cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)
Last weekend we watched, or I should say, got around to watching, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, a BBC America show from last year which we were reluctant to check out at first under the mistaken impression that it would be another US copy of a UK property in the vein of Coupling, Skins, Being Human, etc. But after it came out we saw from other people's reactions that actually everyone seemed to love it, and when we finally did watch it we loved it too, so I've been poking around for things to reblog on and off for a week now.

It feels funny in several ways to be fannish about a show with Elijah Wood in it again...

  1. Nostalgic. Fellowship of the Ring came out in 2001! [personal profile] waxjism and I MET because of Elijah Wood, really, when she sought me out because of a Frodo/Sam and then a Sean/Elijah fic. The whole time we were long-distance dating, she was talking about The Faculty and something about Elijah Wood being chained in Chester Bennington's basement, for some reason (I'm not sure I ever really understood that one, though, to be fair). And it's been a long time! Neither of us has been actually interested in either of those fandoms since before 2005, a few rereads and recs and the like notwithstanding.

  2. SURREAL. The inescapable association of Elijah Wood + fandom... the tangential connection to the dangerous con artist and noted fandom cult leader formerly known as Victoria Bitter, who, as chronicled in the well-known fandom memoir When a Fan Hits the Shit, later briefly posed online as Elijah Wood for... some unknown reason... (I think for a brief time before he told people that he was channeling the 'soul' of the real Elijah Wood even though Elijah Wood was still alive and therefore physically growing a cock?)... and for some reason [personal profile] waxjism and I, old acquaintances who were close to one of his primary online friend/dupes, were chosen to be guinea pigs for this pose and for like... a week?? we thought he possibly actually was Elijah Wood with a side dose of what the hell is going on, and during this time he... for some reason... sent me a care package of cough drops because I had a cold, I guess to prove realness?? He also like ordered pizzas delivered to the residences of some of the other people he was long-distance trying to Be Elijah Wood on, if I'm remembering right? Anyway... wow... that was an insane time! Like, our dangerous??? but also laughably minor??? brush with fandom history.

  3. Embarrassed: because of having believed him, or maybe like 80% believed him for a while there. But as [personal profile] waxjism succinctly put it, "Then again, he is a con artist. But AUGH."

    Also embarrassed because if I think about my previous fannish engagement hard enough, I'll remember how I wrote when I was 19 years old, which is also kind of embarrassing from the perspective of my current taste (though, like, I stand by it as perfectly ok for 19-year-old me). Like, for example, when my dad asked my permission to give his best friend, who is gay, the link to my LOTR fanfic, and I said sure, and then his best friend attempted to delicately and tactfully make sure that I knew that "that's not really how gay sex works" after reading one of my Legolas/Gimli fics, and I had to be like "YES YES LUBE WE KNOW NO TMI PLEASE".

  4. Damn, I feel old. Because a lot of time has passed and people like Elijah Wood that are the age of me are now firmly grown ups. Just like I am.

Anyway, back to Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency... I highly recommend the show, which is delightful and probably a bit more Adamsishly madcap than the previous British series that starred Stephen Mangan (which I also loved however). The plotting particularly is A+, not because the other aspects of the show like dialogue and casting are not as outstanding - they are, actually; the main cast is half female and there's an okay distribution of racial and gender diversity, the dialogue is fun and clever, the special effects are not to be sneezed at, there are cute animals etc - but because the plotting is the aspect of a derivative work based on Douglas Adams that would be the most challenging to manage (just as it is for Terry Pratchett or PG Wodehouse fanfic, where that is the most common tough point, evidently, for would-be fanfic writers), and yet they manage it beautifully. It's not at all derivative or unnecessarily repetitive of canon Douglas works, while dazzlingly recreating the feel and scope and all that good stuff.

They've already filmed the second series, too, and they just released a trailer for it a little while ago, so it's probably going to air soonish. Which makes this a good time to try it out.
cimorene: (call ikea)
Actually, the media I've most enjoyed consuming recently was The Prisoner, the classic British weird/genre series from 1967. I had never heard of it until an anniversary post came across my Tumblr dashboard, and I looked it up and was intrigued by the article's comments about its seminalness and aesthetics, so I watched it (it's all on YouTube, and it's only got 17 episodes).

I mean, what little [personal profile] waxjism saw she couldn't even stand, because of the changing television conventions since the 1960s - everything that old seems hokey to her. I like things from that period, though - I grew up on second wave sff that was mostly written in the 60s-70s and watched a fair amount of Nick at Nite for a while. And seeing it and recognizing its seminal quality from the bits of it I'd seen elsewhere was really cool, but it was also SO AESTHETIC (which was hilarious enough to have entertained me all on its own, but it actually was nice, too) and SO CONCEPTUAL (another thing that's very characteristic of the period, but at the end it goes even further off the rails than late season 3 Star Trek TOS, which is really saying something, and then goes even more Allegorical and Symbological in the final episode than CS Lewis) that it was fully worth watching on that basis.

My favorite part was how much the SUPER 60s interiors could have basically come right off a present day interior design blog. That, and how within the context of 60s mid-century modernism, Finnish & Scandinavian bleeding-edge modernist design from the 1930s is associated with the most sinisterly ~high-tech~ Bond villain stuff (when it's actually older than mid-century modernism, I mean).

