Hell is Our Protagonists in Chapter 12 of 50 Shades Freed

Absolutely fuck all happens in chapter 12 of Fifty Shades Freed. To the point where I am like, “why is it even there?” It does have some quantity of bad sex, so that might explain it, but taken as a whole, it’s like our protagonists are trapped together in a pit of existential despair where they are forced to desperately emote at each other in order to maintain their already limited sanity.

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Here’s the short version: first they have a super emo “lets feel all the feels” session which includes a tiny little bit of Christian’s backstory; then they have sex a few times, first in the playroom and then back in the bedroom; they have another feel-the-feels-a-thon and then decide to take that trip to Aspen that Ana bid on at the charity auction at the beginning of book 2.

I guess those are technically “things” and they technically “happen” but, oh my God, they aren’t interesting things that I care about having happened.

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Chapter 12 starts by reiterating that Jack was born in Detroit. This is clearly meant to be deep and meaningful except that it doesn’t connect with any piece of information that we have already been given. We then find out that Christian and Elliot were adopted in Detroit, so these two things are connected. Somehow. I guess. Because no one elaborates for the rest of this chapter anyway.

Then the feels, OH GOD! The feels!

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Christian and Ana whisper desperately at each other about random topics. Ana whispers that she likes to imagine Christian as an abused child and feel all the horrific feels. She whisper-tells Christian that she *knows* that this is why he is so controlling. OK Mrs. Freud. Whatever.

Christian feels all the angry feels and whisper-chides Ana for defying him. If his controlling tendencies are the result of his childhood abuse then clearly Ana should go along with it because he is a poor broken baby. Christian tells Ana he *knows* that she does it on purpose to aggravate him. Ana acts all ‘well I never’, but the homunculi in her head facepalm in unison. She absolutely does it on purpose.

Ana is a terrible person.

Then Ana says something telling: “I just can’t seem to get a handle on how far you’ll overreact.” Well, duh. That’s why he does it: to keep you off balance.

 

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Christian curses his therapist and Ana goes on to make a huge leap of “logic” (if you can even call it that). Ana tells Christian that even though he couldn’t save his mother, he doesn’t need to protect Ana because she is not his mother.

This makes zero sense. Christian said very explicitly that he enjoys beating women who look like Ana to punish his mother for not protecting him. So, since everything is really about Ana ALWAYS, she has somehow turned that into ‘Christian is abusive to her to protect her like he couldn’t protect his mother’.

Those are two vastly different things.

But, the huge mental game of twister Ana is playing makes Christian’s problematic behaviour A OK since Ana imagines it is for her own benefit. She tells Christian that she loves him and that she will always love him no matter what he does to her. That’s a biiiig promise considering all the crazy controlling and stalking he has already shown himself capable of.

Then we go back to Mr. McFeely who is feeling all the sads. Doesn’t Ana know that using the safe word hurt his feelings? He demands to know why she would do that. Ana admits that she “didn’t know how far” he’d go. She pussyfoots around that fact that she was tied up by a crazy man and literally afraid he might kill her. But who cares about that because goddammit it hurt Christian’s feelings!

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Christian assures her that he would never hurt her but he just “got caught up in the moment.” Damn right! If she would just stop making him so mad he wouldn’t have to hurt her! And this makes Ana happy. She’s glad that she can drive him into a homicidal rage.

These two are both fucking insane. And not in a nice fun way. This is the most dysfunctional relationship I have ever read about. They spend a full page telling each other just how much they love and need one another and then they fall asleep exhausted from all the feels.

Ana wakes up and Christian is having a nightmare. Ana, being the gentle kind soul she is, decides the best way to deal with that is to shake the shit out of Christian until he wakes up. Christian half wakes up and then jumps on Ana like, I don’t even know. Something jumpy.

They have sex then and there with Ana thinking how she is going to heal Christian with sex. She thinks that. She’s dumb. Turns out Christian isn’t as worried about Ana as she is about him, because he’s done in like 2 seconds. Only then does Christian properly wake up, and he feels bad about it. He promises to make it up to Ana and there is the usual sexy spinning and exploding and at one point Ana even disappears off of planet earth.

