On Beards and Manbuns

ย Very recently, I’ve developed “an extremely strong desire to mentally consume” all episodes of this small screen/ Netflix wonder (read: I binge-watch these episodes in my spare time, with my father occasionally joining to watch. )

It simply cannot be helped. The large-scale production of a historical drama, with larger-than-life characters, created by the legendary Michael Hirst is a compelling show to watch. He is the sole writer for the show, and allegedly, to up the excitement factor new scripts come out every two weeks for the actors, and they never know what to expect.

The characters have great chemistry, and the actors are very easy on the eyes (aside from the fact that they are good actors, of course.). ย My initial favorite,was of course, Ragnar Lothbrok (played by erstwhile Calvin Klein model, Travis Fimmel) and now, heavily favored is the very strong “crippled Viking” character, Ivar the Boneless , who is portrayed by Alex Hogh Andersen.

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Photo from Pikenight.com

Like any full-blooded female, I am partial to strong male characters on TV, ย but these two characters were so well-crafted and well-played that they actually made me dissociate pleasantly and had me thinking that they might actually be real vikings in their past lives. I kid you not. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ragnar is bold, adventurous and curious…enough to defy his earl and go wandering off West, even when he was explicitly told not to. Also, as a bonus he has this leering look and twitching of his eye that seems to emphasize his points. You really have to admire the man, he was ahead of his time, and his nearly insatiable thirst for “the new worlds to explore” made him a standout indeed. He had that fire in his eyes, a charisma, which everyone saw, because they all followed him unquestioningly.

(Maybe he was a visionary in those Dark Ages…but really, the show was only based on The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok, an old Viking tale handed down from generations through storytelling, too diluted to be even considered as real, accurate history. )

Nevertheless, it made for very entertaining viewing. My father loves it for the swordfights and battle scenes, I myself, love it for the relationship drama and the internal and external conflicts of the characters. #Priorities. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Lagertha, the shield maiden, is also a favorite character, as she is a…well, a Badass female, way ahead of her time. She could handle herself in a brawl…and still have time for her kids, AND was brave enough to pack up her bags and divorce her philandering husband publicly, without fear of the unknown. Also, I might add, she never looked back. Sure, she may have seemed to love such a powerful man with all her heart, but in the end, she could not bear to be humiliated by his philandering ways, and she opted instead to just break it off with him anyway.

(She never settled, and became Earl in her own right…winning battles and commanding men.)

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๐Ÿ™‚ Really, this is just the gist of it all, and I am merely writing out the things that I like about this show. There are several articles on the show, and I think this one here is more congruent with real Viking History. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Perhaps since I am infinitely curious about people’s character and how they think, my current favorite would have to be one of Ragnar’s sons, ย Ivar the Boneless, played by Alex Hogh Andersen. This character was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta ( and was nearly killed by his own father) and had an anger management problem that drove him to be one of the most notorious Viking conquerors of Western Europe, so to speak. ย (AH fun. All the internal conflicts there!) He was also, allegedly, very smart…and cunningly genius war strategist as well…and despite the fact that he could not walk, legacy stories about him were telling about how “stood higher than many men in the battlefield.”

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Speculations about his condition abound, of course, but we really have no way of knowing for sure, because all this data is being extrapolated from the recounted histories, and very old Viking records from the 10th century that were recorded by the monks and the priests of Christianity.

alexย  However, it is not a bad thing at all that Alex Hogh Andersenย is playing Ivar. No, not at all…especially since he also takes photos in his spare time, in real life (which I think is pretty cool, of course!). haha. not at all. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t take my word for it, though… try to watch it yourself. If you like stories and characters like I do, then this series is for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

(And this concludes my extra-curricular writing blogging activity. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

So, enjoy! Because I definitely did,beards,manbuns and all.) ๐Ÿ™‚

A Farewell to McCharming

Derek Shepherd, the man who was made of the stuff of dreams…died today.

As one of the most charismatic leading men in the history of television, he deserves a space in my freedom space. He was so well-made, so perfect…and he always said the best things (at the best times) ever. And those lines? They were just what any girl would want to hear.

The modern day Prince Charming that he was, he was always rescuing people and saving lives and what not. And because of this, ย I even believe he was many modern women’s idea of a Knight in Shining Armor (that every boy had to live up to). And he had to be a Neurosurgeon to top it off.

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Ahh, that archetype, it is much loved by all, and for good reason.

Surgeons have an unmistakably enigmatic allure to them, I think that’s what draws women to them. They deal with life or death matters (especially more so on TV), they get things done, they have skill sets that your regular average Joe can only dream about. People tend to gravitate towards that.

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They also have nice hands.

I remember at my training hospital, I had a crush on one surgery resident, who had such hands. He was doing an umbilical cut down and he was working on a baby. I was done with my patient in the emergency room, so I could not help but linger in the emergency room a few feet away. Ah,as those long graceful fingers worked speedily, and I was mesmerized. I had a silly smile on my face while looking on, I believe, and I distinctly remember wanting to write about his hands while I was watching. ย When he was done, he and his coresident sat down on the chair in the opposite side of the room, chatting as if it was a regular thing to do on a daily basis. I remembered resisting the urge to put my chin on my hand and stare dreamily at his hands. (Or at him. Haha)

Surgery residents would make great trophy boyfriends, in the same way as Dermatology residents would make great trophy girlfriends. And neither of them can help it. It’s that swagger, that “it” factor, that “je nes sais quoi” that is culturally associated with their specialty choice.

Or maybe it’s that unmistakable self-confidence that seems to sweat out of every pore? They do have that…and they do know it. (And they somehow make you feel safe. Like they could take anyone in a hospital brawl…if it ever happened.)

Not every surgeon is like McDreamy, of course, and there’s the rub. McDreamy is THE dude. (Why did he have to be so perfect? He’d make any girl swoon, because it was inherent in his made-up character.) His character appealed to me, but only as an ideal. There’s no way there’s a man who is THAT perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚

Speaking of Mr. Hands, I had another encounter with him a few months after that. He called for a “quick” Psych referral per request of his consultant, at their ward. We don’t do “quick” Psychiatric evaluations in training of course, we treat every patient fully and interview fully and write notes fully. In other words, we do our work really seriously. So…I had the chance to “psychoeducate” him about “hurrying” the process.

. He recognized me when I made my way to the patient’s bed in the ward, and he talked to me personally about the referred patient. I was a little stern, I suppose, but I could not help but steal glances at his hands (and long, graceful fingers) every so often.

(I’m incorrigible that way. :-))

Anyway, up until I was done with training, we were ‘Hey’ friends (i.e. when we see each other in the halls, we’d go, “Hey.” or sometimes, “Hi!” and smile. He’s taller than everyone else, so I didn’t have enough time to look at his hands, after greeting, in the space of a casual passing at the halls.)

And that, ladies and gentlemen is the story of my crush on a surgeon’s hands…

And then there was the dude with the pen…

haha, but that’s another story altogether.

Farewell, Dr. Shepherd. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Edit: This post was written in homage to a series which romanticizes the practice of medicine to a certain extent. You can tell that the effective storytelling skill of the creator and writers of this series because of how it has effected viewers on a major scale, myself included. However, I would like to admit that this entry was true at the time it was written, and does not necessarily reflect my current sentiments towards life today. (April 26, 2017.)