quarter_to_five: (Default)
Because it is not truly and properly exam season, I need to find ways to procrastinate, so I'm trying the 15 characters meme....

1) Make a list of fifteen characters first, and keep it to yourself for the moment.

2) Ask your f-list to post questions in the comments. For example: "One, nine, and fifteen are chosen by a prophecy to save the world from four. Do they succeed?", "Under what circumstances might five and fourteen fall in love?", "Which character on the list would you most want on your side in a zombie invasion?"

3) After your f-list has stopped asking questions, round them up and answer them using the fifteen characters you selected beforehand, then post them.

please, prompts! My ability to get through historical demographics without resorting to increasing freeform baking experiments with sharply diminishing returns of tastiness vis effortfullness depend on you, oh list!

ETA - Maybe i'm doing the meme wrong, but right now all the prompts are kind of adding up into the perfectly complementary subplots of a single show. Which I would totally watch.
quarter_to_five: (Default)
Right, i'm finally updating my gym membership tommorow. Maybe it will help me sleep, because this weird insomnia thing is driving me crazy. Or I could take up boxing, that also sounds good.

Meanwhile, more tv:

1. Which TV shows did you start watching in 2013?

Millions and millions, it feels like:

- Sleepy Hollow: dorky show of dorky adorkability, great characters and the kitchen sink. They better end the season really well though, on that unselfconscious dorky vibe and characters, and not pretending like they take their plot seriously. Because no one else does.

- The Big Bang Theory: my current strange, bitter over-analyzed crush. I loved the end of season 6, with it's leaps and bounds of awkward character development earned through oceans of wincing weapons-grade discomfort, and while S7 so far hasn't been quite as strong, it hasn't been disappointing either.

- The Blacklist: which is somewhat less boring than it should be.

- How I Met Your Mother: I really like the really complex, twisty, one joke stretching across four separate layers of nested flashbacks (that's more than Inception) in fucking rhyme stuff, and I've watched enough of it (marathoned like five seasons while working on my final seminar essay over the summer) that I want to see the end, (and I like the conceit of the last season, because I like conceits) but overall I don't really love it.

- Scandal: for a while in Season 2 it looked like this could be a really powerful bit of storytelling, with Cyrus and James and everything Mellie, but it collapsed a little in S3 for more standard thrillery nonsense mixed in with some truly over-the-top hysterical plot twists, but in the best way. It's not quite the show I would like it to be, but this new thing of low farce via high melodrama is working for me also, albeit in a different way.

- Hannibal: I ultimately warmed up to, because I think I kind of embraced it in a spirit of parody. It's meant to be absurd, it's meant to be funny, it's meant to be emotionally and intellectually hollow, it's meant to have that edge of too-much-photoshop creepy point and laugh. As some kind of commentary on the aesthetification of sexy female corpses on television anyway. Instead of the camera glamorizing the dead, naked woman into a work of art, here it's the actual killer. Or something. Whatever, it's pretty.

- The Fall, Broadchurch, Top of the Lake: all gorgeously made, very horrible and a good way to spend a rainy weekend. Broadchurch is more immersive and more intimate, the other two more ambitious.

- Masters of Sex: eh, just ok. Some individually great subplots, but it never really felt like it added up to much for me. It doesn't manage to pull off the Mad Men thing of giving both a flavour of the public morals of the time and the way people negotiate and subvert them. Here, the 50's felt almost incidental. No one in St. Louis has ever actually internalized a more, apparently. And the center is a bit of a void - Bill just isn't interesting enough to really hold it together.

- Brooklyn 99: very charming. It's not totally clicked for me yet, but the atmosphere of the precinct and the cast of characters that it has are working (rather the way Community works.)

- Defiance: which was ok but unmemorable. Strictly speaking, the setting is very original. It just feels utterly generic, for some reason. It's toeing a difficult line between going a little deliberately old-school SF - rubber forehead aliens and everything - and making a modern show, and not always quite finding it.

