Yes, I vanished off the face of the blogosphere for a while. Sorry about that. I was distracted by TV lists, work, death, stress, hearty amounts of internet abuse, and, thankfully, this beautiful creature.
But I’m back to take on Fifty Shades with renewed vigour and a shit-ton of Hannibal gifs because I can’t seem to stop looking at Mads Mikklesen smiling of late.
Boom. Let’s get this show on the motherfucking road. We left off with Grey having just stopped by Ana’s workplace to buy a stream of copious murder materials, like some kind of middle-class Leatherface (side note: I’d go to bed with Leatherface over Grey). Ana calls her roomate, and Kate literally shits out her organs with glee when she finds out that, not only was Grey only passing through on buisiness, but he gave Ana his number to arrange A PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED PHOTOSHOOT. Kate insists on referring to their combined half-hour of contact as “a relationship”. I begin gnawing through my arm as distraction.
Kate encourages Ana to manipulate Jose into doing the photoshoot for them, and he agrees because it’s inconceivable for anyone not to fall at Ana’s feet when she has the audacity to exist around them. As Ana audibly (AUDIBLY) dampens as she speaks to Grey about the photoshoot, Kate teases her about her clear ladyboner for Wank Central Station, and Ana throws a hissy fit then storms off. I’d like to point out at this stage that I find this singular Hannibal gif twenty times more arousing than I have any of this book, the great sexual liberator of a generation.
The photoshoot is arranged, and we thankfully skip ahead to the Scooby Gang (if only) setting up in a posh hotel. When Grey arrives, he and Jose exchange what I assume EL James thought was smouldering sexual rivalry over a tenacious heroine, but it reads as two thundering dullards bickering over who gets the last pink wafer biscuit. In this scenario, Ana is the plain white ceramic plate upon which the far more interesting foodstuff is placed. On a side note, do you remember that bit in Twilight where Bella is almost hit by a car, then Edward suddenly appears next to her and pushes it out of her way? Yeah, keep that in mind for later.
The photoshoot, which goes on for around a thousand years, finally ends, and Grey invites Ana out for coffee. Ana- and promise you, this is written in the book- panics because she doesn’t like coffee. Grey holds her hand in the lift on the way out of the hotel, and Ana basically goes completely to pieces. I have now chewed far enough through my arm to play my nerves like a fleshy banjo.
There is vague small talk for a while- even though most of what we get is internal monologue from Ana, leaving me to assume she just sat there in silence staring at Christian like a stuffed deer- then this exchange occurs.
“I like my tea black and weak”, I mutter is explanation.
“I see. Is he your boyfriend?”
Once that surreal leap of logic has taken place, Grey proceeds to lay out a perfect how-not-to guide to first dates.
“You should find me intimidating” He nods. “You’re very honest. Please don’t look down. I like to see your face”
Aside from the fact this all sounds like stuff a serial killer would say just before he peeled the skin off his next victim like so much sticky tape, he calls Ana “self-contained” and “mysterious”. I understand that it must be confusing to come across someone so desperately thick that they have no hidden depths, but there’s no way in hell you could describe Ana- face-planting, blushing, staring, squeaking Ana- as fucking self-contained. I’m now working my way through the bone.
Then there are three excruciating pages of the two “smouldering” over the table at each other as they discuss totally inappropriate subject matter for a first date, then they leave and wander off back to their respective vehicles. I actually had to take a run-up at this section because I just couldn’t handle how fucking painful it was to get through. Got that car bit from Twilight in mind? Good.
“Shit, Ana!” Grey cries. He tugs the hand that he’s holding so hard that I fall back against him just as a cyclist whips past, narrowly missing me, heading the wrong way up this one-way street
That sums up Fifty Shades perfectly to me: even when it rips off other, mediocre books, it still can’t be bothered to do anything exciting, interesting, stimulating, or not shockingly dull. I can promise you I will not be going near this shit again for a long time. Hopefully long after my death.