That was more than a month ago, though. I was just thinking about it the other day when we were talking about all the things we've watched in the past few months - other than the hockey, it's been mostly filled up with [personal profile] waxjism's horrible movies and my rewatching Lewis when she's not around. When I finish that and the rest of the Morseverse I still need to finish my Poirot rewatch too.

Although! We forgot to mention that we watched Kinky Boots! It was good and I did really enjoy it, but the shoehorned in heteronormativity was very disappointing. I mean, even in a landmark drag queen film with the beautiful and talented Chiwetel Ejiofor - and a film that is about adulthood, father figures, finding oneself, and plotwise about creativity and a struggling small business - what about this said to anyone that it would benefit from, or needed, a het romance stuck into it? Or any romance, actually? Like, there were two main male roles, and they like each other and work together, but they didn't really have a dangerously romantic interaction or anything that needed to be leavened??? And it's not like the whole thing was boring and they needed another B-plot. On the contrary, there was barely time for the romance.
cimorene: (yo)
  • The Mindy Project: [ profile] witchshaming has been posting stuff about this show for a few years and I kept meaning to get around to it. Noticed it was on HBO streaming recently and watched the first season. I like it a lot, although it does do some of those American Sitcom Genre things that I usually can't stand and it's not as politically righteous and emotionally healthy as Brooklyn 99, my previous sole exception. I do worry that if the 'ust' keeps up, it will get really old fast.

  • Westworld: Been over this with Dollhouse. You couldn't pay me to watch it. [personal profile] waxjism and her brother evinced interest though.

  • World Cup of Hockey: We watched most of it. I think we only skipped the games that were going to be too depressing, like Finland being crushed. A lot of knitting got done. I always cheer for the goalie - whichever goalie is onscreen at the time, so I'm incapable of actually not cheering for both teams in a match, ultimately. I'm surprised people aren't writing Auston Matthews/Connor McDavid yet, which seemed plausibly like the whole reason Team North America even existed. I'm also utterly charmed by Halak (THE HERO WE NEEDED) and Kopitar and angry that their regular teams are ugh. Halak, Price, and Bobrovsky were the real MVPs, obviously.

  • Inside Out: it was funny and enjoyable, but it was ruined for me because I just couldn't let the metaphor go, and the metaphor really doesn't make all that much sense. I kept shouting questions at the tv like "SO IF SHE'S SADNESS, IS SHE SAD OR HAPPY ABOUT THINGS BEING SAD???" and "Wait, the entire value structure of her personality was destroyed at age 8 by one unfortunate conversation????" and then Wax would be like "Stop asking questions!"

  • Finding Dory in the theater. Loved it. I cried at one point, which I haven't done in the theater since ROTK. Hilariously, it is actually set BEFORE my Finding Nemo slash fic, so it doesn't completely get jossed even, although it would need some tweaking to match up.

  • The recent remake of Total Recall. So bad that we had to pause it a few times because I was so loudly incensed. It's been a long time since I saw such an egregiously inadequate movie. Wow. Somewhat curious about the original now.

  • Wax decided to watch all the terrible movies (of the right kind of terrible) she could find so she watched a bunch of things with ghosts including the movie where Daniel Craig met Rachel Weisz, which was awful but no doubt fun to make, and one thing where Paul Bettany is some kind of rogue angel in the zombie apocalypse. And then she decided to watch all the ones she could find about the financial crisis, and one of those had Paul Bettany too.

  • Golden Age Detective Fiction: Continuing my project to explore the less-well-known contemporaries of Christie and Sayers. I already tried Patricia Wentworth (thumbs DOWN) and S.S. Van Dine's Philo Vance (enjoyable but a bit airporty) and Margery Allingham's Campion (I got through 1Β½ books, then tried to start 3 other ones, including later and highly-rated ones, but I just couldn't keep going). Next up was Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn stuff: I read about five of them and found them very readable, but I got tripped up on the book where she introduces her detective's future wife. It's not that her writing is sexist or gender essentialist in the same way many of her contemporaries sometimes were, because the character is interesting and all... it's just I am really tired of heteronormativity and I would prefer it to not show up in the book at all. Maybe I'll be able to come back to it some day.

  • Early fantasy: I downloaded a bunch of public domain works by William Morris the textile artist, and also by early horror-fantasy writer William Hope Hodgson. Hodgson's The House on the Borderland was entertaining and amusing, a precursor to Lovecraft that wasn't quite so obsessed with race but was way way more terrified of pigs for some reason. I've started several of his others, but not really gotten into them yet. Same for Morris's - they're more Lord Dunsany than Lud-in-the-Mist, contrary to my preference.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (crack)
β˜‚ I got the boxed DVD set of the complete Poirot for the winter holidays last year. I already hoard thousands of Poirot screencaps on my harddrives & Poirot blog ([ profile] maisouipoirot), but I started rewatching from the beginning with the closed captions turned on and taking caps of my favorite lines. I got sidetracked into watching some other stuff partway through though - before I even got to the modern widescreen era for that matter - and I still need to finish.

