quinara: Wishverse Buffy in a white frame. (Buffy Wish white box)
So, because YouTube has everything, I've been watching the opening run of Eastenders from 1985:


It's actually bloody epic. Heaven knows if it is, but it seems a hell of a lot more accurate about East End life than Eastenders has been for a long time. Everyone's all cold and the houses are all run down and if people aren't worrying about social change they're worrying about where their next bit of cash is going to come from. And you can just feel the creaking joints of the underclass where even if they don't like each other, they're all in it together (and living on top of each other) and no one likes the police because there's no one who isn't touched by something that isn't just a little bit shady. And Nick Cotton's bloody trousers!

Just finished episode 4 and my Eastenders knowledge is a bit patchy, so I can't quite remember the fallout of Den and Angie... But at the moment they're the most amazing thing ever.

It's all a bit stagey in the way of vintage Beeb, but I would just lap up the contemporary equivalent of this. Plus I think the ratio of minority characters to white characters is the same as it is now, which considering thirty years has passed says something about something. (Definitely can't help but feel "What's pease pudding anyway?" "Some kind of English dhal." is far more interesting dialogue than that time six months ago or whenever that Shabnam was ranting on eternally about how Masood couldn't get with a white woman.)

Anyway, like a lot of stuff from the 80s, it just feels like it's been made by people who have something really important to say and who won't rest until you listen. I love that stuff. Watch it!! /Reminisce!!

ION my stupid wanker internet keeps dropping for no other reason than TalkTalk are bastards.
quinara: Echo from Dollhouse standing next to Wendy/Caroline (Echo purple)
So, Orange is the New Black S2 came out yesterday. I felt like I hadn't committed myself to anything fannish in forever, and the end of S1 really did give me a burning desire to see S2, so I got my free month of Netflix, got up early to watch it (prematurely, because June 6 in the UK actually means 8am June 6 when the whole of America is on the same day as you) and then came home early and stayed up till three to finish it. I am now mildly headachey and out of sorts for the rainy day today!

Here is a reaction post - it is mixed (to say the least), rather than squee, so don't let me harsh your buzz if you haven't seen it all yet or if you do just want squee.

quinara: Yoshi from Mario Bros. (Yoshi)
So, people will tell you to watch this show because it's deep or a thriller or the acting's great or whatever. All of these things will make it sound a bit heavy and hard work and slightly worthy and you'll think, hmm, maybe if there's time on a Friday evening and, hmm, I suppose it's on BBC3... But I will tell you to watch this show because it's BLOODY HILARIOUS. The accents are dodgy as heck; the science is more than a little bogus; we yet again face the myth that PhD students lack any and all commitments so are essentially free to do whatever the narrative requires based in their luxe accommodations. It's also thriller-tastic. But that does not take away from the sheer jokes which meant I had no regrets when I caved last Friday and watched the whole lot from ep 3 to ep 10 in one sitting. There are clones! That pretend to be other clones! And are really sarcastic about the other clones' choices! And there's Felix. Who is just a boss.

Watch it and talk to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...
quinara: Heads Will Roll: Whiskey from Dollhouse in blue light (Whiskey blue)
So, if you have Netflix... Watch this show!!!!! If you don't, um, ...

This is the only non-spoilery video I could find. But meet Piper Chapman! She's a well-off, liberal, self-involved party girl who just wants to keep her line of artisanal soaps in Barney's. She has a nice fiancé, who's a writer who's going to make it big one day (though his Upper East Side parents can cover for him in the meantime). The statute of limitations on the money trafficking Piper did that one time ten years ago is twelve years, but unfortunately she just got named in the bust on her drug-importing ex-girlfriend Alex (who, by the way, is played by Donna from That 70s show... You can't say that you never wanted to see her again in another role), so now she's in prison. Sad times.

But that is only the beginning! What follows is the long and lengthy deconstruction of someone who lives in their own little narcissistic world who is finally and consistently forced to face consequences for every single action they take in a bubble/fish-bowl like environment. I'm not a huge fan of novelistic television, but for a drama this has all the best elements of sitcom - a small world, a slightly heightened reality (just enough to stretch everyone into distinct characters), with tight and well signposted plotting. And Alex is brilliant. And this is exactly the sort of plot I love - because it's not just deconstruction; it's also transformational. But I don't want to ruin it by telling the whole story, though the great thing is that you can see it coming anyway. Just enjoy watching it play out! Because everyone's great - every single character has a good side and a bad one.

And if you've seen it, talk to me about it!! Although I have to stop my head reading everything in the way most of the characters talk. It makes the me inside my head sound ridiculous.

PS. It's also rated 18 (I think?) for a reason. Most of the graphic sex is in the first few episodes presumably to hook people the same way HBO does. Judge your company?

PPS. Also, how did I fail to recognise that Red is CAPTAIN JANEWAY? Also much missed. But found again!
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
aka the latest Simon Pegg-Nick Frost venture.

I actually really enjoyed it, a hell of a lot more than Hot Fuzz and probably a lot more than Shaun of the Dead. Should be asleep, so this will be short. Read more... )

Oh, and we saw a trailer for the new Sandra Bullock buddy movie with Melissa McCarthy. It looked absolutely aces. Miss Congenality 2 is the most underrated two women buddy cop film ever, but I think this should be pretty excellent too. And earlier today I watched half an episode of Orange is the New Black. That seemed quite good, and I was promised somewhere good characters. The lead seems a bit of a cliché, but I'm hoping she grows into it a bit and the show doesn't keep her forever as a poor little misled flower.
quinara: Spike drinking from a blood bag. (Spike blood bag)
Confessions of a Shopaholic's on iPlayer at the moment, so I watched it, for dubious reasons known to no one. I can't say it was very good, but it got surprisingly close to actually dealing with addiction (actually) at a few points. There were a few beats when it really could have broken into some sort of Trainspotting-esque reality and you realised that the shopping had been a metaphor all along and the frivolous world of New York magazine journalism was in fact the imaginings of someone in a hovel somehow managing to catch repeats of Ugly Betty...

But, anyway, it made me miss the early days of Being Human, when it was all just a heroin addict, a domestic abuse escapee and an HIV-positive randomer trying to make a go of it in Bristol. I don't know why they never realised that the world they'd created wasn't epic fantasy so much as something very, very small. :(
quinara: Mog from Meg and Mog swimming in a diving suit. (Meg and Mog Mog underwater)
I'm very behind on the internet at the moment - sorry about that. That time I took off for my arm caught up with me and I spent last weekend working... Term time comes with too many seminars + semi compulsory socialising, which I had forgotten.

Anyway, this series of The Thick of It has been a bit strange. Read more... )
quinara: Illyria looking serious in bright light. (Illyria shine)
I wrote a fic for [community profile] sb_fag_ends:

Super Saturday and the Sloughing of Sun-Dried Sloth.

In which Spike watches the Olympics, Buffy vanquishes some tomato demons and everyone is grateful for iPlayer.

Super tame; slightly sweary; tries to be amusing. Set vaguely in my London futureverse a couple of weeks after an apocalypse (and one week into the Olympics).

I've also been watching Veep, ie. Armando Ianucci's US pseudo-reinvention of The Thick of It... Did anybody see it? What did you think of it? I really like it. It's different to The Thick of It (the return of which I'm massively excited for), but still very entertaining. And there are motorcades! I can't seem to find any non-UK reviews very easily, though I'm sure they must exist.
quinara: No Kicking Penguins (Penguins)
Has there been a better thing on television in a long time? I really don't know because this is just so clever. I can't even sum it up, just...

OK, so we start with the industrial revolution, with all its dark satanic mills and dreams for the future - are we Blake dreaming of a world without industry (just cricket), or Caliban!Brunel dreaming of a world of noise and riches? No matter the answer we go through to the 50s (ish) anyway, getting noise and darkness and yet achievement, the Olympic rings wrought out of steel.

We then get to 'Second to the Right and Straight on till Morning': the NHS, children, fantasy literature and the moment between sleep and waking - still caught up in dreams and nightmares. Through jazz and the outfits this is also definitely pitched as a historical transition between the Industrial Revolution and the digital age pageant later. It's like an investigation of what the Industrial Revolution produced - the end of infant mortality as a fact of life (labour, if we imagine child labour, transforms into children being looked after in bed and at GOSH) plus the rise of literacy. Put these two together and the main threat to childhood shifts from actual death to fantasy figures, Voldemort like a pantomime grim reaper and Mary Poppins the image of childcare and education. Everything ends happily like a fairy tale; 'childhood' as a safe bubble away from work and threat is banishable even as a nightmare. But this is even undercut by the nurses doing folk dances, as if they're pretending to still live in the idyll. Which we know has gone.