Then they spend an entire page debating whether to sleep in the playroom or go back to the bedroom. What the point is, I will never know. Eventually Christian carries Ana to the bedroom, because somebody has to choose one way or the other.

Ana wakes up later AGAIN (I’m assuming this is all one night) and Christian is not in bed. He’s up playing deep sad soulful piano. He reveals that his nightmare involved Ana being dead and they go back to bed.

They wake YET again and Ana thinks about what a poor fragile baby Christian is. The same poor fragile baby who made her fear for her safety how many times now? But Ana decides that she is strong enough for both of them, whatever that might mean because I sure as fuckfire don’t know. Also I don’t care.

Christian wakes up and tells Ana to get ready as they are flying to Aspen to use that trip Ana bid on at the Charity Ball way back when before they got married. We fade to black on another round of that old fashioned healing sex and then fade back in at the air strip.

Ana is excited because Christian clearly has a secret, and keeping things from each other is a total turn on. Christian eventually admits that he has a surprise which honestly could be anything because with a crazy billionaire for a BF pretty much anything is possible.

They get on the corporate jet that they forgot about during their honeymoon, and surprise! Ana’s friends are there. Kate, Ethan, Elliot, and Mia. José is notably NOT INVITED. But Ana doesn’t notice. She also doesn’t notice that Elliot and Mia aren’t actually her friends, but rather Christian’s relations. But Ana can’t afford to be picky because Christian keeps her on a very short social leash.

Ana is agog, and wonders how Christian arranged all this. Well, he claims to have emailed them at 3am that same morning and invited them. Every one of them magically answered their email at 3 am and magically didn’t have to work or change any other plans to be there on like 6 hours’ notice.

I strongly suspect that Christian sent his security team out and rounded them all up at gunpoint. Considering all that has happened, it would not be out of character for him. Big smiles! Everybody’s happy!

OAG

The flight attendant shows up and Ana makes the time in her busy schedule to be jealous. How dare she exist! In the same universe as Ana and Christian! That bitch! Ana gets bored of hating random other women and her mind wanders. She wonders why Christian can’t always act like he is right now, instead of all controlling. This is the same Ana who was psychoanalysing his mommy issues just last night. She had it all sussed out. I guess it slipped her mind.

The only interesting moment comes right at the end of the chapter. Ana asks if they are going to be skiing and everyone laughs at her because it’s August. And also because she’s stupid.

There’s some bland small talk and then Kate asks Ana why Jack got fired. Ana lies and says it is because Jack made a pass at her. If by made a pass, she means ‘cornered her in the lunch room and tried to rape her’ then yes, he made a pass at her. No one mentions the fact that you can’t get fired for ‘making a pass’ at someone. And I find it disturbing that Ana can’t differentiate between the two things.

Elliot quips that Christian moves fast, having married his first girlfriend within weeks of meeting her. Ana agrees. She tells herself that Elena and the other FIFTEEN subs didn’t count. She’s not kidding. They are no one to her, and she decides they are no one to Christian either.

Okaaaayyy…

And then the flight attendant offers everyone coffee and that’s the end. That was a whole lot of nothing.

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Ch. 11 of 50 Shades Freed Takes Us Through The Sea of Insanity to Disappointment Island

So, yeah. I am disappointed.

Not surprised.

Just disappointed.

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Christian is mad. He’s angry. He’s fucking livid. He’s mad at Ana for disobeying him, or for not getting kidnapped or whatever. But he promises Ana (via email) that they will talk when Ana gets home from work.

Ana gets home and finds Christian decked out in his sexy time jeans, and clearly not intending to talk. Sure I get that this is a sexy book, but this isn’t sexy. He’s clearly still mad, and Ana is scared and confused. Ana guesses that he is wearing his sexy jeans to throw her off balance, and win whatever argument they are going to have. Christian is so mad that he has printed Ana’s email from the last chapter and shoves it in her face.

“I understand you have issues, Mrs. Grey…So do I.”

That’s an understatement. Do they ever have issues.

Issues

Ana refuses to back down from the argument but she does take a step back from Christian just in case he gets handsy. She’s still whispering by the way, this whole conversation has been whispered. Ana whisper-asks him why he flew home.

