tavella: (Default)
tavella: (tengwar)
[ profile] tersa and I had a Gilmore Girls on Netflix marathon today.  We started with coffee (of course), and then picked up Chinese, in homage to their favorite late night food.  I was really touched by how they worked in Edward Herrman's death so respectifully, and oh my god they really did get everyone back.  At one point they panned to a young woman playing, I said "wait, Stars Hollow has a *second* troubadour?", Tersa said "Yeah, there was an episode where they were fighting over turf", and quite promptly Troubadour-Prime arrived and started chasing her.

As for the rest? Well, there were times in the series where I didn't like Luke much, but I loved him here.  He was sensible (when hardly anyone else around could be relied on to be consistently so.)  He was distressed and worried about Lorelei hiding things from him, but he didn't do stupid romantic comedy things, he pointed out when she was being silly and let her work things out herself.  Paris? Paris was perfection.  I loved her terrifying the headmaster with her pointed and sensible questions, I loved her being both her driven self and also her freaked out not yet entirely over school self.

Rory?  Her floundering was pretty realistic, and given that my fundamental interest in her love life is "anyone or no one, except not Jess" I was mostly happy, except for really, did we need Jess staring longingly through the window at the end? I don't want him to be Rory's Luke, it's one thing to come in as the stepfather after years of independent life, not being the Nice Guy/Reformed Bad Boy who sweeps in to save the unwed mother.

Lorelei was, well, Lorelei.  But I adored Emily getting on with a new life after her husband's death. I loved her merrily adopting the entire Berta clan, I loved her telling off the DAR, I loved her selling up and moving, and I even approved of her completing the circle of story by requiring the family visits in exchange for the financing for the new inn.

Also, Michel may still be my favorite.  In a series full of snark, he is the snarkiest. 
tavella: (tv) none of these people have cell phones or email? About 90 percent of the plot complications so far could have been negated by a simple application of these things. It's set in 2003, a period in which I distinctly recall just about everyone having one or both. Instead, the only way to contact someone seems to be very ancient desk phones or breaking into their property.

Otherwise, so far a fairly harmless piece of romantic fluff.
tavella: (merry christmas)
Thank you, everyone who sent me snowflake cookies and hot chocolate, my profile is very sparkly now. Given the scratchy throat I woke up with, I need some cheer. I'm mainlining jasmine tea with honey and ginger and hoping this isn't the onset of flu.

We put aside most of our other TV watching to watch Space Stuff. It started with a meant to be fill in viewing of the first episode of From the Earth to the Moon, but we all got hooked. We've been mixing the appropriate movies in at the right moments. _The Right Stuff_ really should have gone first, but we didn't think of it until part way through and watched it then. But we watched _The Dish_ after the Apollo 11 episode -- it was very cool to see the same mission calls and dialogue in a different context-- and last night we watched_ Apollo 13_ as a runup to the FtEttM Apollo 13 episode. It's a testament to the movie that even though I've seen it several times, and even though it's a real life story so I knew what happened even the first time, I still get tense as the minutes drag past and the capsule doesn't answer after ionization.

This has been the story of the engineers; even when it focuses on the astronauts, it's in the role of working with the design teams, how they shape the vehicle and the program, their determination to be more than monkeys. And even though I'm a space geek (poor [ profile] zdashamber and [ profile] cyranocyrano get subjected to me and fellow space nerd [ profile] tersa geeking back and forth), FtEttM really makes me *feel* what an insane feat of engineering it was. A three part machine to deliver another machine into space, which splits into two machines, which then go off on their own missions, each of which split *again* into two machines... [ profile] tersa called it the matryoska doll of technology, and I could not disagree. And many of them made by different companies and team, and all having to fit together. It's nice to feel it as the miracle of technology it was, instead of taking it for granted.
tavella: (tv)
Recapping what we've watched since the last time I did tv commentary... Merlin first up.

