Category Archives: TV and Film

Blurgh, Tube

Posted on September 16, 2011 by

I rarely admit it publicly when I’m under the weather, as the primary symptom of every little bug I pick up can be characterized as “really doesn’t appreciate unsolicited medical advice.” This time is no exception, but I will say I am having my annual September go-round with germs, and it’s eaten into what I hoped would be a pocket of time and energy I’d set aside for blogging and working out. Next week, maybe, that’ll come together.

In the meantime, it’s cool enough to have the fire on, which is comforting and delightful and something of a relief.

I will say a few short things about TV, though: the best things about the first new episode of Inspector Lewis were its title (“Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things”) and Laurence Fox’s hair. The plot had about as much cause and effect as a bowl of overcooked spaghetti; if there was a Huh? award, it would rate one. Made me sad, it did. I love me my Lewis.

Doctor Who: loved “Let’s Kill Hitler,” especially all the Rory content, but felt meh about “The Girl who Waited,” which seemed to me to be an attempt to water down five minutes of potentially powerful emotion into twenty-five minutes of really coulda done something else there.

Progress through Torchwood has stalled midway, also due to plotfail.

Finally, I saw the Ringer pilot. This, I thought, had some promise: there’s enough of a plot there, at least, to get me interested, Sarah Michelle Gellar was well-cast, Ioan Gruffudd was a welcome surprise, and there were enough teeny ambiguous story elements in play to make it seem as though the possibilities are–if not endless–multidirectional. I’ve seen it characterized as noirish, and I’m not entirely sure I agree. Then again, I’m no noir expert, and I’m willing to wait and see.

Next week brings us Castle (and many other crime shows, returning and new) and the return of Glee.

What did you watch on your summer vacation?

Posted on September 7, 2011 by

Now is, of course, the time of year when one’s thoughts turn to the new TV season… at least, they do if you’re me. The two new shows I plan to watch are Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Ringer and the fairy tale themed Once upon a Time. (Here’s the Ringer preview).

Over the summer, we tried out two new-to-us, old-to-you shows: Leverage and 30 Rock. We’re liking both: we’re midway through S2 of 30 Rock and, I think, S3 of Leverage.

Rufus, Rufus, he’s our man…

Posted on July 20, 2011 by

The day I’ve been waiting for since Sherlock ended last fall has come: Masterpiece Mystery is back for the late summer/fall season, and they opened with “Vendetta,” which features Rufus Sewell as Roman detective Aurelio Zen. This gave Kelly and I the dual pleasure of a) getting to see Rufus play a fairly nice guy; b) in Rome! Which let me ogle important sights I plan to visit.

I enjoyed “Vendetta,” though it ended in something of a muddle. Clearly he is Up to Something, but I can’t see the greater outline of Aurelio’s plan yet, so I’m not sure what to think of it. There’s a good review here.

It looks promising, though: the setting’s great, and I like both Rufus and his love interest, Caterina Murino, with whom he has mad chemistry.


Horse tails and assorted bloggage

Posted on May 21, 2011 by

I am alternating bits of blogging and correspondence with bursts of work on a big project today, so there are lots of photos going up in the usual places: my Flickr page, the Tumblr blog, all my virtual real estate. Some will come from yesterday’s dawn walk in Stanley Park.

I was at the park by 6:30 a.m., having walked Kelly to the bus so she could catch a plane to her aunt’s funeral. When I got to Lost Lagoon, it was me and about a dozen joggers, some with dogs. Later, when I picked up the lake trail, I had the entire place to myself… I saw maybe three other urban hikers in ninety minutes.

All but one of the swans seems to be off their nests but I’ve seen no cynets; in terms of photo ops, the best subjects were turtles, who were very happy indeed with the sunshine.

I don’t know Stanley Park all that well, despite having lived in Vancouver for twenty years. Now that I have a reason to be in Coal Harbor more regularly, I’m getting to know the place. I printed off a map and yesterday’s goal was to find Beaver Lake, which turned out to be gorgeous and smelly and apparently home to newts.

After three hours in the park (the herons sound like they’ve hatched, but are apparently too small to poke their baby dinosaur heads up yet) I came home and tackled the work pile in fits and starts, with naps and errands in between. It didn’t go all that well: my mind was too much on Auntie Joan, and the family, and when I embarked on a long errand I strained an already-tired muscle in my foot. But things got done; the day passed. At eight I knocked off and rewatched the first Sherlock, rang my wife, and dragged my butt off to bed.

Turtle in Bright Sun

Literary blackmail, televised DIY surgery and other lite squicks

Posted on May 20, 2011 by

I wrote a post this week for TOR.COM, about blackmail in fiction, and in Veronica Mars. The post is here; I hope to follow it up with some musings on other varieties of crime. Let me know what you think?

Second: I dunno how many of you have seen this past week’s new episode of a certain medical drama, so I’ll confine my comments on that to “OMG, squick! Ewww!” Either you know what I mean or that evil chuckle you hear is your DVR, waiting for you to boot it up.

Also TV adjacent, I am 3/5 of the way through watching Mildred Pierce on HBO and should probably hold my tongue until I see the conclusion, but I have to say that as viewing experiences go, this one so far has been entirely bizarre. Kate Winslet is fantastic, as usual, and her Lauren Bacall accent is a marvel to hear. And I’m always so happy to see Melissa Leo in anything.

But the story–I haven’t read the original novel–has all this peculiar class and gender stuff.

The message so far seems to be that men are useless parasites, and… um… something about social class and snobbery involving Guy Pearce’s naked bum. Seriously. The class stuff is, at this mid-point in the story, entirely murky. Mildred was a snob, but now she seems to be evolving. Unless she isn’t. It’s incredibly hard to tell.

The story is just intriguing enough to keep me watching, but it’s also very cold. Kate as Mildred seems as though she should be poised to be a source of joy and warmth in an otherwise harsh and chilly world, but she’s as icy as everyone and everything else. I am entirely baffled by it.