chani: (Default)
I'm still catching up with my tv shows.

After watching tthe finale of The Good Wife, I was left with the feeling that the show's best days are definitely behind us and I might drop it next season...*sigh*

As for Doctor Who, I'm usually a fan of Moffat's writing but I wasn't as excited by "The Name of the Doctor" as others were, even though I enjoyed the word-based twists it had, from beginning (when the characters misunderstood a certain message) to ending (when the viewers realised that the title of the episode didn't mean what they were led to believe it meant). I don't know, maybe you have to be British and to have grown up with the old DW series and the whole DW mythology to fully enjoy it.

I'm also all caught up with Mad Men. After a few strong episodes, "Crash" looked all over the place and poorly executed. It is as if the show itself has become the epitome of advertising: selling crap or poor quality stuff, either wrapped in an apparently good-looking package or sold thanks to a weird ad that is supposed to be the top of originality. But a good pitch, or good ideas on papers, or mere eccentricity don't necessarily make a good episode.
Besides the show often lacks subtlety, and sometimes the obvious is just so obvious (as Ruppert Giles would say "I believe the subtext here is rapidly becoming, uh, text"!) to the point that it seems that the writers are just lazy and taking the viewers for granted, ready to buy anything they would sell.
Now, writing this, I wonder whether Weiner and Co weren't simply making a meta episode about themselves and the process of writing Mad Men! Of course, Don Draper is Matthew Weiner. BTW I second everything that Alan Sepinwall wrote on the episode.


So far, The Borgias is actually the tv show that is giving me the most satisfaction, especially "The Banquet of Chestnuts" that I have just watched and which was excellent. Jeremy Irons is simply magnificent, the supporting cast is good with memorable characters (Caterina Sforza!), the photography is often fabulous, the writing is clever, and I totally want to steal Lucrezia's earrings!

The series is, in my opinion, much better than Game of Thrones, no matter some historical inaccuracies (or rather the liberties it takes when it comes to historical accuracy and that I tolerate in the name of poetical licence!).

I find the latter entertaining at times, for sure,  -- and definitely better than the books it is based on (I read the first four books on kindle and the writing turned me off)--, mostly thanks to a few characters and the actors who play them (Tyron, Jaime, Brienne, Margaery, Stannis...), but there's a problem of structure, focus and pace that has been there from the beginning and has not been fixed. Besides I often find the Wall/Jon Snow stuff boring while it's obviously there for the long run...It's probably the most overrated tv show of the moment, along with Homeland.

I miss Justified, its terrific dialogues, unforgettable characters and handsome hero.

Now bring me Copper and Longmire! While waiting for the best of all to come, for its final and most-expected eight episodes....



chani: (Deawood Sol Star)
Soylent Green is on ARTE. It's been years since the last time I saw it, and I'm too tired to mark papers, so I'm watching it. Kinda fitting for a pseudo End of the World's Eve!

And suddenly I realise that some of my favourite fictional characters are named Sol (or Saul), or rather that a character whose name is Sol is usually a terrific character.

In Soylent Green the old librarian who works with Charlton Heston's character is named Sol Roth.

And of course there's my beloved Sol Star in Deadwood, and there's Saul Tigh in Battlestar Galactica, a character whom I came to love throughout the series, and lately one of the most redeeming qualities in Homeland has been Saul Berenson whose scenes are always terrific!*

I wonder whether writers deliberately use that name as a lucky charm.

Anyway, one day to go, and I'll be on (very much needed) holidays.Now back to Soylent Green in which Charlton Heston just fucked "the furniture"...

*ETA: And Of course Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad! "Better Call Saul!" must be a Hollywood motto for writers actually.

chani: (Default)
I have finished Alan Sepinwall's book and shall review it some day...when I'm on holidays, next week.

In the meantime, I nicked this 2012 TV Fandom meme from falafel_musing

Read more... )
chani: (Default)
First off, a very happy birthday to [personal profile] gillo !

Also, it's getting cold, although we're still above 0° C in Paris and haven't had snow yet. I'm better than last week. Antibiocs seem to have worked, triggering something that looks a little bit like an exorcism actually, as I've had a running nose since Sunday. The devil sickness is leaving my body.

Work is hectic and when I have a couple of spare hours I try to catch up on my thesis so my Internet life suffers.

I still managed to squeeze some streaming time, here and there in Marking Hell, to watch my tv shows:

TWD mid season's finale was okay (flawed yet "entertaining" enough to turn a blind eye on the plot holes) but really frustrating when it comes to a certain character who reminds me of The First Slayer!

Dexter is awful again, writing wise, with no redeeming qualities anymore...Read more... )

I think that The Good Wife has jumped the shark and Homeland is very close to do so. *sigh*

But Boardwalk Empire remains. The show provided a satisfying season's finale, both for the mind and the heart. Nothing really surprising but everything really well done. By the way, there's an excellent review by Noel Murray on the AV Club.

