Killjoys: auntie dutch

Killjoys!

After seeing lots of squeeful posts on my flist, I watched Killjoys this weekend. I like it a lot! After seeing what others had written about it, I expected it to be campy as fuck, but it's really not. The first few episodes are a mishmash of science fiction tropes, but after that, the characterization gets pretty nuanced. Some small things annoy me a lot, like do we really have to put so many apostrophes and q's and y's in people's names to demonstrate that this takes place in a distant galaxy? Seriously, I want to write fic but just the thought of typing D'avin or Jaqobi makes me grit my teeth. It's almost as obnoxious as the octagonal paper in BSG.

Petty issues aside, it's a pretty satisfying watch. Yeah, the first few episodes are derivative, but I like Firefly and Star Wars and miscellaneous Heinlein novels, so smushing them together into one show is not a terrible thing. Thematically, it asks a lot of questions about income inequality and corporate control, which I like because it's relevant to our world and also where I think Firefly was heading before it got cancelled. My favorite thing, though, is that actions have real consequences and emotional issues don't just disappear so that the characters can get along again. The three main characters really, really love each other and believe that their relationships with one another are worth fighting for -- but they aren't easy or uncomplicated, and the show doesn't dodge the emotional fall-out of the things they do to each other.


Overall, I am pleased with the treatment of lady characters on the show, but I am so tired of the trope where male character A comes to male character B and informs him that a female character is off-limits for sexy times. As a person who has, at best, a complicated relationship wtih her family, I completely understand not wanting your family members to have sex with your friends. That said, why is John telling his brother not to have sex with Dutch instead of politely asking Dutch not to hook up with his brother? Dutch isn't a possession to be controlled, and she deserves a chance to speak up for her own needs -- namely that not a lot of people can understand her past, D'avin is one of them, and sorry BFF, you'll just have to deal.

That's part of why I was so happy that they hooked up -- and that Dutch started it, even though she knew John wasn't going to love it. And damn, the fall-out from that was some serious Buffy-level post-coital shitstorm. Let me say again: damn. The cool thing is that Dutch doesn't forgive him right away. John does, because D'avin is his brother, and he believes in their relationship enough to know that the "real" D'avin wouldn't have stabbed him. Dutch doesn't have the luxury of that past history, and even though she wants to forgive D'avin, she's still stuck with the reality that when she was vulnerable, he actually tried to kill her. Then John tries to fix things between them, but he can only get halfway there, because Dutch doesn't know how to deal with a situation this messy.


Halfway through the series, I started to feel cheated that John apparently forgave D'avin for nine years of radio silence just like that. And then there was "Come the Rain," which gives dimension to John's nice guy personality. He doesn't just clean up messes because he's just that nice; he does it because other people didn't give him a choice. D'avin leaves because he's older and he can, so John gets stuck with the terrible choice of abandoning his mom or giving up on his education. And he can't let his mom die, even if (I assume) she's a junkie, so he lets go of his dreams. D'avin thinks John's just hurt they haven't talked, but John is actually angry that D'avin took his choices away without even realizing it. D'avin can't make up for that, and John knows it, but I think he wants D'avin to be aware it happened -- and be grateful that someone made the sacrifice for their mom.

Dutch is important to John because she's the first person who reciprocated his sacrifices. John's father sounds abusive, his mother was a junkie, his brother left. He's really never had anyone he could depend on. Dutch is also the product of an abusive father figure, and she has no family to speak of. And so they take care of each other equally. When John says that he's willing to do anything for Dutch, it's not self sacrifice or cleaning up someone else's mess because she does the same for him. When he takes the kill warrant without telling her, she doesn't get mad. She's worried, she wants to know what the hell happened, and then she makes sure that John can save his brother.

When John is upset about D'avin intruding on their duo, it's not because he wants Dutch for himself (at least, not in a romantic sense). It's because his partnership with Dutch is the first thing he got to choose just for himself, and it's also the first stable and dependable thing he's had in his life. If you've already given up everything for your family and you've reached your limit on the number of sacrifices you can make, you get a little defensive. You can't be all 'welcome to the team' because what you're really thinking is 'hey asshole, this is my one nice thing and I'm not going to step over and let you have it.'

Which is all a very long-winded way of saying that I found the characterization and relationships on the show very emotionally satisfying, and I look forward to filling as many Yuletide requests for it as a I can.
KILLJOYS KILLJOYS KILLJOYS YESSS.

Johnny Jaquobis is my new space boyfriend, and Johnny & Dutch have one of my favorite platonic relationships (relationships period, really) ever on any show. The bit where he reads her the bedtime story out of the comic book D'av gave him really seals it for me. UGH, THESE BEAUTIFUL GOOFBALLS.

P.S.

I suspect the random apostrophes & Q's are a French-Canadian thing? I was chatting with my (dual-citizened Canadian) roommate about this, actually -- since Killjoys is originally a Canadian-made show, if we assume French-Canadian influence in the worldbuilding, it's not such a long shot that we'd get the French-influenced spelling (e.g. q's pronounced as c's), and grammar (e.g. D'Avin originating as "of Avin," possibly a surname that eventually became popularized as a given name in this world?).

POSSIBLY I AM ETYMOLOGICALLY OVERTHINKING THINGS, but it makes me feel a little better about the general random ridic of people's names. :P

Edited at 2015-10-06 05:45 pm (UTC)
I *want* to buy the French explanation since that would make me feel better too...but I don't think there's any language on earth where Khlyen is a reasonable spelling of something that's pronounced "Klein."
Yeahhhh, I'm at a loss with "Khlyen." D'avin, Jaquobis, all explainable as weirdly evolved space French! Khlyen is just incomprehensible. @__@
I LOVE Killjoys. It was hands down my favorite summer show this year. And 90% of that was due to the characters and the character dynamics. I love Dutch. LOVE her. I love Johnny. I LOVE their relationship. It took a while for D'avin to grow on me but by the end of the season, I liked him quite a bit. Same goes for his relationships with Johnny and Dutch, though I would've preferred Dutch/D'av to stay platonic.


I'm normally very bothered by the "don't sleep with my friend" bullshit but for some reason, it didn't irritate me as much here? I think maybe because I read it as Johnny trying to protect D'avin. He knew if they hooked up and things went wrong, he'd choose Dutch. He'd choose his partner and D'av would be on his own and I think Johnny was just trying to prevent that from happening. Which doesn't mean I was happy about it but it didn't bother me as much as it usually does.
but I am so tired of the trope where male character A comes to male character B and informs him that a female character is off-limits for sexy times. THISSSSSSS! OMG, SO MUCH.

I quite enjoyed this show, too! And look forward to reading all the yuletide fills!
What a beautiful meta post for this series! :D I liked it fine from the start, but I got really into it with episode 7. I'm glad it got renewed.
I'm skipping past the spoilery things because I'll definitely check it out. Hadn't even heard of it, can you believe that? And I live in Canada. Canadian sci-fi tends to look super cheesy but then ends up being just super :D
I just finished S1 last night, so I am ALL in on talking about the show and Dutch and Johnny's amazing friendship and D'Avin's amazingly fucked up psyche and Pawter's redemption arc and Alvis' masochistic bunch of revolutionary monks and the really intriguing world building.

I was definitely not expecting the show to be as serious as it was. Which is a good thing.
I loved Pawter's redemption arc too! I especially like that she's trying to redeem herself from such everyday sins, not crazy tortured dark past sins. Something else I like about the show in general is that two women have redemption arcs. I feel like the dark and troubled past story arc usually belongs to the guys, with some super sympathetic and understanding women hanging out to cheer them along. It's a nice switch to see that both Dutch and Pawter need redemption (and so does D'avin, I guess) with Johnny and Pri hanging out to cheer them on.
Yeah, I love that the story is really driven by the women and their arcs. It's a very nice change of pace.
My favorite thing, though, is that actions have real consequences and emotional issues don't just disappear so that the characters can get along again. The three main characters really, really love each other and believe that their relationships with one another are worth fighting for -- but they aren't easy or uncomplicated, and the show doesn't dodge the emotional fall-out of the things they do to each other. -- ALL OF THIS. YES. ME TOO.

And yeah, I really love how the dynamics work, between all of them; they're complicated and nuances and none of them are just one thing, if you know what I mean, they all get layers and individual motivations for how they act and react, and just, this show makes me so happy. SO HAPPY.