Also Mom, United States of Tara and Orange is the New Black, which I wrote about two posts ago and can't be bothered to again. Liked  'em all.

2. Which TV shows did you let go of in 2013?

- Dexter: I couldn't make it through the last season. Let's make this one of those shows that never had more than X seasons, ok? Take the first four seasons as one coherent story, and it's perfect. Lets leave it there.

- Agents of SHIELD: I really, really tried, but there was just nothing there at all for me. It was like clawing at something with no friction, at all.

- Almost Human: really disappointed with this one. The first few episodes felt both dull and messy to me. Not as bad as SHIELD, which I think is largely universally bad unless something about it specifically speaks to you, but so totally removed from anything that speaks to me that there was no point. Unless I hear it like wildly improves, because it is SF.

- Dracula: it's like Sleepy Hollow's nasty asshole older brother. The mishmash that SH makes charming and light, is just a gooey lump of unidentified stuff here, mostly as it totally lacks any appealing characters to get you to wade through it.

- Haven: I enjoyed marathoning it, but it wasn't enough to actually make me want to watch week by week.

- BBC Sherlock: About half way through the Irene Adler episode, I simply could not watch one more second of it. Bye.

3. Which TV shows did you continue to watch this year that you will also continue to watch next year (or whenever they continue)?

The Good Wife - fantastic fifth season so far. Couldn't tear me away.

Community - fourth season was, well, I didn't hate it reflexively, but it wasn't the old show. The whole behind the scenes saga is too dramatic at this point not to watch it when it finally comes back.

Mad Men - I thought the sixths season was a bit didactic, particularly vis a vis Don, but Peggy and Pete made up for it.

Elementary - Meh then, still meh, but still somehow watching. I blame Watson's tunic collection.

4. Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn't in 2013? Why?

Breaking Bad. I have to catch up on it already. My parents are ahead of me. My parents don't even watch english-language tv, for the most part!

5. Which TV shows do you intend on checking out in 2014?

God, nothing, I hope. I hope whatever is going on with this new liking for tv will clear itself up and I can go back to reading books and watching three tv shows at any given time and having no idea what anyone is talking about. I'm not dismissive of anyone elses tv habit (hey, I enjoy the hell out of mine), I just feel like this one has take over my life a bit after about eight years or so of not watching things week-to-week with any kind of investment.
quarter_to_five: (Default)
December meme - favorite parts of Star Trek:

I'm not sure about this one either. I've seen a lot of Star Trek, and yet there's a lot of Star Trek i've missed (All the movies, TOS) or seen in bits and pieces in rather random orders. (TNG, Enterprise, yes, I know we don't talk about Enterprise but I did see a bunch of it.)

Truth be told, while I love DS9 and think it's definitely probably the strongest Trek overall, "my" Star Trek will always be Voyager. I know, I know, and in retrospect I can see a lot of the problems with it (and I'll probably never rewatch, because that will be sad) but I watched it religiously when I was, like, 9 years old or something and it has my heart.

First of all, it had women in it. It had Captain Janeway who was acerbic and mild mannered and in charge, and it had Seven of Nine, and it had B'Elanna, who was clearly the coolest person in the entire universe. (And I was embaressingly shippy about her and Paris. I was 9, yes?) Chicks on spaceships, running the spaceships, far, far away, was pretty much everything I needed from life at that point. (Probably because I had also discovered Robert Heinlein by then.) And there was the Doctor (and to a lesser extent, Seven of Nine) which nicely fed my "People who are not quite people try to learn how to be people," thing.

I also just liked the idea of the journey and the fact they had no idea where they were and were trying to claw their way through this...distance. There was something exciting and compelling about that, in the same way I always find untangling some vast and ever growing logistical catastrophe delightful, but don't care in the slightest about letting it build up in the first place. (When I play tetris, I first make a mess almost to the top, and then spend the game trying to battle it down. This makes more sense with 3D tetris where you also block your view of the bottom and so don't know what's coming. I can't for the life of me see the point of just making and destroying layer after neat layer. This may explain much about my life, now that I think of it.)

