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In the 'Mark Does Stuff' blogs, Mark... well, does stuff. And by 'stuff', we mean they review TV shows, movies, books and games. Oh, and they ARE NOT PREPARED. Intrigued? Then it's time to read the 'Mark Does Stuff' TV Tropes page.

MARK DOES STUFF
The 'Mark Does Stuff' Blogs are actually three separate sister blogs, run by a man named Mark Oshiro. A couple of years ago they embarked upon reading Twilight to see whether it was as good—or bad—as everyone said. they managed to get through all four books and decided they really hated them. Afterward, they decided to do the same for the other famous young adult fantasy novel series of our generation: Harry Potter. they reviewed every chapter of every book, and readers slowly watched them descend into pure fan-boy love for the series. This page, however, is not for either of those two blogs, but their offspring.

After finishing Harry Potter, Mark decided to launch two new sites, one dedicated to their reading and reviewing of books and the other for visual media. Later, they decided to branch into games, so that they could review all manner of interactive media. They are fittingly called "Mark Reads", "Mark Watches" and "Mark Plays" respectively. They read/watch/play the series with little to no information on them beforehand (the comments section has a very strict spoiler policy; commenters are required to encrypt via ROT13 even the simplest "Mark's going to LOVE the next episode"), and reviews each episode/chapter, giving their opinions and insights on them. They're ongoing projects, and ones that don't look due to end anytime soon, as they had whole lists of series they have already promised to look at.

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The appeal of the blog comes from the feeling of getting to relive the series- Mark goes through many of the same impressions and feelings you did when experiencing a book or show for the first time. Add in their playful writing, explosive reactions to plot twist and extensive debates in the comments, and you've got an online media club.

Naturally, it has inspired various similar blogs.

They have also moved into writing their own novels; the first, Anger Is a Gift, was published in 2018, and a second has already been contracted.


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Tropes Include:

  • Author Catch Phrase: 'Shit Gets Real' and 'You Are Not Prepared', following in the legacy of their last two blogs.
    • In the wake of Doctor Who, series three, the latter phrase sometimes get shortened to YANP, in honour of Professor Yana.
    • Oh, and gifs, even if they're not quite a 'phrase'. Mark has often joked that they've already seen half of Nu-Who "through sheer virtue of gifs".
    • The banner for their reading of His Dark Materials was slightly altered to say "You en't prepared." Then it got much fancier when they partnered with the Pullman fansite Bridge to the Stars for the third book.
    • And at the same time they were going through Battlestar Galactica, with "You are not frakkin' prepared."
    • The Hobbit has it written in Dwarvish runes, which changed to Elvish with The Lord of the Rings.
    • They've taken up "Sweet Summer Child," a reference to A Song of Ice and Fire, when addressing a character that has no idea what the future holds.
    • They didn't take long to pick up "Bless my beard" and "Gandalf's beard" after starting The Lord of the Rings.
    • Mark has a handful of words they seem particularly fond of: "presumptuous", "____ bigot" (even where it doesn't make sense), "privileged", "___ist" (sexist, ableist, etc.), "oppressed"/"oppression"
    • Expect to hear a lot of "Fuck all of you!" and "I hate you all!" during their videos. It happens enough that they feel the need to clarify they don't literally mean it.
    • "S/they are a giant goober!" in response to any particularly dorky moments.
    • "I don't understand!" and "I don't understand, but okay" tend to recur a lot.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A mild example when they were watching Battlestar Galactica. Mark said they wanted to see more Boomer. Then, of course, they discover that she's a Cylon sleeper agent, and a) could therefore lose control of her actions and try to kill all her friends at any time, and b) is one of thousands of Model 8s.. Someone in the comments helpfully pointed this out: "Wish granted! More Boomers! (Of a sort.)"
    • Also happened in ST:TNG. their predictions for season 3 had them asking for a cliffhanger. Cue the season finale which had them going on about how unfair it was. The first commenter on the review gleefully points this out.
    • While a huge Time Travel fan, even they got exhausted with Star Trek's frequent use of the trope.
  • Berserk Button: Their hatred of spoilers is the most obvious one, but Mark also has a big problem with words like "crazy" and "insane," seeing them as ableist. Using them in the comments will get you a stern warning.
    • Also, don't deny the validity of any other commenter's interpretation of a book or show, no matter how strange it seems to you. These will typically get Mark himself on your case and put on probation for being banned.
    • In shows, attempts to teach a lesson on discrimination through metaphor, particularly those that are poorly executed, such as "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" and "The Outcast" from Star Trek (Original Series and Next Generation, respectively).
    • If there's one trope that Mark absolutely despises, it's the Bury Your Gays trope, as seen in their reviews of "Seeing Red" from Buffy, "Thirteen" from The 100, and "Dark Dynasty" from Supernatural.
  • Bias Steamroller: They openly admit that they hate conservative politicians and corrupt cops so much that any story that attacks them can probably count on their support, no matter how many paper-thin Anvilicious strawmen of either it has to use.
  • Big "NO!": Used in their review of "Man's Best Friend With Benefits", which also sums up the review pretty well.
  • Bold Inflation: A signature of Mark's style. Because nothing says 'mind-blown' like bolded all caps!
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Let's just say that Mark isn't afraid to use swears in their review.
    • Their video of watching "The Gift" for the first time has them making a bunch of comments through the first half, and then during the climactic battle they're reduced to just saying "Fuck" over and over.
  • Comically Missing the Point: They forget a certain plot point from Guards! Guards! which causes them to completely misread The Reveal of the book's Big Bad.
  • Companion Cube: Gertrude and Nathaniel the Tribbles, who start purring whenever they yell too loudly.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: They often mention theirs in their reviews, and sometimes spends more time talking about it than they do what they're reviewing.
  • Despair Event Horizon: They had to reduce Mark Plays to an occasional side project after the demands on their time caused the worst attack of depression they'd suffered in years.
  • Drama Queen: They overreact to every twist and turn in the stories they're experiencing.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: They started out with Twilight, a book series they hated, and was reviewing purely out of obligation. Upon moving on to Harry Potter, they were still in a bad mood for the first few chapters. And then ever since they hit "The Keeper of the Keys," they've been a bubbly fanboy who's constantly gushing about how much they love what they're reading or watching.
  • Easter Egg: For a while, each review had a single letter highlighted in red. It didn't take the fans long to figure out they spelled "Eat the rude," a hint that they were going to watch Hannibal.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: They're not shy at all about appreciating any attractive actors in the shows they watch. It gets especially high with Aldis Hodge in Leverage.
    • And Avery Brooks in Deep Space Nine once he gets his beard.
    • This goes double if Baize is in the room. In the case of The 100, both of them wanted Lincoln to carry them.
    • They also both immediately started as soon as Jason Wilkes walked on screen.
    • Manny Jacinto in The Good Place. Funnily enough, some fans were predicting they'd be all over Chidi instead.
  • Fan Boy: Mark's a dedicated fan to a number of shows, from The X-Files to The Wire, and they've turned into a really big Harry Potter fanboy. And with every new series they take on, there's a new thing for them to potentially love.
  • Fan Disillusionment: They've described a few times how they were a huge fan of H. P. Lovecraft as a kid, and felt personally betrayed when they discovered in high school what a horrific racist the man was.
    • After greatly enjoying Adam Baldwin's work on Firefly, they were dismayed to learn about his conservative politics. Upon encountering Baldwin again in Leverage, Mark accused him of likely taking some undue pleasure in getting to spit out the Islamic name Achmed like a curse.
    • They've soured tremendously on JK Rowling since enjoying their initial read of Harry Potter so much, disappointed in how much of her post-series world building has played into racial stereotypes, and refusing to provide any concrete gay representation like she thinks giving Word of Gay on Dumbledore should be enough.
  • Fandom VIP: Mark gets regular invitations to conventions on the various series they review/have reviewed. Sometimes to read/view a minor piece of the canon (unprepared, of course) on stage.
  • Favorite Trope: If a piece of media includes Time Travel, an Alternate Universe or The Power of Friendship, they will almost certainly adore it.
    • They also love heists and bottle episodes and will get super excited about heists in a bottle.
    • Mark has stated more than once that Enemy Mine is one of their favorites, if not their very favorite Trope.
      Mark: Y'all know I love the trope of enemies being forced to work together to overthrow a greater enemy. It is one of my favorite tropes in the history of the universe. Off the top of my head, I actually can't think of a usage of that trope where I didn't like it. I LOVE IT!note 
  • Finger Wag: Their typical reaction in the videos to something racist or sexist.
  • Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind: Mark is a heavily tattooed and pierced guy with a completely dorky Fanboy personality.
  • Funny Background Event: Their boyfriend Baize occasionally pops up in the background of their videos occasionally playing up to us.
    • Baize is also reading Mark's book, and during a review for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine came out and started hassling them about a part they had just gotten to.
  • Genre Savvy: Mark eventually developed into this. If something nice happens in their stories, they immediately assumes something horrible with immediately follow it.
  • Graceful Loser: At the 2013 Hugos. They say of winner Tansy Rayner Roberts "Whose work I ADORE."
  • Gushing About Shows You Like: In-universe. When Mark gets into something they really enjoy, like Doctor Who, they will explain how much they love it. Of course, this won't stop them from pointing out things they dislike, so they avoid making it pure praise.
  • Heroic BSoD: Mark's no stranger to talking about their horribly depressing early life, but the Battlestar Galactica episode "Maelstrom" marked the first time a subject struck so close to home that they couldn't bring themself to even discuss it beyond noting the similarity.
    • There are also a few times where they've admitted to weeping so much that they had trouble continuing, like Lyra being separated from Pan in His Dark Materials and Laura Roslin's death in Battlestar Galactica. The latter was particularly awkward as they were at a party at a friend's house, and had to try very hard to make as little of a scene as possible.
    • At the end of the episode of Fullmetal Alchemist where Riza's throat is slashed all they can do is stare at the screen in total silence.
    • Mentioned but not shown (thankfully) in the review of "Lost", where they mentioned that they had to put the book down and go outside because Adria's father hitting her triggered them.
    • A far more entertaining one is in Street Magic their reaction when they figure out what the "special fertilizer" is.
    • The Series 1 finale of Broadchurch actually delayed their coverage of IZombie for a day, as they needed that long to recover.
  • Human Notepad: Mark's picked up quite a few tattoos, most noticeably straight edge X's on their hands.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: They managed to not see anything of Star Trek before reviewing the franchise, and their mental image of William Shatner was entirely his old, paunchy phase. They spend a lot of the first episode marveling at how good Shatner looked in their prime.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: When Mark lists the many questions they still have regarding Baccano!.
    How does Ladd’s arm get shredded? Why does Jacuzzi exit the train in near-tears? How does Ennis end up with Firo and Maiza? Why is Chane separated from everyone? Why am I not friends with Isaac and Miria?
  • Love It or Hate It: They naturally ran smack into it once they got to Star Trek: Voyager, with several people noting this was the first time their fanbase had ever been so sharply divided over a show or book they were reviewing. For their part, Mark was quite excited by this, as the show being able to provoke such a visceral reaction from both sides means it must contain some pretty interesting stuff to talk about, and they looked forward to finding out which side they would fall on. They ended up on the "love" side themself, though they do still have the occasional major issue with the show (hello, "Threshold"!). They also noticeably soured on the show in Season 7, when it suddenly hit them that the show was almost over and hardly any of the characters had developed past the way they were at the start.
  • Moe: Invoked when discussing Jacuzzi Splot.
    You ever see one of those posts on Tumblr go around asking which fictional character you’d want to pull out of the narrative and just hug and have tea with them and eat cookies? I vote Jacuzzi right now.
  • Mood Whiplash: Following the Next/Last links has the powerful climax to The Hunger Games followed up by the joy of Mark's first entrance into the Wizarding World.
    • On the double features, they went straight from The Middleman to Band of Brothers. At least there was a day off in between.
    • They happened to schedule Star Trek: The Original Series and Farscape together. Two more diametrically opposed shows you'd be hard pressed to find.
    • After fans gave them two Tribble toys, they keep the tribbles next to them during videos, where they can easily be set off if Mark shouts loud enough. Since that usually happens during particularly scary or shocking bits, hearing a Tribble purr defuses the tension quite a bit.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Mark recently asked for support on a charity bike ride, and if they received it they said they would allow their readers to select a work for them to review. The readers chose My Immortal.
    • For another charity bike ride, they're doing videos of them reading bad books/fanfiction. The first they did? Atlas Shrugged
    • They had so much fun with that last one that they opened up a section to send them money to make a video of them reading anything you want. The commenters immediately went to work on figuring out the cruelest thing they could make them read, like the Red Wedding.
      • This quickly got far more disturbing when they opened up requests for them to film himself watching episodes of their shows. One of the first to come in was for Seeing Red, which caused a lot of discomfort with someone asking a sexual assault victim to record their reactions to that particular episode. To a lesser extent, they were also asked to do it for A Hole in the World, despite their family's experience with cancer. It was thankfully averted with The Ocean at the End of the Lane, as the person who requested the chapter in which the protagonist's father nearly drowns him changed the request to another chapter, most likely in light of Mark's own history with abuse.
      • And it happened again with someone buying a video for episode 9 of Band of Brothers, the one with the concentration camp. She apologized when the review went up, saying she'd assumed their moderators would have given them some warning about the subject matter.
  • Our Elves Are Different: They ran into this in Lords and Ladies, where they were completely thrown by the idea of elves being evil, uttering a shocked "Elves are BAD?" in one video. Quite a few readers explained that Pratchett was contrasting the wise and pleasant elves of modern fantasy with the sadistic elves of European, and especially British, folklore.
  • Out of Order: They typically go for a show's production order when this happens, though for Star Trek: The Original Series they opted for the airing order to experience the show just as the first fans did, plus given the era there's little continuity to worry about anyway.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: For plenty of characters, Mickey Smith in particular.
    • They have called Hagrid their leather-daddy boyfriend, and told Iroh that "[their] body is ready."
    • They now want to marry Gunn.
  • Prison Rape: They really hate when this comes up, considering it homophobic.
  • Rage Quit:
    • Mark managed to get to Chapter 20 of My Immortal before giving up.
    • When playing Portal the first time, they got stuck at test chamber 15 and gave up for a long, long time, only returning when they decided to officially play the sequel. They were then blown away by the sudden realization of a plot.
    • In the Supernatural episode "Slumber Party," they said that if Charlie's death hadn't been undone, it may well have caused the first case of this on a main project.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Mark hates this trope and deconstructs it whenever it appears.
  • Red Shirt: They were fully aware of the trope before watching Star Trek, and loves pointing them out in every single video.
  • Review Blog
  • Right Through the Wall: They have some...noisy neighbors in the video for the Supernatural episode "It's a Terrible Life."
  • Running Gag:
    • Tolkien being a pony bigot, because he didn't have ponies talk throughout The Hobbit.
    • Within the comments, the fact that 'ahahaha' in rot13 is 'nununun' has lead to many jokes.
    Barrels of nuns!
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist, the presence of the Philosopher's Stone as the story's major MacGuffin gets exactly the gag you'd expect from a Harry Potter fan.
    • They have quite a talent in the videos for pointing something out literally one line before the book itself does.
    • Every post on Baccano! includes an official Isaac and Miria appreciation thread.
    • Captain Kirk loves Hot Pockets. In the video for "This Side of Paradise" they admit they've deliberately trying to piss off the fans with this one.
      • During the second half of season three, almost every single episode featured them Squeeing over how close they were to regularly getting to watch Patrick Stewart.
    • Demanding Morn from Deep Space Nine get his own episode. And he did!
    • Baize singing the Steven Universe theme in falsetto, screaming the final "and Steven!" directly into Mark's ear.
  • Script Fic: Lords and Stuff: A Play for The Lord of the Rings.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: YOU ARE NOT FUCKING PREPARED. Ages 12 and under be warned.
  • Something Completely Different: In order to mix things up with their 'Mockingjay' reviews, they once did one from the point of view of Buttercup the cat.
    • Similarly, during Harry Potter they occasionally did reviews from Hedwig's point of view. In fact, this trope was a lot more common in the earlier Twilight/Harry Potter reviews.
    • The Hobbit offers one chapter as Bilbo's journal, and another as a Real-Person Fic of what Tolkien's original telling of the story to their kids might have been like.
  • Unfortunate Implications: In-Universe, they're well known for calling them out when they appear in the works they've reviewing. The trope name usually gets dropped when it's clear that the implications were accidental, however, as opposed to when they believe the writers knew the implications of what they were doing and decided to go forward anyway.
  • Up to Eleven: Given that they've reviewed some pretty popular stuff, the site server has been put under a good deal of strain. But it was finally brought to its knees by the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, who showed up in such droves after the pilot review was posted that the site was crashed in less than a minute. Mark then had to find a new server so this wouldn't happen every time.
  • Values Dissonance / Fair for Its Day: They note both tropes in Star Trek: The Original Series, which can make it hard to judge the series in a social justice context. For example, they're upset the role of Khan, a Sikh, was given to a Mexican actor, but they note that it was progressive for a man of color to be onscreen at all. invoked
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: A big fan of the trope, or as they call it, "constant bickering."
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: They have a terrible fear of clowns and spiders. Much "Nope"ing ensues whenever either appears.
  • You Are Not Ready: All the time, but especially on the topic of Suzanne 'Killed Off for Real' Collins.
  • Yuri Fan: If nothing else, they definitely squee over Tara/Willow.
    • They also make several comments about Ahiru and Rue.
    • They has been trying not to get their hopes up too high about Lark/Rosethorn. Readers are eagerly awaiting the reveal that it isn't just wishful thinking.
      • They're so happy to the point of crying when Daja's attraction to Rizu is shown.
      • The same for Korrasami.

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