"A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, all the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved.”
“All this she must possess,” added Darcy, “and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”
According to this passage in Pride and Prejudice, there's a quite a bit a woman had to do in the early nineteenth century to be considered truly accomplished. Nowadays, of course, standards for women are quite different, especially depending on the interests of the woman in question. But I still can't shake the feeling that some guys have lists floating around in their heads, diagrams of what a supposedly perfect woman is like.
So I've decided to turn it around a bit. The following lists aren't qualifications for the right guy for me, per se, but more of a reading/watchlist. I'm also getting a bit annoyed about the "fake geek girl" stereotype, and since I'm all for equality, this list is to weed out any "fake geek guys".
1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
If you read the opener, you probably saw this coming. A classic tale of love and bad first impressions. Acceptable substitutes include the BBC miniseries of the same name and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube.
2. Flashpoint, Geoff Johns
I have mixed feelings about DC's New 52, but I love the story arc that led into it. In Flashpoint, Barry Allen (aka the Flash) wakes up one day in a complete different timeline, with no idea how he got there. In this world, Bruce was killed in front of his parents, leaving his father to become Batman (and his mother to descend into madness). Also, the Justice League never formed, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are engaged in an apocalyptic war, and basically everyone in the DC universe is fundamentally different.
To change everything back, Barry has to convince others to join his side, regain his speed, find a missing Superman, and figure out how his nemesis changed the timeline, all before his old memories completely disappear. If you're unfamiliar with the arc, just wait 'till you get to the end, because the twist will shock you.
Maybe I'm biased because I grew up in a family with three older sisters, but Little Women is, without a doubt, my favorite book of all time. (Confession: I always wanted to be Jo. Desperately).
4. Knightfall, Knightquest, and KnightsEnd, DC Comics
The Knightfall Trilogy is partially the inspiration for the plot of The Dark Knight Rises. In this book, we are introduced to the character of Bane, who grew up imprisoned in Santa Prisca for the crimes of his father. Thanks to time, study, training, and a careful plan, he eventually overthrew the prison and led the inmates to Gotham. There he found a new goal: break the Batman and take the city.
But he doesn't start by facing Bruce head-on. Instead, he breaks out every inmate in Arkham, leaving Batman to run himself ragged in an attempt to stop them, even with the help of the current Robin, Tim Drake. Bane pushes Bruce to his limits, leaving someone else to take up the mantle of the bat in his absence. Unfortunately, he may have picked the wrong successor.
My favorite series of all time (sorry Rick Riordan and JK Rowling, it was a close call). The first Artemis Fowl novel tells the story of a young, rich criminal mastermind who decides to kidnap an elf and hold it for ransom. The resulting conflict changes his life and the fairy people forever as he makes friends, enemies, and even ends up saving the world a few times.
6. Civil War, Mark Millar
The cinematic version, Captain America: Civil War, was decent, but in my mind, it just doesn't compare to the original. In comic book Civil War, after a team of inexperienced superheroes on a reality tv show mess up and let the bad guys escape, killing a busfull of a children, Tony Stark decides to reevaluate the superhero business.
He decides that heroes should be registered under the government, working and training with oversight from authorities. But as some heroes go public with their identities and others refuse to cooperate, things spiral out of control.
I personally think the best moment is when Daredevil is imprisoned for refusing to cooperate with the Registration Act and Tony Stark shows up to visit him. Daredevil simply gives him a piece of silver that he's been carrying. When Tony ask what it's for, he replies: "Guess that's thirty-one pieces of silver you've got now, huh? Sleep well, Judas."
7. The Harry Potter Series, J.K. Rowling
8. Spider-Gwen, Jason Latour
On Peter Parker's earth, Gwen Stacy might be dead, but on Earth-65, she's very much alive. After Gwen got bit by a radioactive spider, she became Spider-Woman. Unfortunately, most of New York sees her as a villain, including her dad, police captain George Stacy.
I think one of the things I love most about this comic, besides the fact that it gave Gwen a buttkicking story, is seeing how different characters on Earth-65 are. On this earth, Matt Murdock's the right hand to the Kingpin, Frank Castle is a brutal cop, Peggy Carter runs shield, and Samantha Wilson is Captain America. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
9. Journal #3, Alex Hirsch
Everything you ever wanted to know about Gravity Falls all wrapped up in wonderfully large book with beautiful drawings. You don't even have to have seen the show to enjoy the story that follows, as the book leads from the author's journal entries to Dipper and Mabel's scribbled-in adventures. (Although I'm willing to bet that reading the Journal will make you want to watch the show itself.)