Somewhere around episode 9, I found myself saying in surprise, "when did this show get good?" They seem to have figured out that the way to drive plot is not to have someone be an idiot (A Cure for All Ills being the worst example, where Uther who generally lives somewhere between canny and ragingly paranoid is easily manipulated by a random stranger walking into the court), but to realize that they all have secrets, they all are telling lies, they all have competing allegiances, and to play the various forces against each other.
Episode by episode )
tavella: (tv)
So I check Amazon to see if I want to buy _The Tick_ or if we should just Netflix it or what. And I discover that The Tick DVDs feature: ten minutes of ads you can't skip through, a missing episode in each of season 1 and 2, and they never bothered to release the last season at all. Plus it's not even a good transfer.

Oh, yes, and they want the same price for 12 half-hour episodes on a bare-bones disk that you would expect for a full season of a drama: $35 (though at least it's on sale at Amazon currently.)

The no extras bit doesn't bother me; while it's always *nice* when a DVD box is put together with extras and love, it's not necessary. But the rest? Ptui. I invoked the power of the net and found copies of the missing episodes in seconds, but if I have to do shady stuff to get half the series *anyway*, why am I going to bother to cough up money for a half-assed couple of DVDs?

I like shiny DVD sets! Especially of shows that I think I'll watch again. I have a tidy row of X-Files, Farscape, Doctor Who, I don't WANT to have to roll my own DVDs. Give me a complete set, charge me a reasonable price, don't shove ads in my face, we're all happy.

tavella: (tv)
On the subject of TV, does anyone want to throw out some suggestions for our TV night? We've been doing this for six or seven years now every Wednesday; it started out Movie Night and settled into DVD night instead. We just finished up Scrubs and Burn Notice, and have Being Human queued up for this week, but we are running a little short on shows.

Our habit is one longer drama and one shorter light subject. So far we have done:

Red Dwarf
Adventures of Brisco County Jr
Veronica Mars
Life on Mars
Doctor Who (9 and 10)
The Wire
Burn Notice

ETA: Forgot Worst Jobs in History, fun Channel 4 Tony Robinson quasi-doc

I favor shows with likeable characters; I can forgive much else if I enjoy hanging with the people. It's nice if they avoid idiot plotting, and we don't have a lot of patience with the mediocre; the last seasons of Red Dwarf and Veronica Mars and the first season of Blackadder all got the hook due to quality issues. Heroes and Supernatural are right out, because hot men do not balance out racial and gender skank for me, and [ profile] zdashamber is not a fan of Lost.

We are starting to consider nonfiction shows, old shows are just fine (note the Brisco County in that list), and anime is okay with me though I don't know if [ profile] tersa and [ profile] zdashamber are fans. I'm thinking of suggesting Ashes to Ashes, since we enjoyed Life on Mars, and Alton Brown's Feasting on Asphalt series and The Tick cartoon has come up. What else do people want to toss up as suggestions? I've heard good murmurs about Leverage, and Merlin enjoyed a brief vogue on my friends list a few months back (though there seemed to be somewhat of a "silly show, but fun" vibe.)

Pimp your show! Feel free to link this post to other people, if you want them to pimp shows too.

(temporary TV icon enabled, but I'll come up with something else later)
tavella: (Cluepill)
Reading the reviews of the BSG finale on my friendslist, I have seldom been so glad that I bailed on the show back in season 2. Technology bad, patriarchal colonialism good? THAT was your big message?

On a somewhat happier note, we finished up the second season of Burn Notice. It's not a great show, but it's a fun one, driven mainly by the likeability of the actors and characters involved. Bruce Campbell is pretty much the essence of likeable, Sharon Gless is close, and while I've never encountered Jeffery Donovan before, he's been great. McGyver as an ex-spy in Miami is a snappy high concept, and they are quite playful with it, down to the amusement of the titles they flip on screen to identify various players (my favorite was when 'The Client' whooshed off screen to be replaces by "The Assassin".

