starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
I really liked it. I really, really liked it. That said: Spoilers )

All that being said, I really liked it, and I'll be watching it every week until the end. I really love Peggy & Jarvis playing off each other--their actors are both very pretty and they are very fun together. I don't actually want Peggy/Jarvis because Peggy/Steve and Jarvis/his wife (is it me, or are they going out of their way to get his wedding ring prominently into certain shots?), but they are very pretty together, and I love James D'Arcy almost as much as I love Hayley Atwell.
starlady: The Welcome to Night Vale Logo, with clouds over the moon (welcome to night vale)
So my friends O and G and I marathoned all of this show over the course of the last three days. The show is set in London in 1891, and follows Sir Malcolm Murray, Victor Frankenstein, American gunslinger Ethan Chandler, Murray's African servant Sembene, and medium Vanessa Ives in a quest to save Murray's daughter Mina Harker from the forces of darkness. I said to several people that I felt the show, prior to watching the second half of the season, was like Frankenstein's monster prior to the bolt of lightning--all the ingredients were there, but it was lacking a certain spark. I like many aspects of the show! The cast is very strong, especially Eva Green, but everyone is good (even Josh Hartnett! he can act when he bothers, and he is bothering here), and the writing is definitely not bad. But I think the characters are stronger together than they are apart, and the final episode sent them all on separate paths except for a brief interlude in the middle, and not enough was explained while at the same time too much was resolved too quickly. And as other people have pointed out, there are not enough women--if the second season needs one thing, it's for badass vampire hunter Lucy Westenra to show up posthaste--and Sembene remains the R2-D2 of the show, which considering he's a black guy, is a very not good and telling thing. And as amazing as Eva Green is, I feel like the show spends too much time on her being possessed, and also I find Dorian Grey annoying. Also it's been a while since I've watched an HBO or Showtime show, and the double standard of the gratuitous nudity--het scenes okay, gay scenes no way--is grating.

The final problem I have with the show is perhaps more obscure, but no less deeply felt. Shelley, Keats, and the other Romantics are a persistent leitmotif in the show, but given that Frankenstein and his monster are actual characters, the most famous of the female Romantics, Mary Shelley, is totally erased. And that bothers me too.

Conclusion: I don't regret watching it, but unless I hear that it's radically improved, I won't be picking up S2.
starlady: Remy from the movie Ratatouille sniffing herbs for a stew (cooking)
Spoilers through 2x05.

いただきます。 )

# [personal profile] longwhitecoats' meta on Hannibal is really good.

# This show has to be some of the best TV I've seen, period.

starlady: Holmes does not photograph <s>well</s> at all (no photographs)
My sister finished showing me Sherlock last night. It's a fun show, as long as you can ignore all the things that are absolutely enraging about it. (On that note, listening to my sister yelling at the TV when the commentary video was playing was priceless. She hates what the show did to Irene Adler too.) I still can't do any better than two posts that [personal profile] magnetic_pole wrote when the show was originally airing:
I don't have a link handy about everything that was wrong with the second episode, but let me not omit to mention how Orientalist and racist it was. And if anyone can explain the nonsense with the planes and the dead bodies in 2x01 to me, that would be cool, because it makes no fucking sense. General protip: if you are more racist or sexist than Arthur Conan Doyle, you've got real problems.

Well, actually, I was thinking of [personal profile] melannen's posts on the show too: 
And this post, Modernizing Holmes by [personal profile] naraht, has some discussion that is still interesting.

We also got into a fairly heated argument about the following question.

Poll #12525 Sorting Sherlock and John
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 43


What Hogwarts House is Sherlock?

View Answers

Ravenclaw
25 (58.1%)

Slytherin
18 (41.9%)

What Hogwarts House is John?

View Answers

Gryffindor
19 (44.2%)

Hufflepuff
24 (55.8%)

starlady: the TARDIS on a dark street (blue light special)
I watched this with two of the awesome housemates. Which was convenient, as we frequently had to pause the playback to howl with laughter.

Spoilers put Hitler in a closet. )
I also really want to know what the question is.
starlady: the TARDIS on a dark street (blue light special)
6x05-06, with a DS9 digression )



Live blog of 6x07, with Tsubasa spoilers )

As for Eyepatch Lady…the ends do not justify the means, no matter what.
starlady: Aang with fire (aang can be asian & still save the world)
# One of the little things I love is all the fauna and how they're remixed rather than copied straight from our world. Turtle-seals FTW!

# Star Trek actors doing voices so far: George Takei, Rene Auberjonois (twice!). Did I miss anyone?

Minor spoilers for 1x19-20 )

# On the other hand, apparently whoever directed the voice actors was incapable of teaching them the proper way to pronounce characters' names. Case in point: everyone's favorite villain, Zhao. Even his own voice actor can't say his name correctly! Yes, this is me in my corner being pedantic, I am getting hung up on a tree, but it niggles.

# However, I am not missing the forest of awesome that is this show for that tree. This show is the best! ♥ ♥ ♥

starlady: Mary, Holmes and Watson at home in Baker Street (not impressed OT3)
I can't understand why there is not boatloads of Wilson/House/Cuddy OT3 fic inundating the Internet.
starlady: (007)
The Sandbaggers (BBC). Written by Ian Mackintosh, starring Roy Marsden.

I don't quite remember how [livejournal.com profile] swan_tower sold me on this series, but she did, and it's as awesome as she said.

The Sandbaggers is set at the tail end of the 1970s and follows Neal Burnside, the Director of Operations of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, i.e. MI-6, and in particular follows his dealings with the three-man (later three-person) section known informally as "the Sandbaggers," whose job it is to go in over, under, and around the lines of the Cold War and get the hard jobs done, or pay a considerable price trying. Burnside used to be Sandbagger One, and remains acutely sensitive to the safety of his Sandbaggers, but he's also acutely aware that SIS is financially dependent on the C.I.A. such that any breach in the "special relationship" that unites them would have potentially devastating consequences. As you might imagine, this is the kind of show where, having established both those facts, Burnside and the Sandbaggers are immediately caught between them.

It's interesting to watch this show and compare it to the spate of more recent spy shows--even the good ones like Covert Affairs are firmly convinced that half the attraction is the so-called "wetwork," the covert ops in the field that involve danger, glamour, and gunplay. Mackintosh, whom speculation says was an intelligence officer himself, is far more focused on the office politics that determine whether fieldwork is carried out and by whom, and on the characters; it's rare, furthermore, for Sandbaggers to go armed in the field. Despite this, it's as tense and dramatic a show as any, particularly the last three episodes of the first series, which, yeah. One of my favorite things in narrative is for the writer to lay out a fairly complex plot and then, with that dreadful inevitability of clockwork, have things shift so that the ending becomes unavoidable, and Mackintosh does that. I was reminded just a bit of the sadly canceled Rubicon.

The characters hold up their end, too; Burnside in particular is a magnificent character, a horrible guy, and someone who's sympathetic without ever actually being likable. Everyone in the series is overworked, underpaid, and tortured over what they do, despite and because they're the best at what they do; in the end, they show just how cold the Cold War was, even when it got hot, and the horrible costs a war waged in the shadows--one with no battles, no victories, only casualties--exacts.

[personal profile] ide_cyan just discussed the series from a slightly different perspective.
starlady: (king)
This post is a clever way to lampshade the fact that I have temporarily run out of canned (i.e. pre-written) reviews. Clever, huh!

1. The roommate and I watched the premiere of The Walking Dead yesterday. I give the show points for not killing off the black characters in the first episode, but based on the promo image, they're not recurring cast members, which is a net deduction--and note too how the one Asian character is half-hidden in that same image. And I deduct more points for the protagonist's white man-pain and his patent idiocy in going to Atlanta, WTF. Not enough genre savvy, in other words (WARNING: link goes to TV Tropes), and I don't care about his wife or kid or best friend, either. My roommate being a bio major in undergrad, we spent a lot of the episode wondering how the zombies communicate and/or sense live prey (their senses can't be that developed, right? their flesh is rotting!).

2. My research project is so characteristically me, you guys, it kills me. I don't understand people who are uncomfortable with the idea that their theses reflect on them personally and/or psychologically; how else would anyone get anything done?

3. Google Chrome for Mac does not play well with the rich text editor. I've been thinking of submitting a bug report: yes? no? I've never written one before, but it'd be nice to get the code optimized to work with Chrome, assuming it's something in DW's control…

4. I'm reading Bleach again. I don't even want to talk about this, except that everyone is at least 2x as awesome now thanks to the time jump, and the moment they called Ishida "megane-kun," I was like, "Dude, he's going to KILL THEM ALL," and sure enough, I was right. Kudos to the scanlators, too; their dialogue is actually both idiomatic and funny.

5. I went to my local sff bookstore, which is awesome, in search of Cat Valente's new novel The Habitation of the Blessed last Thursday; their distributor hadn't shipped them copies yet, but my name is on the list. In the meantime I am reading The Broken Kingdoms and rewatching the promo vid about Prester John. Seriously, if you like the middle ages at all, you should totally watch the vid, and think about reading the book. There's a reason that medieval Latin is the most fun you can have in a classics department, and it's not just because everyone forgot how to write good Ciceronian prose.


starlady: closeup on Lady Gaga wearing her totalitarian steampunk monocle (lady gaga is queen)
So since I am more productive in the living room despite it all I watched a lot of TV with my roommates last night (we're trying to clean out the DVR). For the first time in forever or ever, for example, I caught the latest episode of House: brilliant camerawork at times, and it's even more impossible for me not to be convinced that Cuddy/House/Wilson + kid would be awesome. (Wilson going out the window: priceless.)

We also watched the latest Gossip Girl episode, the one with Tim Gunn, who was sadly only in two scenes of the episode. As for Gossip Girl, I have two thoughts: 1) how awesome would it be if the Gossip Girl were actually a real person? But then I suppose it would inevitably devolve into a Charitable Getting-style "spot the blogger!" plotline... Really, I just like the idea of one of their number being that, I don't know, observant and snarky and unobserved. Maybe you detect here my narrative kink for women knowing shit they don't let on about. Also possibly the influence of Harriet the Spy. (Harriet: proto-blogger? Y/N?)

Also, I really, really want Blair and Chuck to get back together and rule New York. I really don't care whether it would be for good or for evil; I just have a narrative kink for that sort of thing.

And finally, "Conversation 16" by The National would make a great ironic vid about zombies and love (zombies in love?), just like The Indelicates' "Roses" would make a great Vampire Diaries vid.
starlady: (dodge this)
Like a lot of awesome things, I heard about this TV series (12 episodes long) via [personal profile] coffeeandink's recommendation.

I don't even have a television tag, that is how little I actually watch television. This entry will be tagged comics, which, given that it was based on a comic book series (that was itself based on an unfilmed TV pilot) written by creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach, seems fitting.

Temporary worker and unreasonably attractive art school graduate Wendy Watson (Natalie Morales) lives in a shared illegal sublet with her best friend, fellow conceptual artist Lacey Thornfield III (Brit Morgan). After Wendy loses her latest temp job due to surviving an attack by an alien tentacled monster, she is recruited by the Jolly Fats Weehawkin Temporary Agency, the cover organization for The Middleman (Matt Keeslar) and his android assistant Ida, who fight evil so you don't have to. Wendy, not without justifiable concern, takes a job as The Middle-sidekick, aka The Middlegirl, aka The Middleman-in-training. Eventually she gets kung fu training, a SMRT car, and a hot boyfriend out of the deal, to say nothing of more ripped-from-the-comic-books adventures than you can shake a Comics Code Authority sticker at.

What a great show, seriously. It is laugh-outloud hilarious, and has multiple PoC cast members as well as a PoC lead (Matt Keeslar gets first billing, but it's clearly Morales' show). It's also ridiculously immersed in pop culture references, and very close to breaking the fourth wall in its cheeky awareness of its own comic-book-yness; in some ways it explodes comic books by taking them absolutely seriously. Wendy and the Middleman make an awesome team, and their friends are just awesome (though Brit Morgan looks disconcertingly like Kirsten Dunst and the guy who plays Pip looks scarily like RPatz). The series also knows how to make emotional development out of a running joke, which is pretty great. I can't decide which episodes were my favorite; probably the one that was an explicit hat-tip both to Titanic and to that X-Files episode in which Mulder got stuck on a luxury liner in a time warp in the Bermuda Triangle. Or maybe the series finale, which is an explicit shout-out to the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror" as well as an ironic take on that genre of movies that includes Children of Men (which, if you watch the table read of the episode in the DVD bonus material, was explicitly cited in the script, natch).

I haven't yet heard//seen the table read of the unfilmed 13th episode at Comic-Con; though I will shortly. I do want to track down the graphic novel of that at some point. Really, the show is perfect as it is; and in some ways it was too good to last (and certainly not on ABC Family).

P.S. Terrifying factoid: Varsity Fan Club are, or were, an actual boy band.

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