🎜 After we marathoned the last season of Game of Thrones - "Bad at continuity and dialogue; good at production values!" - [personal profile] waxjism and I wanted to watch something else together and we watched the two seasons of Mozart in the Jungle. Apparently this is an Amazon streaming show in the US? It stars Gael García Bernal (still tiny, still radiant, now greying) as an orchestra conducting former child prodigy and the female lead is an oboist, which was the instrument I played in middle/high school (I still have partisan feelings). Also Saffron Burrows is there, which seems significant to Wax. We enjoyed it a lot, although it's not really a fannish show. Apparently Jason Schwartzman is a creator/writer/runner as well as a secondary character, and it really has a his-kind-of-thing feel to it (kinda hipster, but more specific than that).

🎢 ↳ It was nice, but it mostly made me miss playing music: I don't have an oboe anymore (I quit when mine broke in 10th grade), but I have my grandmother's recorders and her collection of medieval and folk music. I used to play the recorder too when I played the oboe, just for fun, and I kept it up for a few years - I think the fingering would come back quickly, but I shudder to think of having to start developing embouchure muscles from scratch.

πŸ•Ά We randomly rewatched Hot Fuzz a couple of days ago - I think there was a gifset. Man, so good.

πŸ‘“ I'm halfway through the first season of Supergirl. I'm completely pro-Supergirl, but I still hope the writing gets a little bit better. I had to take a break because I just couldn't stand anymore of those gag-me Teachable Moments and Inspiring Dialogues. It's definitely on the children's moral play spectrum, which doesn't have to be bad - it reminds me most strongly of My Little Pony, but My Little Pony, while aimed at a less cognitively sophisticated audience, makes up what it loses in subtlety by having (a) almost no male characters and (b) zero love triangles. I would be cool with it if the plot actually had Kara mature past her infatuation and end up with Cat Grant, which is definitely what the plot inadvertently (?) is still strongly suggesting is going to happen, but I can't believe that's going to happen. Excited for guest appearances from Tyler Hoechlin Superman though! what a precious. Now put him in a cardigan.

β˜™ I was listening to [ profile] septembriseur about her current obsession with Oxford Detectives - specifically with Hathaway (the lovely Mr Billie Piper). It turns out there's two series of Lewis I haven't seen - I always miss them because they come out too far apart! - and a new series of Endeavour, plus I need to refresh my memory of the previous series of Lewis, Endeavour, and even (in a few spots) Morse to get all the references. On the minus side, that's a lot of rewatching and I have a very limited attention span for consuming media in ways other than reading. On the plus side, though, the last time I rewatched Morse from the beginning, I crocheted an entire lap blanket. I could use another blanket. I'm thinking a crocheted ripple blanket... of course that would mean buying a bunch of yarn though, so maybe just an Umaro...
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (huh?)
The only other tv I've rewatched as many times as an adult is Poirot - with Star Trek it's considerably more for a very few episodes but once only for others (much more variable quality for Star Trek than Poirot - though the latter also had quite a collection of different writers, directors, and producers, and even switched owners midway through its 25-year run). It feels to me like even the best episodes of Star Trek are pulpy enough to hover around the worst episodes of Poirot for rewatchability, even though as bad examples of their genre the worst Poirots are definitely worse in absolute terms than the BEST Star Treks - it's just the genre and register and how my brain works I guess.

Actually, I think murder mysteries in written form are also maybe easier to read casually, with more skimming and less engagement, than science fiction adventures? As I think about it, my mom uses both mysteries and paperback romances in this way - as palate cleansers between science fiction and fantasy books, or for when she doesn't have the brainpower/attention span for serious engagement. So maybe I just copied it from her, but it really feels easier.

I suppose that reality tv also allows for that lower level of engagement, but most of the reality tv I've tried to watch has ended up putting me off for one reason or another. I still watch new seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race, although not right away, and I think the reason I've never got fed up with it as with Project Runway for example (aside from the lack of a sudden disastrous drop in quality...) has to do with how it's so camp and upfront about the amount of gimmicks involved. But it's still got a high level of hystrionic interpersonal drama for my taste (obviously, this is a draw rather than a deterrent for many people, so it's not like I censure it for this). And I think that ultimately, the whole contest aspect to a lot of reality tv puts me off: feeling bad for the losers and disliking the things producers do to try to make you like and dislike people.

Instead of that, This Old House is really a documentary and basically only shows skilled craftsmen and experts in their fields at work, doing the various things they do and explaining them as they go. I also am more interested in the care and fixing of old buildings, mechanical systems, woodwork, etc., than I am in most of the subjects of these other reality shows. A lot of house-related shows that I used to see in the US on HGTV and its forebears wasted too much time on human interest (I hate human interest as a genre: it always seems to make me way less interested in humanity in general) and featured some guy yelling in front of a bulldozer about how big things are or how extreme something is, while This Old House shows closeups of people using tools and explains what they're doing well enough that, in many cases, someone could follow their instruction to do it themselves (provided some experience with the tools and general area in question, like carpentry or masonry or plumbing, all areas that my mom, for instance, or my aunts and uncles, have experience with, even if I don't).

Another thing I hate on a lot of house-related shows are the interior design bits - I love interiors but I hate the buzzwords and jargon (a common thing to make [personal profile] waxjism laugh around here is me yelling "RARGH, INTERIOR-DESIGN-SPEAK!!!") and also the over-designed results that a lot of professional interior designers on tv and in magazines seem to produce. This Old House does work with designers (and owners) with taste I don't like, but at least it's not too often, and only occupies a small part of the screentime for each project. (It helps that the host isn't an industry professional and is always there as the audience surrogate, and his attempts to sound polite and excited when I can tell he actually hates something are also a thing of beauty.)

