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the island of conclusions

in which I am up to date with Game of Thrones but not sure why

the island of conclusions

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in which I am up to date with Game of Thrones but not sure why

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So, I have watched the first four episodes of season two of Game of Thrones and I have learned two things:

1. HBO likes boobs

2. Richard Madden somehow upped his hotness quotient greatly since season one. Or maybe everyone just looks hotter with a giant CGI wolf following them around.

I think that might be it for me, though. I don't entirely blame HBO. This is just the point--the rise of the Theon Greyjoy plot arc--at which I lost interest in the books. The gratuitous sour grimness perhaps? The increasing ratio of torture scenes? YMMV, obviously.

I am also up to date with Grimm, though I haven't posted on it for a while. I clicked on the Grimm tag on tumblr the other day, and was dismayed to find if not shipping wars, at least shipping skirmishes. I think you all know how I feel about that.



That I adore Rosalee, and love her chemistry with Monroe and would be very happy to see them together. And I've always loved Juliette.

I enjoyed the Sebastian Roche episode enormously, and hope we see more of Ian sometime. I don't usually like world conspiracy plots, but I love the idea of the two sides struggling over Nick and his Grimm powers, and Nick having to make his way through that moral minefield. I loved Monroe being his usual excellent egg self and telling Ian, "We're all equal, isn't that what we're fighting for." It's the Grimm ethos.

I'm not usually this self-indulgent, but I kinda want to write a soppy, h/c AU coda for the ep in which Ian is laid up a lot longer with his bullet wound and Monroe and Rosalee have to deal with it (and their feelings).



And I think I've mentioned how much I've been enjoying Awake? It's like someone turned Freud's essay on "Mourning and Melancholia" into a TV series.



It reminds me of Life on Mars more than something like Lost, because it features someone stuck in a world that seems real, but is also hyper-symbolic in a dream-like, id-like way (except that it doesn't feature anything as creepy as the little BBC girl--yet). I like the way Michael has to chew everything over with two shrinks (I particularly like B.D. Wong as the mean shrink, the kind of shrink who looks you in the face and says, "you know your marriage is in trouble, don't you?"). I like the episodes when Michael kind of starts to lose it best.

The only thing I don't much like is Hannah, the wife. Most of the characters (two shrinks, two partners, the police captain, the son) are well cast and quite well developed, but the wife has no particular attributes (we don't even know if she has a job) It kind of sucks that even a TV show that is willing to have strong, middle-aged female characters played by people like Laura Innes and Cherry Jones, still feels that someone like Jason Isaacs (who looks 49 and great) could only be married to someone who looks like Barbie--you have to think hard to imagine she's old enough to have a sixteen-year-old son.
  • 2. Richard Madden somehow upped his hotness quotient greatly since season one. Or maybe everyone just looks hotter with a giant CGI wolf following them around.

    We are TV brain twins. Dude and his wolf are badass. Also there is a bit of the King Arthur effect happening with Robb Stark. King of the North.

    I was still enjoying the show actually, but then I made the mistake of reading spoilers from the books and to be honest, I am not sure I want to keep going because the story seems to keep meandering in a way that does not seem promising. I am kinda sick of investing in shows that start out as one thing and then veer off in directions that I do not approve of.


    Edited at 2012-04-27 05:49 pm (UTC)
    • *brain twins fist bump*

      It is a kind of King Arthur effect, you're right. He was a little gaunt and gawky last season (and in Birdsong) but now he's kinda more manly. Or maybe it's the wolf.

      I don't know the plot past where I stopped reading about halfway through book two--but the meandering nature of it all certainly had something to do with me stopping. As did the fascination with the weird stuff that can come out of women's bodies, including breast milk. Your kinks are not my kinks, GRRM.
      • Yeah that smoke baby thing was gross. Reminded me of the demon smoke on Spn and I found myself thinking wrong hole dumbass.

        That whole thing with the tween kid still nursing was also deeply, deeply disturbing.

