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I have a Confession to make....

I never rewatch QAF...not ever which, undoubtedly, explains why I like to write AU.

I buy the DVDs, rewatch them once, okay it's not that I NEVER rewatch the show, I rewatch each season once, then put them away. And, actually, for Season Five, I only rewatched bits and pieces and 513 just to see if it was as bad as I remembered it was.

And it wasn't, for me it wasn't as bad one year later, but...

...I was so pissed when 513 aired, I felt ripped-off, like I'd invested all this time, emotions, money (the cost of five seasons of DVDs and CDs adds up after a while) and I felt like I didn't get the pay-off I expected...wanted...needed.

When I realized where 513 was going, I remember curling up into a little ball on the couch, thinking "they better not, they better not" but they did, they left Justin out and I was seriously seriously pissed. When it ended, I jumped up off of the couch, screamed mother-fuckers at the credits, went over to my husband and told him, "I gotta go," to which he replied, "you're really upset about this, aren't you?" I walked down the hall to our bedroom muttering, "yeah, I am,  I really am."

It wasn't the ending as such, it wasn't the story-line. I realized this fairly early on. Justin could have been anywhere, there are a thousand million reasons why he wasn't there, none of which having anything to do with Brian and him not being together anymore. I started writing my post513 story within a couple of months and in it I made everything turn out as I wanted. I had no involvement in the famdom, read no other post513 stories, working in complete isolation and I made myself happy.  Now I can read any post513 story (except gaedhal's evil stream, sorry, I read everything else) and I'm fine with it.

So what was my problem with the ending? I wanted a perfect last visual, one final ohmyfuckinggod image to carry me through (you know, like that tongue-kiss at the end of the busting-down of the backroom's door, then the cut-to-credits, then the cut back for that beautiful all-in-blue, 30 sec. kiss) and it wasn't there. How could it be when Justin wasn't there so...

...yesterday, as "research", I rewatched 513 and you know what? it is there, my perfect visual, I just never realized it and no, it doesn't include Justin, obviously but, for me, it doesn't have to. That sounds strange, even to me, because it's Justin I totally relate to but my visual is there nonetheless and it is just before the cut-to-credits. When Brian is dancing, when he throws his head back, his eyes just closed, all bathed in golden light, with his arms outstretched in front of him, it really is a ohmyfuckinggod image, how can anyone be so beautiful? and bam, cut-to-credits. That last little bit when they come back to Babylon after the credits doesn't exist for me, as far as I'm concerned, I never saw that.

That's not the Brian from season one that I see up on that platform. the Brian I see is a changed man, changed for the better and changed because of Justin and so...

...it really is only a matter of time.

Oh...I also rewatched the trying-on-of-the-tuxes scene, Brian so loves Justin. the way he looks at him, touches him, hovers over him...fuck. And honestly I got misty-eyes...I really did.

It's good.

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( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
ashmedai
Mar. 15th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean. I'm not even particularly romantic (if they'd have gone through with the wedding, it would have been shmoop-overload for me, but that's me), and episode 513 had me depressed for a week. I couldn't even tell anyone since I wasn't in fandom at the time, nobody I know in RL even watches QaF, and my boyfriend would have thought I flipped my lid, getting upset about a TV show. ;)

Yeah, I was hoping Justin would be in the final scene, I still don't get why they didn't at least do that. But when I re-watched it, I noticed the same thing you did, definitely. And also something else, that Brian wasn't dancing in the crowd, cruising tricks, he was on a platform all alone, over everyone else and kind of oblivious to the scene below. So - definitely a different person from the Brian in episode 101 who dragged tricks into the back room with his hand half down their pants.
gaeln
Mar. 16th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
could you email me @ gaylen94@yahoo.com it's about a story I'm writing and I'd rather talk to you about it outside of lj. It's almost done, I'll probably finish today and I think you'll find it kind of interesting.

Some people think cowlip not including Justin at the end was more a slap to Randy then to the character, I don't know but that kind of makes sense
zaipixie
Mar. 15th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
That's not the Brian from season one that I see up on that platform. the Brian I see is a changed man, changed for the better and changed because of Justin and so...

YES!! THANK YOU!!

Ok, I'm one of those precious few as it seems... The ones that really loves the ending.