One thing that is amusing and somewhat annoying is that the way reality tv works to create narratives that mimic fiction causes my brain to read it like fiction and start shipping people and sometimes lie awake sternly trying to talk my brain into investing its shipping energy in something with an actual fandom so I'll have something to read.
cimorene: (is this thing on?)
... Presented as an Illustration of My Emotions and Viewing Habits Regarding Evil and Dead Lesbians

  • The Sittaford Mystery β˜… β˜… β˜… Neither evil nor dead, but arguably platonic Read more... )

  • The Body in the Library β˜… β˜… Evil (and being dragged to the gallows), which is annoying but doesn't stop me watching. Read more... )

  • A Murder Is Announced β˜… Dead (not evil), which is where I draw the line. Now that I know, I won't watch. Read more... )

There's also Nemesis, but although I am fond of saying that ITV added incestuous dead lesbian nuns, it wouldn't make the above list because Read more... )

I will not boycott further rewatches of stories that happen to include evil or dead gay men in this manner, although there isn't a Christie adaptation that I can think of that includes the death of a gay man (there's off-screen, pre-episode gay partner death related to the plot in "The Moving Finger", but the character is never seen onscreen, he's just discreetly mourned by his surviving partner). But if it came up in passing in another crime show, for example, I wouldn't avoid the episode if I were otherwise inclined to rewatch.

In general, though, if I know in advance that the entire plot is about evil gay (or lesbian) people I will watch it, and if it's about dead gay men I will watch it, but if I know in advance that it is about dead lesbians I won't. Basically the line is anyone involved in a f/f relationship should survive.

tv status

19 Sep 2014 02:26 pm
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (stfu)
TV I intend to follow but haven't caught up on:

  • Elementary ([personal profile] waxjism and I watch together)

  • Outlander (it's [personal profile] waxjism's thing; we're waiting for her to be in the ~mood to watch it)

  • Orphan Black (we're waiting to watch it with Wax's pal Sofia)

TV whose next season I am awaiting with bated breath:

  • This Old House

  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries - 3rd series was confirmed since I last posted about TV! Last I heard, the writers were tweeting about planning it.

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine - new season starts airing soon!

  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

  • Hannibal - before I watched this, I was apprehensive about the gore, which I can be sensitive to, and about a couple of the female regular characters - I don't avoid spoilers and had been reading posts via Hello Tailor, [personal profile] cleolinda, and personal acquaintances in the fandom. It turned out that the gore didn't even register as gory for me, but I was more upset about Abigail and Beverly than I expected - but since it looks like the show is making an effort consciously, I'm still with it.

  • Sirens - I liked it, but it was quite different from what I expected based on Tumblr. Not as funny. More straight white guy, more obnoxious voiceover, more Nice Guy. But I do like the secondary characters...

TV I watch a whole series at a time where I have recently watched a series, and am therefore waiting, but not with bated breath:

  • Game of Thrones

  • A Touch of Cloth - there's a desi character named Asap in this show. His name is actually a racist joke, but he has a more significant role than any other desi character in a police show I've seen that I can think of, and he isn't just a computer/tech guy like, for example, Gurdip on Lewis. Depressing, especially given the sheer number of one-dimensional desi background characters in these shows.

  • Endeavour - series 2 ends on THE most blatantly cliffhangy cliffhanger. Don't watch if that bothers you.

  • Lewis

  • Vera

  • Scott & Bailey

  • Bletchley Circle

I did start watching, but I couldn't stick it out, so I tried to switch to the manga to get through the rest of canon, but it was a bit too repetitive and silly too, so... maybe I'll finish it later:

  • Sailor Moon

[personal profile] waxjism watched it recently and, either thanks to what I saw over her shoulder or thanks to all the time she spent shouting angrily at the screen, I'm definitely secure in my decision not to watch:

  • The Killing (she likes this but it's getting cracky I guess?)

  • True Detective (she acknowledged the feminist issues people have brought up, but liked it)

  • The Walking Dead (she shouted so much I'm honestly not sure how she kept watching. Then again, her dedication to Norman Reedus did result in an entire website and that time when she transcribed the entire script of Dark Harbor. - But she seriously hates Rick so much that she shouts every time she sees Andrew Lincoln in a picture on Tumblr without Norman beside him to distract her.)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (domestic)
TV I'm still watching as the season goes along, attempting to remember to download it each week (catchup every 2-3 eps is more realistic):
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries was my favorite, but a third series hasn't been announced. Still, as the author hasn't written that far in the novels either, fingers crossed for some time in the future.

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (between seasons)

  • Elementary

  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Hiatus or sth?)

