rockinlibrarian: (roar)
YOU GUYS. Remember when LiveJournal was actually social media and new Harry Potter books were coming out and we'd just DISCUSS THEM excitedly RIGHT HERE as we finished reading?

That was a decade-ish ago. Since then I've learned to Blog Properly, and have networked with loads of Librarian-types, or have made online friends with just various cool people I haven't actually met. (Since then also my baby has gotten quite grown as has his sister who wasn't even conceived yet). I've gotten into the habit of Writing Reviews, in which I DO in fact go on about my feelings about a work or whatever, but what I write can better be described as a typed book talk: "Here's this book, here's why you might want to read it! No spoilers, no discussion, I'm just RECOMMENDING!"

When I finished reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child --The Script, I felt curiously incomplete. Well, partially because I have not yet fully experienced the story by seeing it performed. But also because I felt "Okay, I've finished, now I need to frantically post to all my friends who are also probably finishing about now! Right? That's... that's how reading these works."

...it's different now, a decade later. A lot of us have kids, which means me reading this three days after its release was actually EARLY, not late, and who knows who else has managed to get to it yet. And online, I have followers. Loads of people I don't actually know, who keep expecting me to write brilliant things instead of just chat. We speak a language of reviews. We carefully avoid spoilers. We don't just spill our thoughts.

BUT I WANT A SPACE FOR THAT AGAIN!

Anyway, here is my Spoiler-Free Response post. Those of you who want to hash things out in more spoilerific detail, use the comments section right here on LiveJournal, rather than on Facebook or Twitter or whatever-- that keeps the discussion all in one place and, ironically, makes it harder for people to stumble upon spoilers, because the comments aren't just OUT THERE like they are on Facebook or whatever. You do not need a LiveJournal account to comment-- you can log in with another type of account or just do it as Anonymous (but please sign your name)-- Anonymous comments won't show up right away but I DO get notified and I WILL put them up eventually. Anyway.

Make no mistake, this is a SCRIPT. Reading it is not magical like seeing it performed would be, or even like reading a book that's actually crafted to be your whole experience is. It's a placeholder, a consolation for those of us who CAN'T see the show on stage, so that we don't miss out on the story itself. But you can tell that this really is just an OUTLINE of the experience. This is meant to be viewed on a stage-- that's how the story is crafted. You really aren't getting the whole experience just reading the script.

But that never stopped anybody reading Shakespeare.

I saw in passing a tweet in which somebody said somebody ELSE had called it fanfiction, which IS technically not true, but I can see where the thought might be coming from. After all, some theater guys did the actual WRITING.* It's just Jo Rowling helped shape the story, making the story, therefore, canonical. But there are lots of reminders and callbacks to things in the books that may just be reminders but also kind of feel like jumping-off points actual fanfic writers MIGHT use. And, being written almost a decade on, it kind of takes the part of-- what's the word, fanfic people? "Corrective" fic? Something that rolls off the tongue better? Anyway, that-- it's able to fix some of the problems the original series had. Notably, we get our first actually likable and heroic Slytherin House characters. (In fact, if you'd told me ahead of time who my favorite new character would be? ...well, didn't see that coming). And yes, they're ambitious and cunning without being evil or snobbish!

We also get to play around with AUs a little bit for those people who weren't always sure about Granger-Weasley marriage concept, and we get FURTHER SATISFACTION THAT RON/HERMIONE IS INDEED THE BRIGHTEST TIMELINE for those of us who are still passionate shippers after all these years. That wasn't a spoiler. THAT WAS MY HIGHLY OPINIONATED TRUTH. ...it was LOVELY to see them together as adults, their ever-beautiful chemistry still melting my heart after all these years. I liked the reminder that they really are one of my absolute favorite fictional couples ever. SO SUE ME.

It's scary. I was surprised how scary it could be simply reading the script-- imagine seeing it in the theater! The stakes get high and they get there fast-- "this is happening in only Act Two? Of Four Acts? Only the BEGINNING of Act Two at that?!"

There are twists and turns you don't see coming. It's just plain fun.

When I finished I had to go look at production pictures. I know, that sounds funny-- I can read BOOKS without pictures just FINE. But it was strangely comforting to see some of the scenes I'd read, like, "oh good, they DID complete this script by performing it, PHEW!" And, just reading about grown-up Harry, and then SEEING grown-up Harry... it was just good to see him there, you know? I kept staring at him. "That's Harry Potter, grown up." Now, I see Daniel Radcliffe as a grown-up and I go "aw, look how well he grew up!" but I don't actually think of him as HARRY grown up. THIS is Harry grown up, and it's just nice dangit.

I guess I'll stop there. Chat in the comments if you like!

*Just like an old-fashioned LiveJournal journal entry, I'm not bothering to look up their names for accuracy because I don't actually CARE. It's not like you won't be able to FIND it.

Finally finished it

Date: 2016-09-06 05:26 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] sal_amanda
sal_amanda: (Default)
I don't even remember what my password is, but thankfully Chrome does so here I am actually logged in to livejournal.

Anyhoo. I finally finished reading the script this weekend. Nora of course read it in a day, making me once again jealous of the kind of free time that 9-year-olds on summer break have.

I'm not a super fan of the franchise and I actually came into it pretty late since I was so turned off by the first movie that it took me a while to read them. But I really enjoyed this story, possibly more than the originals.

All the angry fans who aren't just angry that it's a play or that Rowling didn't technically write it or that Hermione is being played by a black woman, mostly seem angry about the adult characters not living up to the happily ever after they envisioned in their own heads of who these characters are. They seem to be angry that Harry is a flawed parent. "Harry would never say such things to his child!"

First of all, everyone is flawed. Why on earth would Harry be perfect. And trauma does weird things to people. Make no mistake that Harry, and his friends, had extremely traumatic events happen to them during their formative years.

I personally loved how their flaws were portrayed. It made them such real people, not just characters. I particularly loved the conversation Harry had with Dumbledore's portrait about how Dumbledore himself was a very flawed father figure.

And I will totally agree with you that I love how Ron and Hermione had a connection in every universe.

So now I need to remember to log in periodically to see if there are any other replies since I can't recall what e-mail my lj is connected to.

Re: Finally finished it

Date: 2016-09-14 04:45 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] rockinlibrarian.livejournal.com
That's okay, I forget to log in to reply to other people's replies until I come back to look for an old post to tweet. :P

Yeah, why WOULD Harry be a perfect parent, anyway? It's not like he spent the majority of his childhood with any good role models on the subject. Eventually he had the Weasleys, but only in passing, holidays and visits and Ron and Ginny's secondhand stories, not day-to-day PARENTHOOD. I too really appreciated the talk with Dumbledore's portrait.
Ooo, I forgot I had the Volde-mart userpic when I posted this post!

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