Saturday Waffling (August 8th, 2015)
You will recall that the Super Nintendo Project is a magical ritual to destroy Gamergate.
Less than twenty-four hours after the Lemmings post went up, Reaxxion, the neo-reactionary gaming site created by Roosh V (of Return of Kings infamy) created to try to get people to make the leap from Gamergate to literal, actual rapist announced that it would be closing.
The Great Leisure continues on Monday with Contra III: The Alien Wars. And then The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past the week after that, which I’ll be writing in the next day or two, and which will go up pretty much as soon as it’s ready for Patreon backers. Who have had the Contra III post since Monday. They live in the future. Or you live in the past. Hopefully the Kinda commentary track I did with Jack Graham will also go up sometime this week, along with an a review of Charlie Jane Anders’s All The Birds in the Sky.
I’m delinquent on last month’s Patreon bonus post, which is going to be about True Detective and Hannibal, I think mainly because I feel the need for at least one, if not both to end before I say anything about them. They’re both intense for me at the moment; True Detective less so, and I think it’s the inferior show at the moment (I’d have said the opposite last year), but I’m still very much enjoying the show. Hannibal borders on just too much for me, especially with the Blakean weirdness kicking up, but in a way I’ve seldom been invested in a show.
I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on either show.
August 8, 2015 @ 2:49 am
Had little time to catch up on posts as I have been working away from home and computer for days (will again next week), but well done on so far on Gamegate!
Gotta catch up on True Detective to form an opinion, but never seen Hannibal so can't comment.
August 8, 2015 @ 5:18 am
Ostentatiously off-topic, I have only just noticed the chronological parallel between English cricket's Ashes wilderness years and Doctor Who's. Just saying.
August 8, 2015 @ 7:22 am
First season of True Detective had me completely sealed in by episode 2. The second season has not, exactly, set my hair on fire, but I've been enjoying it for the most part. Every so often it does something fantastic that totally grabs me, like the extended Twin Peaks homage at the start of the third episode, or the orgy with the Bernhard Hermann-esque score.
Like with Gotham, I feel a large part of why I like the first season in particular is it feels like someone decided to make a show just for me and put it on the air. In this particular case, it's because both the first season and, to a lesser extent, the second, have some pretty bizarre parallels to things that happened in a d20 modern game I ran back in high school for some friends. Most of it's probably just me and Nicky Lottapizza ripping off the same sources, but a gang-war in the projects sparked by a lone undercover detective trying to root out a cult of the Yellow King that's using psychedelics to rape people had me trying to remember every person who was in that game and what their names were.
… anyways, looking forward to the essay, should be a lot of fun(?).
August 8, 2015 @ 7:47 am
Due to NBC being complete crap with backlogging episodes besides the previous two (until recently when they finally allowed the entirety of season 3 up to now to be online), I haven't been able to watch any of Hannibal up to Season one (that will change on Monday when the library gets a copy of season 2 in). From what I've seen, the show is very good and is indeed a magical show in the sense that Spider-Man is a magical character: that is, one that puts their finger into their ears whenever someone points out that they are magical and shouts "LA LA LA LA! I'M NOT LISTENING! LA LA LA!"
As for True Detective, while I don't find it as good as the previous season (which might be due to me watching Season 1 all at once rather than weekly) I still find the show to be very good. Especially since I figured out that it was a comedic show and deduced from that that the Family Guy reference in episode 3 was intentional.
August 8, 2015 @ 8:48 am
Hannibal: equal parts amazing and silly. You really do just have to accept that the show works under dream-logic, and therefore exists in a world wherein the cell phone was invented by the closed-circuit video camera was, somehow, not.
August 8, 2015 @ 9:21 am
I can't wait to see what you do with Zelda.
Fortunately, I have some of my Patreon kicking over to you, so I don't have to. =)
August 8, 2015 @ 11:37 am
"Reaxxion – gaming news and reviews for masculine men". Yeah, no overcompensaton there.
I know True Detective only by reputation. Which has been weirdly roller-coastery. Someday I'll get around to seeing the first two seasons and learn for sure whether one was really so much better than the other or if Pizzolatto just fell from grace once people learned what to expect from him.
Hannibal I am a devotee of. Perversely I find it's fringiness to be an accomplishment. Fuller started out with at least one character who was universally known through a blockbuster series of movies and to a lesser extent books. He reworked this material in a way that's emphatically not for everyone, but that holds lasting rewards for those who do take an interest.
August 8, 2015 @ 11:39 am
Haven't seen Hannibal.
As to True Detective, the thing is, each season is really its own story. Unfortunately, the direction of Season Two plays so much homage to Season One; it really isn't its own thing, and so there's a — I want to say a profound tone deafness to it. I'm reserving judgment on the story itself until the final plays out, but even if it achieves redemption on that front, I'm still always going to be, like, "That story was poorly told." Or at least told in a way that's as unlikeably flawed as each of our main characters.
Secondly, I find these characters much less interesting. Well, much less interesting than the completely original Rusty Cohle, but even the train wreck of Marty Hart was at least played charismatically.
Part of the problem, though, is that what's fucking up Season's Two's characters is held back until too late in the narrative. So we see first what horrible people they've become, before getting a chance to empathize with them. You could get away with that in Season One, simply because of the pervasive flashback structure.