(And I love DS9 for all the usual reasons - Kira and Garak and Bashir, and the moral and political complexity and the atmosphere and the plot arcs and the worldbuilding and everything, but, eh, that's easy.)

Snow: still blanketing the city. Uni: not happening tomorrow either.
quarter_to_five: (Default)
...and school and work are cancelled for one more day. Uni sending out increasingly hedging emails last night was kind of amusing, I admit. Public transport here still somewhere between dodgy and nonexistant.

So, book meme, filched from [personal profile] schneefink:

List 10 books that have stayed with you. Don't take but a few minutes, and don't think too hard - they don't have to be the 'right' or 'great' works, just ones which have touched you.

I ended up cheating a little, because my mind drew a total blank after about four, so I scrolled through Goodreads and took whatever immediately jumped out with some emotional something-or-other...I also found that I remember when, and even where, I first read a lot of these, so that's part of it as well. I don't particularly measure life in books that way, but a lot of these kinda stick out.

Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke - This was far (far, far) from the first SF book I read, but I think it was the first one that blew my mind a little? I also found it shamelessly emotional and still think it's beautifully written. It was given to me by my best friends dad, raiding who's bookcase had started me on the path to genre fannishness, after she had moved to the USA and I visited her and this was for the flight back. (I think I was 13. I remember this was just before 9/11 and thinking how absurdly easy all the airport stuff in the US had been.)

The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro - I re-read this recently and found I love it even more now. It's just so precise and so restrained and devastating, and works on so many layers, over and over, that all interact with each other. The plot, the prose, the persona, the philosophizing. It just completely shook me out of myself when I read it. (In the army, on the Egyptian border, while doing 12/12's on this utterly idiotic checkpoint.)

A Song of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin - Read in the boot (yes, boot) of a car while driving to Eilat with family, age 12 or so. I remember waiting desperately for the third book to come out. (Oh, the innocence.) I do love these books (never seen the show, i'm afraid) and i've been very fannish about them for a long time. I love the multiple readings they support, the deconstruction of fantasy tropes yet the unabashed fantasticality of them and how much it's possible to argue about them.

To Say Nothing of the Dog, Connie Willis - read in junior high, probably? I love farce, and it's hard to pull off in general and particularly hard in writing. I still re-read this once a year or so, because it always makes me feel better.

Jack of Shadows, Roger Zelazny - borrowed off of that same Dad-of-best-friend's bookshelf. This one always sticks with me because it's basically about geography. One of the first books I can remember reading that really hit that place I love of intersecting questions of genre with questions of landscape. This place is different from that place, and we are different in it. Let's talk about that.

A Peace to End all Peace, David Fromkin - I'd basically gone through everything I wanted to read in my (very small) junior high library, so I moved across the aisle to the non-fiction. I don't think this was the first history book I ever read for fun, but it was the first one that was fun, and opened up history as something weird and interesting and relevant.

A Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez - highschool. I remember a maths teacher taking it away from me in class, which hadn't happened in a while by that point. Just a really emotional, visceral, can't-stop-reading this reaction.

A Tale of Love and Darkness, Amos Oz - someone from my commune got me Charles Robert Wilson's Spin for my birthday (I suspect this was in the army. I was also more insight into who I was and what I liked than that person had ever shown otherwise in the six odd years of our extremely close...Acquaintance? Association? English doesn't have a good single word for the relationship you have with people who are members of the same anarchist-marxist-commune-group as you. Trust me, it often isn't 'friendship'.) Anyway, I had already read it, but when I went to exchange it, because it had been given to me in Hebrew and in the context of something very...Israeli, I felt I should get an Israeli book, of which I (alas) don't read that many.

So I got this and couldn't stop reading it. It's so personal and intimate. It's about books and politics and words, words, words, and Jerusalem and Russia, and the holocaust and the conflict, and running to and running from and being immigrants and trying to narrate your life so it makes sense, even though it doesn't.

