Saturday Waffling (August 31st, 2013)


Right. The work update. The Baker book is all drafted, I've got the first round of edits back on Wonder Woman, and as predicted, I didn't quite finish up the Hartnell stuff. (It'll definitely get finished next revisions week, but I allocated some time to the next Last War in Albion chapter, where I just had a stunning bit of luck involving some bibliographic research lining up Maxwell the Magic Cat strips with Moore's Swamp Thing run.)

I'm literally writing three things at once right now, counting this post, so am going to commit the most shameless act of blogger laziness ever.

This is Lettie Hempstock, our newly acquired six-month-old cat. Lettie is mostly blind, and has decided that curling up on my desk is a favorite evening passtime. Occasionally she climbs around my head and purrs a lot.

This is Coraline Jones, Lettie's entirely blind sister. She also likes climbing on my desk, though she is more prone to decide to savagely attack my hands while I'm typing. She is equally prone to crawling around my head and purring.

This is Krypto. It's a fairly old photo of him, hence the snow, but it is also my favorite photo of him, and unlike the cats I haven't been obsessively photographing him to show him off on Facebook.  He is largely undisturbed by the recent arrival of two visually-impared lunatics who think his tail is a fun toy.

As the new season of American television gears up, is there anything people are watching or excited about? Besides a new Joss Whedon show, I mean.


Froborr 7 years, 4 months ago

Korra Season 2. I have high hopes for it--I think Season 1 was a learning experience, and they will avoid the missteps they made and get back to something approaching the quality of Avatar the Last Airbender.

Other than that... not really? I'm taking a hit-or-miss attitude to MLP Season 4, and Doctor Who is British, and... that's about all I'm likely to try to watch as it airs?

Also, gaaaaaaaahhhh, you weren't kidding when you said that e-book formatting was a pain. It's 5:30 AM here, I have been formatting for over TWELVE SOLID HOURS and I'm still only almost done...

Link | Reply

Bennett 7 years, 4 months ago

There are only two current American shows that I watch, and this year will see the final season of both. I'm quite excited about that.

Don't think I'll pick up anymore though. Doctor Who alone eats up enough of my free time.

Link | Reply

Ununnilium 7 years, 4 months ago


Link | Reply 7 years, 4 months ago

Kind of interested in the second season of Arrow, the first of which was last year's "Not-Amazing-But-Better-Than-Could-Possibly-Be-Hoped-For" series. It's a decent, pulpy Miami Vice Lite kind of show, and this second season seems to be getting a bit closer to it's comic book roots, so yeah, I'm excited.

Link | Reply

Alex Antonijevic 7 years, 4 months ago

Definitely hanging out for more Community, Parks and Rec and South Park. Will probably watch The Walking Dead...

But that's all just killing time until November. And then Christmas. And then who knows how the hell long we have to wait. On the plus side, more Sherlock around this time?

Link | Reply

Daibhid C 7 years, 4 months ago

The new Joss Whedon show is the only show in the new US TV season that I actually know is going to be broadcast here any time soon (Channel 4 "later in the year"), so it doesn't seem worth getting excited about anything else just yet...

Link | Reply

Daibhid C 7 years, 4 months ago

Oh, and on another subject I've just realised you never covered Doctor Who: A Celebration (the concert, not the Peter Haining book), broadcast immediately after The Runaway Bride on the red button channel. Does this mean you won't be covering the Proms, either? I suppose there's not really much to analyse in them beyond "Doctor Who music is good enough to get its own Prom", really.

Link | Reply

peeeeeeet 7 years, 4 months ago

Orange is the New Black. I haven't been as excited about a new show for something like ten years. I think - if they don't flub the second season - it could become the landmark show of the generation, not least because it offers final proof that Netflix' original content approach doesn't just work for stuff with a pre-existing buzz like Arrested Development season four. Content wise, it moves effortlessly from hilarious one-liners to moments of shocking violence to unbearably tender and personal scenes to moments of highwire erotic tension. It's got a flawless cast (only Prepon doesn't always convince, and I love the character enough that I don't care), one of the most diverse casts of women I can remember seeing anywhere, and it's a generous as it gets in its storytelling. I could make minor criticisms - Pornstache is possibly a bit too much of a grotesque, wonderfully entertaining though he nevertheless is, and it's not completely above the "TV moment" - the last episode in particular containing one sequence that was a bit too cornball. But the combination of quirky, unpredictable dialogue and a determination to leave no characterisation stone unturned makes it already one of my ten favourite dramas of ALL TIME.

