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the island of conclusions

Watching the detectives

the island of conclusions

bright star

Watching the detectives

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I have watched too much TV in the past week, y'all. This really can’t go on. But, since I did, I might as well give you a brief report:

I have already shared my rant thoughts about Downton Abbey 2x03. Kudos to Julian Fellowes for pinpointing the exact moment in history when it became impossible to sympathize with the British ruling class (Evelyn Waugh notwithstanding).

But I also watched Merlin 4x01, which I loved with an unembarrassed love.

More knights make everything more fun. Arthur being kingly has always turned me to mush, and this episode was wall-to-wall kingly!Arthur. In fact, I watched the episode twice (once by myself, once with the boys), and the second time through I decided they’d done a much needed-reboot on Arthur—or rather decided to start showcasing good qualities he’s always had (filial devotion, being not just brave but a good leader of men, utter devotion to his kingdom) and added a touching ability to admit weakness (panic-attack!Arthur ftw). The fact the Bradley James seems to be maturing into even greater loveliness doesn’t hurt.

And, even though they haven’t gotten past the “Arthur finds out” hurdle, it does seem to help to have Lancelot around knowing about Merlin’s magic—evens things out, as it were. I am so looking forward to next week, b/c no show brings the whump like Merlin.

The boys and I watched Hawaii Five-O 2x03 last night. Many people have already detailed the problems with the episode, so I’ll spare you. It seemed to me mostly a mess—like the writers couldn’t figure out how to make this new team configuration work.

Also, bitter!Kono ripped my heart out. Though I have to say that bitter!Kono was rocking the tight black dress and motorcycle boots combo like nobody’s business. I assume it will be revealed why all this is going on. But hopefully not before she gets a chance to kick Steve in the nuts with the aforementioned boots for being such an ass.

The boys enjoyed it. They liked the skydiving, though we agreed that this would be something not to try at home.

And two new shows, b/c 2011 seems to be the year of creepy stalkers as heroes. Both shows are obsessed, in an classically Foucauldian way, with the way in which the sheer quantity of information we are able to gather about other people only makes us that much more anxious about the things we can’t know—the people who live, and the things that go on, off the grid and under the radar and behind locked doors.

I’ve now watched two episodes of Person of Interest, and the second (1x02) is much better than the first. Jim Cavaziel and Michael Emerson even managed some chilly, lizard-voiced banter with each other, and I approve of the show’s penchant for rendering Cavaziel bloody and battered in an early scene and leaving him that way through the rest of the episode. I actually found the plot pretty interesting and coherent, and I think with just a little more character development the show could spawn some fic. It would be great for xovers with other shows set in NYC. What if the machine spat out Elizabeth Burke’s social security number? Mike Ross’s? What would they make of Reese lumbering around in the shadows.

I watched the first episode of Showtime’s Homeland, and, really, this is the best of the lot. It has a kind of Old Spice cast (“take a look at your cast”—“now look at our cast”—“now look back at your cast”)--Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Morena Baccarin, Mandy Patinkin)--and a creepy Manchurian Candidate style plot: Lewis is a POW who’s found in Iraq after eight years of captivity; Danes is the CIA analyst who thinks he’s been turned; Baccarin is his wife and Patinkin is her mentor.

It’s all genuinely disturbing. I don’t usually warn about triggers, but you should know the first hour has graphic (naked) torture scenes; voyeurism (since this is Showtime, Danes’s Carrie doesn’t just clone cell phones like the guy in PoI, she illegally wires Lewis’s Brody’s house and watches him and his wife have particularly brutal sex; and mental illness (pace Chekhov, it seems pretty certain that if a character diligently pops Clozapine in the pilot, we are guaranteed either a manic episode or psychotic break somewhere down the line).

Still, the acting and writing are excellent, and I will certainly keep up with this one.

Still listening to Regeneration, and it is just as unrelentingly poignant as I remember. It’s been twenty years since I first read it, and I am now much closer in age to Rivers, the psychiatrist, than I am to the young soldiers he treats, and that has made a re-listen really interesting. It’s also made me want to read other novels that take psychiatrists/psychologists as their protagonists—any suggestions?
  • I haven't seen a couple of episodes of S2 of Merlin, from S3 I've seen only the episodes related to the nights, but I've seen the first episode of S4 and I'll keep watching <3 Gwaine and Percival were so amazing in this episode! :D

    And I still don't now if I should make an Percival icon, Gwaine icon or Leon icon *lol*
    • S2 and S3 were very hit or miss--but the last two episodes of S3 were wonderful (w/ lots of knights) and hopefully that will carry on now to S4.

      Percival was surprisingly tasty in this episode, I thought :)
      • I hope so, too <3 So far I'm optimistic. And I wonder what will happen in the next episode...

        Oh yes, he was :D
  • I think Lancelot knowing about Merlin's magic definitely brings something that was very much needed to the show. It's nice to watch him show off and joke about it without fear of horrible death.

    Jim Cavaziel and Michael Emerson even managed some chilly, lizard-voiced banter with each other

    Lol, I'm actually enjoying it, their creepy banter is fun.

    The cast of Homeland is amazing, but the premise just doesn't interest me at all.
    • I completely agree! It was so nice to see Merlin being kind of playful with his magic -- I even started shipping Lancelot/Merlin a little.

      I totally enjoyed that episode of PoI--I like the tension between how much they could find out and the fact that that girl had spent 2 yrs completely off the grid (kinda like Finch and Reese, themselves). The little bit of character development we got was good, and they have a cooler-than-normal-body-temperature chemistry that is pretty fun.

      I hear you about Homeland--there are plenty of shows people love that I just can't get into for that reason...This one grabs me, though--and it makes good use of Danes's nerviness and Lewis's opaque doughiness.

      Edited at 2011-10-05 07:22 pm (UTC)
  • (no subject) -
    • I have read The Alienist --not since it came out, though, so it must be about 15 yrs. ago? I remember really enjoying it--but I'd forgotten that an "alienist" was an early term for forensic psychologist. Thank you! I shall put it on the list (though it looks like I'll have to read it in print!)
  • Those two shows sound interesting (Jim Caviezel whump you say? mmmh *strokes goatee*), and the premise for Homeland sounds really, really fascinating, though I'm a little afraid of checking it out only to find that the writers and the producers are interested in the opposite of what I would be *makes note to watch if finds time*.

    Oh, Arthur being kingly is really, really good. Perhaps now that we have the Knights they can fill in the 'prat' quota and leave him more time to be good and noble? XD
    • Person of Interest seems to be getting better--and if you like Jim Caviezel you're already halfway there (I don't, but he's growing on me).

      Homeland is intense in not entirely comfortable ways--but so far the politics aren't that bad--everybody is kind of fucked up and cynical. At one point the Claire Danes character is picking up her one-night stand of the evening in a D.C. bar (because that's the way she rolls) and she asks him,

      "What would you say if I told you I'd just betrayed my best friend in the world?"

      and he says, "I'd say you're far from alone in this town."

      so its overriding tone seems to be desperation and cynicism.

      I feel that we are really due for some kingly-yet-self-aware!Arthur! *crosses fingers*

      Edited at 2011-10-05 07:36 pm (UTC)
  • I am totally giddy over Merlin. I cannot wait for the next episode - they really know how to keep their audience on the edge of the seat.
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