TV meme

Aug. 4th, 2010 04:00 pm
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Stolen from a lot of people on my friendslist:

Day 01 - A show that should never have been canceled )
para1: (Caroline - fear)
I respect the taste of [ profile] iridescentglow a lot. Usually when she declares that a show has jumped the shark, she's spot on. So when she said that The Vampire Diaries is actually a decent show if you only start with the sixth episode, I decided it was time to listen even though I saw that iTunes preview thing and it was positively wretched.

So I started with Episode Six and by the time they rolled out the Depeche Mode cover it was pretty clear that it wasn't going to be my last episode. After another two episodes I knew I needed more backstory and watched the earlier five installments. It turned out that the pilot was only nearly as wretched as that preview. But knowing that the Twilight Light crap was false advertising helped a lot.

I think the show had me in the first five minutes of Episode Three.

Funny thing about this show is that they do something really well – all popular and semi-popular current TV and movie vampire franchises fail at – Twilight, Being Human, True Blood – making their vampires human monsters.

Not necessarily because they behave like human monsters but because they make the humans react to them in the way they would react to an abusive boyfriend, stalker or worse, with palpable fear and bursts of bravado. When Caroline tries to escape from the harmless looking guy next to her in bed, carefully treading on the ground, always checking over her shoulder if he's waking up, it's this weird moment where the metaphor of the thing is also the reality of it. Same goes for that "hey, your window was open, so I let myself in" moment in Episode Six.

I wonder how weird is it to like a vampire show for its portrayal of human fear?

Weird or not, I've been won over. I mean I will admit that even I know the point where the sharks are circling the jumping board – how do you keep a character on your show which you quintessentially characterized as a villain?

As someone else pointed out: at some point the writers have to make the choice to either preserve the Damon character in his psychopathic glory and hand every other character the idiot ball (Heroes) or the character has to be softened up (yes, Spike on Buffy) and everyone else gets to keep their integrity.

Obviously, both options have turned out terribly on other shows but let me say it that way: a good show should take care of more than their most popular character.

Maybe they'll surprise us with the plot twist that Ian Somerhalder is really The Man for One Season. (Poor Boone. I miss Lost sometimes but not their "everyone can and will die" attitude. That's why I quit when Shannon died.)
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Rice with ketchup because that's the only thing that comes with a halfway interesting story.

A long time I was in Prague and the cheapest thing in a fairly cheap restaurant had on offer was rice. Just cooked rice with nothing. Since I was hungry and broke (or maybe just cheap when it came to food, I know I spend actually money on an illustrated copy of the Heptameron (if you judged by those illustrations (scantily-glad women all the time) you would never guess that the author was 16th Century queen)) I ordered the rice. They had ketchup on the table, some weird Czech ketchup I had never heard of before.

It was delicious. But then I was hungry and the ketchup was really, really delicious all by itself. I took home a bottle I bought in a supermarket (no joke.) It was still delicious at home but it's been a long time and the deliciousness that used to be rice with ketchup has lost its appeal. These days when I make rice I made actual sauces where I thrown in a boatload of spices, some vegetables and sweet soy sauce and call it day.
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I don't get the moral of this fairy tale.

So a princess is bitchy (not good but whatever) and rejects a king with proper bitchiness but then falls in love with him when he disguises himself as a poor beggar. And even when he says he doesn't have a penny to live on she's, like, "I don't care, let's elope."

But instead of celebrating the fact that the girl loves him for himself and not for his money or kingdom or power, he threatens her with husbandly beatings in his beggar disguise and humiliates her as himself just to pay her back. And it's all just desserts.

Methinks the moral of this story is that this guy is an ass. Because if pride is her fault, it's his, too.
para1: (Cake)
I can remember places very well. I have trouble remembering people, especially their appearance though. As a result my memory turns every place I remember as a place (and not as part of a specific event) into a ghost town.

