shadowkat: (tv slut)
Welcome back Maze. A week with Maze, Detective Dan, and Dr. Linda...and no Ella or Tom Welling/Pierce. YAY! I missed Maze, although she looks different, softer somehow. Did miss Amenadial.
Rather liked that episode. This is my favorite procedural, although it's not a true procedural. In fact the writers aren't even trying any longer with the procedural. Reminds me of what happened with the Good Wife and Angel the Series, started out as a procedural, writers got sort of bored, and went off in another direction. Works for me. I'm not a fan of procedurals, I'm too good at figuring out the mystery ahead of the characters and well, then what's the point?

spoilers )

Fun episode.

Oh, and my other favorite television show is back -- "Good Behavior" -- it's also a darkly funny series, but about a thief, a hitman, and her kid on the run.

Right now my favorite tv shows on or must watch shows on cable (not streaming) are:

* Lucifer
* The Good Place
* Good Behavior
* Grey's
* Poldark
* This is Us
* Riverdale
* Big Bang Theory

And possibly The Gifted.

Enjoying Inhumans and Seal Team. On the fence about everything else.

Can't say I'm fangurl or fannish about any of it...but I'm rarely fannish about things. Last thing I was somewhat fannish about may have been Farscape, but I came so late to the party -- it lasted a year. BSG -- fannish about for a little while, but got annoyed with the final season. Same deal with Lost. Also happened with Once Upon a Time - was fannish for the first three seasons, then got annoyed. Similar situation with Veronica Mars.

The only series I think I managed to stay fannish about during and after its entire run was Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's among the few series that I got more fannish about as it went, usually it's the opposite. I'm not really a cereal fan (meaning jumping from fandom to fandom, not the breakfast cereal).
shadowkat: (Default)
I feel like I've watched a lot of television shows this weekend. I don't tend to watch that much during the week -- mainly because no time. Between work, errands, and other things not worth mentioning...there's limited time. Plus early wake up time.

Burned out. Don't want to watch any more. Poldark will just have to wait until Monday. Assuming I don't decide to watch Lucifer instead.

Anyhow...more television shows below. I don't know if calling this a review is really accurate. Someone took exception with me calling a post a review once, which made me wonder -- what exactly is determined to be or defined as a review?

1. The Gifted

Still enjoying for the most part. But, it's a bit anxiety inducing and seems to make me angry. I think it may be triggering me? I have major difficulties with people being arrested without fair trial or due process. Unfair imprisonment enrages me and is among my worst nightmares. Also, I have issues with racism and fascism. It's why I have not been able to watch The Man in the High Castle -- every time I attempt it -- it triggers me.

So, while I'm enjoying the series -- I keep finding myself yelling at the television set and wanting to kick the villains.

Don't know how long I'll stick with it. I gave up on The Walking Dead and Revenge for some of the same reasons, and admittedly have struggled with both Poldark and Game of Thrones. Comfort television this isn't. It's frustrating to watch at times...and let's face it the world can be frustrating all on its own, sometimes you just want to escape from it.

Anyhow, I like the characters, the actors, and the story for the most part -- I just wish they'd break out Reed Strucker and Polaris from the damn prison and move on to another story already. Not sure I can watch Polaris get beaten up much longer.

I'm beginning to understand why everyone seems to prefer the DC superhero series and MAOS, they are less frustrating and there's a happy ending, for the most part, or a satisfying conclusion. It's less anxiety inducing. Hmmm...I may be a bit of a masochist where television is concerned.

2. Riverdale

Season opener was slow in places, but did a good job of pushing the story forward and maintaining the general norish atmosphere. It really does feel a bit like Archie Comics by way of Twin Peaks, or at the most James M. Cain. The point of view is mainly the teens, but unlike various 90s and early 00s television series -- the parents have a major role and aren't relegated to the sidelines, or completely invisible. That was always my quibble with Buffy and various other teen oriented series -- the parents didn't appear to exist. They were there...but rarely seen. Did Buffy never meet Xander and Willow's parents? It seemed odd. Here at least they are part of the story and a vital part, they may even be the villains. It's not clear.

What's disturbing is who they are casting as the parents...people who were in all the teen shows and movies that I watched in the 1990s and 80s. I mean Luke Perry was Buffy's boyfriend in the Buffy Movie and the teen heart-throbe in 90210. And Molly Ringwald did all those John Hughes teen films.
Madchen -- Betty's mother, was the teen hottie for guys in Twin Peaks, and Billy Crudup - was the teen baddie in the Scream flicks. Ack. I now know how my parents felt. Weirdest thing about getting older, you don't feel like you are any older...until you look at other people and think, okay, wait a second.

Anyhow, I like this season better than last. It's done a good job of building the characters. And Jughead has gotten a bit more interesting.

The teens or rather twenty-somethings playing the teens are rather good in their roles. It's well cast. And the cinematography feels like you are watching a painting unfold. Each scene is so perfectly shot. The writing good be a smidgen or two better...but considering what it is, it's not bad.

3. Once Upon a Time

Well, they've definitely rebooted the concept. This week's episode answered one of the three questions that I was curious about. Which was how they were going to continue the series with Hook, but without Emma, and still keep their happy ending. Also why the heck Regina and Hook ended up in Hyperion Heights with Henry, but no one else did outside of Rumplestilskin. spoiler )

The other two questions I have are -- how'd Rumple get there and what in the hell is his deal this round? Once that gets answered, I may or may not give up on it. Emma unfortunately was and is a better actress and character than her son Henry, and the guy currently playing him. So, I'm not sure this is going to have much staying power. That said, the actress playing Cinderella aka Lucinda, rocks. I love her.

Lucinda: I find it disturbing that my daughter thinks I'm Cinderella waiting for her prince to save her. I want her to see me as saving myself, and supporting her, not idly waiting around thinking some day my prince will come.
Henry: Actually, I think that was Snow White.

Go Lucinda.

Other than that...I don't know how long I'll stick with it. The evil stepmother isn't as interesting or entertaining as the Evil Queen. She wasn't in the fairy tale either. It's sort of dull. And I think they wrapped it up rather neatly last year.