  • This Old House & Ask This Old House

  • Orphan Black (between seasons)

  • Anything Agatha-Christie related that anyone British makes no matter how awful it looks (Poirot and Marple having both concluded, but BBC bought the rights to Tommy & Tuppence I understand)

TV shows I prefer to marathon, so I try to wait until the series is over, but I haven't quit them:
  • Game of Thrones

  • A Touch of Cloth (between series)

  • Bletchley Circle (between series)

  • Endeavour and Lewis (between series)

  • Vera and Scott & Bailey (between series, I think)

  • Rupaul's Drag Race, although I read some posts about transphobia on the show recently and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't noticed it myself, so I'm considering not continuing. OTOH, it seems like Carmen Carrera, while critical, is maybe still positive towards the show overall? I guess I'll decide once the whole season has aired.

TV shows I've recently given up on:
  • Teen Wolf

  • The Good Wife

  • Anything helmed by Moffat (though I will take up Who again if they ever get rid of him)

TV shows I tried out recently, but they didn't pan out:
  • Adventure Time. Tumblr gave the impression that there was more lady screentime, as did Wikipedia. I also found the 8-ish eps I tried out not really all THAT funny, with a few exceptions. However if, as several people have also expressed on Twitter and Tumblr, somebody made a fanedit of it of only screentime with female characters, I would actually pay money to watch it.

  • Killer Women. The title and people talking on Tumblr about female characters got me interested, but the writing wasn't worth 2 eps and it was really problematic.

TV shows I planned to try out, but then I read some feminist critiques & deleted them unwatched:
  • True Detective

TV shows I haven't made up my mind to watch because I really really hate gore:
  • Hannibal
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (working)
The really great thing about Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is the combination: Roaring Twenties + mystery + ass-kicking jack-of-all-trades female protagonist. (Like, actually the REALLY great thing is that last one, and it would have to be pretty disappointing after that to get me to quit watching; but the other parts are also independently exciting and putting them all together produces an alchemy that's even more exciting than the sum of its parts.)

It also reminds me of a couple of medieval mysteries I've seen, but the execution of them wasn't really great.

I've already lamented that Cozy Mystery + Regency + female protagonist wasn't a thing (I lamented that a couple of years ago, before I saw Death Comes to Pemberley. I think I remember the book existed at the time, but I didn't read it, because I wasn't looking for Austen fanfic so much as a Miss Marple-like character in a pastoral Austen AU).

I just wrote a rant on Twitter culminating in the realization that my current ideal show would be like Endeavor + that episode of My Little Pony with the pastry thief. The detective would be a young, brash pony lacking somewhat in social skills who burned out of her academic career before being hired by the police, and she would be in the pastry theft unit, apprenticed under a kindly but somewhat less brilliant middle-aged pony with a very soothing voice, and she would solve a different pastry theft each week. Then there would also be a lot of pastry and pastry-making in the show, obviously. Mmmh, pastry. (I deleted the rant afterwards because it was way too long and also, incoherent.)

My favorite episode would, of course, be a locked mansion pastry theft because locked mansions are my favorite. (The episode of MLP with the pastry theft takes place on a train, which is obviously great, but it's not as great as a locked mansion.)

Next step: steampunk my little pony star trek parody comedy of manners... with dragons???

I ship it

11 Mar 2013 12:00 pm
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (yes)
Still watching This Old House. Half a week ago I was nervous about running out of old online episodes - I was halfway through the second-to-last project that was online in its entirety. But since then, two older projects have appeared! I'm now watching stuff that originally aired in 2006.

And uh, I've started taking shippy screencaps. And also just screencaps.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (batman)
For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture I've decided that Kevin/Tom is my not-too-serious This Old House rpf otp. Yesterday:

ROGER: Who knew Tom knew how to dance like that?
KEVIN: Who WANTED to know Tom knew how to dance like that?
[personal profile] waxjism: You did!

I also think it would be great if the porn parody of this show had them explaining and narrating gay sex the same way they do house-fixing and she helped me come up with a lot of example dialogue for this idea. ("This, Kevin, is Astroglide." "Okay, and this is a lubricant?" "That's correct. And what I'm gonna do is, I'm gonna just pour it all over these fingers." "And where do these guys go?")
cimorene: (is this thing on?)
As I continue watching This Old House - I've now made it back to 2009 - I occasionally tweet observations. Most of those are mostly-not-serious ones about slashing (it just is unnatural to watch this much of one show without shipping something!). Fortunately I haven't had space to include a hashtag every time (I use these to collect observations later when I want to make a blog post about it), because last night one of the producers replied to me. <.<

The host visited a historic house that had been made into a museum and the architect who was guiding the tour explained that as they stepped over the threshold into the museum they were "literally stepping back" 200 years into the past, to which the host replied something like "So this is a literal time machine..."

I tweeted some classic pedantry in response, but mainly because this is one of those rare instances of 'literally' usage that (figuratively) really makes life worth living (others have included 'my heart was literally in my throat' and 'literally jumping out of my skin', but this is even better really). Talk about your unexpected genre crossovers.

So the producer's reply was just that they didn't have the budget to rent a DeLorean.

I guess I'm just used to popular shows with big fandoms where you can't really expect a reply even when you directly @ someone, let alone when you just mention the show by name. But while This Old House may have a dedicated fan following, I can see how most of it would not be very active on Twitter...
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (sex)
Trying to power through the last of the Tinder cardigan I'm knitting for Wax, Sunday I wound up watching first Ask This Old House and then This Old House, a New-England based renovation show that conveniently has all its episodes available streaming at its website.