Unfortunately, their backstories are uniformly weak and clichéd. The female cop who was assaulted as a child. The gay cop — in California, no less! — who won't accept himself because of his machismo issues. A corrupt cop who, again, has machismo issues (although I have to say I've really enjoyed watching Farrell play this part). The mobster who wants to go straight but gets dragged back in, hmm, sure I've heard this one before, too, though I like watching Vaughn.
Because we have four protagonists instead of two, the attention paid to each one comes across as highway spaghetti as opposed to the comparatively clean lines of the bayou. It's too busy. However, at least a thematic thread has emerged — all these people are abject failures in their lives, and it looks like they're all about to fail even more, big time. So there is a compellingness to them for me, because I'm very familiar with failure, and getting another perspective on that is potentially valuable.
So that's where I'm at with that.
August 8, 2015 @ 2:55 pm
I think you would have a lot of feels about Hannibal.
August 8, 2015 @ 7:51 pm
Loved True Detective season one, despite the cold-feet induced ending – shame it didn't follow a more Lovecraftian path.
I've tried watching season 2 but didn't make it through the 1st episode.
It seemed they'd made the odd decision that it was the superficial things about season one that worked and decided to pile more of them on top of each other in the hope of reaching the same critical mass.
I agree with Jane – the characters are superficial because there are too many of them.
A potentially good story is spread too thinly amongst too many distractions?
I'm not really motivated to find out at this stage.
Might have a look at Hannibal – I was put off initially by all the films that weren't Manhunter. Loved Brian Cox's version of Lecter. Credible, matter of fact and friendly on the surface which made the reality of the character far more scary than Hopkins' overacted, scenery chewing caricature/glamourous monster.
August 8, 2015 @ 7:58 pm
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August 8, 2015 @ 8:01 pm
Fair warning: Mikkelsen's Hannibal is, while (mostly) less scenery-chewing than Hopkins', far more on the "glamorous monster" side of things than Cox's or even Hopkins for that matter.
A lot of that is down to the source material that Fuller had to work with: due to the usual bizarre hollywood legal issues, he had the rights to the plot and characters from Red Dragon (where Hannibal barely appears) and Hannibal Rising (which is godawful), but not the Clarice Starling character, which meant that basically all of "Silence" and most of "Hannibal" were off limits. So "Hannibal" the TV series is mostly a through-the-blender reworking of Hannibal Rising with a few of the non-Clarice plotlines of Hannibal, leading up to a straight run through Red Dragon as the finale.
It works amazingly well, but the need to have Hannibal as a character in the entire story necessarily ends up with him being portrayed as effectively superhuman. Luckily Mads is, in fact, almost inhumanly charming. It helps.
August 8, 2015 @ 8:02 pm
Ditto our host. I would love to see your take on Hannibal.
August 8, 2015 @ 8:33 pm
I love Mikkelsen so I'm quite open to his interpretation of the character.
Saying "…not the Clarice Starling character, which meant that basically all of "Silence" and most of "Hannibal" were off limits" makes it more attractive to me now.
With regards to the possible hinting that Lecter may be touched by the supernatural, it seems ironic that everyone elses favourite serial killer Dexter was explicitly supernatural in the novels, but not in the series, and that Hannibal Lecter (afaik) in the books was monstrous because he was completely human.
August 8, 2015 @ 8:37 pm
Oh, and I just got the 'xx' in 'Reaxxion'.
Bet those little boys thought it was hilarious when they came up with it. Probably sends them off to sleep with a warm glow, alone, surrounded by their Sad Puppy approved SF and bodybuilder magazines.
August 8, 2015 @ 10:24 pm
I'm gonna check it out now.
August 8, 2015 @ 11:43 pm
We need to start a petition to force Jane to watch Hannibal.
August 9, 2015 @ 3:34 am
You meant you need to start a "patreon" there, Jack, right? 🙂
August 9, 2015 @ 5:26 am
Yes, and we can use it to fund Jane watching other movies/shows like that LOST anime, or that adaptation of the Tempest directed by the guy who made a movie where the only thing seen is the color blue. or more posts on Doctor Who.
August 9, 2015 @ 9:46 pm
I would totally consider backing a jane patreon. And would definitely do so if you blogged about Doctor Who!
August 9, 2015 @ 11:28 pm
There's a LOST anime?!
August 10, 2015 @ 6:35 am
Affair in Nolandia. It's on Hulu.
August 11, 2015 @ 4:37 am
I initially resisted "Hannibal" because I thought, 'Been there, done that'. There were 1-2-three! unnecessary additions to the cinematic story of Hannibal Lecter ("Hannibal"' "Red Dragon", and "Hannibal Rising") and I could not see any potential for a TV series with the character.
But then I heard good things about the show, decided to give it a shot… And ended up doing a massive binge on the first season. From that phone call in the premiere episode, I was hooked.
Because in the first season, with its Hitchcock-like 'bomb under the table' design, the audience knows who (and what) Hannibal really is, but none of the characters do, and that allows for an incredible amount of suspense. Couple that with the incredible design and cinematography of the series, and it truly is like nothing else on television.
The Red Dragon storyline, something I would have thought completely superfluous considering it's been adapted for the big screen twice, has been astonishing so far: the story is magical, tragic, and captivating.