1. For my emotional, physical and mental health and well-being, I've decided to stop discussing and reading about political issues on social media. (Will most likely read them in the NY Times or via political action emails or tweets that have been pre-set.) ( Read more... )
2. Finished watching the first three episodes of Victoria
-- was quite pleased with it. Granted, probably not a good idea to watch it right after watching the superior The Crown
. But if you haven't watched the Crown in a while, it improves. I'd advise watching Victoria first and saving the Crown til later. The Crown is more in the style of say, Wolf Hall? While "Victoria" is more in the style of "Downton Abbey" or "Poldark". It's a tad on the melodramatic side, so, if melodrama bugs you, and you don't like soap opera, this may not be your thing. I'm enjoying it, but I also tend to enjoy melodrama and soap operas. (I just despise sentimentality and preachiness, which this doesn't fall into.) Jenna Coleman grew on me, and I actually rather like her in the role, as does Tom Hughes as Albert, who is rather compelling. My mother has a crush on him, and I'm beginning to join her. Although I've always been a fan of Rufus Sewall, and love Lord Melbourn, I knew going in there was no way Victoria and Melbourne would end up together. And he'll most likely be gone by the end of the second season if not before. (Apparently there are people shipping Melbourn and Victoria? Weird. Shipping against the narrative on dramatizations of actual historical people and events...is just plain masochistic. (Of course I always thought shipping against a fictional narrative was masochistic.) But that's even more so. You are torturing yourself for no reason. I think some people just like to torture themselves -- ie. masochistic.)
Anyhow, I'm enjoying it. In some ways it's a lot more fun than The Crown and less depressing.
3. Also finished watching the Winter Finale of Lucifer
. Okay, how many finales does this show need? It had a fall finale, then a winter finale, and soon it will come back in the spring with a spring finale. Oh well, at least it's trying for closure, before going on hiatus for six - eight weeks. Makes it easier to sell DVDs or stream, I suspect.
Anyhow, I enjoyed the episode quite a bit and like where they are going with the series. They managed to surprise me in a good way. I was a bit worried about where they were going earlier in the season, but they jumped in another direction. ( spoilers )
4. And I watched the season finale of Crazy Ex-Girl Friend
-- which is one disturbing little satire. It really does lampoon our culture's concept of Romantic love. I'm starting to feel sorry for Rebecca Bunch's therapist. The woman has serious issues and her friends are enabling them.
What's disturbing about the series is...in an odd way, it pokes fun at mental illness. And, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that. I've met people like Rebecca Bunch, hence the reason I'm on the fence about the show at the moment. She reminds me a bit too much of a friend that I broke up with in 2009, after 25 years of friendship. Because...she was exhibiting similar behavior patterns and it was starting to drive me crazy. There is a term for it -- Borderline Personality Disorder
-- where the individual's self-esteem is so low that they require someone else to build it up. They are very charming,
I looked up Borderline Personality Disorder, and under the Free Diagnosis section, found this:
"Limitations of Self-Diagnosis
Self-diagnosis of this disorder is often inaccurate. Accurate diagnosis of this disorder requires assessment by a qualified practitioner trained in psychiatric diagnosis and evidence-based treatment.
However, if no such professional is available, our free computerized diagnosis is usually accurate when completed by an informant who knows the patient well. Computerized diagnosis is less accurate when done by patients (because they often lack insight)."
This made me laugh out loud, because a close friend ages ago, told me never to try and diagnose myself -- it would be inaccurate. Because we tend to generalize about ourselves and lack insight.
Sort of like looking up a diagnosis on a pain you feel in your side, and thinking, wait -- it must be appendicitis or gall bladder, when in actuality it's just gas? I had that happen once, I took a fibercon, and felt weird afterwards, all tingly, couldn't breath, and the nurse online thought I was having a heart-attack. It turned out to be an angina attack or gatrointestinal attack. It's so easy to misdiagnosis ourselves.
Anyhow, Rebecca Bunch exhibits all the signs of Borderline Personality Disorder, as did that friend I had. Which is why I find the series deeply disturbing. At the same time, I think it is a rather accurate social satire/critique of our culture.
But I keep watching it...not for the characters, or the jokes, but the song and dance numbers. Pretty much the same reason I stuck with Glee. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a musical.
That said...it did a surprising and rather twisty ending. All I can say is poor Joss Chen, not sure what he did to deserve Rebecca Bunch. ( major spoiler )
[Ow, ow, ow...note to self, do not stretch legs out in front of you with no bend in knee for lengthy periods of time while typing on lap-top, they will lock, cramp and hurt. Which is what my right leg is doing at the moment. Laptops can be bad for one's health, who knew?]
4. Grey's Anatomy
-- still going strong, and heck a lot better written than some freshman serials. Actually it has improved in some respects since it started. The writing is sharper in places, there's more focus on minority characters and/or supporting. It's more of an ensemble and less of a soapy romance. They also are focusing on more complex issues. The opening episode of the Winter season was about three of the surgeons entering a female prison to operate on a 16 year old inmate having a baby. The girl was in the prison for 20 years to life, and in solitary to protect others. We didn't know why she was there, but her mother refused to see her, and it was clear she'd done something horrid. The episode did a good job of telling the story without preaching, or making judgements, and showing all sides. It was also one of the more realistic depictions of prisons that I've seen on television. (I used to visit one while working with the Kansas Defender Project in the 1990s). I was rather impressed.
The second episode did a good job of getting across hospital/work place politics and how it can interfere with the job.
-- now on CMT, and much improved from previous years. No longer a soap opera about the country music industry, it's more of an ensemble drama about the music industry, and is handling far more complex themes, without falling into cliche. I've been surprised by it. The new writing team is from Thirty-Something, and you can sort of tell the difference. It's less emotionally manipulative and plot-twisty. Better episode structure and more character driven.
Also, the music is more diversified. Less pop country, and more folk, and some gospel. One episode had five different sub-genres...which was impressive.
So if you gave up on this, it's greatly improved. Rayna is actually likable.