Christian replies that she knows damn well why he flew home – because she disobeyed him and went out with Kate. Ana is aghast even though this is exactly what she already thought. She chides him for cancelling a business trip to come home and micromanage her social life. She also tells him that she is NOT A CHILD (this becomes relevant later) and she can change her mind if she wants.

Faced with that kind of rare sense-making coming from Ana, Christian changes his tune and sputters that at least she could have told him because he was worried. So first the problem was her disobeying, and when she points out that she doesn’t have to obey him then the problem is that she didn’t inform him of the change.

Ana goes on to point out that her ‘disobedience’ stopped her from being there when Jack tried to kidnap her. Christian gets all emo. He’s not just mad because she disobeyed him, he’s like double mad because she showed him up by being right about going out. That bitch! Christian cries and hugs her and wails about dying a thousand deaths without her. He actually says that.

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Then Christian tells her that he was so mad that he wanted to punish her for making him angry but he didn’t trust himself to stop hurting her. But it’s okay now because he doesn’t want to beat the hell out of her anymore. And that, my friends, is supposed to be an improvement.

Then things get even weirder. I mean things were already pretty mental and abusive but now they get downright cray cray. Ana tells Christian that he would never hurt her. He insists that OH BABY he wanted to hurt her. I’m going to quote here so you see just how nuts this gets.

Ana says: “No you didn’t. You just thought you did.”

What

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The Actual

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Fuck

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Christian, naturally, isn’t convinced. But Ana goes on to explain how he always feels bad after injuring her (she reminds him of how bad he felt after bruising her wrists on their honeymoon). So, Ana concludes, he can prevent those bad feelings by not doing the actions that cause those feelings.

Christian is apparently some kind of logic hating robot and her weird leaps of logic break his poor android brain. He goes all limp and quiet. Ana is suddenly sorry for making him mad in the first place.

What

And then everything is good again. They make out for a while, and then Ana gets back to business. Buuuut…Christian wants to have sex. Ana tries to talk to him and he keeps bugging. Finally he sighs and gives in. Fine! They can talk.

Ana starts to ask Christian why he doesn’t tell her anything. He declares that he only wants to protect her and then there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth as she tries to get anything beyond that out of him. He dramatically puts his head in his hands.

GoCry

Christian finally spills the deets about what was on Jack’s computer. Sort of. Jack’s computer was full of what Christian thought was a normal, non-threatening obsession with his life. After all Christian is a famous billionaire, he expects people to have unhealthy obsessions with him.

But, he tells Ana, shit got real when Jack tried to burn down Christian’s building or

Or what?!

And then Ana’s stomach growls.

Squirrel

Distracting!

We all know how Christian feels about Ana missing a meal. Christian blindfolds Ana and makes her sit on the chair while he feeds her like a tiny baby. Christian swears that he can cook, but all he does is stick some leftovers in the microwave and burn himself in the process.

The whole I-swear-its-sexy-and-totally-not-degrading feeding thing goes on for pages. Ana tries to get Christian to talk again, but he refuses because he needs to play head games first. This nutter-butter feeding scene goes on and on with cheap innuendoes and a heaping helping of the characters saying the title of the book. Because that’s Ana’s nickname for Christian: 50 Shades.

After the meal, Ana tries to talk again, but Christian isn’t done with the head games. Not by a long shot. He insists they go to the playroom, and asks Ana is she is up for a challenge.

“Bring it on,” she actually, seriously says.

Then she tells us that desire and “something that I don’t want to name” is thrumming through her body. What does that even mean? What’s the other thing? Voldemort?! Is she being possessed by He-who-must-not-be-named?

Voldemort

Christian picks Ana up (since she’s still blindfolded) and carries her to the playroom. He makes sure to mention that she has lost weight. So he makes snide remarks when she gains weight and snide remarks when she loses weight. And both times it was not even enough for Ana to notice. Nice guy.

So they go into the playroom and Ana strips off. She sticks her hand down Christian’s pants but sweet God they don’t say that in so many words! God no! It’s all vague talk about Christian’s open fly and his ‘happy trail’ which seems to mean pubic hair, but one can never be sure.