It's surprisingly fascinating to watch various kinds of fixing and tinkering and building - maybe even more so than I usually find interior design shows (even though I do love interior more in theory, but I tend to find the shows vapid or the results ugly).

I think this captures the element I always enjoyed most about Project Runway:
watching skilled experts practice their craft to solve various appropriate problems while explaining what they're doing. This show doesn't spend most of its time on stupid interpersonal drama like Project Runway, or even the 15% or so on Human Interest Stories and Uplifting Speeches that you get on Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Anyway, Wax also got instantly hooked and I've been watching it for three evenings of knitting in a row. Also picked up some interesting tips and some new vocabulary, though I imagine I won't be getting a great deal of use out of either as they're pretty specialized.

Also greatly enjoyed: the New England accent.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (lady)
[personal profile] waxjism: This show's a bit rubbish, isn't it?
me: Yeah, but no worse than Nancy Drew. Better written, actually. And better than some crime tv I've watched. And hey, at least it's dumb with two middle-aged lady protagonists instead of just a bunch of dudes.

Rosemary & Thyme has 3 seasons, starting in 2003. We've watched two so far. It stars Pam Ferris (Smithy's mum from Gavin & Stacey, Aunt Marge from Harry Potter) and Felicity Kendal as landscaping botanists who keep stumbling over murder mysteries and then shamelessly snooping. A lot. So far I've seen tons of Hey It's That Guys, most excitingly Graham McTavish as a boastful police officer in 103. Apparently this is a staple Cosy Mystery, which one can't really argue with, but the likeness to Nancy Drew is at times uncanny and it's definitely more Carolyn Keene than Agatha Christie.
cimorene: A vintage nouveau illustration of a reclining woman embracing the enormous head of a dragon (love)
"Look at his eyes: they're spinning beach balls of doom! His hard disk must've crashed!"

"It is staring you in your fat, ferrety face!"

"He was tired." "What was it, metal fatigue?"

"Permission to snigger." "Permission refused." "May have to snigger anyway, sir."

"Time is the great healer. Unless you've got a rash, in which case you'd better use ointment."

"Such low-life conniving - it's impossible not to be impressed! What I wouldn't give to have your weasel genes, sir!"

"Harness your stupidity, sir! Employ your witlessness! Use your empty-headed, simplistic moron-mind and find a solution!"

"He's got the power of ignorance." "And with the ignorance he's got, that makes him one of the most powerful men who's ever lived!"

"So you're saying when you don't know enough to know that you don't know enough, there's no fear holding you back! You can achieve things which people with more brains can't!"

"I'm thinking wearing leather underpants with studs is a real mistake if you put them on inside-out."

"What am I gonna do with 58 minutes' more life?" "Have half a juggling lesson?"

"I did everything with that arm! We were inseparable! At least I thought we were."

"David, come on, you got a virus, it's fatal, it happens!"

"The only bonding I want to do with him involves a tube of superglue and a rabid hamster."

"It's sharper than a page of Oscar Wilde witticisms that've been rolled up into a point, sprinkled with lemon juice, and shoved into someone's eye!"

"The red, green, and blue alerts are all flashing! What does that mean?" "Either we're under attack, sir, or we're having a disco!"

"Sometimes you just gotta say: 'The laws of time and space - who gives a smeg?'"

"I'm no psychologist, but maybe the bleak, lonely, pointless emptiness of our hopeless, futile predicament is beginning to get to him."

"We've got less choice than a Welsh fish-and-chips shop."

"He's looking so geeky I don't think he could even get into a science fiction convention."

"Oh, for a really world-class psychiatrist!"

"The poor devil must've scrawled it in his death throes using a combination of his own blood and even his own intestines!" "Who would do that?" "Someone who badly needed a pen."

"I think our friend the suicide squid is about to make an appearance."

"Abandon shop! This is not a daffodil! Repeat, this is not a daffodil!"

"Obviously whatever he has in mind will be facilitated by my being slippery and pliant."

"I wouldn't trust you to open a can of sardines that was already open."

"I'd just like to say that over the years, I've come to regard you as people I met."

"Well, Sartre, we don't like existentialists around here. And we certainly don't like French philosophers poncing around in their black polo-necks, filling everyone's heads with their theories about the bleakness of existence and the absurdity of the cosmos! Clear?"

"Rasputin! Bring hither the skin-diving suit with the bottom cut out, and unleash the rampant wildebeest!"

"A question that will tax your new IQ to its very limits and stretch the sinews of your knowledge to bursting-point!" "This is going to be about waffles, isn't it?"

"Now ask me a new question. Preferably one that isn't bread-related."

"I'd compute a 3 million digit prime number with prime roots if I thought it would make you happy!"

"The way the light catches the angles in your head - it's enchanting!"

"Listen, I know this is going to sound like a corny line, but has anyone ever told you that the configuration and juxtaposition of your features is extraordinarily apposite?"

"You taught him that? That's terrific! You two should audition for What's My Fruit?!"

"What's this?" "It's a - it's a - small, off-duty Czechoslovakian traffic warden!"

"The very worst that can happen is that you'll have the spend the rest of your life as a mindless, gibbering vegetable. But if the rest of your life is only 30 seconds, what the hell!"

"Chameleonic lifeforms? NO THANKS!"