4. Grey's Anatomy

I enjoyed this episode better than last weeks. (I'm not a fan of April, Arizona or Jo when they aren't featured, I'm happy. My mother isn't either. We grouse about them over the phone, so no need to do it here.) That said, I'm feeling sorry for Wilson, and I can't quite decide where they are going with April.

spoilers )

5. Scandal -- yes, I'm still watching Scandal. How much longer don't know. Since it is the final season, I may stick it out.

I like the actors and characters for the most part. Particularly Kerry Washington's Olivia Pope. She's fierce. And Cyrus Been is interesting to me. Also have an odd fondness for Charlie and Quinn.

It's interesting that now that Olivia has the power, she's doing underhanded things. The series has always been a rather adept examination of power, how people abuse it, and how it corrupts. It's similar to The Good Wife in this respect. Both the Good Wife and Scandal are political satires about gender politics, and power. I think The Good Wife is better written, but Scandal is definitely entertaining at times, even though it's plots often make no sense.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Valor

Well, I didn't make it past the first fifteen minutes.Read more... )

2. Dynasty

Will have to watch a few more episodes first. It's okay. Read more... )

It's a more diverse cast. And the actor playing Jeff Colby, has high cheekbones and attitude that reminds me weirdly of James Marsters Spike meets Mr. Trick.

3. The Inhumans

I've seen three episodes of this to date. The first two were apparently back to back, and the third one the next week -- which I caught on "On Demand" because I forgot to record it.

I appear to like it better than everyone else does. But I've learned over the past fifty years not to care that much what other people think - at least in regards to television shows. ;-)

It's different than the other superhero shows on, and it's rather funny in places.

Medusa to ATM: I am Queen of Attilan, Give me money.
Medusa: I am Queen...give me some money...please?

So Medusa goes and robs the royal estates in Hawaii of a jacket, trousers, shirt, and purse -- then goes off to hunt down Black Bolt.

Morpheus - This is taking forever, can't we find a path.
Team member with pretty hair -- oh there are so many plants and they are so beautiful
Morpheus: That's nice, can't you make a path between them?
Team member: Oh, I can do that. Sure thing.
Morpheus: Oh, I can do that? And you wait until now...

It sort of pokes fun at itself. Too many of these superhero series take themselves far too seriously.

It's hard to write reviews of television series. I mean what do you say exactly? I liked the acting? People, or so I've discovered, have very different perceptions/views on what is good acting based on their own knowledge and experiences.

Anyhow, the show is about a royal family of beings with powers. It's not a series about superheroes. It actually has more in common with The Gifted and Heroes, than MAOS, Supergirl, Arrow, etc. Read more... )

That said, if you don't like shows about people with powers in which they aren't doing heroic deeds, saving the world, or working to do so...(ie. not Superheroes but just people with powers and in this case entitled people from another territory with powers), this won't work for you. It's about a bunch of half alien/half human powered beings who think they are better and more evolved than humans, and the racial prejudice on both ends of the spectrum -- with well, the fact that one side can kill the other just by opening their mouth. I can see how that might turn off a few people. It's also serial in structure, with no case of the week, or job to do. So you sort of have to watch it from the beginning or you'll get a bit lost -- similar to Heroes, Legion, and The Gifted. Except no where near as well written. It's fun, but depends on your sense of humor -- mine's rather dry and absurdist, so I found it hilarious in spots, but I tend to find things funny others don't and vice versa.

4. Situational Comedies:

*9JKL - this is a comedy about a television actor whose lost everything a divorce, moving into an apt between his brother/sis-inlaw, and parents. Think "Everybody Loves Raymond" but more upper East Side, and not as likable. (Considering I never liked or appreciated the humor in Everybody Loves Raymond, it's not surprising this didn't work for me. Most situation comedies don't. I like the work place comedies or off-the-beaten track.) I didn't make it past fifteen minutes.

* The Mayor -- eh, has potential, just didn't hold my interest. My jump again if it survives. It may be too political, which was my difficulty with it. Also didn't make it very far. But at least it's different.

Think twenty-something black rapper suddenly becomes Mayor of a small city, with an all-white city council. That's the set-up.

* Blackish -- This is an old show, and I rarely watch because family sitcoms don't work for me, but if you haven't seen The Juneteenth Episode Premiere - try to. I watched it on "On Demand".
It's brilliant. They do a great satire of the old School House Rock ditty I Am a Bill...except instead of I Am Bill -- it's I Am Slave -- detailing the history of slavery from the black perspective in ten minutes. Also does a great job of slaughtering Columbus Day. The whole episode points out the power imbalance between the races and the difficulty of privilege, which by extension has had serious and detrimental consequences -- but in a funny and insightful way.

* Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - another old show, which is often a bit too over the top for me, but this episode is worth watching for the satiric song and dance number "Watch Us Generalize About Men" -- if you can find a clip of it on Youtube, watch it. It's hilarious and an excellent satire on gender politics. Actually the entire series is a satire on gender politics and how our society views sex and romantic love. Each song satirizes one or the other and quite well. Subtle it's not -- so keep that in mind.

*. The Good Place -- worth watching for the riff on existentialism. The writers either are frustrated philosophy majors or have the same general irritation regarding it that I do. It's hilarious, they make fun of the meaning of life, death, and existentialist theory in this episode. Also, make some good points about narcissism. It's a bit smarter with its humor and a tad more subtle than the other shows.

Seal Team

Oct. 14th, 2017 09:28 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
why I'll be posting less and mainly on innocuous topics )


Watching Seal Team, which is better than I expected. It's well acted, and an interesting role for Boreanze, who for the most part is playing more of character role for a change, less romantic lead. (Of course he's not pretty any longer, somewhat rugged, sort of looks like a hockey player gone to seed, and more normal looking. And somewhere between Buffy S1 and Seal, Boreanze became a good television actor, although I never thought he was a bad actor. I liked him well enough in Angel and Buffy. Buffy, for the most part, was well cast, as was Angel, or I'd have never stuck with either.) It's a good role for DB, who is playing Jason, leader of the team, a conflicted solider with problems at home. DB does conflicted well. Also the rest of the heavy male-oriented cast is good. So far I don't see any weak links in the cast.