Hundreds of pages of Frank Castle beating up and shooting down bad guys, with cameos from Daredevil, Spiderman, Wolverine, and Dr. Doom.
1. Arrow (yes, even season 4)
See, here's the thing: season 1 is good, season 2 is AMAZING, season 3 is okay, and season 4 was pretty bad. But season 5 is doing pretty well so far, so I'm not giving up on this adaptation of the Emerald Archer yet.
2. The Flash
So I love the Flash. So sue me. But trust me, you don't want to pass this show up. Season one features the best comic book villain portrayal I've ever seen, from sympathetic to psycho. And all the other characters are just so much fun!
From fight scenes to verbal comedy, Daredevil doesn't pull any punches. The show is action-packed, the characters are fascinating, and the acting is just wonderful. (My only problem is all the ninjas in season 2. But I'll get over that, eventually).
4. Young Justice
Putting this on the list and leaving out the 2003 Teen Titans was a really hard choice, because they both have a special place in my heart. But if you want a list of the reasons why I love Young Justice (and am psyched that it was renewed), just click here.
Gotham tells the origin story of various criminals and characters in the Batman mythology, adding its own twists and turns. Really, it exists in its own universe, but that's what I love about it. Gotham isn't afraid to shake things up. Want to make the Penguin gay? Do it. Want to make Bruce twelve instead of eight? Why not? Want to give the Joker a backstory? Anything goes.
6. Avatar: The Last Airbender
Three words: Zuko's redemption arc.
7. Generator Rex
Just the story of your average teenager who can turn into different weapons and fights monsters for a government agency. Honeestly, I'm pretty annoyed this show isn't more popular, because it's fantastic.
8. Death Note
In Death Note, a high school student named Light Yagami finds a special notebook. If you write someone's name in it, they die. Determined to rid the world of evil, Light begins writing the names of criminals in the book, but it's not long before the power corrupts him.
The police, baffled by the mysterious killings, enlist the help of a detective named L, the only one who can keep up with Light. What ensues is a frantic cat-and-mouse game that never fails to keep the audience guessing.
9. Luke Cage
Click here for my full explanation of why I love this show so much.
10. Doctor Who (2005)
The classic story of a time-traveling alien who changes faces. In my opinion, it never gets old.
1. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Like I said, I've got a thing for the Flash, especially in this story line. What does the movie have that the comic doesn't? Simple, really: a brilliant score, Nathan Fillion as the voice of Hal Jordan, and an awesome fight scene with the Reverse-Flash (comic book battles can only do so much).
2. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
Set in the futuristic timeline of the show Batman Beyond, this movie finally explains what happened to the Joker, as well as Robin. It's a dark story with standout performances from Will Friedle and Mark Hamill. This movie actually had have scenes cut and re-edited for audiences after the Columbine Shooting (despite being made for kids).
3. You’ve Got Mail
A couple meets through an online chat room, unaware that in real life, they hate each other. Witty, heartfelt, and my favorite romantic comedy of all time.
4. The Court Jester
A member of the resistance to an unlawful king must pose as a court jester to infiltrate the palace. Notable for its musical numbers, quick wit, and tongue twisters ("The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true!")
The musical story of a woman who marries a backwoodsman she just met, only to realize he has six younger brothers that she has to live with. She decides to teach them some manners along the way.
6. RED 1 & 2
A retired secret agent falls in love with a girl over the phone and ends up taking her with him when he's on the run. It's almost more comedy than classic action film, but that just makes me love it more. The sequel is just as good, if not better.
The story of a strong, independent daughter of a chieftain who goes on a quest to return the heart of a nature goddess. The songs, written by the brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda, never cease to amaze.
8. Undercover Blues
9. The Princess Bride
"Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..." All you want in a movie, really.
I'm not saying it's a perfect movie, but there's just something about the classic underdog story that makes it worth watching. Trust me.
So, that's my list of requirements for any guy who wants to date me. Hope I haven't set the bar too high, but hey: if he hasn't seen The Princess Bride, was it really meant to be? I don't think so.