This establishment of childhood and safety then inevitably spreads to produce Youth Culture as a whole in the digital age, which gets it's own celebration in 'Frankie and June Say Thanks, Tim'. (The whole ceremony is about handing over to the next generation; the narrative of the show is about how that happened with cultural authority.) But even that's shadowed by this tension between illusion and reality (all the dancing backdropped by fictional representations of life that is constructed media culture, embellishing on children's literature), and this sense of darkness. I can't catch all the lyrics in the chronological montage, but it's so heavy once you get past the romance:

My sketched transcription... )

So even with this massive upheaval, from rural idyll through industrial pain through childhood's invention and welfare and Teh Yoof taking control; the shift in power from Top Hat Man to Multicultural Dancing Everyone, we're still caught up in this dark, fearful, shifting space between reality and illusion, dreams and hope and dissatisfaction. (The defiance in this section - And we don't care / I just think I'm free / We will be victorious - only comes to segue into uncertainty - Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.)

... So, that's just how I read it (expressed very badly). But I can't help but think it's one of the most interesting national portraits I've seen in a long time. I like this bloke Boyle... :D

(God, I have do something today... Why haven't I done anything?)
quinara: Rinoa from FFVIII watching petals fly. (Rinoa petals)
It wasn't shit. I actually liked it a lot! There were many delights to be had and I might actually go and watch it again now (at least the first bit, not the parade, nor the goo later, though that was pleasant enough at midnight). Macca ruined it at the end, as is his way, but the first section was very clever - I've been made to sing Jerusalem in school in my time and it was quite something to see it played out against the irony of history. With Branagh!Brunel and The Tempest, no less!

And I liked the bouncy beds and the GOSH children's stories. And all the music!! It was so nice to feel like there were people at the helm in the Boyle-Underworld team who knew where to go for a recent history of British music. I'm not even a big fan of Dizzee Rascal, but you can't really have a house party without him (and help me for recognising Tinie Tempah too). There nothing like the Pretty Vacant riff as a siren call...

And I thought the 7/7 memorial firey section was very well done (Emeli Sandé has a lovely voice), and I loooved the cycling birds. (Especially to the sound of the Arctic Monkeys! Not who I expect to pop up at an event like this, and so refreshing. Take note, you bookers of Gary effing Barlow.)

They had some very nice picks on the flag carriers. Shami Chakrabarti looked like she couldn't believe she'd been asked, and I couldn't quite either, but, yeah, she's who you want carrying a flag!

And someone somewhere made some excellent choices about how to do the whole torch-to-cauldron bit. Not least on the copper (best metal). ;)

(Still not going to watch any of the sport.)

ETA: Seriously, I cannot stop re-watching the Isles of Wonder/Pandaemonium opening segment. I'm not sure what other national pageants I've ever seen for the UK, but this is so captivating. That molten steel running down the shape of the Thames; the pantomime-monster-sized industrial looms. Maybe I'm just easily bought by slick and ironic literary references, but this is spectacle.
quinara: Vyvyan's car from The Young Ones: a yellow Ford Anglia with flames up the side.  And a leg attached to the bonnet. (Vyvyan car)
I have written a couple of fics for The Awesome Ladies Ficathon and Art-a-thon, which I shall bring over later, but you should check it out and comment and prompt and write and artify and everything!

Secondly, is anyone watching Dead Boss? This is the latest sitcom that's keeping me entertained and it does it very well. It's a murder mystery+prison comedy about one Helen, who has been wrongly imprisoned for the murder of her boss. Many, many amusing characters - my favourites are Mrs. Bridges, the dead boss's widow, who is a sort of EastEnders-style arch villain (but clearly a red herring) and also Helen's sister Laura, who has basically taken over her sister's life now she's in prison and wants to be played by Beyoncé when Helen gets out and they sell the film rights of her story. And it has Jennifer Saunders in!

Thirdly, I was soooooooo wrong about Burial (at least the recent stuff, I haven't relistened to see if I was wrong about the early stuff), and have been in love with certain tracks the last few days. This is the latest one: Four Walls, done in collaboration with Massive Attack. Commit about three minutes to it (at least until the proper vocals kick in) and you will (hopefully!) see why:
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
Now I'm listening to Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory. I had completely forgotten how much of this album is rap. I remembered how industrial it is, but the rap is everywhere, along with crude 'dance' remix-squeaks of vinyl and plinky plonky electronics... Oh, the year 2000.