The beginning and end of the second season were dragged down by yet another 'omnipowerful giant conspiracy' plot, which I'm desperately hoping they'll mostly ignore next year. Michael being hindered by the US Government, powerful agency that it is, worked. Giant private agencies that control the government and can send squads armed with automatic weaposn to shoot up suburban houses without any fear of law enforcement, not so much.

Burn Notice... is surprisingly good for its type in gender issues. Michael's relationship with his mom is treated respectfully, as an important thing, and they've worked pretty hard to keep it from being a one note comedy of 'mom interferes hilariously with Michael's jobs'. She's gotten genuine character development. Fi not so much, but the actress manages to deliver the occasional romantic shenigans they dump on her with impish glee rather than needy clinginess, and the show does make a point of showing that Fi has her own career and life outside of Michael.

On the race front, they white-ify the shit out of Miami; it's a Caribbean city, with ninety percent of the population Latino or black, and you sure couldn't tell that from the show, even the extras. I wouldn't say it has skanky race issues, really, but it's sort of frustrating when so many roles that aren't racially coded invariably end up white, and the only black faces have been a football player, a Haitian father seeking revenge, and a Haitian criminal lord. Though that's doing better than the Latino front, where I'm not even sure there has been anyone who wasn't a drug smuggler, crime kingpin, or gunrunner.
tavella: (kitty)
We finished the last of The Wire before Christmas. Like it seems most other people thought, it wasn't as strong as the preceding four seasons, though still awesome TV.

comments on season 5 )
tavella: (Fandom Enabler)
[ profile] tersa and I have just finished up season 1 of VM on our movie night. I skipped this show the first time around because my friendslist* was "Logan Logan Logan/Veronica", and if there is any single character trope I hate in modern television, it's the Bad Boy Asshole you should feel Sorry for because of his Inner Wounds. Jess sent me fleeing from Gilmore Girls never to return, and I only found Spike interesting when he decided to try to be good, and then only because he didn't generally whine or angst about his past but was "I was an evil bastard and killed a lot of people."

Spoilers for the whole first season of VM and possibly the first three episodes of the second season )

*Sometimes I think fans can be their show's worst enemy. Apart from Loganphilia, the fact that I've seen exactly one Supernatural post that talks about even plot, and zero meta ones amid a thousand "Sam and Dean are so HOT!" has led me to conclude the show itself is crap.
tavella: (Default)
Had dinner with [ profile] katchoo_too and [ profile] tnalpgge at Beck's Steakhouse in Fremont, as part of their scouting for wedding dinner locations. And once again I encountered the great tragedy of having a steady supply of venison: even the best beef is a pale and flavorless comparison. It was a perfectly nice filet mignon, and they understood the concept of 'rare', but there's no just comparison.

We later caught Psych, fairly randomly. The one line description had sounded awful ("fake psychic detective"), but it was unexpectedly entertaining. I was charmed by the cynical premise, i.e. that people will buy 'woo woo psychic!' when they will reject logic and observation. I'm not sure how well the central gimmick will hold up, but hell, it's worked for Sherlock Holmes for a century plus. It at least makes for a better dose of Friday night crime drama than Numb3rs has this season.

Please give Dule Hill something better to do than throw up and have things explained to him, though.

Watching my friends list for the explosion of squee or scorn. Last Doctor Who of the year!

Doctor Who

Jun. 2nd, 2006 11:03 pm
tavella: (Cluepill)
So I've managed to stay unspoiled for a year. Resisted clicking on lj-cuts, stayed away from spoiler threads, managed to remain pure. And then tonight Sci-Fi, which hasn't bothered running promos for the next episode even at the end of shows, preferring to pimp Stargate and whatever shitty movie they are running this week... this week, Sci-Fi airs the giant-spoiler packed preview for "Parting of the Ways" right in the goddamn middle of the episode.

Spoilers )