Christian re-blindfolds Ana and then straps her to some kind of wooden cross. You could choose to view it as Ana making the ultimate sacrifice to redeem her relationship, but really its just a cross that she gets strapped to because Christian is an asshat.

She hears him rummage through the drawers and wonders if it is the “butt drawer.” She also wonders what is unsettling her about this situation. Something isn’t right but she just can’t put her finger on it. Gee, I don’t know Ana, a crazy violent abusive billionaire has you cuffed to a wooden cross and has given the witnesses, er, staff the night off. What could possibly be unsettling about that?

Who’s to say?

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So, very long drawn-out boring story short, Christian spends the next three pages sexually teasing Ana but not letting her have an orgasm. Which, I’m not sure how you’d stop that from happening, but hey, crazier stuff has happened in 50 Shadesland. It’s punctuated with scintillating dialogue like this:

“This is a wand baby. It vibrates.”

Wow.

It becomes clear that Christian is doing this to punish Ana. He tells her it is just as frustrating as having her promise to do one thing and then say another. Well, it is an improvement over beating her to death, which is what he wanted to do this morning.
Ana bursts into tears and then screams out the safe word. By this point I’d forgotten what it was. It was “Red”. Huh. OK. And anyway, I thought they weren’t doing safe words. Christian insisted that those who are in love do not need safe words and they threw out the contract. But okay…

So Christian uncuffs her and she collapses on the bed in a crying heap. Christian is suuuuper sorry now and claims to have gotten caught up in the moment. Ana doesn’t believe him. He tells her that this is normal for BDSM. Which, I doubt. There is nothing normal in this book. At all.

After the tears and the begging for forgiveness Ana agrees to at least tell Christian when she isn’t going to do as she’s told which is…I don’t even know what it is. Christian is all in super-emo-feels-confession-mode so Ana asks him what he meant earlier when talking about Jack.

Turns out that not only did Jack try to burn down the Grey building and kidnap Ana, he is also the one who sabotaged Charlie Tango way back when. OK. That wasn’t a surprise to anyone but Ana. It was pretty clear for the entire book that Jack was responsible but whatever.

Then Christian reveals another surprising surprise! Jack intended to kidnap Ana! Wait. We totally already knew that. Are the main characters brain damaged?

Then a third and final surprise comes. One that no one could have expected because it’s pretty clear that it was made up out of whole cloth because the plot required more conflict. Moar conflict! Christian tells Ana that “Detroit is the connection.” What the fuck could that possibly mean?

You can almost here the dramatic soap opera-y music.

“Ana, I was born in Detroit.”

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Soooo…what? They are brothers? They were at the same orphanage? Jack is the pimp? Is Jack Christian’s mother!?

Oh my God!

I don’t care!

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Chapter 10 of 50 Shades Runs Cold and Colder

As we open chapter 10 Ana stands, dumbstruck, looking at her ex-boss crumpled on the ground. The Keystone Cops Security Dude Ryan assures her that Jack isn’t dead, just unconscious. Ana is relieved. I’m not sure why. He’s tried to kill her several times and tried to rape her sooo…she’s glad that he is alive to try again another day?

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Suddenly Ana remembers that other people exist. She is worried for Mrs. Jones, the maid. But it’s okay because Mrs. Jones was in the panic room that Ana only just now remembered that they had built. Apparently Christian had it built sometime between their engagement and the wedding, in between books 2 and 3. It’s a good thing Ana remembered it just exactly when it became convenient to the narrative! Phew!

Then Ryan wastes all our time by recapping the events of Jack’s failed plan. If Jack was any kind of supervillain, he’d wake up and fill us in himself. The security guys caught him coming up the service elevator dressed up as a workman. They let Jack in despite seeing right through his lame disguise, because they wanted the opportunity to beat the everliking heck out of him.

Jack’s turned out to be a disappointing super villain, hasn’t he? Like, a Super-Disappointing Villain. Despite talking the Villain-monologue talk, he doesn’t walk the supervillain-diabolical-scheme walk. His evil schemes have been uninspired at best. He sabotaged Christian’s helicopter, but not enough to kill anyone; he set a fire that did minimal damage at Grey Enterprises; and he’s failed at a bargain basement duct-tapey kidnapping attempt. So he’s dealt with without even a formulaic end boss fight. Hmph.

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And now Ryan has a problem! One no one could have anticipated! They need to tie Jack up but they have nothing to tie him up with. Well, it’s Anastasia Steele to the rescue! She goes the bedroom and produces cable ties from waaayyyy back in the first book. She rubs her wrists and is happy they aren’t bruised. I’m not sure what the point of that is…in the last bit of sex we actually saw she was tied up with her panties.

Wait

The security team starts to clean up the mess and totally fucks up the crime scene. I’ve been in the same room for enough TV crime dramas to know that this ain’t good. It soon becomes clear that no one is calling the police. So what exactly are they going to do with Jack? Turns out they aren’t sure. Christian’s super expensive crack security team has no plan for this eventuality. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

Ryan tries to call Taylor (who is in New York with Christian) for advice but he isn’t answering. Ana is practically facepalming. Even she realises how dumb this is. She tries to call Christian but he is still not answering: he is giving her the silent treatment.

Ana says fuck it and calls the police. Nothing in particular happens. The police show up, engage in some lukewarm questioning and leave, taking Jack with them. They don’t appear particularly put out that everyone has moved all the evidence and put their grubby hands all over it.

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Ana gets all sad because Christian is mad at her and still giving her the silent treatment. She asks Mrs. Jones to make her a sandwich. Mrs. Jones, the one who was actually home during the attempted kidnapping and subsequent take down. But as usual everything is all about Ana. She doesn’t even bother saying thank you.

The next morning Ana wakes up: Christian is home, still dressed in his formal duds, sitting in a chair glaring at her silently. Welcome home honey! Ana greets him but he refuses to answer, and just downs whatever generic alcohol he is currently drinking.

Ana tries to be all sweet and scared at him, but he just sits there glaring like a little bitch. When he finally deigns to speak, he tells Ana, “I am way, way beyond mad.”
So let me get this straight. Ana went out, against his wishes, and that is the only thing that stopped her from being home for Jack to kidnap. And Christian is angry…at…her. For not getting kidnapped. I guess.

Ana tries to suck up to Christian and sits in his lap. It doesn’t work; he’s still mad, and smells like booze. He reiterates just how fucking furious he is. Ana informs him that she is mad too. He is affronted! Then the Sobbing starts; Ana assures Christian that everyone is A OK, and even better Jack is gone. Christian retorts, “No thanks to you.” Then THEN when Ana rightfully asks what the hell that is supposed to mean, he says he doesn’t want to argue about it.

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Oh yeah you do. That’s what you live for. And seriously, while Ana’s actions didn’t contribute to catching Jack or keeping the maid safe, it did allow for her to NOT BE THERE when shit got real. How was that not helpful?

Who knows? Because they never come back to it in this chapter. Christian tells Ana to go to bed because it’s still early and despite the emotional roller coaster she has just ridden with Christian, Ana falls right back to sleep. She does have time to wonder why they aren’t having sex. Are we in Crazy Town? Oh yeah. We are.

Those two hours that Ana was ordered to sleep just happen to be the two most restful hours of sleep Ana has ever gotten. That makes no fucking sense. She was the almost victim of a failed kidnaping, her crazy rich-enough-to-have-her-rubbed-out-with-no-consequences boyfriend is livid with her and yet she has never slept better?! !!?
!?!?!?!?

I don’t fucking know.

Christian wakes Ana up with orange juice. At least he doesn’t throw it in her face. He sits it nicely on the side table and then heads for the shower. Ana sneaks in and gets all handsy. Christian for the first time ever tells her to lay off. Ana’s various personalities go apeshit, and Ana gets all emo and whispery at him.

“Don’t be mad at me, please.” She whispers. She whispers a lot. But she is dealing with a volatile lunatic here so maybe she’s onto something. Back away slowly Ana; no sudden movements.

Too late. Christian starts spouting more nonsense. He’s mad at Ana because she went out without his permission. Furious. He’s mad because Jack broke in and almost kidnapped her. He’s mad because if Ana did as she was told, she would have been here for the kidnapping. This is the biggie. He’s mad. At Ana. Because he was wrong. That bitch! How dare she!?

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Christian storms out of the shower and locks himself in his office. Ana tells herself that she is going to have to face the consequences of her actions. Like going out with her friend. Okaaayyy… Ana tries to get into Christian’s office and he gives her the cold shoulder, and kicks her out.

She’s super late for work, but she takes the time to grovel at Christian’s feet. She is sure she is in the right, but she needs to manage Christian’s emotions. She asks if she can drive to work knowing he will say no, so that she can sweetly agree. She’s trying to get on his not-dump-the-bodies-in-the-bay-at-their-new-house side.

Taylor drives her to work and Prescott, the female bodyguard who Ana hates (surprise!) guards her during the work day. And what does Ana think to herself when this is all over? She doesn’t think to herself, “Man, this asshole is straight up cray-cray.” Nope. She thinks, “At least he’s letting me go to work.”

Crazy

At work, Ana’s assistant Elizabeth shows up to get the gossip, since Christian is famous enough that the break-in is in the society pages. But Ana isn’t talking. Ana exchanges a couple of terse emails with Christian and the she realises something. Christian must have flown back from New York BEFORE he heard about the break-in. Sooo he flew home cutting short his super important billionaire business because Ana went out for drinks.

Now that she is out of his clutches, Ana feels safe enough to tell Christian off. She tells Christian that she might have stayed home if he had actually told her that the entire family was under triple security. And if he had told her that it was the result of actual threats they found on Jack’s computer. But she had to find these things out from Kate after they were already out. She further tells him that if he treats her like a naughty child she is going to act like one.

Christian responds with a terse email insisting that they will talk about it at home.
Well…they don’t.

Ana gets home, all keyed up and anticipating a huge fight. Christian, who has been running cold all day is suddenly running hot. Bow chicka bow bow… He greets Ana in the pants that Ana likes best. His sexy-times pants.

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But Christian knows. Oh. He knows.

“Good evening Mrs. Grey…” Christian says softly…”Good to have you home. I’ve been waiting for you.”

Yeah. That’s a healthy resolution to this situation. If this is going to lead into the only BDSM in this book I am going to be fucking disappointed. Not surprised. But disappointed.

I’m done.

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Celebrate 50-Shadesentine’s Day With This Horrific Cake

It’s Valentine’s Day, the queasiest time of the year! And Fifty Shades of Grey is being released in theatres. So why not celebrate with this terrifying Christian Grey cake?

ScaryCake

Are you scared? I’m scared. Hold me.

I just gave myself the jibblies.

Thanks to this lady for passing it along!

Source: The Star

 

 

Bad News Everyone! 50 Shades Movie Sequels Confirmed

Over at The Mary Sue they are reporting that movie adaptations of Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed are actually, really, officially going to happen. *Sigh* Personally, I think the movie will be a blockbuster success, but it does make me a little sad for humanity.

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I think we all know how I feel about the Fifty Shades Trilogy books.

I’m totally squicked out by the idea of the movie even just hypothetically. I do however have a morbid curiosity about how 50 Shades will get translated from book to movie format. Honestly, Ana’s thoughts, such as they are, are such a major part of the narrative I am not even sure how the movie can avoid turning into a lightly pornographic version of Herman’s Head.

Aannnnd Jamie Dornan especially just looks uncomfortable in every single promo shot. He’s all like:

Seriously. I just wanted an excuse to use this gif
Seriously. I just wanted an excuse to use this gif

I can’t imagine how that kind of not-chemistry-at-all is going to hold up over 3 movies.

I guess we’ll see. Or not. I can’t decide.

Source: The Mary Sue

My 50 Thousand View Happy Dance

Some time today I Read 50 Shades hit a milestone – 50 thousand views. I know, I know…lots of blogs get bazillions of views but I’m still pretty excited. It’s nice to know I can send words out into the world like that and find an audience, however small.

CarltonDanceThanks everybody for listening to my aimless snarky rambling! And just for good measure here’s the Kitty Cat Dance:

Thanks!