It's weird because there are plenty of places I've never seen without a ton of people in them. But my brain takes them all away.
para1: (Smile!)
I skipped the past three days of this meme because I don't like posting pictures of me on the internet.

My favorite fictional book is probably The Book of Sand from Jorge Luis Borges's short story of the same name.

It can be basically seen as the infinite version of The Voynich Manuscript, which I think is awesome, or as a even more cruel version of The Codex Seraphinianus.

The Codex (Not gonna lie, I bought a copy) is like an encyclopedia of an alien world, written in a legible but incomprehensible script but unlike the Voynich manuscript it has an actual living author who made that book intentionally to vex people forever. With the Voynich manuscript - which looks a bit like a book about herbology and astronomy (maybe, because it also makes little sense and is written in an incomprehensible script) - no one knows who to blame and what their reasoning was.

The Book of Sand is a book that has no beginning and no ending. (It's impossible to get to the first or last page.) And every time you open it, you find a new page. You'll never find one you've seen before again. The script is undecipherable, the language incomprehensible and ever so often you'll see a new illustration. So basically the internet in a nutshell.

My second favorite fictional book is probably Douglas Adams' Encyclopedia Galactica just for the mere idea of it. My third is probably everything from Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel, proving that most jokes are really older than dirt. (I really wish Folk Dances for Heretics was real though.)
para1: (Life on Mars rooftop)
There are plenty of political photographs that make me any combination of angry and sad.

But this photo only makes me sad )
para1: (old school Veronica)
(Day 6 was a free for all, which I decided it was an opportunity to not post.)

Florence: the view from the Ponte Vecchio

I took this picture and I know 1000 percent that it did not look like that in reality.

The picture seems really calm, devoid of people when in reality left and right and behind me were tons of people taking pictures, talking, swarming around. It's very saturated, very colorful which it obviously wasn't quite like that either.

Now it was a beautiful view, even reality, but the Florence that it shows does not exist.

Except, and this is perhaps why it makes me so happy, it is very much like I remember places. I have a fabulous memory for locations. And I remember places I loved much more vividly and romanticize them quite heavily insofar as I remove things that don't quite fit into the postcard-ness of it all.

This photograph makes me so happy because it takes me back to a memory rather than a reality.
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I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

And thank you so much for the virtual presents. It made me so happy. ♥ (And I miss you, [ profile] eolivet.)
para1: (Fragments 3)
I don't have one. I had one when I was seventeen but I haven't read it in a decade, the English translation is less than enjoyable and I have my doubts on how well it would hold up if I read it now.

But I do have something else. )
para1: (Doctor Who Wank Bingo)
It's Monty Python's Flying Circus. But this one's so old, it's deader than their dead parrot sketch.

So it kind of doesn't count. I think my favorite TV show in the last decade is probably Wonderfalls. It had such a short run and so much promise that it ended before it needed to deliver and before it could get bad. I loved other shows more but when those got bad, they got bad.

The one that's currently on... Doctor Who. I like Being Human and Dexter but Being Human's production is just kind of distractingly shoddy and Dexter even when it's excellent (like right now) never fully works its premise. It always flinches away. Take that "innocent" guy who Dexter killed this season. He just happened to be a rapist who only got away because he paid the victim of. How convenient.

Now Doctor Who can be a terribly show. But it fully embraces what it is. Unlike True Blood (which would be excellent if it fully embraced its crackaliciousness instead of wasting 2 and half storylines each season on earnest, attempted "good" tv and falling embarrassingly short), it fully embraces its rubber monsters, stupid premise and inevitable running sequence. It's what it is and out of its cheese it can come up with moments of genuine emotion. But it usually finds its way back to the cheese.

And here's the really funny thing about it. It can be wildly entertaining tv. During Waters of Mars I think I looked away from the screen exactly three times. Hard to think of another show that can capture my attention this well.
para1: (Cake)
This meme is totally stolen from [ profile] iridescentglow but it does look like a lot of fun.

Day 1 - Favorite Song

My favorite song is The Chemical Brothers feat. Richard Ashcroft - The Test

It's an incredibly layered song. Kind of like Death in Vegas' Dirge but a lot less gradually and noticably layered. Dirge is the song where the addition and integration of new sounds drown out the older sounds until you have this huge noisy thing with hardly any individually distinguishable sounds.

The Test is similarly layered and new sounds are added and integrated all the time to drown out old sounds and to disappear. Ashcroft's voice is always distinguishable. Can't say the same about the lyrics. The internet consensus says that he sings "I'm seeing waves breaking form to my horizon" that one time and it sounds like it but that doesn't even make sense.

But I love the lyrics. I know it's about an LSD trip but the part about "my heart and soul are free" make me still kind of emotional. If it was a shorter song it would be the most listened-to-song on my ipod. It is certainly the one song I've never grown tired of and I've been listening it since it came out. Incidentally it was the first DVD single I ever bought.

But then this was the time when music videos in general still had budgets and production values, so the video has abstract dream-like landscapes, underwater sequences and houses falling down. And a whale. Nowadays production value extends to hiring Swedish cable actors and dancing in a leotard in front of a white wallpaper. And that is deemed THE BEST VIDEO OF ALL TIME. I think I'm growing bitter so I better stop.
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Michael Jackson dying makes me feel old. And my local version of MTV is terrible. When BBC News shows more music videos than "Music Television" things are messed up.


Jun. 23rd, 2009 01:47 pm
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I have a twitter now. The experience actually not as crappy as I thought it would be.

I also managed to watch the first two episodes of True Blood and have come to the conclusion that they are making this show solely for the lulz. Seriously, when you present your most attractive, serious and scary character in hair tin foils, you are not doing it for the drama, the art or anything. It's about the lulz.

The good news is that this might make this show much more coherent. If every storyline aims for hilarity, it might be a better tv show for it.
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Anyway, I've been watching True Blood recently and I don't know why. I saw the first pilot way back then when it got leaked and hated it. I think my problem with was three-fold: one was that I expected better from Alan Ball, two: that it was genre-mix of melodrama and low-brow comedy which didn't work out at all and three: shitty cinematography.

I started to watch episode four and was pleasantly surprised by the opening credits. They're truly awesome and made by the same company who pretty much made a lot of memorable opening credits in the last decade: Digital Kitchen. (They made Dexter's and Six Feet Under, Rescue Me and House.) They even have an outtakes version up on their site which is interesting to say the least.)

The opening credits went a long of reconciling me with the still bad cinemetography, I went in there with lowered expectations so the "I expected better from Alan Ball" thing was gone and the third the show solved itself.

It's a genre-mix of absolutely not mixable genre but they are used separately. Basically this show has three leading character, each of whom gets their own storyline and their own genre. Sookie gets the corner on the supernatural melodrama, Jason gets the low-brow sex comedy and Tara gets the semi-realistic human drama. So basically you're watching three different shows instead of one. It's bizarre but it actually works. Possibly because it makes it very easy to ignore the parts of the show that don't work all that well, simply because they're reduced to one storyline (*coughJason'scough*.)

How long you can watch a show where one third of the show doesn't work at all for you is of course a whole other can of worms. And the problem is that it's not Jason's storyline which annoys 100 percent of the time, Sookie's can be as annoying half the time. I guess I'll see where this show is going and then decide what to think of it.
para1: (rocket man)
I've been watching the season premiere of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles despite never having seen more of it than the original pilot. But then they casted Shirley Manson, the Scottish red-haired singer of Garbage, in the most random bit of TV casting since... well, Stephen W. Hawking playing himself in that episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Things I liked: Explosions. Summer Glau. Shirley Manson being creepy and using that Scottish accent.

Things I loved: This cover of Samson and Delilah they used for the opening scene. I guess casting a professional singer has its perks when you need a song tailor-made for a scene.
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