Market Forces, Richard K. Morgan - read while walking on a beach, when commune-group decided to take a hike (literally) because it was felt things were going badly with our quest to battle the alienation of late-stage consumer-capitalism. Which one member of group reading a book rather than talking to anyone surely contributed to. But I thought it was about false consciousness and the deadening effects of late-stage consumer capitalism, so that was all fine. I was awful when I was 18, ok? (It's a good book though.)

The City and the City, China Mieville - this one is just dizzyingly fun (yet disconcerting) to read as a Jerusalemite. I found myself giggling and wincing at the same time at a lot of what the book does, and it's about geography again, and about genre. It deconstructs genre through the deconstruction of geography. That just gives me all the feels.
quarter_to_five: (Default)
I think Sleepy Hollow is rightly hailed as that show that has a relationship between two Black sisters at it's core, but oddly enough what tends to draw me in are Ichabod, Andy and the Headless Horseman. It's not that I dislike Abbie and Jenny - to the contrary, I want way, way more Jenny and Abbie is plain awesome, but those other three just kind of fit in my boxes of can't-look-away. I'm always a little tepid on sibling relationships or buddy-cop stuff. I don't have anything against it, and Abbie and Ichabod's energy, banter and affection are a warm and fuzzy balm to a jaded world of sharp edges, but still.

The Headless Horseman is just adorable. I'm actually a bit disappointed (or at least, uninterested) in the backstory that turns up for him, because I thought he was perfectly satisfactory as an eldritch horror from the mists of time who is having the fucking blast of his un-life messing around with assault rifles and Andy. If they'd have given me more time before springing the backstory on us, I probably would have ended up writing fic of Headless and Andy having awkward bonding moments over sad, sad Thanksgiving meals that neither of them can taste, together in dank tunnels.

(I still might. You have been warned.)

Ichabod is the one I find really interesting to watch though. Obviously, he's just great fun - he's witty and silly and looks very, very nice in his very, very nice coat. But I think there's also this more complex undercurrent to the character, that I really want to see more of.

For one, he's the male lead, but he has a personality! Lots and lots and lots of it. He gets to be both the serious, romantic heart of the show, and a total geek goofball and is really fairly emotionally open. I think he's sexy because he's goofy and chatty and has a million interests, frustrations, tiny personal crusades and we actually know to a large extent what he feels and what goes on in his head. It's never clear to me that tv-writers know that, and again and again we are foisted upon with 'mysterious', taciturn, boring main male characters that the show has to spend a season and a half peeling out of their shells before there's ever any hint of character there. So there's that.

Then there's also his time-displaced status, which I love. Struggles with alienation, in any way, shape or form, is something I can watch forever. (I used to be a member of an Anarcho-Marxist, er, well, it's been called a cult, which I suppose might go to explaining that.) I enjoy the humor of Crane vs. The Present as much as anyone, but I really keep coming back to the tiny moments when it's not funny. (or when it is funny, but not really funny.) Ichabod railing against bottled water - cute. Ichabod really feeling isolated because everyone he's ever known has been dead for centuries - like crack to me.

Another interesting aspect of him is the politics. I'm not sure that the show has politics, per se. (Not the way, say, Almost Human does.) But Ichabod has politics. He has definite and strongly held political positions. He was, in fact, an ideological turn-coat and a revolutionary fighter. He's not just lost in time, he's exiled. He was fighting a war, for a cause, and now he has been taken away from it...to find himself in the strange position of seeing how the revolution he was fighting for has turned out. That's just a fascinating position to be in, I think, all the more so because the American Revolution, naturally, has a very iconic status.

In a way, as a character (not as a person) he has the right to judge this time, this place, this America that he fought for. What does he think? Is he right? That's what I really want from the show. More of those little moment when Abbie is challenging him, challenging what he knows. She's showing him a picture of how the world has turned out, and not necessarily accepting his responses. She's no neutral party either. She has her own biases, her own narrative. There are places where she elides, simplifies. She cant' tell him everything, not in one go. So what are the choices she's making in how she presents USA, 2013 to him? What does that say about the way she (or the audience) wants to see it?