Let me explain by first pointing out that I'm a disciple of Joss Whedon and it wasn't long before 513 that I had watched the ending of Angel. That was ever MORE of a fandom-war ending than this was. (It ends with the beginning of the Big Showdown and it's implied that they most likely wont survive - the last picture is Angel brandishing a huge battle sword and the line: "Let's go to work")

To me the whole series could have had a subtitle: "The Education of Brian Kinney" (yes, I have let nanoa borrow it for her wip fic). The ending was so perfect in my eyes. All the guys had moved on and grown up - even Brian. Brian that was comfortable in his own skin. And that was what was important. He had learned to love and to let love in, and realized he didn't have to lose himself to do that. He was still Brian Fucking Kinney.

When I watched 513 for the first time (20 hrs after it aired in the US) I actually cried the whole last scene at Babylon because I though it was so poetic, so beautiful. If Justin had been there it would have somehow taken something away from it. The scene as it stands really tells the viewer that "What you now have witnessed during these past years is the monumental changes these men went through growing up to be men" Not a fairy(!)tale, but an snippet from their lives taken from the time that mattered the most.

Brian on the podium dancing by him self - Brian Kinney had finally arrived!

So perfect.
gaeln
Mar. 16th, 2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
As you can tell from my rant, I didn't see it that way then but I do now. Then I felt betrayed because I was invested in the Brian/Justin love story, not just Brian, but seeing it now, that whole scene with them in the loft before Justin leaves is pure fucking love, Brian hurts, Brian loves Justin and that is enough.

I guess that I'm now able to accept just that final visual of Brian which, frankly has haunted me since the show first aired, as enough means I do see things more as you do now. It is the educating of Brian Kinney.

I think I was mad initially because I thought that now that Justin had done all the work, gone through all the hell of helping Brian grow-up that someone else was going to reap the benefits but it doesn't need to be that way, it can be any way we want it.
shadownyc
Mar. 15th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
I can certainly understand all the feelings you went through regarding how to view the finale of 513. I had mixed feelings at the end but I did feel that it was a beautiful image.

I don't normally pimp my own stuff, but I have a number of commentaries I wrote during S5 and just after in my memories. Have you already seen them?
gaeln
Mar. 16th, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC)
No, I haven't but I will definitely check them out. Like I said, I more or less intentionally kept myself away from everyone else's opinions back then, I needed to make it right for myself by writing my story and that alone took over a year.

I'm just very glad I did rewatch 513, actually not the whole thing, just parts but I have got to say that scene at the loft before Justin leaves is beautiful. Then I only thing I was able to take from it was Brian alone on the bed, now I am able to take from it everything else and Brian's love for Justin is painfully clear.

On a side note, my next story for you is almost ready, I should have it done today. This one has been hard, I don't know why.
(Deleted comment)
gaeln
Mar. 16th, 2007 06:25 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to see your icon. It hurts how Brian buries his face in Justin's shoulder.

What I took from that scene was Brian when he was in bed alone, that visual burned into my brain and it made me seriously sad, then. Now I really am seeing things differently. The whole scene with the tuxes, Brian is so amazing. Even though I never wanted the wedding to happen, I glad for that whole arc just for that one scene. When he tells Justin he's beautiful, the sound of his voice...damn.

It's funny but I never believed Brian loved Justin from anywhere close to the beginning but then, I'm not much of a romantic.
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(no subject) - gaeln - Mar. 16th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
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nathaliejolie
Mar. 16th, 2007 12:33 am (UTC)
I haven't seen it already in full, but I survive on fanfic and youtube...

Anyway, I wanted to say that a friend of mine saw it on PinkTV and HE DIDN'T understand that 513 was the end....
He realised it because there was not 514 the following week!!!!
So I think that it's a sign...

It's not REALLY over THEY CAN'T STOP, and they won't stop loving and seeing each other and eventually they will be living together.

(Even in real life they're still friends, they still see each other.)

brian and justin OBVIOUSLY BELONG TO EACH OTHER

and NOW I need to read your fanfic !!!
gaeln
Mar. 16th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
No matter what AU I write them into, Brian and Justin will always live their lives together, it may take a while but, for me, you are right, they "obviously belong to each other.

My short stories are probably fine for you, they don't need any warnings but my two long stories probably do. One is highschool AU and is called Acceptance and it IS long AND in it I have Brian with an OMC and there is underage sex, so if any of that squeeks you, you might want to skip it. B/J do end up together, as together as two fifteen year olds can be but still.

The other long one is my post513 that I mention in my post and I guess it is a little squeeky for some, not that many have read it. I didn't post it anywhere but to my own journal.

Leave it for last if your really do end up reading my stories. and comment to me before reading it...'kay? so I tell you a little about it first.
(no subject) - nathaliejolie - Mar. 17th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
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hannasch
Mar. 16th, 2007 12:53 am (UTC)
513
I think I understand what You mean, bur I felt cheated by the way they painted the whole "marriage" storyline. There was Brian, who was for me the only one who really knew, what it meant to be a loving friend. tell the truth to the people You love, help them to be the strongest version of themselves, do not impair somebody's freedom of choice. and suddenly, after the bomb, he behaves, as if he does not know himself. giving things that can be bought to show his feelings. that is what made me sad about season 5. There was always the realisic possibility of them not ending up together, but to show Brian as less compassionate than before by mixing up loving with consumerism, that bothered me. and for that reason that beautiful image in 513 did not make me feel as if there was closure.
gaeln
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:10 pm (UTC)
Re: 513
As someone who seems to think more from Brian's perspective, I can imagine the 'marriage arc' was a mess for you and I don't know why but I knew they would never let that play out, that Brian and Justin would never end up getting married.

Cowlip made their point with Ben and Michael so, to me, it was much more about showing Brian's confusion and his inability to really know how to deal with his feelings toward Justin. He seemed to want his cake and to eat it to, still play like he always had but have Justin as his partner also and when it became clear that really wasn't what Justin THOUGHT he wanted, when he left Brian again, after assuring him he "...got Brian" Brian really was kind of lost. Proposing marriage just seemed like another one of Brian's grand gestures like Mikey's thirtieth birthday party, his misguided attempt at making things right.

For me it's Britin, man, I can not deal with Britin. Talk about fairy tale endings, talking about mixing up compassion with consumerism, another misguided grand gesture.

You're right though, that image didn't bring closure, I wouldn't have wanted it to because then there would be nothing for us to write about, at least, for me, that's the case. What that image given me is a sense of hope. Brian seems to be a finer human being then before, compare that image with the one of him dragging some trick into the backroom in 101 where he looks right into the camera.

I never wanted to see Brian broken, that's the only way I can describe it, I never wanted to see him all settled and domestic and I think you feel the same. At the end, he isn't but he does seem much more aware of himself and the consequences of his actions.

You can be honest and true to yourself without being brutal about it and, honestly, sometimes Brian could be brutal. He treated tricks like shit and he didn't have to, he did it because they were meaningless to him. Maybe that's what he's learned, how not to be like that.
elyxer
Mar. 16th, 2007 01:00 am (UTC)
First just let me say that I'm not disagreeing with you...I do agree with what you said about Brian and how he'd grown.

My only problem with the ending is this...Justin was always so active in gay rights issues and causes...in your face stuff and very outspoken. So, here his lover has rebuilt a building that homophobes bombed...Justin being in the building when the bomb went off...Brian was taking his own stand against homophobia here. Almost shouting we won't be denied, we won't be shoved back in the closet, we're here and we're queer. So, I was extremely disappointed that Justin wasn't there with him...supporting not only Brian but the reopening of Babylon. Justin "stalked" Brian for years...always where he was...so when he finally gets him...he abandons him on an important night in the man's life? That was just a bit hard for me to swallow.
gaeln
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with you, I felt the same way. What the fuck could possibly have kept Justin away? And like I said, for me, once I came up with a plausible reason that satisfied me, I no longer cared what cowlip's reason was. For all I know, they really were just sticking it to Randy, we will never know.

Justin's flying in the next morning and Brian knows it (with a reasonable reason for not being there that night)
Justin is flying in that night and it's a surprise
Justin was supposed to be there but he got the fucking flu (could happen)

We saw a little tiny bit of a very long night and it's ours now, has been for two years so we can do with it what we will.

I felt sick about it for a week or so then I let it go because, really, I don't have much of an attention span but given the objectivity of time, rewatching it, which, for the record, I never do, helped me.

Did you write something post513? I'd like to read it if you have.
(no subject) - elyxer - Mar. 16th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
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trishwish
Mar. 16th, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
I hear ya, darlin'! I knew that I must have seemed insane to some people, but after seeing 513 air I was crying my eyes out and was actually depressed over it! Not only was my favorite show over, but Brian and Justin weren't even together at the end! It was horrible and I couldn't even bring myself to watch the show for a while after that. I used to watch my DVDs so many times especially Season 1 and 2, but after 513 I couldn't watch it anymore, and I didn't for months. Tell you what though -- reading fan fic with happy endings really helped to make me feel better!

I'm glad that you found something to hang onto that made you feel better about the ending.

-Trish
gaeln
Mar. 16th, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
It has been a difficult road but worth the journey, it's just weird to me how what was once the worst image, Brian at the end WITHOUT Justin has now become the image that haunts me, so beautiful, the man is just so beautiful and he seems so at ease within himself. Until I rewatched 513, I thought that image was just something I made up in my head but it is real, they, at least, did give me that.

And they gave me a reason to write, if they had given me my perfect ending, there wouldn't have been any reason for me to spend like fourteen, fifteen months of my life making the ending right so I have to thank them for that as well, I really do. I hadn't written anything since college and now I can't imagine not doing it...so sweet.

And as for the fanfic/fandom, we take care of each other, don't we? Whether it stories, graphics, vids, commenting...whatever, it all adds up to a pretty nice place to be.
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herefordroad
Mar. 16th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)
i, too, find it difficult to re-watch the series. everything you wrote about 513 is exactly how i felt when it first aired. i don't know if re-watching it now will give me the warm feeling you got but i guess i could give it a try. i really wanted justin in that scene following the credits because i thought it was realistic that he would return for the reopening of babylon. but i'm very happy to say that i've found profound solace in the post 513 fiction. it has helped me in a way i could never have anticipated! as for the trying-on-the-tuxes scene, the love in their eyes will haunt me for a very long time.
gaeln
Mar. 16th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
Try rewatching it because knowing Justin isn't going to be there changes your expectations. I don't know nor do I care (anymore) what cowlip's reasons were for not including him, in my head, I have him doing what he's doing in my story but you could just pretend he has the flu, he had every intention of being there but, at the last minute, he got sick and just as soon as he's well, he'll be there. Just focus on Brian. Nothing that ends with him so complete and so beautiful can ultimately be bad, Justin is there, in a sense, inside Brian and in the change we can see so clearly in him.

Give it a try, I'm really so glad I did even if it is almost two years later, I obviously needed that much time to gain the proper perspective.

As the love in their eyes in the tux scene haunts you, the way Brian looks in those last seconds before the credits will haunt me.
(no subject) - herefordroad - Mar. 17th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gaeln - Mar. 17th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
sonofabiscuit77
Mar. 16th, 2007 12:11 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, I still find it hard to express my feelings about this as I personally tend to turn 513 off half way through and I even strongly dislike the last sex scene (but then I am strictly a fan of wham-bam hard-and-fast approach to sex scenes!) My problem is still with the fact that Justin was missing from the last scene in Babylon. We saw Brian, Michael, Ben, Emmett and Ted - WTF not Justin? Regardless of whether or not this was realistic or where he was physically at that time (presumably half way to NY), he should have been there because it was the closing scene of the entire series.

zaipixie mentions the ending of Angel as a comparison and I was a massive fan of Buffy/Angel from the first series of Buffy and I loved the endings of both shows, partly because you were left with a satisfying visual of all the cast together (okay not Wesley in Angel as he was dead) and whether they lived or died was immaterial at that point because you had that visual. Ending of QAF... not so much. But, I'm really pleased for you and this:

sonofabiscuit77
Mar. 16th, 2007 12:14 pm (UTC)
D'oh, I think I pressed enter when I totally wasn't meant to....

Anyway I was going to agree with your view of Brian as being completely changed person from 101 to 513 and that yes! The story is indeed about his growing up.

Okay, enough from me now.
(no subject) - gaeln - Mar. 17th, 2007 11:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sonofabiscuit77 - Mar. 18th, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
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