The pilot is exposition heavy and hard to follow as a result. There's a lot going on, and a lot of back story. The story picks up in the middle, with the team already established. Via flashbacks, we learn that Boreanze's character feels directly responsible for one of his team members' deaths who was also his best friend. That he's separated from his wife due to being married to his job and being away a lot, also not exactly into sharing and emotionally distant. Has three kids, all teenagers. We jump into the team mid-flow, with a lot of military jargon thrown at the screen, and the first job is your typical hostage rescue, failing to capture not kill the bad guy routine (Similar to The Brave's plot-line, but less suspenseful and far more realistic. Not to mention less predictable and cliche ridden.). The difficulty is there's a lot of
jumping back and forth between the flashback, the job, and the home lives of the team -- also a lot of characters are introduced at once and too many pov's.

The second episode is much better than the first. It was compelling enough to get me to watch the second episode "On Demand", which I guess is saying something, right?

This episode gives us more insight on how the team works together. It follows two main pov's instead of several, Jason (Boreanze), who is the seasoned leader of the team, with the world on his shoulders, and Clay Spenser, the young hot-head, who he kicked back to training and off the team. Both are compelling characters, and hit my story kinks pretty hard. (I like wounded/conflicted male and female heroes, with savior complexes, and who have to make tough and often ambiguous decisions. I'm not really gender specific.) The other thing about this episode is it is realistic -- they come upon a bunch of poisoned Syrian kids, and debate what to do about it. The debate is mainly, if you rescued them, then what? They spend their lives in a refugee camp? Will we even be able to do it?
And do we risk ourselves for a fools mission? With impossible odds? They win and lose the day. And Jason also has to make a decision about whether to tell one of his team-mates about his wife undergoing a difficult c-section to delivery her child. Each decision is realistic and fits the tough and world-weary character that DB is portraying. Seal Team, unlike The Brave, feels more like a character piece and the jobs are less important that the character's arcs. It's also not a soap opera, there's no romantic bed-hopping, or love triangles. It's a straight from the top military action drama.

The one draw-back of both episodes, and why my attention kept wandering, is I had to watch both "On Demand" and you can't fast-forward via On Demand. So you are stuck with about five-six commercials interrupting the flow of the drama. I wish the commercials would be before, at an intermission and after -- less disruptive.

[There are so many tv shows that I can't keep track of when they are premiering any longer. I've missed five pilots to date. And had to watch shows via On Demand. Part of the problem is they all have different start dates between September - November. And some of the date published in magazines and elsewhere were wrong. I miss the days when there were less shows and it was easier to track. There are now so many the entertainment mags have given up giving full reviews of all of them. (145 scripted each season). ]

I have the third episode of Seal taped apparently. I thought it was the second.

After seeing these two episodes, I may stick with it for a while. I'm not in love with it or anything, but I find it compelling in places and recommend it to people who enjoy strong albeit conflicted male leaders, military action dramas with heavy and somewhat diverse male casts (although this one is heavily white, but there are POC in it), with a few women characters in supporting roles. If that isn't your thing? Pass this one on by.

I've seen two of these military action dramas to date, The Brave and Seal Team, and I think "Seal Team" is better -- better written at any rate. Title sucks. While they are very different in some respects, they have similar set-ups, so it is hard not to compare them. Also of the two, one (The Brave) I don't buy at all (it reminds me of one too many similar top secret US government covert ops thriller television series that I've seen...which no, the government just doesn't operate like that. I can tell the writers don't know what they are writing about), and the other one I do (Seal Team - whoever is writing this appears to have done some serious research). And certainly more compelling. Of the two? I think Seal Team has more longevity. I could be wrong about that. Anyhow, considering I don't tend to like military action dramas and am not a fan of David Boreanze by any stretch of the imagination, yet of the two dramas -- watched the second episode of Seal Team (on "On Demand" no less) and didn't bother to record the second one of The Brave. Add to all of that? I wanted to like the Brave and not like Seal Team. In short, don't judge a television show by its title or the actors in it.
shadowkat: (Default)
After Poldark, which has pacing attention kept wandering, too much focus on Mr. & Mrs Narcissist Warleggan, not enough on Dr. Ennis, Caroline, and Delmelza, watched Lucifer, which I enjoyed a lot more. Sorry, but there it is. Lucifer is just the more enjoyable series.

Lucifier - Episode 3.2

Eh, spoilers ensue. Still not feeling the love for Welling's Pierce or Ella. The Procedural story however had me laughing really hard at one point...and was rather run. I'm wondering if the writers have decided to use the procedural storylines as comic relief? If so, they really need to tone down Ella's fannishness. It's grating on my nerves.

spoilers )

Odd, the show is on at 8, yet it's going a bit darker than last season when it was on at nine.
Meanwhile the family show about mutants is on at 9, shouldn't that be on at 8? Granted no-one actually watches television live any longer, but still.

I loved this episode.

But, I'm not really "fannish" about the series. I feel no need to purchase the DVDs or re-watch the episodes. I don't really feel that way about any series at the moment. The closest I came was the Great British Baking Show and Daredevil this summer, but that was more out of boredom than anything else...and in regards to Great British Baking...comfort food.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving...which was also this weekend. I have the day off due to...well a holiday that's in bad taste but our governor refuses to let go of or change, because of his Italian heritage. Honestly I'd be ashamed to identify myself with a dude that got lost, didn't realize that most people already knew the world was round, is partially responsible for genocide and mass slavery of the indigenous population.

But hey, day off.

I'm watching it rain. Also watched The Exorcist - the television series not the horror movie.
It's notably creepy. And this season is better than last season in that its moving away from the source material a bit more.

I'll give a chance, not sure if I'll stick with it. It's a bit overtly religious ...well the whole angles vs. demons bit turns me off. TV shows tend to melt by the wayside due to too many choices. I'm rather eclectic in my choices and tend to like pretty much everything. So...

2. The Mary Sue has an in-depth review of The Runaways -- an adaptation of Brian K. Vaughn's comic that premiered around 2010 or thereabouts.

The Runaways reminds me of my friend Maribeth Martell aka embers_log, who passed away several years back at the age of 62. She sent me her copy of it, which I sent to someone else. We used to send gifts to each other. I still have a ceramic lady she made me -- she was an accomplished artist.
She loved the Runaways and would have been eager to see the series.

The review of it...makes me feel old. Why? Eh..