"The Rimmer Directive, which states: 'Never tangle with anything that's got more teeth than the entire Osmond family.'"

"I compared your mother to a foolish, aging, blubbery fish! I said she was a simple-minded, scaly old piscine! A putrid amphibious gill-breather with less brains than a mollusk!"

"Don't you care about anyone but yourself?" CAT: "Hell no, I don't even care about you!"

"You're a sad weasel of a man, you know that?"

"Look what he's done to my cuticles. The man is a maniac!"

"I do NOT do the W-word! Cats do NOT work!"

"Look at me, I'm disgusting! I look like you in your best clothes!"

"My father was a jelly brain?" "Yes: that's why he ate his own feet!" "I did wonder."

"I don't care! You're the one who's dying; why should I let it spoil my evening?"
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (why is the beverage gone)
Fun, right?

Here's my related thoughts, but they aren't organized so I don't think they'll make a paragraph.

  • The starring guy, the one who plays Dirk - I can't remember his name but [personal profile] waxjism always can, but she's sleeping - (Stephen Mangan. I looked it up)... I like him already. He was the guest hero in the same episode of Marple with Martine McCutcheon and possibly the only way that an episode already starring Martin McCutcheon and Geraldine McEwan could get any better.

  • Wax found a copy of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency in dead-homophobic-Granny's attic and so I've just reread it - only the second time ever, and the first time was in middle school. Unfortunately it smelled like it'd been in a granny's attic for at least a decade. It wasn't as funny as I remembered, but I still enjoyed it a great deal.

  • Fewer laughs per page than Pratchett or Wodehouse,the two I always compare Adams to the most; it's more a kind of structured underlying absurdity. Still, it's definitely less absurd, and less Pratchett-like, than I remember Hitchhiker's Guide being, but I haven't reread it in almost as long. My dad and mom weren't giant fans and only had two of the five, I think, plus The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul.

  • Dirk Gently is described as round and podgy, which couldn't be further from Mangan, but I suppose if you're going to be delivering that type of absurd-humor these days (or investigating things?) it's shaggy hair and cheekbones that are in style. For some reason. Can't imagine why (DrWhoSherlock). Anyway, it's not like I mind, precisely.

Every now and then I rewatch that episode of Marple just to stare at Martine McCutcheon. She's so lovely. Where was I?

Oh right. Other things that aren't remotely related to this new Dirk Gently series:

  • I got into that Finnish course, but all I know about it is that the first class is on May 7th: not how many hours per week or how long it lasts or anything like that.

  • I need to make a doctor's appointment but I'm afraid of calling people to make appointments so I've now put that off for a solid week.

  • Wax is unemployed, which is bad of course kind of, but good in that she got out with an excellent severance package, and she hated her job anyway so if she hadn't been laid off she probably would have cried. I'm very happy, as I was getting sick of watching that place suck the soul out of her. But on the other hand, she's been there a long time so even though she's glad, it's been a big shock and she's greatly discombobulated. So far she's mostly responding by sleeping in the least healthy pattern possible and avoiding anything and everything, which is a functional way to recover from a shock for me too, so I shouldn't worry unless it goes on more than perhaps a week and a half.

  • Unfortunately Wax is the most senior descendant of deadhomophobicGranny who doesn't live outside of Finland, so she is supposed to be responsible for estate-executor things right now, and it's the worst possible time for her to be responsible for anything. My ability to help is severely limited by incomplete knowledge of Finnish and Finnish inheritance laws and practices.

  • [personal profile] copracat posted on Tumblr about this Australian show called Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. It's got a female protagonist and it's set in the 1920s and it's a murder mystery show, so I would like it even if it were horrible and American, but it's not horrible and everyone is Australian and has cute Australian accents. So that's nice. It seems to be based on some books. I wonder if I should check them out.

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (workout)
Having finished TNG and TOS (in that order, FRTDNEATJ) we've progressed to DS9 and reached season 3.

WAX: You know, it's so funny to watch these two [Rene Auberjonois and Andrew Robinson] in a scene together; it's like...
CIM: Tim [Roth] and Gary [Oldman], or...
WAX: Sir Patrick and Sir Ian, or...
CIM: Alan Rickman and Dame Maggie Smith.
WAX: There's just so much scenery chewing going on!
CIM: Yeah, it's like 'Wait, that's MY scenery!' Then like in Lady and the Tramp they meet in the middle of the last piece. All the scenery's gone.

...I've already seen a couple of Garak-Quark scenes and a Quark-Odo episode or two, so that experience isn't novel, but Wax wasn't watching with me then. And I have to say, the 'YOU BLEW UP YOUR SHOP!' scene in 3x20 is... even more devoid of scenery at the end than those other ones. They didn't leave a crumb.

In related news, I want a fanart of Garak, Quark, and Odo Powerpuff girls. I will attempt to draw one myself when I get around to it, but I don't have vector art skills, so I know it won't be truly satisfying.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (i kind of dig this)
Thank you to everyone for your input in my post asking for TV recs. I've downloaded more than just The Good Wife, Lost Girl, and Rizzoli & Isles; those are just the ones I've gotten around to checking out.

