Today was a good day. I knew I picked a good person to fangirl.

I started S2 of The Wire today. I'm two episodes in, and thus far, it feels much more sluggish than season one. The big bad isn't as compelling as the machinations of the Barksdale crew, and the feud over a stained-glass window is so petty as to strain credulity even as the pessimist in me acknowledges its sad possibility. I don't care about Ziggy, and the entire atmosphere strikes me as Sopranos lite.

I do like the fact that McNulty is still managing to piss in Rawls' Cheerios even from the harbor patrol, and I'm interested to see what's happening with D'Angelo Barksdale, doing his stretch in the state pen. He's clearly on coke, and that will doubtless have repercussions down the line. Where is Omar(my money's on McNulty's house), and what happened to the Gant evidence? I want to see Bubbles again, too. Still, it's an amazing show, with excellent, realistic writing, realized characters, and superlative acting. What a treat to see, and because I'm so late to this party, I don't have wait to see how it all turns out.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Feb. 19th, 2017 06:57 pm)
Last night was a carnival of suck in which I had a minor panic attack. This one featured heroic ass cramps, the sweats, back pain, and clammy hands. Whee! I can't pinpoint a cause, but I suspect it's rooted in the swirling vortex of incompetence and uncertainty generated by the Trump regime. It's hard to feel safe when your President declares the press an enemy of the people and holds multi-million-dollar rallies to feed his gargantuan ego.

Roomie and I are watching Clone Wars. This nominal kids' show fleshed out and humanized Anakin and the greater Stars Wars universe far better than the craptabulous prequels. I actually feel sorry for him even though I know how he ends up, and I'm on tenterhooks to see how the inevitable downfall plays out. If the embarrassing, cash-grabbing, shoddy prequels had been created with this much forethought and attention to detail, they might have converted me into a bona fide Star Wars fan.

I wouldn't mind if someone throttled Jar-Jar Binks, though.
My country is stirring. The leviathan has not awoken, but it is twitching. The USDA, NASA, and the National Park Service defy President Trump with statements and rogue Twitter accounts, and scientists plan marches in defense of knowledge. Resistance lives. Not everyone has surrendered. There is hope.

I watched more Tales From the Darkside today. Most of the episodes were terrible, but the godawful '80s fashion and decor are a hoot. "The Madness Room" had a decent premise, but it was ruined by the ham-fisted acting. Was such overwrought, demonstrative bellowing considered top-notch back then? Maybe it's just this show, because I don't remember Dynasty or The Golden Girls being so cack-handed.

"Grandma's Last Wish" was my favorite episode of the disc. What's not to love about a grandma getting revenge on the family trying to shove her into the nursing home by wishing for them to know what it's like to be old? The makeup was atrocious, but I enjoyed Grandma's moment of triumph.

"False Prophet" was an embarrassment. I have no clue how such a turd made it out of the brainstorming phase.
It's a bummer that Karl Urban has fallen silent on Twitter. His silly, happy posts were a ray of sunshine. Maybe he's working or spending time with loved ones, or maybe social media has lost its charm after a few tangles with Trumplodytes. Whatever the case may be, I hope he hasn't given it up entirely.

I also hope he announces a few cons this year.

I watched another disc of Tales From the Darkside last night. It was hit-or-miss. "A Case of the Stubborns" was a campy, fun, gross romp featuring a young Brent Spiner and Christian Slater, and "Anniversary Dinner" was about a kindly old couple who aren't what they seem. The ending shot confused me, though. I'm not sure if the skulls in the cabinet were meant to come to life and join the feast, or if it was meant to show their previous victims.

The rest were mediocre, okay but forgettable. Except for "Answer Me", which was an overwrought travesty about...a murderous phone. I pitied the poor actress, who had to narrate her way through this shrill farce(she quite literally says things like, "I can't believe I'm going to the bathroom.")in a cultured English accent that would be at home in London's West End. As she mutters and rants her way through the scenes, a paranoid, petulant harridan berating nieces and hapless building supers who don't have a miracle solution for a ringing telephone in a vacant apartment, one feels not dread of the supernatural didoes in the room next door, but sympathy for her friends and relatives and a sneaking suspicion that she's quite unhinged.

But nope. Evil, homicidal Bakelite telephone. Which she threatens to beat to death with her bare hands. Phone: 1, Nutbar: 0, and the dumbest twenty minutes of television I've watched in a long time.

I also watched Kubo and the Two Strings. What a bittersweet, hopeful movie. It's such a shame it made no money, because it was clearly made with such love and attention to detail. For all the Internet squawks that the world hungers for more diversity and inclusion, something different from the same tired pandering to Anglo-Saxon culture, the box office returns tell a sadly different story.
And so a new year begins. Hang on, fingers and toes. That's all anyone can do. Hang on and help each other.

A piece of siding blew off our house last night, so the neighbor came down this morning to fix it. Just in time, too, because it's scheduled to rain today and tomorrow.

I watched some Tales From the Darkside last night. For those unfamiliar with this trove of '80s spookery, it was Tales From the Crypt for network TV. Man, do the effects seem dated now, but I'm sure they were top-notch back then. Most of the episodes so far have been hokey and full of clunky moralizing and trite social commentary about the alienation of modern society(this was in 1984, mind), and if you want a laugh, have a gander at "Mookie and Pookie", a tale of the wondrous potential of some newfangled technology called computers. Looking at those boxy antiques and listening to the characters rhapsodize over their incredible power was quaintly hilarious. If only they could see what those machines would achieve a scant thirty-two years later.

"Slippage" was a tedious, preachy snorefest about alienation.

Some were pretty good, though. "Trick or Treat" was hokey, but the avenging witch was surprisingly effective, and I was glad to see the nasty, pettily cruel old Mr. Hackles get his comeuppance.

The crown jewel of Disc One, however, was the final episode, entitled, "In the Closet." An innocent young grad student takes a room on the third floor of a veterinary professor, Dr. Frenner. It's not long before she hears what she thinks is a rat skittering inside the closet the doctor swears can't be opened. Alas, it's not a rat, but something so much worse.

I'm reading Mariel of Redwall. It's Redwall #4, and while fun, a certain sameness is beginning to emerge. The abbey is always assailed by marauding baddies, and there is always a lone and unlikely hero joined by a band of stalwart friends on an epic quest. We'll see how far into the series I can get before boredom sets in.
Am I, a disabled woman who has been routinely discriminated against, ridiculed, feared as a terrifying, uncomfortable Other, and isolated in all facets of life, but especially in dating and friendship, supposed to sympathize Stahl for the plight of perfection? Go fuck yourself, AH writers. Forgive me if I do not weep for someone who will never get a disease or die of anything but old age unless she's killed in the line of duty. I don't give a spastic rat's ass about how hard it is to be a gorgeous, healthy genius.

Now, if they had taken the tack that Stahl resented her parents for being unwilling to accept who she might have been had they left her to chance, I'd've been all over it, but nope. Just a whole infodump of how perfect she is.

I loved the rest of the episode, though. The case was solid and well-paced, and everyone, including the perpetrator, was sympathetic. I can't help but wonder if things might've turned out had John said he'd never been loved instead. I think the thought crossed his mind, but in the end, such an admission was too painful.

And poor John. He made his move too late and was left floundering and alone. We're supposed to be loved, indeed.
American Slobbery Is Setting In )

Separately, these clothes might've been chic and attractive. Together and rumpled, they're...unfortunate. The man needs someone to iron his clothes.

Almost Human 109: Unbound--SPOILERS )
One thousand one hundred and ninety-seven words today. Three thousand nine hundred and two words for week. Make like Dory and just keep writing, just keep writing.

CSI: Episode Bullshit--HAHAHA )
One thousand two hundred and eighty-three words today.

Sleepy Hollow Season Finale--Minor SPOILERS )

I love this show.

If you're looking for more creepypastas, MrCreepyPasta on Youtube might fit the bill. His narration is unpolished and sometimes intrusive, but there are many stories I haven't read before. As a hobbyist writer, I can often suss out the twists before they happen, but that's a cheerful hazard of the genre and of being well-read, and it's still fun to watch the writer get there.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jan. 16th, 2014 11:43 pm)
One thousand and forty-two words for the week. There's a pathetic total.

I started watching MI-5 on Youtube. Wow. The portrayal of a genteel Southern anti-abortion nutjob in the pilot was lolarious(the accent was hideously exaggerated), but the rest of the show is top-notch. I love Tom and Danny and Zoe and the drily-grumpy director, and the tension is downright artful. I would buy it on DVD, but my to-watch pile is already embarrassing. If anyone is looking for a good spy show, give it a watch.
laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)
( Jan. 15th, 2014 04:17 am)
Duolingo has shit the bed for the moment and--temporarily, at least--wiped out my streak stats and skill points for the week. Boo. In other irritating news, my copy of Out of the Blue from a usually reliable seller arrived scratched to hell. I'm not sure it'll play. I'll test it tomorrow. If it won't, I'll have to buy it elsewhere. Roomie was indignant on my behalf when he saw the damage this morning. Feh.

In better news, Almost Human's ratings have begun to climb, which could bode well for a second season. Of course, Fox has immediately undermined this welcome momentum by putting it on hiatus for three weeks. They wouldn't want a show in which they've invested millions to succeed, now, would they? It's not a great show; in fact, the writing can be incredibly lazy, but it has potential. It also has a disabled character on TV, even if they handwave most of the challenges his disability would naturally present. Yes, even in 2048, being a high-level amputee would present a challenge. Bionic legs don't fix everything. And Karl Urban is hot. Stupidly hot. And I want more Dorian, and an exploration of mech rights or lack thereof, because they're clearly more sentient than the humans realize. I wouldn't care if Stahl were mown down by a city bus tomorrow, though. She the designated love interest, period, and though we're told she's smart, tough, and competent, I've never actually seen it. I have, however, seen her conflating empathy with a case of embarrassing and terribly inconvenient gas.

Sleepy Hollow--Minor SPOILERS )
watch juice be the last man standing, alongside unser who will be in stage 74 of his cancer, in the final episode.</>

~snort~ And from the Internet, a nugget of truth.
I'm resigned to the fact that Almost Human is set on a Kennex/Stahl pairing(and I am equally determined to write my way around it), but I wish they weren't so cack-handed about it. They've spent three minutes of screen time together and have had no meaningful interaction beyond Stahl dutifully manning dispatch, and yet everyone from Dorian to drippy psychics to psychotic clones who have never seen them together is convinced that she's his One Twu Wub, fuck the long-term girlfriend who betrayed him and for whom he pined for roughly thirty seconds in the pilot; he's in love with someone with whom he's barely spoken. Because...because hot. And BOOBS. Or something. I feel like I'm missing a huge chunk of context. Have they been on dates we didn't see? Were they close before his injury? What have they done to earn this intimacy in which the show so ardently wants us to believe? The writers are doing a lot of telling with very little showing to back it up. It's lazy and stupid.

If it weren't for the endearing Dorian and his chemistry with Kennex, I'd've ditched this show last week, because It's obvious they have no interest in delivering anything they promised in the pilot.

Still hot.

The new DVD player has proven to be a little powerhouse. Thanks to it, we've managed to watch several DVDs the Xbox wouldn't play, including the last episode of Breaking Bad S1. Damn, but Skyler and Marie are shrill and annoying. They're paying hundred of thousands of dollars for top-rated cancer treatment that Skyler wanted, and Skyler decides to get all butthurt that the advanced cancer hasn't magically vanished overnight and starts carping about alternative treatments? Cancer is terrifying for everyone, and I realize she's pregnant, but really. Walt could use a little support, not more bills.
Slept late, then went out to eat, stopped off at the market to pick up salad fixings and a prepaid card for the garbage bill. Since coming home, I've futzed around on Duolingo. I'm retaking all the units on which I did not earn a perfect score and repeating them until I do. This is a frustrating strategy when you have to repeat the same unit nine times, but it's immensely satisfying to earn that shiny lingot, dammit.

I'm still watching Almost Human for the Karl Urban pretty and the easy, natural rapport between him and Michael Ealy, who is adorable as Dorian, but the plots are thin and as clumsily-constructed as a preschooler's papier-mache Mr. Potato head, with plot points jammed haphazardly into its lopsided, lumpy facade, while googly eyes roll and jiggle with dazed idiocy. In the most recent episode, Maldonado tells us that the Bends is a dangerous, new drug that has hit the streets in recent months, but she doesn't tell us why it's dangerous or what it does. She just sweeps in shortly after the narrative introduction of the drug to tell us that dozen of people have been carted to the hospital with overdoses and five have died. Well, okay. But this is future San Francisco and its swollen population, not Muncie, Indiana or Bogwater, Alabama. Five deaths by drug overdose should hardly prove surprising.

Later in the episode, Detective Stahl, who is really just a glorified dispatch officer and stats monkey, tells us that the Bishop, the EVIL mastermind behind this nefarious new drug, has burned through fourteen cooks in two years. Uh, I'm no Charlie Eppes, but two years>two months, and if this drug is so new, then how does the resident asshole detective know that no cook has ever made a batch purer than seventy percent? You would have to get your hands on several batches of the drug to determine that(and anyway, that's bunkum, because the batch the undercover cop brought to the warehouse was eighty-four percent pure).

I remember Karl Urban gushing over the supposed cleverness and freshness of the scripts, but I'm beginning to question his judgment. All I see is the same tired bullshit dressed in shiny, futuristic trappings. Episodes should not feel like baby's first fic, long on potential but far, far short on execution. I wanted to like it, because hey, a hot gimp on TV, but it's sloppy and lackluster, and I don't see it lasting more than this season.
Sons of Anarchy S5, Episodes 8-9--SPOILERS )

Maybe I've been spoiled by the HBO and Showtime dramas I've watched of late, but CSI and Criminal Minds were so insipid that I meandered off twenty minutes into both episodes. They were both such shameless, lazy filler with flimsy cases and indifferent acting, and in CSI's case, I gave not one single fuck about their girls' weekend gone wrong. Their purportedly close-knit, girlish banter in the locker room was godawful, and I have no idea how it passed muster into the final edit. "Look, we're friends, such good friends, let's have a getaway in Reno and get pampered and laid! Kewlies!" Gag.

With that final grump, I'm going to vegetate and get ready for Turkey Day tomorrow.


laguera25: Dug from UP! (Default)


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