Chase’s icy father is played by James Marsters (Buffy’s Spike) with tightly-held menace, and Gregg Sulkin told me that Marsters is incredible to work with. Marsters has advised Sulkin on how to approach his new fanbase and fame—and relayed mistakes he made as cautionary tales. “The guy is a legend,” Sulkin enthused, seeming thrilled when I asked about his on-screen dad. The British-born, chisel-cheeked Sulkin received high-pitched screams upon his entrance to the Runaways panel, so it’s safe to say those tales from Marsters are going to prove useful when the Runaways fandom kicks into high gear.

A legend? Oh dear. Buffy couldn't have been that long ago? No wait, 20 years. Which means I've been in NYC twenty-one years. And at my current job for ten years. Ack. I was twenty-eight when I moved to NYC and Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered.

Getting hasn't gotten easier and I appear to have less tolerance for nonsense than I did at twenty-eight. Also, I seem to have become less idealistic, more pragmatic, and less optimistic.
Sometimes I miss the innocence I had at 28, when anything seemed possible.

3. Prayers or hopes are with those who live in California. California Burning: Historic Fires break out from Sonoma to SoCal. My aunt informed us on FB that she had to evacuate...due to the fires entering her area. The shopping center is gone. It's ravaging her area. First Montana, now California.

Wildfires broke out Sunday night and Monday morning in California's prized wine country, advancing with stunning, and potentially deadly, speed across the dry and gusty Napa and Sonoma Valleys.

A total of 14 fires in northern California had destroyed about 1,500 structures as of Monday morning, local time, putting this event as among the most destructive in state history.

Winds gusting to 55 miles per hour fanned the flames in Napa and Sonoma County overnight. CalFire Battalion Chief Jonathan Cox told KTVU on Monday that the Tubbs Fire, located between Santa Rosa and Calistoga, "exploded" in size overnight, from 200 to 20,000 acres.

Don't read the comments -- they are obnoxious.

Some members of family, my father's side, live in this area. I pray they are safe.

4. Smart Bitches Reviews the Sci-Fi novel Rebel Seoul

There’s kind of a lot going on, but it’s mostly folded into the world building. Oh spends most of the book very slowly exploring the world of Neo Seoul and building out the history for the reader. Actual plot movement shows up very late, so it’s really difficult to give a summary.

What I liked about this book is that it’s very steeped in Korean culture and (I’m assuming) K-dramas. There’s a glossary in the back of Korean words that pepper the text and dialogue (which is handy, since the only Korean I know is Tae Kwon Do related), and there’s details about geography and food that make the world more real.

I get that there was a lot of world building to do: there’s a whole history of three wars, massive global geopolitical upheaval, and whole society to describe and populate, but it was kind of maddeningly slow at times. I wish that the history had been delivered faster, instead of in dribs and drabs among all of the other details. It wasn’t until actual things started happening at about the 75-80% mark that I went “oh, good, there’s the plot.”

And that’s my main criticism: I feel like so much time was spent building up this universe that it’s at the expense of Jaewon’s story. He’s a kid from the wrong side of the tracks trying to make it in a super exclusive high school in a military dictatorship. It’s a story we’ve had a lot, but it’s one that resonates with audiences, and seeing it through the lens of a K-drama was fun.

This review highlights the difficulties I've had with writing and reading sci-fi over the years. And the pitfalls of writing it. Also why a lot of professional writing instructors tell students not to do it unil they have a strong grasp of plot and character.

Often the writer will get so invested in the world-building that it will be at the expense of the characters and the plot, so there's no real story there -- just the world. Which is fine, if you want to build a world...but not so much if you are trying to tell a story.

It's definitely taken me out of a few books. I require interesting characters and a plot of sorts. World-building is setting, and not that interesting to me. YMMV. So will probably pass on Rebel Seoul.


Oct. 8th, 2017 10:49 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
1. The Margins of Print - Fan Fiction as Book History by Catherine Coker -- which I got from elisi but I'm almost positive was mentioned by yourlibrarian.

Abstract—Contemporary fan fiction is overwhelmingly digital in both publication and dissemination; it has never been easier to access this subculture of writers and writing. However, fan fiction in print has likewise never been so accessible, as a slew of recent popular novels proudly proclaim their fannish origins and make claims such as "More Than 2 Million Reads Online—FIRST TIME IN PRINT!" Further, traditional fannish mores insist that fan work should never be done for profit, and yet numerous print works adapted from fan fiction have become best sellers. I would like to problematize how we consider form and content in both creation and reception, how the popular value of work waxes and wanes in relation to its fan fiction status. In other words, how can we read fan fiction as part of a continuum of historical publication practices by women, and problematize our hierarchies of value between print and digital?

Fanfiction and self-publishing have both been stigmatized. But with the digital age, more and more people are ignoring this and sort of looking at the people pooh-poohing it and saying bugger off, as I run off with my millions.

The internet has in some respects freed people to write and create without worrying about the gate-keepers, who for the most part no longer exist. This upsets a lot of people, mainly people who make money from traditional publishing, television, music and film venues and feel that it is encroaching on their revenue stream. It is and it isn't. It is only to the extent that the public chooses to read fanfiction or non-traditionally distributed cultural works over say traditional ones. Which, hello, means the traditionally distributed works aren't meeting the public's needs or expectations.

If someone prefers to read EL James Fifty Shades of Grey over the latest Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts novel, then perhaps there's a reason for it? (Mainly Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts don't have any new ideas and have become a bit tired in their conventions and style. Having read all three, I'd say they are on par with each other for the most part, with Roberts being the best...but she hasn't had a new idea in twenty years. 50 Shades didn't either, but it did incorporate text messaging and a contract, fanfic writing techniques, which was a new idea stylistically.)

Let's face it the publishing world needs to be shaken up a bit in this regard. It's sat comfortably on its laurels for far too long. Fanfic and self-published novels, such as many of Courtney Milan's recent works, deal with LGBTQ relationships, POC, and love interests that are off the beaten track and defy conventional models. They don't follow the Romance Writers Guidelines, they make up their own.

Same deal with Sci-fi.

Also, I remember a fan telling me that she'd been approached by trade publishers at fan conventions to publish her work. Because they felt she had a built-in readership. She was writing real person fanfic - or celebrity fic, where basically she picks an actor like say James Marsters or in this case a guy from a British Reality Show about casting someone for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat...and puts him in various stories. It's really not that different from Everybody's All Human fanfic that I've read back in the day. And a heck of a lot easier to publish, because all you have to do is change the names and throw in a bit more description. Everything else can remain.
No worries about copyright infringement, because you aren't using anything from the original creator's world. And no worries about defamation, because you just changed the names.

Cassandra Clare did it with Harry Potter fanfic -- her Shadowhunter series is basically based on her Harry Potter fanfic. There's a lot of published fic out there in the YA and New Adult genre that came from Twilight and Harry Potter. Harry Potter and Twilight took fanfic mainstream. Most people didn't know about fanfic until Twilight and Harry Potter. Those of us who were writing and/or reading it prior to that -- know about the Star Wars, Star Trek, Supernatural, Farscape, Doctor Who, House, Buffy, Angel, etc fanfic. I admittedly didn't discover it until Buffy, when I went hunting for Buffy discussion boards, spoilers, etc.. and stumbled upon the fanfic first. This was in the early days of the internet, circa 2002, before we had LJ, before Twitter, before FB, before all the other social media platforms. We just had websites, listserves and voy forums.

Twilight fic tends to be X-rated New Adult. While Harry Potter tends to be Dystopian YA or Paranormal YA. For some reason Potter fans didn't do All Human fic and get it published, near as I can tell.

There are a few fanfic writers such as Cat Valente and CS Pascal who wrote original fics online and self-published them online, prior to a publisher grabbing them and turning them into best-sellers. Andy Weir is an example of a non-traditionally published writer -- who got a best-seller and a movie - The Martian. Go on Good Reads sometime, quite a few of us non-traditionally published writers are on that site. Also before you pooh-pooh it, keep in mind half your flist may fall in that category, just as half falls under the fanfic category.

It's really all about how you promote and market yourself. If you are good at it -- the sky's the limit. If you aren't...doesn't matter how good your writing is, it won't go far.

2. Fanfic pairings I'd like to read but can't seem to find that much of, so gave up.

* Daredevil and Jessica Jones (gen or platonic) - combine those worlds

* Doc Holliday from Wynonna Earp with anyone

* X-men Scott Summers (Cyclops - original version) with Jean Grey(romantic/het), or anyone (platonic/gen)

* John Crichton and Aeryn Sun fanfic

* Sense8 - Wolfgang and Talia, also Wolfgang and the Cop.

* River Song and pretty much anyone

* Starbuck and Apollo (BSG, either version)

Buffy fanfic was easier to find. I have a tendency to like characters and relationships others aren't into writing about.

Oh, regarding Buffy, one fic I wanted to read...but have yet to see is Spike becoming human and acting more like say Ripper or a human version of Spike, not William. Crack martial artist, into killing demons, and becoming a Watcher who hates vampires. I thought about writing it myself but gave up.

Another that I was reading, a WIP, but disappeared before it was completed was about a human Spike with no memory caught in the cul-de-sac hell that Gunn was stuck in, when Dawn runs into him -- thinking he was dead. We had just gotten to Buffy running into him as well...when the writer stopped. Anyone remember it or know what happened to it?
It was doing interesting things with memory loss.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Trevor Noah Responds to the Fox Media View that he Can't comment on Gun Control Because He's a Foreigner

After that aired, Fox News contributor Larry O’Connor wrote a piece on Mediaite, which he then discussed on Fox, expressing outrage at the idea that Noah and other “foreign-born” hosts like James Corden would dare speak about a specifically American issue like the 2nd Amendment. (Full disclosure: Mediaite and The Mary Sue both operate under the same parent company of Abrams Media.)

The video, which you can watch above, was a web-only segment, appearing to happen during a commercial break. In it, Noah says that he doesn’t “take that for granted,” and that this isn’t the first time he’s heard this sort of thing.

He goes on to say, “It’s interesting because I remember when I first got to The Daily Show, in the first weeks that I was here, there was a shooting. People were like ‘Oh, I don’t think he cares enough.'” He said he would respond by saying he’s an honest person, and will respond honestly, not with manufactured outrage or emotion. “And when you live in a place for a while, when you call it home, you feel things that happen, because it’s happening to us.” He points out that “there are certain things that connect you beyond just where you’re from.”

But the conversation around immigration and what is deemed appropriate behavior from immigrants is a total catch-22. The same people that criticize immigrants for not committing to life as an American are the same people who condemn immigrants fro “getting too involved,” expressing opinions or “taking” jobs.

In his original article, O’Connor goes into some in-depth apartheidsplaining, ending his history lesson on guns in South Africa by saying, “But those issues are for South Africans to discuss, debate and solve. I wouldn’t presume to tell them what they should do based on my experience as an America.” Except many Americans and others from around the world did protest the South African apartheid. And as Noah points out, South Africans weren’t complaining about that. They weren’t questioning why Americans had a stake in the well-being of those in other countries.

“If anything,” he says, “I would argue most of the problems we face in the world come from the fact that people don’t deal with issues that they ‘don’t have to deal with.'”

I agree with Trevor Noah. excuse me while I rant on this topic at length )

2. I'm procrastinating on my writing. Meant to write this weekend, to date all I accomplished was putting together a table and chair. Ate the wrong things. And am weirdly wired as a result.

I think the week discombobulated me somehow.

3. Looked into CBS All Access.

The good news? It's better than it was last year. Has more offerings, including movies and old television series, along with all its current ones.

And there's a free one week trial for the limited commercial option.

Bad news?

Two options.

* Limited Commercials - $5.95 a month. (Free Trial). Apparently limited commercials is similar to On Demand's definition of limited commercials. Four on repeat. Also not HD, apparently.)

* No Commercials and HD - $9.95 a month (same as Netflix but not as much content...sorry, Netflix just has more.)

Other problem? They want your name, email address, birthdate, and I think phone number or address.
Also want permission to distribute this information to their affiliates and marketing partners, so they can contact you for various offers. Eh, no. I didn't have to give Netflix, HBO NOW or Amazon that level of info, why should I give it to you? Nor did they ask permission to sell/share my information with marketing companies. You need to change your game CBS, if you want to be competitive with the big boys. Your tv shows are good, but they aren't the level of Netflix, Amazon and HBO.

Evil marketing people came up with this one.

So that stopped me from doing the trial.

Damn. I wanted to see Discovery. But I've worked hard to keep the stupid marketing calls at bay.
shadowkat: (work/reading)
1. On a rainy, somewhat warm day, I'm baking gluten-free artisanial flat-bread, with rosemary, garlic/parsely and parmessene sprinkled on top. I added the eggs, apple cider vinegar, water and olive oil -- to a pre-prepared gluten free flour mix. Mainly because gluten-free flours confuse me.

Have a conflict problem...small group ministry has invited me to a barbecue on Thursday night. And I have got to do laundry and the best night is Thursday. I may try to do it tomorrow. Do it tonight, but baking bread. Laundry is a bit of an ordeal...requires lugging laundry down to the basement, and hoping for an available machine. We have four washers and three dryers for 77 units. You have to plan it right to get around the other people.

Also be patient.

Trying to get self off the sweets and to the savory.

2. Finished latest romance novel that I was reading. So this is the Wed reading meme on Sunday, not that anyone is reading my memes...but in case you are stumbling upon it. Not sure why I'm compelled to read romances at the moment. If I were to hazard a guess -- I'd state it would be one or more of the following reasons, although I think it's hard to quantify why anyone likes or is interested in something at any given time.

* gender politics -- specifically how women writers view gender politics
* comfort -- happy ending
* resolving problems without violence, vengeance, etc -- instead with forgiveness and love
* class issues - for some reason these novels delve into it more deeply than other genres, I've no clue why that is.
* doesn't require that much concentration

Anyhow probably doesn't matter. We like what we like. Want what we want. As long as it isn't harming anyone, who bloody cares? No animals, pets, or humans were harmed during these readings or writings.

The latest two are by Christie Caldwell, a bestselling novelist and traditionally published. I point this out, because I've never seen so many typographical errors in a book...and glaringly obvious ones not subtle stuff like occasionally skipping over a "the" or leaving an "e" off. Obvious. Such as "she" instead of "he", "her" instead of "his", "pressured" instead of "pressure", and improper comma and punctuation placement. It may be a Kindle transference issue. But I doubt it. So, in case you are one of those people thinking only self-published or non-traditionally published books have these issues? Really not. Actually this one had more typos than many non-traditionally published books I've read. (This is obviously an issue for me -- because, besides myself, I have four family members that are self-published writers with varying degrees of success. So yeah, when someone disparages self-published works, I have to remind myself not to take it personally, and let it go. People are insensitive about these sorts of things. Getting traditionally published often has zip to do with talent and everything to do with who you happen to know, similar to most if not all professions in that regard. The only reason Harper Lee got published traditionally was she had contacts in the industry through her friends. And they changed her book to fit their needs. She hated the publishing industry afterwards.)

Caldwell's books are actually fairly good, except for a few plotting quibbles, and well the aforementioned typographical errors. Which are less prevalent in her latest work.

My Lady of Deception -- this story takes place during the Napleonic Wars (I think) shortly after the French Revolution. It's about a British Spy Organization called "The Brethren" that is attempting to keep England safe by whatever means necessary. In this case, determining if the heroine, Georgina, is loyal to Britain or to her father, a notorious terrorist, Irish Republican Cause. Her father, code-named The Fox, has captured a couple of spies and is torturing them for information. For those who despise torture scenes? No worries. We don't see them. Except in flashback or overheard screams. The focus is on the romance between Georgina and one of the captives, Adam Markman, a spy for the Brethren. Georgina without her father's knowledge, obviously, has been sending messages to the Brethren informing them of her father's traitorous activities with Emmet and his attempts to aid the involvement in France. She's also been trying to help the captives. She attempted to rescue one, but believes he died. And is in the midst of trying to rescue Adam, who she's fallen for.

The book is in three sections -- the captivity/rescue, their marriage/falling out, catching her father/forgiveness.
Read more... )

The Spy Who Seduced Her - The Brethren Book #1

Read more... )

3. Bread was really good by the way. They are playing Lady Gaga above me, so I put music on. Not that I have anything against Lady Gaga, but I really don't feel like listening to muffled music at the moment.

This is Us -- was really good this week. Hit all the right marks, with no sappy over-voice or platitudes. Also, they did a good job of examining alcohol addiction without laying on the melodrama, something television doesn't always do effectively.
shadowkat: (Default)
Slowly making my way through my DVR recordings...

1. Wisdom of the Crowd -- new procedural crime series on CBS, Sundays, at 8PM.

I was surprised by this one. Mainly because it actually held my attention and I found the characters along with the gimmick/set-up innovative and somewhat interesting.

Jeremy Piven plays Tanner, a tech innovator (think Steve Jobs meets Joe Walsh), whose daughter was killed a year ago. New evidence has come to light that the wrong man may have been convicted. So he sells his mulit-million dollar business platform, to launch a crowd-sourcing software program that solves crimes via the assistance of social media. The way it works is that they post something similar to "have you seen this person", face and id, to everyone's cell phones. People check it out and respond. (Similar to Amber alerts). They also reach out to people to ask for assistance. In other words, the community helps the police solve the crime via the use of iphones and social media.

It does tackle the legal pitfalls and slippery slope of this concept. Early on someone hacks into the network. And as the police detective assigned to them states -- you can't tap into people's phones, that's a privacy violation, or use information that you've obtained illegally. (So someone on the writing team has researched the legalities of it.)

The cast is interesting, particularly the female characters (which is important to me, mileage clearly varies on this). Also Piven is rather good at playing a vulnerable rich ass, and I've always found him to be an interesting actor. The police detective is played by Richard T. Jones of Judging Amy, Collateral and Godzilla. English actress, Natalie Tena from Harry Potter, About a Boy and Game of Thrones (Osha) is playing the head of the tech team, who is also secretly involved with Tanner.
And Monica Potter (Parenthood) plays Tanner's Congresswoman ex-wife.

So far, the series is fast-paced, uplifting, with emphasis on tech and detective work, low on violence. Which to be honest is a breath of fresh air as far I'm concerned. The action and suspense involves figuring out how to use social media and others to help solve a case. With the interpersonal dramas playing in the background.

I enjoyed it and decided to stick with it for now.

2. Poldark S3

spoilers )

Will probably stick with it this year. Has the same pacing

3. Trailer for Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams...the sci-fi anthology series adapted from Philip K. Dick short stories premiering on Amazon

As is fitting for a Philip K. Dick adaptation, the Electric Dreams series seems concerned with questions of reality, identity, perception, corporate control, and free will. I hope some of the episodes really dive into Dick’s what-is-even-real paranoia, because getting freaked out about whether I exist or not is my favorite part of reading his work.

4. Runaways Trailer finally surfaces...

This is James Marsters new series, where he plays one of the super-villain parents of the kids, along with Marcia Croft and various others. It's based on the Marvel X-men Spin-Off series created by Brian K. Vaughn, that all sorts of folks wrote for at different points. And is being written by best-selling YA novelist Rainbow Rowell

“This is my favorite Marvel book. When [editor Nick Lowe] first reached out to me a few years ago about maybe working for Marvel, it was the first thing I asked him about,” Rowell tells EW of how the match-up came to be. “The characters and original story by Brian K. Vaughan (Paper Girls) are just so great and so beautifully built. I was really excited because I always felt like there were more Runaway stories and that book should just have kept going.”

Damn. Hulu is making me want to subscribe..but must resist. I might do a free trial in November and binge watch Handmaid's Tale, Future Man and Runaways like I did Big Little Lies and GOT this summer with HBO Now.

[I keep skipping over words or my fingers are, I think them, but they don't appear on the page via typing, and it's getting worse. Hmm.)

6. The Good Place -- not as good as last week, or the week before. Mainly because it was 90% exposition and set up for the upcoming weeks.

Right now, Chidi and Ted Danson's Michael are the only two characters I don't want to smack upside the head, and say, you idiots. This is a choice between being eating alive by spiders or scorpions and well having to put up with clowns on the walls and being annoyed to death. Let me think.

And Tahani's sister better have a one-way ticket to the Bad Place, just saying.

spoiler )
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Pretty day for the most part. In the low 80s. Humid. And dry. We desperately need the rain, that will most likely arrive tomorrow and Monday. Assembled a chair and table today...major accomplishment of the morning. I can now paint. One can write without a table, even draw without a table, but one cannot effectively paint.

I miss painting. It calms me.

Also ate too much sugar...I don't know why I binge things that hurt me. Seems rather self-destructive actually, also gets in the way of the sleeping.

Table that was easy to assemble did have a damaged table -- most likely from the manufacturer. While I should just return it. It's nothing major. And I want the table to paint on. Plus can't really notice it. And the table was only $29.

Chair was a bitch to assemble however.

2. Once Upon A Time

The reboot didn't grab me. Honestly they couldn't pick a story that hadn't been done already...such as I don't know there has to be one out there. Maybe Rose White and Rose Red, where the prince is a bear? It seems to me that the writers have run out of ideas.

spoilers )

Regarding Marvel's Inhumans -- I forgot to DVR it this week so missed the episode. Which probably states how interested I was in it. Odd it's not on Demand...I did look. But hard to care one way or the other. (Everything else is On Demand).
shadowkat: (tv slut)
I tend to watch most of the television shows on the weekends, because no real time during the week. Get home from work, exercise (or try to), call mother, make lunch for next day, dinner, scan email and dw, try to write, watch one television show during dinner, get things together to the next day, read, go to bed.

Sometimes laundry is in there, sometimes groceries, among other things. ( I keep wanting to write amongst, but this is apparently not a word except in my head. It should be a word -- it sounds better than among. I'm sorry, it does.)

1. Ten Days in the Valley - airs on Sunday nights, on ABC, and stars Kyra Sedwick. It's surprisingly good, albeit convoluted. Did not recommend to the parents, because I found it hard to follow in places and there's a lot going on. That said, also compelling.

spoilers )

Overall? On the fence, B+/A-

2. The Gifted

I wonder if it helps if you are an X-Men fan? Hard to say. I'm an X-men fan. They are my favorite superhero team. And really the only ones I followed across mediums for any extended period of time. I'm not really a fan of the Avengers or their off-shoots. Didn't follow them much at all in the comics except to the extent that they crossed over with the X-men and I had no choice. I followed them more in the movies...mainly because I like Robert Downy Jr and will watch that man read the phone book. But the X-men? Love. YMMV. Some folks prefer DC and superheroes, and there's those few, beleaguered few, that prefer the mutant freaks who are heroes in spite of themselves, treated horribly, outsiders, but manage to rise above it. The X-men are basically the mascots for anyone who was bullied in school and not popular.

All of this preamble for The Gifted, which is about people who are bullied, attacked, and disenfranchised for being different. Granted their differences tend to be rather dangerous and deadly.

The X-men and it's offshoots always delved into the uncomfortable quagmire of what it meant to have powers and the responsibility behind them -- particularly if you had nothing to do with it, and it was a mere accident of genetics or birth. What do you do if you are being bullied and can't contain the ability to crush those bullying you? And how do we react to something that appears to be a massive threat -- with fear, loathing, and cruelty, or compassion? And what if it isn't? What if what we are so scared of is in truth a frightened boy...being bullied?
mild spoilers )

It's set up as a serialized thriller - not an episodic oh lets kill the monster of the week, with a relationship back story aka Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, et al. This is more similar to Legion and Daredevil in tone and format...also production value and acting ability. In Meyer and Acker, we have some talent on board. Also there's a diversified casting...outside of the Strucker family.

The writing? Too soon to tell. It held my interest. But, I also felt frustrated and angry during it, which may turn me off eventually. The bad guys are annoying, if understandable. And the subject matter hits a bit close to home -- ie, the Immigration Ban and ICE, also the Patriot Act. I'm not entirely sure I like mutants with super-powers being equated with immigrants or racism. It's always been a stickler with the X-men verse. That said, I like what is saying about the topic and how it points out the Strucker's hypocrisy...both parents have no problem putting people away for being different and potentially dangerous, until it's their kid. And their kid is really dangerous.

I find this an interesting issue to explore and one that isn't explored enough in these series.How hypocritical people are and how self-interested. And how they justify it. This series really seems to want to examine that...but in a fun way and within the trappings of sci-fi fantasy, which takes off the sanctimonious edge that is all too obvious in series such as the Good Doctor.

Acting? One of the better ensembles. The mutants are a mixed bag. But overall better than most of the casts of these series. There's less camp. It's not campy at all. And the special effects are rather stellar. Well-produced and well-acted.

So, I give it a B+.