        I had wonder about child labour laws on that one. I'm usually pretty open minded when it comes to art but child actor was old enough to understand what was going on so I had to wonder how disturbing in must have been to play that scene and how his parents would allow him to do it. I dunno, it was really yuk to me.

        Edited at 2012-04-27 09:48 pm (UTC)
        • wrong hole dumbass.

          rotfl! so true! that and the delayed weening thing always strike me as, maybe not misogynistic, but gynophobic, in the sense of "eee, women's bodies can control us is even scarier ways than we thought, boys--run away!"--YMMV, of course.

          but, yeah, I don't know how that scene was explained to the child actor.
  • I've read all the (published) books of A Song of Ice and Fire several times over the years, and it doesn't matter how many times I read it, book 2 never really sticks in my mind very clearly. I think that it's because, more than any of the other books in the series so far, it's about war more than anything else, and that's really not my thing. The really important thing, for me, about book 2 is that it's "on the way to book 3" - because book 3 has a whole lot of climactic stuff that the first few books have been building towards: some truly jaw-dropping moments, including a bunch of amazing twists, several high points large and small, with several characters reaping what they've sown, and also one particular scene that is probably the saddest in the whole storyline. Anyway, as you can see, book 3 stands out in my memory in a way that book 2 just doesn't, which is why I am watching Game of Thrones, enjoying watching some bits (a lot) more than others, but REALLY hanging out to see what they do with season 3.
    • That's really interesting! (though I quite enjoy books about war, so I don't think that's what's getting to me. If it was all about the war I'd be fine. It's the Greyjoy family, and the torture and humiliation fetish that's putting me off.)

      Do you think if I watch S2, I could skip ahead and read the third book without finishing the second? Because of course I still want to find out what happens!
      • I think you could read book 3 fairly easily after watching Season 2, at least from what I've seen of it so far. They have left out a few subplots and minor characters, but nothing that has a great bearing on the broader plot. Mainly, in the book there are two sets of minor characters that don't appear in season 2 of the TV series. Most/all of these will be at least mentioned in book 3 so I'll mention them here:

        In the book, Robb's forces are headquartered at Riverrun, the seat of the Tullys, Cat's family, and her father, uncle and brother all feature. Also, Bran has a number of companions at Winterfell that turn up in book 2, in particular Jojen and Meera Reed, who are the children of one of Ned's bannermen who was also one of his companions during the fighting in Robert's Rebellion.

        Also, from a couple of very vague things the producers have said, I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of Jaime's storyline from book 3 is brought forward to season 2. He's a POV character in book 3, and, against all expectations, his POV turned out to be one of my favourites in the whole series.

        And as for book 3 itself, well, good things happen to bad characters, bad things happen to bad characters, bad things happen to good characters and even a few good things happen to good characters. There are scenes that made me cheer, scenes that made me ask "Did that really just happen??" and scenes that made me cry. And, as anyone who's seen Season 1 or read book 1 would know, NO ONE is safe. Never forget that. (I'm not sure whether that's an enthusiastic warning or an ominous rec. *g* I love this story for a lot of reasons, but it's terrible - in the proper sense - in places.)
  • The only thing I don't much like is Hannah, the wife. Most of the characters (two shrinks, two partners, the police captain, the son) are well cast and quite well developed, but the wife has no particular attributes (we don't even know if she has a job) It kind of sucks that even a TV show that is willing to have strong, middle-aged female characters played by people like Laura Innes and Cherry Jones, still feels that someone like Jason Isaacs (who looks 49 and great) could only be married to someone who looks like Barbie--you have to think hard to imagine she's old enough to have a sixteen-year-old son. You're far kinder than I am, though I'm pretty invested in Awake now. I love Isaacs, Wong, and Jones, but everyone else is either at "meh" or "NONONO" for me right now. The wife is by far the worst part of the show - she's always smiling without being medicated. Try to remember your kid died recently, lady! And the entirety of her appeal seems to be "look how hot she is!" (which I did not mean to say in a GOB Bluth voice, first of all, and which I don't actually agree with, in the second place). I wish they'd cast someone really interesting in that role - Vera Farmiga, Yvonne Strahovski (aged up), Rosario Dawson (same), Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchette, Gina Torres, Julianna Margulies. Not this vapid mess.
    • Yay! I'm so glad to find someone else who's watching it! (though I haven't seen last week's episode yet, because my SiL is visiting).