On one level, I guess casting Nicole Beharie is just refreshingly color-blind. But on another, there's something rather fraught with making Abbie black. I know it's not the show's focus (to put it very, very mildly,) but it's still interesting. Metatextually, the unusually diverse cast is almost defensive, when confronting an actual literal straight, dead, white guy from the heroic fantasy origins of America with the real thing of the present. It's like this, the show seems to be insisting, perhaps all the more so because it really isn't, not quite, not as much as we'd want. Whatever the male- and white- dominated mythos of history is, the reality of the present, is about a Black woman, it seems to be saying. And that's great. And you will like it.
quarter_to_five: (Default)
Blakes 7, eps 1-2: Admittedly, this is something of a chore, in some ways, (it really is very, very ugly, isn't it? And, truth be told, I often find ugliness kind of interesting. But this really needed at least, like, a decent lightbulb just to start with.) but there are also upsides. It's absolutely amazing how much livelier the thing becomes when Vila, Jenna or Avon finally make an appearance. Suddenly it's something i'm really watching, and not just vaguely looking at. I also like how the lawyer's girlfriend (wife? Whatever?) immediately just joined him in his quest without any arguing or or anything. That was just refreshing. Also, "I am going to The Computer." Lol, ok, i'll definitely try to keep watching.

Sarah Connor Chronicles is the most perfectest show ever in the history of ever. I mean, seriously. All the thematic stuff that is going to be so important later on? It's right there in season 1, all over the place. I also really have a soft spot for season 1 and the messy psuedo-family dynamics that they have in that old, autumney house there. (What happened in season 2? They seem to have moved climate zones, not just across town or something. Suddenly it's all sunshine and bright green lawns.) I always feel a tad guilty fixating on him in a show so interested in it's female characters and in the roles they have, but, man, I have a hell of a soft spot for Derek in S1, his wonder and his horror.

There's the "give me a topic and i'll write about it in December" meme, and i've had quite a bit of fun today picking topics for other people, so in that spirit, on the off chance someone will bite. Give me a topic and a day and i'll write about it. Anything: books, TV, personal, political (...If I can, probably references to all 4 on virtually any given topic.)

4 - Sleepy Hollow
6 - favorite female characters
9 - What do you look for in tv shows?
10 - talk of Peter Grant
13 - TSCC, particularly the flashforwards
15 - favorite parts of Star Trek
20 - Thoughts on The Newsroom

quarter_to_five: marx (marx)
...because it would take forever, and because I should be doing Nano. BUT MOSTLY, because it says you can only add 3 shows, and just skimming through I need to add at least four - Northern Exposure, The Big Bang Theory, The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Jeremiah. And those first three? In like my top 5 shows ever. Outrage. Outrage, folks. At least Remington Steele is on there.
quarter_to_five: (Default)
From Lost_Spook:

Choose fifteen characters. Then put your playlist on shuffle. Your first song with lyrics is your first character, and so on. For each song, choose lyrics that resonate with the corresponding character.

Amy Farrah Fowler (The Big Bang Theory)
Remington Steele (Remington Steele)
Melli Grant (Scandal)
Kira Nerys (DS9)
Sarah Connor (The Sarah Connor Chronicles)
Dean Craig Pelton (Community)
Ichabod Crane (Sleepy Hollow)
Aang (The Last Airbender)
CJ Cregg (The West Wing)
Alec Hardison (Leverage)
Pete Campbell (Mad Men)
Beka Valentine (Andromeda)
Diane Lockhart (The Good Wife)
Lorne (Angel)
Maggie O'Connell (Northern Exposure)

Read more... )
That was fun! Very Dada, random association, etc. Some of them line up very nicely, though I did wonder if it's really that I like the same sort of thing in characters and in lyrics anyway, so they would?


quarter_to_five: (Default)

May 2017

1415161718 1920


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags