meirwen_1988: (Scifi me)
Now that Christmas is over, the "lists" have started to pop up. "Worst Books of 2012," "Best Books of 2012," "Best 10 Movies of the Twenty-first Century," etc. I'm suspicious of those. For instance the "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of All Time" has Lord of the Rings at number 1, and Game of Thrones at number 2. And then people start asking why the 3 volume Ring is first, but GoT is addressed per volume. Which beggars a number of questions, for instance why is it that George R.R. Martin is apparently ignorant that LotR was written as a single book, and it's the publisher who balked at publishing it that way so instead insisted its three parts be published separately. And more importantly, totally skips the question of how one of the top two spots did not go to Bradbury, or Asimov, or Verne, or Wells, or Clarke?

So, in a form of mental self-defense, I started making my own list in my head. But because I'm shallow, it's episodic television episodes, and because of what was in front of my eyes at the time it's not "best" or "pivotal"--it's the episodes that have stuck in my head, years after I saw them, with more than the usual clarity. In no particular order, here they are, pretty much without commentary.

Star Trek: "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"
Supernatural: "Swan Song"
M*A*S*H*: "Old Soldiers"
Star Trek: The Next Generation: "Yesterday's Enterprise"
Twilight Zone: "The After Hours"
The Big Valley: "Into the Widow's Web"
Hawaii Five-O: "Once Upon a Time;
Babylon Five: "The Geometry of Shadows"
The West Wing: "Posse Comitatus"
Maude: "Maude's Dilemma"
WKRP in Cincinnati: "In Concert"
The Big Bang Theory: "The Codpiece Topology"


meirwen_1988: (Default)
There's a famous line, perhaps apocryphal, attributed to, variously, Augustine, Aquinas, or the Jesuits, that says "Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man."

Well, when my hands are better I'm going to write about that. Except it will involve "until she is 11," and the permanent influences of early helpings of Orson Wells, Angelique Bouchard, and the Balanchine choreography for "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy."

For what it's worth, the inspiration for this post is that Pat Tallman was recently gifted with the complete Dark Shadows. Blame her. Or Joe--he's the one who gave it to her.
meirwen_1988: (bitter)
I wasn't overjoyed when they cast Lena Hedley as Cersei Lannister Baratheon.
I was overjoyed when they cast Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister.

Last night I finally saw Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones, Season 2. There is a scene towards the end between Tyrion and Cersei--it is just the two of them, a very intimate scene.

It may be the best acting I have ever seen on television. Maybe the best ever anywhere. It took my breath away--and today, thinking back, it still does. Two faces, two voices.

Perfect.

I was wrong about Lena.
meirwen_1988: (Default)
Just blissfully watched the Season 2 premiere of Game of Thrones.

Earlier today I said, "And I can hope that right around the time this season is over that Sons of Anarchy will be up." Duchezz looked at me with "that look." To which I responded, "Yeah, I like my TV grim."

Of course she's a fine one to talk--yesterday she was talking about Jaimie Lanister and said, "Pushing Bran out the window might have been a little bit extreme..." to which I interrupted with "MIGHT? MIGHT?????"
"Well you asked me to participate in the world view of the show."
"Even in the world view of that show pushing Bran out the window is considered BAD!"
"Well, yeah." And she smiled, and shrugged.
"We need to see about getting you some moral compass dietary supplements."
She laughed. And shrugged.

*in the rerun of tonight's episode, I could swear Tyrion was whistling the Harry Potter theme.*
meirwen_1988: (Default)
  • So, I was out in my car today when the "near tornado" weather came through. Smart enough to pull over to the shoulder during the first, stopped and parked in a store lot for the second. The second was definitely the worst, with the car moving very alarmingly and the peanut sized hail. When I went into the grocer's the power was out. They did, however, have all the refrigeration and registers on the backup generator. But it was a bit...odd, shopping in the dimness, with all the employees hanging around with a sort of "deer in the headlights" look.
  • Made it home, and now there is the cooking and the baking. Ah, and finally watching Jonah Hex, which, in fact, is not as bad as reported. If you like lots of mindless mayhem, and comic-bookish plots. Fortunately, I do. I can profoundly enjoy deep, intellectual art--but sometimes I just want things to go "Boom!" It's a "Boom!" kinda day in Meirwen-land.
  • Also, if anyone has a Dreamwidth invite, I would like one. I want to back LJ up given all the issues lately. Thanks.
  • Oh, and one last thing--the Thundercats new iteration premiers Friday. The trailers did not look awful. However, I must say that having watched part of the marathon of the one, the original Thundercats earlier this week, it was really pretty. And bad. So really my bar for the newest one has come down a few pegs. ;-)
meirwen_1988: (small but mighty)
So the day of involuntary rest yesterday seems to have been what was required. Things are still a bit chancy, but for the most part I was able to do light labor today, and that is a good thing.

Bought vegetable plants to put in when the raised bed gets made, swapped out the cold weather clothes for warm weather, did my syllabus and tentative assignment list for the class that starts tomorrow, and made dinner.

A reasonably productive day, though the weekend as a whole wasn't as productive as planned.

Tomorrow the summer semester begins, and I see if the changes I put in place are any that I'll carry through to the fall.

I've been watching the marathon set in a galaxy far, far away today, and I hope that ending with Ewoks tonight will be better than last night ending with Littlefinger's knife at Eddard's throat. I so hate what Martin does to the characters I love.
meirwen_1988: (Default)
When, after two martini's, while consuming decent shrimp etoufee, you find yourself looking at an episode of Bones, watching a cool sexual tension scene between Hodgins and Angela, and thinking, "Oh, nicely done! Clearly established physical proximity in the bodies, while keeping enough physical distance between the physiognomies to establish comfortable audience distance while establishing character ambivalence toward real intimacy," it really becomes apparent that the viewer is in desperate need of a state of affairs no more complicated than " Fire bad. Tree pretty."

Oh, yes. Spring break. You come not a moment too soon.
meirwen_1988: (Huh?)
Any doubts I had that Bones has jumped the shark were set to rest by the following exchange:

Temperance: Why would someone coat a blade with silver? It is a soft metal.
Jack Hodgins: They wouldn't. Unless it was Damascus.

WTF?

Yeah, yeah. That's what I get for hanging out with bladesmiths. But still, when they focus so much on getting the science right....
meirwen_1988: (Huh?)
Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly works okay for me. But, much though I like Alex O'Loughlin,



and want him to get a vehicle that succeeds, somehow, I just can't hear him say "Book em, Dano." There is only one Steve McGarrett:



Or one Snake Pliskin, for that matter:



But that's a rant for another day.
meirwen_1988: (Tag kitten)
So, we'll just pass over the sad commentary on my priorities that is demonstrated by the fact that when scanning Yahoo! News a few minutes ago that I quickly bi-passed the article about the President's speech tonight and instead instantly clicked on the story about the death of David Gerber. As an irredeemable geek I am one of those that organizes her CDs by artist, then by date of release (not title), who actually reads the credits on TV shows and can tell you what the difference is between an executive producer and producer (hint, one does the actual work--and the word "executive" and "work" are not generally substantively linked), the name actually meant something. So, I read through the news story, and at the end I saw that he has only one survivor, his wife, "actress Laraine Stephens."

"No, it can't be that Laraine Stephens!" I thought to myself. So I instantly went to my old reliable friend IMDb. So, there it was. She is that Laraine Stephens.

"Who?" you say?

No one special. A moderately talented, moderately attractive television actress from the sixties and seventies. But, most importantly, she was "Diane Waring" on Bracken's World (1969-1970). It was the years of obsessively reading movie star biographies, total television immersion (after being without one for nearly 2 years), and total Hollywood mania. Not to mention fledgling adolescent hormones. And here was a series about making movies!!! And I was finally old enough to stay up for the shows on 10-11 on a school night!! It was the perfect storm. And Diane was my favorite of the three starlets (the show was set in the then present, but actually showed a studio system that was virtually gone at that point).

Oh, the show was a soap, no question. Sort of an early attempt to be what <i>Dallas</i> finally achieved. But in the process it taught me things. Like how to set up shots. About molding actresses and actors to "fit." About what a script girl actually does. Sometimes as I'm prepping for my film class my mind flashes back to that show, and in my mind it is Peter Haskell directing, or Madlyn Rhue saving the continuity of one shot, and wrecking one later. Of Laraine Stephens shouting against the waves in Malibu to damage her vocal chords just enough to lower the pitch of her voice so the sound on the loop is less shrill.

David Gerber isn't a real person to me, unlike the tiny woman who gave me any number of enthusiastic hugs, who we lost this week. And I don't grieve for his loss in the same way as I do hers. But his passing has brought back to me nights of sitting at my parents' table in my pajamas, watching television that touched my life. It may not have been great art, but it meant a great deal to me.
meirwen_1988: (Inquiring minds)
BBC America is sometimes a place of treasure. Back in the day (okay, not that long ago, but life was different then) one of our favorite shows to watch was a British show entitled Manchild. It was funny, and sad, and true all at the same time. It had some of the same flavor as Coupling, but without the stupid. Smart, sassy, complicated, and lots of metrosexual heterosexual male silliness, and the quiet tragedy of that life, too.

There was a pilot shot in 2007 for Showtime! that looks like it was the usual American wrecking of a Brit model. But now TNT has Men of a Certain Age, and all the promos of it make me think that it is, in fact, Manchild, re-imagined for American life. It has a promising cast, and the clips I've seen are, well, funny, and sad, and true. I am hopeful. And, best of all, it's on Monday at 10--which means I can avoid Horatio Caine!!!
meirwen_1988: (Inquiring minds)
So, Sons of Anarchy.

Last night was, I believe, the second season finale. Just when you thought it was safe to be a Son in Charming....

Damn.

[And, for myself, I am glad to see them showing the complexity of Clay and Jax's relationship--it isn't all Claudius and Hamlet, which means when they finally have their showdown, it will really hurt....Yup--I like my tragedy complex and bloody.]
meirwen_1988: (Huh?)
So, staying with the theme of some of my earlier posts today, I'd like to share this.

What I saw yesterday while I was walking through Walmart--my only regret is that I didn't use my phone and must, therefore, rely on a link:

"I saw it in the window and just couldn't resist it."

These are the end times.

meirwen_1988: (Inquiring minds)
Well, it looks like those of us who are genre fans/geeks/nerds are now presented with a quandry. After years of having our VCR taping of shows to view later being irrelevant in the ratings, it seems now that DVR stats are being taken into serious account by the networks.

This means shows that otherwise would die a quick, not necessarily merciful death in previous seasons (Firefly anyone?) might now be given some legs (can you say Dollhouse? I knew you could).

Now, here's the quandry.

Despite my almost compulsive use of the Internet, and knowing what I do about how that erodes even the shred of illusion of privacy I have, I've been reluctant to graduate to DVR. It's like having someone access my list of borrowings from the library--nobody's business. And it costs $5 more a month than non-DVR. But if it's factoring in to ratings (and I don't believe for a second that it's only the Nielsen families who are providing that data) then do I have a personal responsibility (as in something that in the long run will improve my personal quality of life) to get a DVR so that the fringy shows I so enjoy have a better shot at being made, let alone the ones that make it staying on the air?

In the grand scheme of things--i.e., food, shelter, health--not really a biggie, but in terms of mental and emotional satisfaction, surprisingly relevant.

Hmmmm. What to do, what to do?

Next entry: The definitive number of angels dancing on the head of a satin pin.
meirwen_1988: (tired)
Got home last night around 8 PM.
At 11 AM today I was on campus, doing my "thang" for "New Commuter Student Orientation." Duchezz collected our little men, who were wildly happy to get home. But they had fun at camp.

We've caught up on our summer obsessions (although America is clearly stupid and got So You Think You Can Dance rankings totally wrong--Jeanine? Are you kidding me? Well, at least "Lovely" has finally left Hell's Kitchen), and now we're digesting dinner and getting ready for an early night and enjoying watching Gibbs slap Tony.

Best of all--injury reports from the NFL mean that soon there will be actual sports worth watching.

YAY!!!

