ALERT! their attempts to have a kid, and then with his impending death. I hope the beginning explores more of how weird it must be to be seeing each other during different points in their lives. I mean, sometimes he'll visit her when she's young, so he knows stuff she doesn't. But sometimes he's young and sees her when she's older -- like when they do it in the parking lot -- so she knows stuff HE doesn't. Or they'll be in the middle of a fight, and then he travels, so he's in a bad mood wherever he's going, and she's in a bad mood staying where she is, until he comes from somewhen else! Man, fascinating. Just everything is fascinating. How hard that would be.

Of course the reason it hits me so hard -- and I assume that everyone does this, right? -- is that I picture me and Chris. I don't care about Rachel McAdams and the Hulk, but what if that were Chris? What would it be like to see him old? To grow old and see him young? What would it be like if he were !SPOILER ALERT! to be killed in a freak hunting accident? And knew about it? What would it be like to only have a husband part of the time, to never know when he would come, and for how long he would stay, and when he would leave again? Tears, guys. Tears.

Remember that Pearl Jam cover of that song, with the people in the car accident? And Eddie Vedder goes flying but lives and holds his love as she dies? Oh man that song, when that was on the radio, I'd picture me in that song, and oh man, TEARS. Every fucking time, and that song was on the radio a LOT. Tears. I almost had a car accident myself.

So yeah. I'm sorry this LiveJournal post is so rambling. I'm out of practice. To sum up: I like romantic tragedies, I like to cry about them, and also I like the aspects of romantic relationships that can be explored through the use of time travel and/or transporter accidents. And I wish there were more of both. The end.

Happy New Year!

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
mordicai
Jan. 12th, 2011 05:16 pm (UTC)
I assume Tom Riker has an illustrious career in the tie-in novels, though.
littlewashu
Jan. 12th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Heh, yeah, according to Memory Alpha he does. Although a quick perusal makes it look like only one is romance-y; the rest are just concerned with his involvement with the Maquis.

I wish my favorite fan fic author would write a Tom Riker/Deanna story. Maybe I should email her.
mordicai
Jan. 12th, 2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
Good idea!
mordicai
Jan. 12th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, he joins the Maquis & is DS9! Also yes, books, comics, games...

http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Thomas_Riker
onatopofthings
Jan. 13th, 2011 04:45 am (UTC)
And put the moves on Major Kira.

I loved how they revealed him to be Tom: He removed part of his beard leaving just a goatee!

That was a good episode.
mandy_moon
Jan. 12th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
I haven't seen the movie, but I read the book. And I *loved* it, despite, as you pointed out, entertainment that American Women like is often quite dumb.

Loved it, loved it, but have you ever read or watched something that was sublimely beautiful except for one little thing, a wart that's so irritating that it distracts you from the rest of the story? There was one part that drove me nuts:

I don't know if the movie is different, but in the book Clare miscarries seven times. It's heart-wrenching and awful, and Henry get a sneaky vasectomy to stop conceiving. The part that bothered me to no end is that Henry suggests adopting a baby instead and Clare refuses, saying it's not real, she wants one part of their relationship to be real. I'm not even an adoptive parent and I thought that was incredibly offensive. So she thought it was better to miscarry seven babies than to adopt a child who needs a home?

Other than that, it was definitely a beautiful book and I expect the movie is as well.
littlewashu
Jan. 13th, 2011 05:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, she says the same thing in the movie (or maybe something that amounts to the same thing, like "why can't I have something in my life that's normal," which actually would be even worse.) It struck me as well, and you'd think she could have said something like, they were having problems adopting because he was never around consistently. Which may not have been the most realistic explanation in the world, but it would at least make her not look like an asshole. Or "but I want something of you with me when you're not around." Again, cheesy, but at least inoffensive.

I will definitely read the book now that I have recommendations to do so!
counterfeitfake
Jan. 12th, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC)
boys watch Star Trek, and boys aren't interested in love stories

Man, you said it. If it ain't got misaligned plasma conduits I ain't hearin' it.
counterfeitfake
Jan. 12th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
(I cry at the end of Gladiator and Serendipity makes me all mushy but don't tell anyone)
littlewashu
Jan. 13th, 2011 05:25 am (UTC)
Serendipity? Serendipity!? Ugh, why did you tell me that.
counterfeitfake
Jan. 13th, 2011 04:20 pm (UTC)
;'(
pravda
Jan. 13th, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
The book will make you cry so hard and plays the melodrama for all it's worth, it's awesome. Though I made the mistake of seeing the movie alone while pregnant (and started spotting on my way out of the theater, so that was pretty awful), which was maybe not smart.
littlewashu
Jan. 13th, 2011 05:28 am (UTC)
Wow, yeah, that . . . wow. That's rough in a bunch of ways.

I'm glad I'm getting a recommendation from you too, I will definitely read it now! Actually I will audiobook it, as I am in the middle of The Baroque Cycle again and won't be coming up for air for another month or two. But my library has it, so hooray!
queseracass
Jan. 18th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
Man, the book is sitting on my nightstand, but little babies tend to reduce my available time to read for pleasure (as in, I no longer read for pleasure). Even though I know I shouldn't have, I read your spoilers and I still want to read the book. Liam will be pleased if I start reading again because it increases available video-game-playing-time for him. WIN-WIN.
Anyway, I loathe most romantic comedies - but wanted to chime in that I also totally dig When Harry Met Sally. Dat iz all.
rxgreene
Jan. 25th, 2011 03:42 am (UTC)
I've been watching a lot of ST:TNG with DJ lately, and man that show would have benefited from being able to stretch out some of the plot lines across multiple episodes, instead of having to wrap almost everything up "one and done".
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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