Read more... )
I now have read the chapters about OZ, The Wire and Deadwood in Sepinwall's book (I skipped the one about The Sopranos which I have never watched!).

chani: (Default)
It is an old question in art and literature. Are we what we think we are or are we being fooled and actually living a farce?

Do we really exist just because we are aware of our own existence? Are we sentient beings or the figments of someone else's imagination?

My favourite author, Jorge Luis Borges, once wrote a short story that deals with the issue. The title is "Las Ruinas Circulares" and if you don't know it you can read it online in English HERE.

I remember an old episode from The Twilight Zone in which the characters thought they were real but turned out to be toys "living" within a dollhouse. Not "real people" but the playthings of a giant and merciless child-god.

Borrowing a lot from previous films but also from books, especially Lewis Carroll's wonderful Alice In Wonderland, The Matrix told us that although people think they are living they might be asleep and used as batteries while the world they think they live in is a mere simulation generated by machines. The illusion is perfect, except for a few déjà-vu moments that give away glitches.

Battlestar Galactica, the miniseries, started with a Six asking a human "are you real?" and later Caprica showed us that there are many ways of being real, including the one in the V-world or in the game New Caprica City when you put the holoband on.

And now, a scientist, a NASA guy, is about to release a book based on the idea that we might be living in a simulated world that some future person would have built thanks to future super-computers...out of boredom. Interview with Rich Terrile, here. In the end, he says:

"And our simulated beings could also create simulations. What I find intriguing is, if there is a creator, and there will be a creator in the future and it will be us, this also means if there’s a creator for our world, here, it’s also us. This means we are both God and servants of God, and that we made it all. What I find inspiring is that, even if we are in a simulation or many orders of magnitude down in levels of simulation, somewhere along the line something escaped the primordial ooze to become us and to result in simulations that made us. And that’s cool."

Borges, who was blind and a poet, saw it all, before science men even started dreaming of it.

chani: (Deadwood)
Don't tell me flist that I am the only one watching Copper?

It isn't a great show yet, and it certainly isn't Deadwood but a cop show taking place in New York, just before the end of the Civil War, is a refreshing idea and the hero does have potential. And he is in a hat!

Spoilers beneath the cut )
chani: (medieval demons)
...which makes even sadder the fact that so many good shows, or potentially great shows, got cancelled after one season.

There are exceptions of course, and unfortunately The Killing is one of them, although I didn't have great expectations for this second season. But the less said about that, the better.

On the contrary, The Borgias has gotten really better this season, especially since last week ("The beautiful desception" was easily the best episode of the series so far).

Anyway, Jeremy Iron's Rodrigo is a treat even when the writing is so-so. The character is great, the performance is excellent and the man is more attractive than ever. Irons has always been a handsome man but age has given him the charm and the warmth that he lacked when he was in his 30's (inThe French Lieutenant's Woman for instance) .

And, as I said, on twitter, his voice could be sold in the sex toys department of a store! It's a voice that seems to command thunder, to own caves and hidden places, to sneak in every crack, and that vibrato...rowrrrr

What? You expected an analysis of the show?

Update

Apr. 3rd, 2012 06:33 pm
chani: (Default)
Looks like nobody had something to say on the death and The Wire entry, that or very few from my readership (if I still have one) have seen the series (which is a shame) and some of those who have seen The Wire were too busy with RL to spend time on LJ (I know for a fact some are), and others prefer not leave comment on my journal for various reasons.

Well, it happens.

Over the years I have come to realize that people read but don't necessarily comment – which is okay per se (I don't leave comments on every post I read myself), but weird and a bit rude, in my opinion, when they mention your post on their own journal, or, which is worse, when they don't mention your entry but past and copy your meme including your own answers –, but the fun part of the Internet is the interactions it provides, so it gets really lonely and cold when posts remain sans comment. That's the reason I've always favoured boards over private journals.

So what did happen since that last post?

I have worked a lot, but I also found the time to watch some tv and to go to the hairdresser.

On the tv front:

I liked the last episode of FRINGE much more than the previous one (but I kinda disliked the previous one), Read more... )

I also watched the first two episodes of the second season of Game of Thrones (yes second episode has leaked and is online too), which I found entertaining, probably more than last year but that's it. I'm still unimpressed by the writing, but as I said last year, this isn't an original creation, they have to follow the story in the books first and foremost while building a fantasy world, so I guess it leaves the writers less room for ground-breaking or even clever writing. This isn't obviously what they are after.

Read more... )

As for my current favourite show, I know that I haven't reviewed Justified last week while there's a new episode tonight! I feel bad. There would be so much to say, as usual.I'll try to write something on both episodes tomorrow.