1. The Good Wife, a legal drama with politicking. Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi (the sister from Bend it Like Beckham) are the main female leads, with backup from the guy who was Dan Rydell in Sports Night, the divine Christine Baranski, the divine Alan Cumming, and Mr Big from Sex & The City (DISCLAIMER: I loathe S&TC with the fiery heat of 10k suns. But I have female relatives). I've watched all of season 1 and a bit of season 2, and Wax has watched about half of that.

This show is interesting and well-written, but the actors are the main draw. It suffers from an overload of a) characters who are always stupid and b) other characters doing stupid things. The cumulative effect of this is to make me and Wax root for the characters who are never stupid and against the characters who do stupid things, regardless of whether they are evil or not. At this point, we're hoping several of the main characters who are supposed to be sympathetic accidentally kill themselves in Darwin Awards fashion, preferably involving rocket launchers or Coke machines, and the remaining ones have a party at the funeral. Still, we have no intention of stopping watching. The dialogue is good, which is more than you can say for a lot of primetime US TV. On the other hand, several people had led us to believe that this show was "femslashy", and both of us disagree. The strong female characters are great and we enjoy their interactions and also their scenes by themselves (Archie Panjabi reminds me of The Perfect Being aka Arwen, our smallest cat: she's a tiny gorgeous badass who doesn't give a fuck), but we're not seeing the sexual tension.

2. Rizzoli & Isles, a police drama starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. Boston cops, Italian and Irish accents. Fun times. I'd say it's about as good as CSI but funnier (which is also true of NCIS, but this is less slapstick and has more issues and subplots in play as opposed to being focused on the workplace and the cases the way NCIS is). The bullpen and the Boston accents are refreshing. Alexander's character is the only WASP with a lot of screentime, which is highly satisfying to me. On the other hand, after 5 episodes I don't think it stands up to CSI for sheer follow-along-and-try-to-solve-at-home mystery. Wax thought it was fun but she was willing to skip a few eps to watch American Horror Story instead, which she likes (I don't watch horror or horror-adjacent stuff.) I will keep watching and might look for the femslash fic that I'm pretty sure is out there when I run out of other stuff to read.

3. Lost Girl, starring two chicks with vaguely familiar faces but I don't know where I saw them before. We've only watched the pilot, and it wasn't very good. In a way it's similar to a CW show, with the same kind of approach to plot and modern fantasy as some of their other current attempts (Supernatural, Vampire Diaries) and the same CW-central-casting girls who all kind of look the same and wardrobe and makeup only exacerbate the problem. The dialogue is bad and sometimes painfully bad, as is the direction - better than Smallville for sure, more on a level with Charmed. The feel of the show is kind of like Xena from what Wax and I remember of it - the mix of wisecracking, plot holes, and action - silly and ultimately arguably fun, but also exasperating. Wax disliked it and won't watch anymore, and I've put it at the bottom of my list. After I run out of the others, I intend to watch at least three or four more episodes to give it a chance to get better, but I'm not confident I can stick it out to the end. My tolerance for bad dialogue and horrible directing is even lower than my tolerance for CW Central Casting Syndrome.
cimorene: (gr arg)
I am doing a lot of knitting lately and I need something to watch in between lumps of Star Trek - an alternate genre to break up the space opera (I'm saving Watch All The Xenas for after I've watched all the Star Treks on the grounds of being more or less similar in genre, and both really long). I've been working through popular British detective series, but the problem with crime dramas, much as I enjoy them, is that most of the characters are dudes. (Except that one with Helen Mirren and I've seen it before. And Marple, ditto.)1

I am already following Nikita and Once Upon a Time, which are both nice in this respect, but they're on hiatus.

What I need is non-relationship-drama centric shows aimed at and starring multiple women to watch. For example, I can't stand the soap operatic quality of interpersonal relationships and the histrionic personal drama of Grey's Anatomy or The L Word. Or Downton Abbey, for that matter, but it has too much dude onscreen for my present purposes anyway. I hate reality tv of all kinds except Project Runway. I've already seen Buffy and everything else by Joss. And I hate all sitcoms. I don't really know where else to look. I'd therefore appreciate suggestions.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 16

Can you suggest a non-interpersonal-drama-centric television show about women?

1. The other problem is when they Fail at various issues or, like the last episode of Frost I watched, actually don't fail but present the failure of a bunch of despicable toerags way too honestly. The protagonist was the only character I wasn't enraged with at the end, and that isn't good for my blood pressure.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (cuddle time)
There are a lot of these and this was the only remotely fast way to post all of them in a bunch. There's a lot of manpain in here and a lot of brooding and a lot of drunkenness. Highlights include some dimly-lit, lingerie-clad love scene flashbacks with Lucy Punch; the Look of Love, which we've all come to love in the wave of gifs following the release of the new X-movie; waking up face-down on a park bench with an empty wine bottle, in a way that shows off his ass; three different pairs of suspenders; roguish forelocks helping him to emote; drinking tea; leaning and lounging a lot of places, including a frilly sofa and with one leg over the arm of a wingchair; and making intimate friends with a stuffed alligator, which he proceeds to carry around with him all night backstage at a theatre (and possibly to dinner as well, I couldn't swear).

Read more... )


cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (Default)


RSS Atom

October 2017

8910 11121314
15 161718192021

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Most Popular Tags

Page generated 22 Oct 2017 06:22 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios