selenak: (Ship and Sea by Baranduin)

Know no shame )

Son of ETA: I so wish this show were viewed by more people in lj and dw-dom, because it occured to me that the reactions (as posted in comments to articles) to this latest episode are a sociological experiment in fandom, running. But it's impossible to discuss in an unspoilery way, so under an cut I go again.

You know the complaints about the media never doing a certain thing? )
selenak: (Skyler by next_to_normal)
More Yuletide. Incidentally, I haven't had the chance to watch either of the Christmas specials I want to watch yet - Doctor Who and Call The Midwife, that is - and might not get the chance until after New Year. Being with the family is tricky that way. But it does offer the occasional time to read! And thus, without further ado:

Recs for Breaking Bad, Dexter, Galaxy Quest, The Last Unicorn, Psycho, Robot Series by Isaac Asimov, Sarah Jane Adventures and Watership Down )
selenak: (Dork)
In haste, as this is a busy day:

1:) Can't watch Elementary or any other new tv until Sunday, perhaps even Monday, am trying my best to remain spoiler free.

2:) I hear Dexter ended in a way that makes me glad I quit watching ages ago. Alas. If only the show had wrapped up with the superb fourth season!

3:) Why is the rum gone?
selenak: (Breaking Bad by Wicked Signs)
Day 27 - Best pilot episode

Ah, pilot episodes. They have to introduce a new ensemble of characters, deliver enough of a good story to get you hooked with the promise of more to come, and are usually written without the writer knowing which actors will pay the parts, and whether or not the proposed series is actually going to get even one season, let alone several. I have some favourite shows with pilots that make me cringe when I revisit them, shows with pilots that I would never use to catch a newbie, where I in fact recommend the newbie in question should not watch the pilot until she or he has clocked a season or several and is already a fan. (Pilots that fall into this category include: the original B5 pilot The Gathering, which isn't even on the s1 dvds for a reason, the ST: TNG pilot *CRINGE TO THE MAX*.)

And then there are the good pilots: not as good as the shows are going to get later (and since shows improving are better than shows declining, that's a virtue), but already full of promise, doing an excellent job of intriguing you and introducing the cast. Some of the characterisation might not completely fit with the later shows because they're a work in progress, after all, and usually you can tell that the writing and the actors adjust to each other over the course of the first season and the characters might change somewhat accordingly. (For example: the Buffy The Vampire Slayer pilot does a good job of setting up the show, but there are continuity gaps if you go back to it after having actually watched the entire series and its spin-off: notably regarding Jesse, who gets introduced as Xander's and Willow's best friend who shared their childhood and adolescence and never gets mentioned again, but also with the Darla characterisation - not just the personality, but that she doesn't appear to know about Slayers - which is hard to reconcile with Darla as presented later. Or: Alias has a great pilot, certainly for my money the best of any J.J. Abrams show, Sydney's personality and her central dilemma are there from the get go, ditto for Jack Bristow, but you can tell Abrams hadn't yet worked out the length of the backstory between Arvin Sloane and the Bristows yet.)

...and every now and then, a pilot is so good that it does not only do its exposition delivering, audience wooing job but holds up when revisited years later even compared to the glories to come, not because the show never improved but because the characterisation was certain from the get go and some threads were developed so well that new details, suddenly looking like foreshawing, may emerge. Three of the best pilots that come immediately to mind for me are:

a) The one for Dexter: which had the considerable task of selling you on the "main character is a serial killer of serial killers" premise while also selling you on the fact his sister, girlfriend and workplace colleagues all are unaware of this without making them morons, deliver a solved case and set up the season long case to boot. It managed all of this, used the Miami location well, has lots of good acting and has no moment where in retrospect you think, okay, that doesn't fit with what we find out later. I may be critical of the show post s4, but that doesn't mean I don't still appreciate what it used to be, and that pilot is fantastic.

b) The one for Six Feet Under: meet the Fishers (and Brenda Chenowith). About the only thing that the show later ditched completely were the fake commercials for undertaker products. Otherwise, we get a great introduction to the cast here, the death of Nathaniel Sr. which kicks off the plot has repercussions throughout the show, and the tone in its mixture between drama and satire, tragedy and comedy, is right there from the start, too. And just when you think the show is doing the expected, there is a turnaround: I'm thinking of the funeral scene where Nate has his outburst about the fakeness of American funerals versus the reality of emotion (he brings up the Greek woman he once watched), which I had expected... and then David has his counter outburst about having been the one to deal with the corpse of their father (intimately) so Nate's lecture on how funerals are all about not admitting the reality of death and wanting to keep our hands clean suddenly looks incredibly naive. This, I had not expected. (Nate seemed so clearly set up as the hero of the show until this point, the one in tune with his emotions etc.) The thing is, the show makes you understand where both Fishers are coming from, and that keeps being true for its entire ensemble throughout the series.

c) The one for Breaking Bad. I rewatched it after having marathoned through the first four seasons and was amazed that it was in fact better than I remembered. So very well done, again, with the selling of the difficult central premise, introduction of the characters, and use of cinematography. My absolutely favourite thing, though, is how a lecture high school teacher Walter White gives to his bored students turns out to be basically the key speech for the entire show. "Chemistry is the study of matter, but I prefer to think of it as the study of change. It is growth, then decay, then transformation."

...and the winner is: could be any of these three, in my estimation, but today I'm going with the pilot for Breaking Bad. Show, when is your mid season hiatus over again?

The rest of the days )
selenak: (Maria La Guerta by Goddess Naunett)
[profile] abigail_n wrote a post that looks back on the second season of Homeland and the seventh season of Dexter, here, which I think manages to sum up the good and the bad of Homeland perfectly. Now I'd broken up with Dexter a season earlier, but through fannish osmosis as well as [personal profile] monanotlisa managed to hear roughly what happens in s7, most of all in the season finale, so I thought myself prepared, but reading about it in Abigail's post still managed to upset me a lot.

In a different way that Dexter did when I was still watching, by the day. In retrospect it seems clear that the quality went downhill ever since writer Melissa Rosenberg left the show after s4, and by the time s6 ended it had gone to a point where I couldn't bring myself to watch further. However, what upset me about the s7 developments isn't about quality (how could I judge that, not having watched the season?); it's about content, the content being the type of storyline I'd enjoy seeing explored in fanfiction but never, ever, wanted on the show itself.

Spoilery for s7 explanation follows. )
selenak: (Alex Drake by Renestarko)
Evil lingering cold is evil. And tomorrow a cousin's wedding, too.

On the cheerful side of things, The Bletchley Circle was as great as advertised. The basic premise - four women who used to be among the 80% female part of Bletchley Park employees (aka busy breaking codes in WWII) team up again to solve a case of murders nine years after the war is over and they've tried, with varying success, to cope with "ordinary" life in the 50s - should be good for a longer series, but if the miniseries of three parts i all there'll ever be, I'll still be content because it was fabulous. Not flawless - the third part was weaker than the first two, since the denouement depended on a very clever and sensible character doing something eminently stupid - but the good far outweighed this: the four women (Susan, Millie, Jean and Lucy) were all competent, interesting, with distinct personalities, and the revival of their war time comraderie under the very different circumstances they're now in was compelling.

With all the hiati and season premieres, it occurs to me that I've now dropped three shows I used to watch, all in the same year - Fringe, Dexter and now Downton Abbey. DA is painless, Fringe had such a lot going for it that dropping it leaves the kind of ache that dropping Heroes caused me a while back, but just as in that case, it has become necessary, and the decline of Dexter in s6 (though the rot set in earlier than that) still infuriates me.

It also makes me nervous because Homeland had its season premiere last night (haven't had a chance to watch yet, will do so soon), and the first season for me was terrific but also good in a way that makes me wonder whether this particular premise is sustainable for more than one season, and I should hate to see it decline the way Dexter did. I'll access my inner optimist soon!

Maybe, cold aside, I feel a bit in the doldrums because we've been doing media tie ins over at b5_revisited for a while now, having exhausted all the on screen canon, and while that was fine when we were talking about the telepath trilogy, it's become depressing for the most part since, because I dislike so much about the the Centauri trilogy (oh my beloved Centauri!), and of the JMS and Fiona Avery short stories, I loved The Shadow of his Thoughts, was fine with Genius Loci, but then came the appalling Space, Time and the Incurable Romantic and now Ms. Avery's story True Seeker, which I didn't know before, turns out to contain more coals than gems as well. So that meant I've been writing negative reviews for weeks now. And it's depressing. I don't like doing that, I really don't, it's just that hardly anyone else writes reviews at all and it's the Babylonverse which I still love discussing because of my ongoing affection for the show proper. But it's incredibly depressing. :( much more fun to squee, I can't tell you. Speaking of which:

Discword/Avengers crossover of genius: Ankh-Morpork, Avenged. Which absolutely had to happen. It made my Monday.
selenak: (Breaking Bad by Wicked Signs)
Five characters who should quit their jobs (and why).

1.) Severus Snape (Harry Potter). During the time canon was still open, of course. Let’s face it, Snape was a fascinating character but a really horrible teacher, even if you discount anything to do with Harry. The two most glaring proofs about Snape’s unsuitability as a teacher that come to mind are that he managed to terrorize Neville Longbottom so much that he, not, say, Bellatrix Lestrange who drove Neville’s parents insane, became Neville’s greatest fear, and that, as opposed to a certain fanfic subgenre, he treated an eager student like Hermione with contempt, best summed up in his reaction to the time when her teeth were bespelled into growing to gigantic proportions. Instead of helping her, he said “I can’t see any difference”. Basically, Snape and the students made each other miserable through the years, and yes, that was also Dumbledore’s fault for keeping him in this job instead of, say, giving him the magical equivalent of an university scholarship (Snape was brilliant at potions, no question, and would have thrived at only having to do research instead of teaching). But Snape was an adult, and really: he should have quit his job.

2.) Deb’s psychiatrist whose name I refuse to remember (Dexter): worst. Therapist. Ever. If you watched the horror that was season 6, you know what I mean. There is no excuse. After what she told Deb, she should never be allowed to treat another patient again.

3.) Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad). His current job is being a drug manufacturer and dealer, at which he’s grown ever more efficient in the course of the show, so quitting it is in the general interest, but it’s also in Jesse’s. As opposed to the show’s main character, it’s not yet too late for him and he still has something of a conscience, so quitting, while extremely unlikely right now, isn’t impossible. Here’s hoping.

4.) John Sheridan (Babylon 5). Good war commanders do not necessarily make good political leaders in peace time (or what passes for peace time at a galactic saga). Sheridan proved in the fifth season of B5 he was a case in point, even if his wife and his author think otherwise. By quitting, he would not only make room for a more capable president but also minimize his opportunities to play tasteless pranks on reporters with the misfortune of interviewing him, so that would be another plus.

5.) Thomas (Downton Abbey). I say this against my own viewing interest, because in the second season, O’Brien and Thomas became my favourite characters by virtue of not making me think “off with their heads” and “this isn’t romance, buddy, it’s stalking” respectively, and also for gaining layers in regards to s1 as opposed to losing them. Still. Instead of serving as another illustration of What Happens To The Lower Classes If They Forget Their Place And Want More Without Asking The Upper Classes For Support First, Thomas should quit his job and write a biting satiric novel, or become an impresario. He’s got business skills, scheming talent, organization talent, an acid tongue and a surpressed and only sometimes emerging romantic streak. He and Tin Pan Alley in the 1920s are practically made for each other.
selenak: (Breaking Bad by Wicked Signs)
Season 4 of Breaking Bad will be out on dvd and available to me on March 22, so I shall valiantly try to remain unspoiled for it until then. Which makes looking for fanfiction not easy. (Not that there seems to be much.) (Which the show has in common with other tightly plotted and well written shows; it's a cliché but true that flawed shows, films, books generate far, far more fanfiction.) Meanwhile, I listened to the cast commentary of the season 2 finale which has most of the regulars plus John de Lancie in it, and the following dialogue:

*Mike the Cleaner appeas on screen*

JdL: Every time I see Jonathan Banks, I remember kissing him.
*rest of the cast*: Tell us more!

It was an on screen kiss, of course, but googling doesn't tell me where because John de Lancie and Jonathan Banks apparently were in several episodes of several shows as well as in a film together. Ah well. Anyway, on the cast commentary the Breaking Bad regulars suggested the show could bring Donald Margolis (de Lancie's character) back and let him hook up with Mike, presumably so they don't have to watch several episodes of several shows and a movie in order to get another kiss. Me, I know the ideal method. [profile] alara_r! As a John de Lancie expert extraordinaire, she must know where this happened.

Anyway, on a more serious note, de Lancie makes the same observation I did in my s2 review, that usually he playes "assholes - funny assholes sometimes, but usually assholes", so Donald was something quite extraordinary for him. And as a father, he very much identified with Donald and his reactions throughout. Which leads me to a few more spoilery thoughts. )

Another thing I admire about Breaking Bad is that so far (again: don't spoil me for s4), it managed what Dexter managed in its early seasons but not anymore in s5 and s6. In both shows, the very premise as laid out in the pilot - cancer-ridden chemistry teacher decides to produce meth, serial killer kills "only" other killers - means the main characters commit crimes on an ongoing basis, and not "light" crimes (no Robin Hoodesque thievery here, or cons) but really reprehensible ones. The narrative challenge is to make the audience want to follow their stories (which inevitably means they won't get caught until the show is over) without starting to excuse what they're doing or losing sight of the dimension of it. Dexter originally managed this by not only giving the main character awareness he wasn't killing for greater justice but to gratify his own needs but by fleshing out its ensemble, most of whom consisted of policewomen and -men set on catching serial killers and definitely not regarding murder as the right thing to do. Unfortunately, by the time s5 rolled along the show had started to buy into what it satirized in an s2 subplot, the idea of Dexter as a vigilante hero, and it jumped the shark from there. Breaking Bad's method isn't dissimilar in that here, too, the police aren't treated as worse-than-gangsters or caricatures but by and large as a dedicated force for for good, and one of the regulars, Hank, is a DEA agent and shown to be really good at his job (he already nearly caught Walt twice and did take out other dealers). However, where Dexter the character starts out regarding himself as a monster (with an ongoing arc of learning he's not so dissimilar from the people around him as he originally thought and can form emotional relationships, which unfortunately leads to, see above, instead of any other interesting direction that story could have taken), Walter White starts out regarding himself as a good man brought low by circumstance and just going for desperate measures in a desperate situation. That the audience while initially sharing at least part of this self assessment increasingly disagrees and that this is the intention of the narrative, and yet doesn't lose interest in Walt's story (on the contrary), and yet never can dismiss the (increasing) human cost is where the narrative skill really shows off. I think another key difference is that we never get to know most of Dexter's victims, other than the seasonal antagonist. Some even within their one episode are fleshed out enough to make them more than just the villain-of-the-week and even in some ways sympathetic (I'm thinking of the policewoman in season 3, for example), but still, most of them, while often reflections of a trait of Dexter's or one of his problems, aren't really given narrative sympathy. Plus, you know, killers. (See: premise of the show.) Whereas the damage Walt causes on Breaking Bad isn't "just" to worse-than-him killers, it's to everyone who buys what he produces (see: premise of the show), and the results of meth addiction are shown drastically. Moreover, there are the long term effects his actions have on the other regulars the audience has also learned to feel for. And all of this means we're not in a second rate Quentin Tarrantino knock off (there's a lampshade joke in late s1 when Jesse makes a comment about Walt's still-new-to-the business idea of how and where dealers meet) where cinematic violence and quips never allow the reality of what the characters live from to sink in.

In conclusion: Vince Gilligan, I think I must check out what old X-Files episodes I still possess and whether one of yours is among them. I am in increasing awe.
selenak: (River Song by Famira)
A challenge after my own heart. :) Bear in mind that one person's deserved and wonderful happy ending is another person's out of character travesty and/or unearned easy fix, mileage will vary, etc., etc. Also, before Ashes to Ashes, Life on Mars would have been on the list, but now it's not, due to the AtA revelations later. Now, let's have a go:

1.) All's Well That Ends Well tied with Measure for Measure. Bertram in the former is the kind of guy who makes Bassiano and Gratiano from Merchant of Venice look like price catches, and it will never not irritate me that Helena, for some bemusing reason in love with him, ends up married to him. As for the later, yes, ambiguous silence from Isabella is ambiguous, and much depends on the stage production, but still. Isabella is a woman who most emphatically did not want to get married and then randomly is by ducal power. Angelo/Mariana is also questionable but at least Angelo, while a villain and a wannabe rapist, has still more depth than Bertram plus Mariana's social lot is improved by the arrangement. In conclusion: later Shakespeare was in a cynical mood about the obligatory marriages at the end of nominal comedies, wasn't he?

2.) The endings of the last two seasons of Dexter. About I've complained enough in this journal, so I'll leave it at that. (If you're new to my ramblings and want an explanation why I had a problem with the ending of the fifth season already, here is the old post.)

3.) The Wedding of River Song, New Who season 6. Detailed explanation as to why here . Short version: I felt emotionally disengaged throughout except in three scenes, and because Amy and Rory had not been given the chance of believable emotional reaction throughout the season, these three felt unearned in a larger context. And for the second season in a row (s5: the cracks, which are universe-threatening important, except for all the standalone eps where the Doctor isn't bothered by their existence; s6: the little girl in the season opener whom he doesn't look for because if he did, the whole backstory would fall into pieces, but he doesn't know that yet), crucial bits of the build up and solution depend on the Doctor acting competely ooc for Doylist reasons without Moffat bothering to come up with a Watsonian explanation.

4.) Lindsey Davis: Rebels and Traitors. It's a perfectly good and satisfying novel until the ending, doing what I had in vain hoped The Devil's Whore miniseries would do in terms of the English Civil War and a female main character, and then all of a sudden there is a complete tone shift in narrative voice, characterisation and emphasis. It's just really bizarre. If you don't mind being spoiled for the ending, check out my review here.

5.) Alias. Not Sydney's personal fate. But yeah, everything else about the finale, and much - but not all! - about season 5 in general. (The ending of s4 would have been SO MUCH BETTER as a series finale, I'll never stop saying that.) (And it's not just the First Generation Spies fangirl in me talking.) However, the nature of the show was such that several finale issues are fixable in headcanon, so I'm not nearly as disgruntled with Alias' ending as I am with the other examples. Still, doesn't mean I like it.
selenak: (Ray and Shaz by Kathyh)
So Dexter's sixth season has ended, and for me, the show.

A few spoilery observations )

This was once a very good show, with a great character ensemble, and I'll always remember that show with fondness. I won't continue watching it's pale successor anymore. Ah well, it'll free up some icon space.

On the brighter side of things, the beta of my Yuletide story came back, and I posted it, discovering on the occasion there were several stories in the fandom in question posted already for Yuletide (and of course still disguised); this makes me happy and even more looking forward to the reveal. My own story I think will be very easy to guess if you're familiar with my stuff, but then, I thought this last year, and [personal profile] bimo was nice enough to reccomend last year's effort to me before the reveal, which tickled me to no end. :)

Speaking of stories, here's a good one from Harry Potter fandom: For the Greater Good, which fleshes out Dumbledore's friend Elphias Dodge from Deathly Hallows and is a great example of a writer pulling off the trick of getting across things to the reader which the limited pov character does not realise himself. A great portrayal of Dumbledore developing from flashback into Potter era Albus, too.

Also something guaranteed to cheer me up after my Dexter blues: ye olde English musicians from the 60s. Seems Paul McCartney has taken to hanging out more and more with members of The Other Band. Here's Ronnie Wood (he of the Rolling Stones, young padawans) joining him for a rendition of Get Back at a concert two weeks ago:

Sidenote: ever since Keith Richards wrote in his memoirs that the northern guitarists hold their guitars closer and higher than he and his Southern pals, I can't get that out of my head and checked in the vid above, and it's definitely true for Ronnie W. and Paul. Who has also been busy indulging his penchant for classics from the 30s and 40s and will release an album with standards from Arlen, Loesser, Berlin etc. (first I heard of it was from Elvis Costello who mentioned it in an interview, as his wife, Diane Krall, is also on it) in February, plus two new compositions of his own. One of which has just hit the net. It's a lovely melancholy ballad called My Valentine. A bit jazzy, and what Peter Carlin would call an autumnal love song. With Eric Clapton on guitar.

Most annoying comment spotted on the net so far: "a song for grandfathers". You know, first of all, he is a grandfather (turning 70 next year and with six grandchildren so far), and secondly, one of the many reasons why I appreciate the man is that he liked these kind of songs already when he was a teenager, along with rock'n roll. Being a both/and rather than an either/or person myself - meaning I like rock, I like melodious crooning, and I never understood why this should be mutually exclusive anymore than liking, say, DS9 and Babylon 5, TNG and DS9, Spike and Angel, the Third and the Seventh Doctor... you get the picture. So boo to partisans; I'll sit back and enjoy the music.

ETA: I hasten to add there is nothing wrong with simply disliking certain styles of music.(For example, I'm not into techno.) It was the "grandfather" bit I found annoying, as if this was either news or something wrong for a 69 years old to enjoy singing and composing. (Or a 20 years old, for that matter.)
selenak: (Romans by Kathyh)
I've stopped reviewing Dexter and will stop watching once this season is over, but may I say, apropos the latest ep: 1.) Bad idea, writers/producers. Really bad idea. And 2.) Most unrealistic therapist ever.

On to actual reviews and more enjoyable fandoms. First a vid rec: Virgin is a fantastic evocation of Antony, Vorenus, Rome and Rome.

Then upon reviewing films and plays dealing with characters' lives, how they approach their subjects, and whether or not a satisfying story is the result:

Miss Austen Regrets (Film, 2008) )

The Oxford Roof Climber's Rebellion (Play by Stephen Massicotte about T.E. Lawrence and Robert Graves, 2006) )
selenak: (DexterandRita by call_me_daisy)
Yuletide assignment: go figure. I can do the characters easily, but I need a decent plot that hasn't been done (by me) before.

Dexter: eh. Every week I've been less motivated to review, and this week I can't bother. Pity. Still hanging on for Deb's sake.

Fringe: in case you've been wondering, there are, err, technical problems preventing me from watching the latest two eps. Once they're solved, your faithfull reviewer shall resume her duties.

Doctor Who: yes, I've seen the minisodes, and they're great. However, I feel that as with last year's minis, they should have ben included in the show proper, as they contain important character stuff (especially for Amy).
selenak: (DexterandRita by call_me_daisy)
In which there is a road trip with passenger(s).

This is the life we could have had )
selenak: (Puppet Angel - Kathyh)
5 Scariest Villians (as opposed to Favorite Villians)

1.) Arthur (John Lithgow) aka Trinity from Dexter, season 4. Visceral performance, and arguably the scariest of Dexter's seasonal opponents. Spoilery reasons why ensue. )

2.) The Borg in their first three Star Trek: TNG appearances. Unfortunately, this is something later watchers won't be able to appreciate, not only because of the later overexposure of the Borg on both Voyager and TNG but also because the overall tv viewing context today is too different. But in Q Who and Best of Both Worlds I + II, the Borg scared the hell out of me because a villain like this hadn't been done on Star Trek before. The idea of assimilation, losing free will and personality and (as demonstrated via Picard) the idea that somewhere in the back of your mind your old self is still there and powerless to prevent it was incredibly shudderworthy to me, as were the original Borg's uninterestedness in the usual villain trappings like posturing or declarations, or gloating. They just came, assimilated and went. (And as mentioned multiple times before, the fact this happened to the main character who afterwards had to deal with it instead of being cured by the reset button was completely new for Star Trek, if par the course now, heightening the effectiveness of the Borg as scary villains even more.)

3.) Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Never mind Lord Voldemort, standard evil overlord that he was. Umbridge the teacher in pink scared the hell out of me during Harry's first detention with her, when he realised what writing "I must not tell lies" over and over again really means. There are other reasons why Umbridge is such an effective villain - until this point in the saga, Hogwarts is still mostly fairytale refuge land for Harry (never mind the annual scares), and she strips it bit for bit of any joyful elements and turns it into a bureaucratic fascist nightmare - but this scene, which despite the magical element in it is as real a depiction of child abuse as you're likely to find, both in Umbridge's demeanour and Harry's reaction, is what makes me shudder to this day when I think of it.

4.) The Gentlemen from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode Hush. I know I nominate them every time such a question is asked, but it's still true: they really are the most effective fairy tale monsters on tv. (And wisely Joss never tried to reprise them.) It's not the skeletal look, it's the spoilery thing they do ) that makes all the difference.

5.) The Alien in Alien. Again, a classic which probably won't work on today's viewers, especially if they've watched one of the later Alien movies first. I think it was Stephen King who once observed that if the original Star Wars was, despite the sci fi exterior, a fairy tale, the original Alien was, again, despite the sci fi exterior, a horror movie. Taking its time, artfully directed by Ridley Scott, and to me far more emotionally real than Cameron's more popular follow up because the grumpy crew of the Nostromo doesn't speak in stylized movie banter as the Marines in Aliens do, they're not soldiers, you know people like them and they're in no way prepared to handle what happens to them. And the Alien, in its first appearance and subsequently celebrated H.R. Giger design, in three stages, is a Freudian nightmare that combines just the right amount of actual exposure with letting the audience imagination do the work. (As opposed to the sequels where you see the beasties all the time.) It's a force of nature that can't be reasoned with and treats humans as breeding ground if it doesn't treat them as dinner, and it really looks, well, utterly alien, which was news in the 70s when aliens still very much looked like puppets and/or men in suits. It gave me nightmares for months.
selenak: (Maria La Guerta by Goddess Naunett)
Train-travel: conductive for writing reviews and getting shocks. Someone flung themselves in front of the last train I sat in, on Monday, and that eerie realisation that it was a human being which caused the bump sensation and then the emergency stop is sickening. You watch the police and court physicians arrive and it's nothing like tv at all. Especially not like Dexter.

Read more... )
selenak: (DexterandRita by call_me_daisy)

Train journeys: always helpful for getting one's reviews written. So, here's what I thought about the latest from Miami.

Read more... )

selenak: (Maria La Guerta by Goddess Naunett)
Since I had decidedly mixed feelings about season 5, I was in doubt whether or not to continue watching, but damm it, I want to see the Deb-finds-out story and they HAVE to do that one now. Right? Right?


So I watched. The season opener was solid and hasn't made me regret it.

More under the spoilery cut )


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