On the hair front. After 18 months of shoulder-length hair, I'm back to sporting my hair very short. I feel so light!

ETA: Oops I forgot to mention that I also watched Mad Men ! That omission says a lot, doesn't it?

chani: (Danse macabre)
Several posts from my flist make me think of death lately, more precisely fictional deaths and how death is pictured on screen or which "kinds of death" work the most. In RL I'm rather terrified by death, but in fiction I rather "dig it". It's probably the Greek in me that loves tragedy, or perhaps it's the mediaevalist who tends to see works of fiction as artes moriendi.

Anyway, I wanted to make a post on death in series from my tv Pantheon, but I'd rather make several entries in order not to spoil anyone for some people might have not seen certain series yet. I thought about that last night when it was so hot that I couldn't sleep...

I won't write an essay on death for each show – I don't have the time to do that – but I will try to categorize some memorable deaths in six great tv shows(BtVS, BSG, OZ, The Wire, Deadwood and Breaking Bad), that in my humble opinion are the best tv shows ever. There are many other shows that I love dearly, but those six really are the first class series. Also the categories may change for the shows in questions are very different(I haven't begun to think of what I will pick for OZ!), but I'll try to keep some constant themes.


Let's start by the series whose creator is known for killing many characters (yet when I thought about it, I realised he didn't kill that many regular characters compared to others...), that is Buffy The Vampire Slayer. And I mean the tv show as the comics don't exist in my book.

Read more... )

If you think of other categories, feel free to add your own.

chani: (Default)
I've always loved Tom Selleck and I can't wait for the next Jesse Stone movies (in May 20, I believe) but Blue Bloods is not for me...I gave it a try, for Tom, but it's just another cop show and the writing is quite poor, so I kept flipping the channels to ARTE to watch Danish series, Borgen, that is actually very good.

Borgen is a series about politics--  a bit like State of Play meets The West Wing-- with the lead being a (rather young) woman, from the Centre, who becomes Prime Minister of Danemak. It is well written, well directed and filled with actors who look like familiar faces : so far we've got a journalist who looks like Billie Piper, a spin doctor who looks like a mix of young Kenneth Brannagh and Joshua Jackson, and the villain who started as leader of the Labour party (the staff behind the show doesn't seem to like the left wing), and kinda looks like Eric Stoltz!

And I'm still trying to figure out who the journalist' boss looks like, because his face is familiar too...

Funnily enough, in the second episode of Borgen tonight (episode4 of season1), the plot involved Groenland, the CIA, and some State lie (or real potilik if you prefer)...and Madam Prime Minister (the actress playing Birgitte Nyborg sometimes looks like Laura Roslin from BSG!) eventually decided to reclaim Danish sovereignty over the American imperialism...

chani: (Default)
I'm out of Marking Hell... at least for a week!

On the downside, I have three term meetings (big moment for my three forms)on Thursday which means I won't make it to home until 8.30 pm at best.

On the tv front, The Good Wife was a bit disappointing this week.

Read more... )

Concerning Boardwalk Empire, I'm all caught up! I just need to watch last night's episode now. Totally unspoiled!

Read more... )

Telly news

Nov. 29th, 2011 11:56 am
chani: (justified)
JUSTIFIED retruns in January 17 !!!!

Until then, I have a few episodes of Boardwalk Empire left to watch. I have finished season 1 and already up to episode 4 in season 2. I really like the show.
Read more... )

On the other hand, Hell on Wheels is really becoming a bore (it was cartoonish and lacked depth but at least it was entertaining!). I kept yawning while watching the last episode and looking at the clock! I'm losing interest. The villain has been the highlight of the show until now but even Durant was boring in "Jamais je ne t'oublierai" and don't get me started about the other characters, or Super Pretty Cowboy. This is not Deadwood. Actually it's quite campy and cheesy. Not sure I will stick to it.

The Walking Dead is still poorly written but there's Daryl (you may have noticed that I like Daryl...) and the final scene of the latest episode (mid-season final I guess) was well excuted Read more... )

No library today for I'm in Marking Hell.

chani: (medieval demons)
After a great pilot with beautiful photography and good potential, the season 1 of The Walking Dead was flawed and the flaws obviously are still there this season. Actually, we are 5 episodes in and it's really becoming  a problem for this viewer.

Apart from a good final twist, two weeks ago, episodes mostly consist in nonesenses, boring conversations and unlikable characters (except Daryl) who make me roll my eyes and for whom I don't care to the point that I wouldn't blink if the zombies ate them all (but Daryl of course).

I'm getting annoyed by the fact that Rubicon was cancelled by AMC while this poorly written tv show is so popular. And don't get me start on the female characters that are the worse of the whole bunch. Why do they have to write women that way?