      I completely agree with your assessment of the wife. It would have been so much more interesting with someone not only a little older and more interesting looking, but someone a bit tougher, who you could imagine married to a homicide detective for years and who could give him a little pushback. I wonder if she's the figment of his imagination, and there's a more realistic looking wife somewhere.

      The son looks pretty vapid, too, but I think he's been given more to work with, and the kid has grown on me (aside from his creepy relationship to his tennis coach). The father-son relationship has enough tension and affection to seem reasonably realistic (and touching).

      nb: "Going to Oregon" seems to be code for "death"--so maybe Hannah is a gussied up version of the death drive.
      • Yeah, the son is no prize either, but at least he's appropriately moody and also a jackass in ways that seem convincing for a teenager. But the wife is . . . inexplicable. Though I guess if they write her as having an addiction to some kind of mood-stabilizing medication, that might be one plausible explanation. But I definitely don't see her as the wife of that man, or the mother of that son. I like your theory that Michael's imagining this idealized wife, except that it would disappoint me to have Michael be that shallow.

        I want to see how they get him out of going to Oregon, because clearly he has to stay put. I'm also hoping that this stupid sinister conspiracy has more going for it than simply being a means of producing X-Files shivers.
        • I've grown to like the son--or not him, exactly, but the relationship between him and Michael--it seems appropriately awkward and strained, but you can see them both yearning towards each other. And Michael often looks at him as if he can't believe he's alive not dead. The relationship with the wife doesn't seem to have even this TV-version of depth.

          Let me know what you think about what happens to the Oregon plot in last week's episode, when you see it. (there's a great throwaway scene of Rex waking his dad up in there, too).
  • up-to-date with Game of Thrones and I wonder why *sporfle* Kinda my exact reaction! After all that torture in the last episode, my exact thought was "why did I just watch that, exactly?" (and to think that I'm such a h/c junkie! Clearly women writers do it differently)

    Speaking of doing it differently, Grimm!!! Juliette is finally getting some serious development, and she's awesome! I was pleasantly surprised, I kinda gave up on the writers actually exploring her character, but fortunately I was wrong. And Rosalee/Monroe is delightful!

    But The Huge Conspiracy is leaving me rather meh... every time there's another "here's yet more mysterious stuff about Renart that's very mysterious and complicated" I roll my eyes and wait for them to get back to the bantering.
    • me too! the second time they brought out the rat, I almost fastforwarded through it, and I never do that. But, I mean, didn't we get the gist of the rat thing the first time through (which was twice as long as it needed to be in the first place)? Why show us again? And, yeah, we know Joffrey's a sadist, do we really need two extended scenes of him being sadistic?

      I dunno, I thought it was kind of an object lesson on the difference between h/c and prurient sadism, but that might just be me.

      ahem. Grimm really does do it differently, in its low-key way, doesn't it? I mean, I love Kono, but I feel like I might actually like to hang out with Juliette and Rosalee. I'm so glad they've been given more screen time/ character. (love the h/c in that show, btw).

      And yeah, I agree about Renard.
  • I do not understand shipping wars at all, but then again, I adore Rosalee with Munroe and Juliette with Nick.
    • shipping wars (especially of the anti-female character variety) make me want to run click away. But here I love both ladies, and love the pairings! sigh--this is why I can never get too deep into fandoms...
  • I've watched the four first episodes of Awake and I really like it. I like the twist on what could be a standard procedural show. I agree with you on the wife, but I think I remember in the first episode that they were talking about her leaving her job to start school again or something? I don't remember if they said exactly what her job was.
    • oh! that makes sense with later developments--I must have missed it.

      I'm so glad to find someone else who likes the show, though! It takes the standard procedural and makes everything so symbolic--which tickles me no end.
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