Link | Reply

Kit 7 years, 4 months ago

Just spent twenty minutes on the writing staff situations of Breaking Bad, Parks & Recreation, and Community, before

Link | Reply

Kit 7 years, 4 months ago

...blogger's phone interface ate the whole thing. And then locked off my replacement post halfway through.

Link | Reply

Nick Smale 7 years, 4 months ago

I've recently been watching the excellent American series "Hannibal". Contrary to what you might expect, this isn't the story of the elephant-herding Carthaginian general; rather, it's a prequel of sorts to the 1991 movie thriller "Silence of the Lambs", which featured a character by the name of Hannibal Lecter, a convicted murderer. In the film the imprisoned Dr Lecter acts as an expert advisor to the American Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). "Hannibal" extends this scenario, imagining Lecter working with FBI in a time prior to his conviction. The tension and delight of the series comes from seeing Lecter secretly acting against the investigators he works with while pretending to assist them.

The programme is the brainchild of writer/producer Bryan Fuller, who previously worked on the wonderful "Pushing Daisies", and is as dark (though equally morbid and stylised) as that show was sunny.

Highly recommended.

Link | Reply

Kit Power 7 years, 4 months ago

Under The Dome, though that's already running.

Link | Reply

HarlequiNQB 7 years, 4 months ago

That's a dreadful show, but somehow, I can't stop watching.

Link | Reply

coebabalifeandlove 7 years, 4 months ago

Besides Marvel's Agents, I am intrigued by Sleepy Hollow, OUAT in Wonderland, and The Crazy Ones. (Sarah Michelle Geller and Robin Williams?)

Returning favorites: OUAT (not great, but good) The Amazing Race, Survivor, How I Met Your Mother, The Voice, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory and Elementary.

I just saw The World's End. The Once and Future King!

Link | Reply

EclecticDave 7 years, 4 months ago

I'll probably give the new TP a whirl, also picked up by C4 I hear. I know Phil wasn't impressed by the trailer, but you can't always tell from the trailer.

Link | Reply

Matthew Blanchette 7 years, 4 months ago

Um... Phil? Your cats (and dog) are adorable, but... when and why did you shave your head? :-/

Link | Reply

Marionette 7 years, 4 months ago

I find it compelling, despite not liking any of the characters much. I am baffled by this and would love to work out how it has been achieved.

Link | Reply

Lewis Christian 7 years, 4 months ago

Well, the sketches (Music of the Spheres, the live appearances of Matt's Doctor etc.) may be worth looking into. After all, Phil did cover the Doctor-less less-than-2mins-long TARDISodes.

Link | Reply

HarlequiNQB 7 years, 4 months ago

I just sat down with my six year old and watched Rose with him for the first time - well, second time, but last time the creepy basement was too scary so we never even made it to the Autons.

This time he faired much better, but watched about half of the episode from behind the sofa, as is right and proper.

Which is a long way of saying I think I'm looking forward to watching a lot of Doctor Who this fall. Also Luther, Sherlock, the 50th (of course), Supernatural, Mythbusters and Castle, as well as Whedon's new fare. With that lot, a new Assassin's Creed and GTA, plus a bunch of book covers and T-shirts I need to pull my finger out on I don't think I have time for much in the way of other new TV shows. If the word is good I'll catch up on any recommended later.

BTW, the cats and dog are adorable :)

Link | Reply

TG 7 years, 4 months ago

This is a bit off topic, but I'll put it here since it's the latest post and for once I am fully caught up on this blog! So today our library threw a Comicon that featured a life-sized homemade Dalek built by a local family. (Looked great. My 3-year-old wouldn't go near it.) Naturally, we had a lot of Dr. Who costumes and I noticed something interesting: almost all of the Doctors were between the ages of 13-16, many were girls, and most were 11. (Though there was one very exuberant 4.)

It got me thinking. There's a whole new generation of fans for whom Matt Smith is Their Doctor. Us older folks can debate and argue about Davies v. Moffatt, and the hardcore guys can spit upon Nu-Who, and we can all go on and on about what worked and what didn't and in the end The Kids Don't Care.

And that's exactly how it should be.

Link | Reply

encyclops 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm terrible at keeping dates with shows that are currently running. It was all I could do to watch Venture Brothers and Game of Thrones while they were airing. My usual practice is to wait until the shows and and no one talks about them anymore, and then pick them up and say "I finally started watching Community and it's great!" Well, that's what I did with Battlestar Galactica, and I started halfway through. I have no idea if I'll ever bother watching Community or if I'll like it.