????

Jun. 26th, 2009 08:37 pm
meirwen_1988: (Gibbs-smack)
Okay, I'm all for "freedom of expression," but there are still some things that shouldn't be part of a scripted broadcast on free air television at 8:30 at night. (For those who care I refer to the VR sex scene in Virtuosity). It is especially wrong when you consider that it is airing at 7:30 in the CDT zone. I'm willing to cut cable some slack, but the free air waves are supposed to have a different standard. (And yes, I thought the hoopla over the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake thing was an over-reaction. Sorry--a flash of pasty is not the same as what they just aired.)

Just sayin.'

Today

Jun. 26th, 2009 10:17 am
meirwen_1988: (flashback)
...started with a thunder bumper and the exit of the Bartlett administration.

I find myself missing the rain--the grey wet is depressing--the rain was like a wonderful blanket insulating me from the world.

Soon it is to grade papers I go, let the puppies run for a few hours before they go to the kennel, then pack for Pax.

Apropos of nothing, this morning I saw a headline that claimed that the two celebrity deaths yesterday marked "A Sad Day for Generation X." The headline puzzled me then, as it does now. I have lived for almost 2 decades in a house where the birth years are separated by 7--the elder from the tail end of the Baby Boom, the younger from the beginning of the Gen X era. Actually, more of my friends are Gen X than BB. And I have a hefty group that are Gen Y (but don't tell my students--it would ruin my old-foggy cred). And I've talked to them about art, and pop culture, and and and...

Michael and Farrah were Boomers, so I'm not sure why this is particularly a Gen X loss. Maybe it's the whole "older sib" thing. Maybe. But frankly, I'm at a loss to understand it. And yes, I listened compulsively to MJ's Off the Wall and Thriller, and loved Farrah's seasons of Angels. Yes, in Michael we lost a talent of amazing ability (flaws and all), and it shakes the foundations of certainty any time an iconic figure (oh, go ahead, tell me that Farrah wasn't iconic) dies, let alone two in one day. But I'm really having trouble with that headline.

Of course, all the ruminating could just be trying to avoid grading. *Sigh*

Yeah, yeah, I'm going.
meirwen_1988: (tea comfort)
In retrospect, starting the morning by watching the Santos election episode of The West Wing, followed by the beginning of "Requiem" from the same season, which begins with Leo's funeral Mass, may not have been the best way to start the day.

Or perhaps, it was, since I never got the Mass I needed for him. We make those sorts of contracts with the Divine--to honor the wishes of others, as we wish them honored for us. Perhaps, after all, it was the way to start the day--a piece of what I needed, if in a form as unconventional as our lives were. Perhaps there is a rightness in it.
meirwen_1988: (Default)
From the same people who brought you the A-Team update (oh, wait, that would be me), here is a geek-post for an entirely different type of geekdom.

Some of you, like Our Heroine, are huge fans of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. (For those of you who haven't found it, it is well-written dark fantasy strongly influenced by England's Wars of the Roses. And, well, it has dragons. What's not to like?)

Anyway, point the first--it is being done up by HBO. Casting includes Peter Dinklage (of The Station Agent and Threshold) as Tyrion Lannister.

What prompted this particular post, however, is these. I know some of ya'll dearly love taking little metal figures and makin' em all purty. These are truly beautiful miniatures, and when painted well are...simply stunning.

Enjoy. Hey--we've gotta do something while we're waiting for the next book.

Oh, and by the way, true fans will really appreciate this for a giggle.
meirwen_1988: (Inquiring minds)
LIAM NEESON HEADS A-TEAM
Variety reports that Liam Neeson is in negotiations with 20th Century Fox to star in its long-gestating big-screen adaptation of The A-Team as Col. John "Hannibal" Smith, and Bradley Cooper is in early talks to play Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck in the Joe Carnahan-directed movie based on the 1980s TV series.

I was never that big a fan, but my mom was so crazy about the series, and particularly one particular character, that I bought her the Mad-Dog Murdoch action figure--which she treated like purest gold.

On the other hand, it was a series that is in that small group of shows with totally unforgettable theme songs. :-)

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