The weirdest thing, though, is the melodies - and the lyrics. The actual content is that nu metal going on emo stuff, but much of the way the verses/rhymes click together and the melodies are straight out of a boy band. I suppose that's the nineties for you, but it's so bizarre. I'm fairly certain I never heard it at the time, but the pop instincts are all in there. o.O
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Meg cackles)
Just watched the series finale of Hustle, in both the UK and the US sense of the term as far as I'm aware and... Damn, that is how you do a finale. All right, so most of the time the show's complete fluff pulled together from caricatures and dodgy monologues, and you can only really get away with breaking the fourth wall if you've been doing it a little bit on and off all along, but it was very, very excellent: Adrian Lester at his Shakespearean best and an almost balletic montage from Emma at one point. Good times.
quinara: Sherlock Holmes thinks porn is boring. (Sherlock porn is boring)
Was far, far better than I was expecting it to be. (I liked the first of the last series, didn't much like the second, thought the third was so-so.) It was excellent, in fact. If we do not get more Irene Adler I will feel cheated in the extreme. So there!
quinara: Little cartoon girl from the Devics' Distant Radio EP cover. (Devics Distant Radio)
This series of Rev has been a bit ropey, I've found - I was saying to Sue (Sue, was it you?) on Saturday that I've found it simultaneously more cartoonish, more dystopian and worse written, - but in isolation, I have to say that I thought this week's episode was very, very good! If only because it as an Archdeacon and Nigel episode. Although I imagine the fact that Richard is James Purefoy means we'll never see him again, a bit like Ralph Fiennes the bishop. :( Too much love for Adam and his iPod, though why has Adoha been completely sidelined this series?

It probably needs mentioning somewhere that I'm still in love with Misfits. Hooray for this series being the Kelly and Curtis series! I think the Nazi episode proved that the pair of them could save the world single-handedly. Right at the back of my brain I want a Buffyverse-Misfits crossover, possibly(?!) where Kelly and Nadira go waaaaay back to school or primary school or something (primary school maybe), and something happens with vampires. I dunno. That might be filed with the S7-Final Fantasy IX crossover that should never happen.

Now that I've packed up for the term and going home tomorrow, I'm procrastinating from cleaning the bathroom and buying Christmas presents (+ my mum's very urgent birthday present) and filing my paper bits by watching TV. Sigh. But The Thick of It Series Three remains as excellent as ever - Nicola and Terri and Robyn for three of the best middle-aged women comedy characters in recent times. And the Opposition!! Always.

Look, videos! Hopefully they might play outside of the UK, though they're off the BBC website, so they might not. Oh, and, um, NSFW, what with all the swearing...

quinara: 'You may be silent, but this will shut you up,' says Andrew. (Andrew ninja)
1) Wow, it has been a long time since I've watched American TV. All the rolled Rs and round, high-in-the-palate vowels are really discombobulating. Still, my ear acclimatises very quickly.

2) I have seen Sleeper far more times than any person should see a single episode of TV. I'm so un-swept-up in it that my eyes pick up the join between every single shot and every single continuity blip - and yet it is still my most favourite episode of the series.

3) Every time I watch this run of episodes I think I'm going to have to watch hard for the Spuffy, because everybody knows it only comes in minor flashes... And then I remember that the pair of them flirt or chat like buddies or reference their relationship in every single scene they have together, and it's all good again.

4) Anya is very, very excellent, especially in Potential.

5) Xander is great (especially when you skip back to the menu before the closing scene of Potential, because I don't care how much better it was than I remember, that speech is on my cringe list), especially when shaking his head with a fond exasperation at Anya.

6) I actually like the potentials when there are only five or six of them. They should have kept it like that. Rona amuses me at this stage in the game - and, yeah, I thought this last time and I'm thinking it again: I like Kennedy; the world has ended.

7) Andrew... Why do we always have to fight?? Seriously, he cracks me up, no repentance.
quinara: Profile shot of Olivier from FMA:B, mostly of her hair. (Olivier profile)
I haven't really mentioned my love of this to anyone but [livejournal.com profile] shapinglight, I don't think, but then I saw that [livejournal.com profile] penny_lane_42 had posted her thoughts and they got me thinking. And thinking. And thinking some more. And then I was going to comment on your post, Lirazel, but everything got long and tangential, so I'm here instead!

The Hour thoughts, at ramble. )

All in all, I might well have to get the DVD.
quinara: Profile shot of Olivier from FMA:B, mostly of her hair. (Olivier profile)
In brief, as I explained to my cinema mates, this film gets a thumbs up. Why?

- The ratio of dragons:airtime was very good.
- I had a laugh (even when there weren't jokes).
- Narcissa Malfoy owns my soul.

Oh, and

- John Hurt! Never leave me.

Feel free to ask me what I liked less, but I'm happy to leave it there.

(Re life, am busy: moving house and organising a month-long trip to France from mid-August, but I soldier on.)


6 June 2011 19:55
quinara: Illyria looking serious in bright light. (Illyria shine)
People of the world - if any one's interested in hearing dubstep meet classical symphony, it's about to start HERE and the Beeb are broadcasting live to anyone worldwide who wants to tune in, apparently. Not that 8pm BST is a useful time everywhere, but if you're around and feel like it, join me!! (Reaction coming soon.)


ETA reaction post event )


quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)

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