What I HAVE been watching is The Tomorrow People. That show was the coolest thing ever when I was about 8, until I discovered Doctor Who, obviously. Unlike Doctor Who, this show has aged incredibly poorly, or maybe I've just aged incredibly, but it's very difficult to sit through now. I just about lost my mind when I saw that the second story was not going to switch gears from adventures in space and instead be about kids coming out to their parents about their ability to terrify policemen by sitting on bridges. Specifically, I lost my mind when I saw we were in for four more episodes about that bloody awful robot and his deeply discomfiting facial hair. I'm looking for camp Omni action featuring pint-sized Uri Gellers and instead it's plant tentacle gurning and space Republicans.

Why am I forcing myself through three boxes of this instead of trying Community? Because I'm insane.

Link | Reply

Scurra 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm moderately looking forward to Atlantis, since Howard Overman has a pretty good record and I quite liked Merlin.

Link | Reply

ferret 7 years, 4 months ago

We'll have to do a Kickstarter to fly him to Wales so he can review the Doctor Who: The Experience video segments too, and quick before they replace the Matt Smith footage with new Peter Capaldi stuff.

Link | Reply

Cleofis 7 years, 4 months ago

The book was pretty terrible as well, possibly my least favorite book by Stephen King I've read (and I'm a huge fan of his otherwise).

Link | Reply

Kit Power 7 years, 4 months ago

I think it's the best thing King has written in 20 years, and I'm a big fan of his work. I can't remember ever reading something that long that quickly before - the pacing is insane. I think the story just hits my own personal horror spots so well - small 'communities', isolation, the breakdown of law and concurrent reversion to 'might-makes-right', a feeling that a lot of what we hold dear is poorly constructed and vulnerable to the slightest blow, and underneath, the bullies and sociopaths hold almost all of the power.

The only book I can remember reading with a similar sense of dread and pace was 'Sleepers'.

It's very interesting to me how this book has divided opinion. The show seems to have made enough changes to be worth following in its own right (I've only seen the first one so far, following behind the UK broadcast). The scenario is the same though, which means it hits the same buttons for me, at least so far.

Link | Reply

cardboardrobot 7 years, 4 months ago

Believe it or not, I'm excited for the new season of Person of Interest on CBS.

NO, WAIT! Don't run away! Seriously, this is a surprisingly good show. It is a sci-fi show about the birth of an AI and a surveillance state cleverly disguised as a sort-of-normal CBS crime drama. Sneaking sci-fi into the maws of the unsuspecting middle-aged suburban CBS audience is an AWESOME trick. Plus, Amy Acker and Sarah Shahi will be regulars this season. I'm not sure how the writers will fit Acker's incredibly creepy, fascinating lunatic into so much more of the show, but it should be a fun ride.

Also, there's Legend of Korra coming up shortly.

Plus, Broadchurch is currently on BBC America and is surprisingly good for something written by Chibnall. Tennant is MUCH better as a dark, prickly, brooding, tortured detective (which sounds dumb and cliched but it works really well in practice) than as the Doctor, IMHO. He does "brooding and tortured" much better than "overly enthusiastic." I'm puzzled as to why Chibnall (almost typed Chinball) is so much better at this than at Doctor Who. Perhaps he lacks the right imagination to escape from the modern day or something. That would make sci-fi hard.

There's a ton of other good stuff on TV. Reading the A.V. Club's TV section will do that to you. I've got to get away from that site.

Link | Reply

cardboardrobot 7 years, 4 months ago

I respect "Hannibal" and enjoyed parts of it despite nearly giving up on it several times. The show has good qualities but I believe it is overhyped. Its psychology is laughable. The main character essentially has psychic powers. His ability to "see what the killer sees" is not remotely plausible in any way, yet the show is written as if this is somehow based in real science and psychology. The plots are often thin and wispy, especially in the early episodes, though this is a fault shared by many modern TV shows. Fortunately the show's good points are strong: The riveting acting (there hasn't been a main character who fell to pieces this intensely since Farscape), the cinematography, and the story arc which picks up momentum later in season one. Also, the show seems to take place in some kind of overheated, lurid fever dream, which makes its more absurd elements easier to swallow. I'm not sure in which parallel universe Baltimore is plagued by artsy serial killers who leave their victims' bodies twisted into all kinds of wild, visually-stimulating tableaus, but I think I'll avoid that one if I ever stumble across a wormhole. Seems dangerous.

My other quibble with this show is that it's set in Baltimore but filmed in Quebec. What rubbish. We offer good tax incentives for filming in Maryland, damn it! Grrr.

Link | Reply

New Comment


required (not published)


Recent Posts





RSS / Atom