No really, I'm sorry if you enjoy it, flist -- I don't mean to offend anyone-- but The Walking Dead  is turning into a silly and cheesy show about stupid characters (except Daryl of course, but Daryl rocks), plots that are dragging on and often bordering on ridiculous or filled with lots of holes, and whose dialogues just suck.

Why do I keep watching again?

Ah, yes Daryl...

chani: (OZ)
I'm pretty sure I already did that meme years ago, but it's been a long time so here we go again, although it's more about the tv shows themselves than about the fandoms in the way I see it for I have never been that involved in fandoms (apart from the Buffy one in the old days):

Read more... )

chani: (justified)
Woohoo!!!!

Justified is getting Emmy recognition!

Nothing in the drama series category (very unfair given the list and, personally, I think that , for instance, GoT isn't that good,  Mad Men was uneven and Dexter wasn't half as good as Justified this year) but Timothy Olyphant has been nominated for the lead actor in drama series and Wolton Goggins for supporting actor and Margo Martindale for supporting actress!

I'm rooting for Timothy and Margo for sure (sorry Christine Baranski)but...I'm torn about the supporting actor category though, for I adore Alan Cumming in The Good Wife (I also love Josh Charles but this season didn't give Will Gardner much to do). And if I had to give Game of Thrones one Emmy it would go to Peter Dinklage.

It's quite open for the actors, given that my boys (Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul) can't compete this year but I can see Michael. J Fox winning for guest actor in The Good Wife and  Elisabeth Moss winning the Emmy for leading actress in Mad Men.

I guess that "The Suitcase" might also get an Emmy since it was easily the best Mad Men episode.



chani: (medieval demons)
The Shadow Line isn't perfect but the production is great, the cast fantastic and what an ambitious show! Kuddos to the beeb for taking the risk. It started as a thriller/cop show but turned out to be a study on morality, filled with religious subtext...very mediaeval actually.


The plot is an excuse but also a complex way to put the viewers  in Jonah's confused shoes. The first 30 minutes of episode 5 were terrific but I also enjoyed episode 6 very much. The truth is slowly being unveiled, yet we're still quite in the dark. And the episode has a shirtless Chiwetel Ejiofor!

Read more... )

Addendum: The music theme of the series is haunting me.



Recherche d'autres morceaux de Emily Barker sur Myspace Music

chani: (Default)
The Shadows line is getting better and better ! The series is quite addictive; only 3 episodes and I'm completely hooked.

Ejiofor and Ecclecston are both excellent, Lesley Sharp is heartbreaking (she's had a lot of tough parts lately! Is she specialised in playing damaged women now? Last time I saw her in a tv show she was a medium struggling with her visions), and Stephen Rea is great too.So many famlilar faces from BBC shows or British movies (it took me some time to realise that the actress playing Gabriel's partner was the blonde bimbo in Ken Loach's It's a Free World and the mother from Fish Tank!).

And Chiwetel stroking a purring cat and saying "I love you too" made me all "awwwwwwwwwww"...

chani: (Default)
Hawaii Five-0 is boring !!!!!!!!!!

Sure Daniel Dae Kim is still pretty but I keep yawning. Also I never realised that Grace Park was that tall, probably because most of her scenes on BSG were with Tahmoh Penikett ! Anyway it's a shame that such a good actress is on a show that hardly requires good acting...

That silly show makes me I miss Magnum  P.I. I need my Tom Selleck fix ! Two weeks before the next Jesse Stone movie!!!

As for my Internet shows, I enjoyed The Good Wife (could Eli be more adorable?!!!) and I loved the finale of Justified. A good ending for a fantastic second season.
Lots of things that happened weren't very surprising, but the series is that good that it doesn't matter, or rather it doesn't let you linger on second thought about it,  it makes you want to be fooled nonetheless, to believe in every scene's tension and thrill along, to embrace the adrenaline-pumping moments even though you should know that some things just can't happen and won't.

Read more... )

I truly adore that show for its characters and its great dialogues. It's going to be a long wait until season 3. These days nobody wears jeans and tee-shirts and denim jacket like Timothy Olyphant! It's like he's invented a new sort of machismo. And Boyd is a new Spike, sort of, the big romantic figure of the show.

Fortunately I have mind-blowing Deadwood to watch (in which Olyphant was quite skinny), and I'll have Breaking Bad during the Summer.

As for the FRINGE finale, it was enjoyable but uneven and I'm worried about season 4. The show surely can provide more brilliant stand-alone episodes but it doesn't always master the twists it comes up with and here it created many problems to itself, so I'm afraid it's going to screw up its own mythology the same way it happened with LOST.

chani: (medieval demon)
When The Good Wife is really good it's very entertaining, like yesterday's episode, "Wrongful termination".

Read more... )

Soooo

May. 12th, 2007 08:54 pm
chani: (Default)
I've seen the three last episodes of State of Play, the finale of Life on Mars and the latest Lost !





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