3. Grey's Anatomy S14. Episode 2
And yes, we are on Season 14. I think it beat ER.I'd have to check. I admittedly jumped in and out of ER.

spoilers )

Still 20 more hours of television to watch, assuming I do. I keep getting distracted. Today, I got distracted by the pretty day. I took the day off. Have Columbus Day off as well. I decided to take a long walk around Prospect Park Lake. Lovely walk. But a lot of litter, and it's caused a massive algae problem in the Lake. The culprit? The park has a smorgasbord or massive food court on the weekends nearby and not enough trash repositories for all the garbage that generates, along with its other functions. And people are slobs. People do not carry their waste with them home and deposit it there. Instead they deposit wherever it is convenient. I wish there was a way of figuring out who left the litter -- then waving it magically into the domain of its owner -- say their bed, living room, car or front yard. Karma...I wish for litter Karma.

But other than that? Lovely walk. Saw swans, turtles, geese, squirrels (well always see them), ducks, and dogs, who kept coming up to me to greet me. No, doggie, I can't take you home with me. I work for a living and you would get lonely.
shadowkat: (tv slut)
Well, Lucifer managed to surprise me again. It also made me laugh. And was really good in places....I admittedly was quite skeptical to begin with, but I guess you gotta have faith? Isn't that a song? Also, is it just me or has Tom Welling gotten old and bit...fleshy? He's just not pretty any more. Not that he was ever that pretty to my way of thinking.

male actors that are attractive and those that aren't, also Welling vs. Boreanze..etc.. )

spoilers )

I love this show.

Looking forward to this far so good.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Las Vegas Shooting - Portraits of the Fallen

Reaon 1,646 for gun control. Seriously? Other countries -- this happens -- they have gun control, it stops happening. The US? "No, no, I can't give up my guns..they are like my, no, must have my guns...besides it's a violation my sacred god-given right to bear arms under of the 2nd Amendment. Oh and what if zombies attack like in the Walking Dead?"

Reason 10 for moving to somewhere in the UK or possibly New Zealand....when I retire.

But it you'd like to help, The latest and how you can help.

2. And Tom Petty died, which makes three out of the five Traveling Wilbury's that are now dead. (Roy Orbison, George Harrison, and Tom Petty), also of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Tom Petty Performances

I rather like the Don't Come Around Here Anymore song...which I think turned me on to Tom Petty.

3. Good Omens casting for the Amazon/BBC Adaptation of the Series Jon Hamm is Angel Gabriel.

4. Uhm...okay, Bill Murray is singing with the Chamber Music Assembly...and if you were wondering when did Bill Murray become a singer? He really isn't. And that appears to be the point.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. This is kinda of cool, did not know it existed, I may try it -- Inktober - Drawing a Different Drawing in Ink every day, and posting to Twitter with Hashtag, Inktober.

I need to get back in the habit of drawing, I'm rusty. Been working on writing instead.

2. Amazon is justifying my subscription by opting a lot of sci-fi books for adaptation>

Amazon is betting on science fiction in their upcoming slate of series. In addition to adaptations of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash and Larry Niven’s Ringworld series, they’ve ordered an adaptation of Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, and Santiago Arcas’s comic, Lazarus. Rucka, who wrote the original comic, will help write the TV series, and both Rucka and Lark will executive produce.

3. Television Series Round Up

* Will and Grace -- I tried this. It's a reboot or rather a continuation of the 1998 series, with just a few political updates. The cast looks the same, making me wonder if they made bargains with the Devil or just have great plastic surgeons. So is the humor. Considering I didn't like the 1990s series all that much, this didn't work for me either. Yes, I know, what was I expecting...something different? If the 1990s series did not work for you, this won't.

* Great News -- made me miss Broadcast News, Newsradio, Murphy Brown, and WKRP. It's a bit over the top and I don't like the cast. Considering I was among the few people that did not fall in love with 30 Rock, it's not surprising. I find Tina Fey's humor a bit heavy handed and over the top. I prefer a more subtle approach.

* The Good Place -- Best situation comedy currently on. As a friend on FB put it --"it's an epistemological nightmare. Don't feel bad, I had to look it up to..mainly just to spell it. If you are into philosophy at all, you should be watching this series -- it makes fun of philosophy and organizations, religious thought, and well our society in general.

Also by far the least predictable comedy that I've seen, and the most innovative. There's nothing else like it. This year is so much better than last year.

This week's episode was reminiscent of Ground Hog day, but from the perspective of the Management creating Ground Hog Day and getting frustrated when no matter what they did they got the same result.
Chibi, upon realizing they are repeating themselves over and over and can never learn from their mistake, because when they are rebooted they have no memory of what occurred before...calls it a Nietzchian reoccurrence ---or an epitsmological nightmare. I could write reams of meta on that episode alone. It's a philosophy/organizational sociologist, psychologist dream episode. Academics must be having fun with this series.

* Big Bang Theory Still funny. But impossible to get into if you have not been watching it all along. Very serialized.

* This is Us -- first episode of the season was a bit weak, and somewhat over-sentimental, not to mention heavy-handed and preachy. I rolled my eyes a couple of times. Yes, yes, we know, "it's better to have loved and lost than never to loved at all...and better still to have never lost the love to begin with.." But it's not like people have control over these things. Honestly. Save the platitudes and tell the frigging story.

* Grey's Anatomy -- best season opener that I've seen in a while. Riggs Wife is played by the same actress that stars in Timeless (so I knew she wasn't going to stick around). She survives.
Just doesn't stay. Exactly. And if she does? It won't be for long. Hello, on another television series.

But I enjoyed the show and cast interactions quite a bit. Considering this is it's 14th season and it's managing to stay fresh and compelling...that's saying something.

* The Good Doctor -- this is an adaptation of a Korean Series, and produced by Korean actors, directors, etc. But written by the guy who did House. I wish they had cast more Koreans in the roles, and had more Koreans writing for might have been better. It stars Toby from the West Wing, aka Richard Schriff, and he's just as preachy and sanctimonious as he was as Toby. Also the kid from Bates Motel as the lead. He's good in it. Everyone's still out. There's two very attractive male doctors who report to each other, that look alike and I'm having troubles telling apart. Usually it's female progress. Not sure I'll stick with it, it's heavy handed and somewhat cliche.

The story is about an autistic surgeon who gets selected for a competitive surgical program by his former mentor. spoiler )

* The Brave - the first of four different military covert ops action series debuting this fall. This one stars Anne Hech as the Department of Defense Secretary who sends the team on tough assignments, as she monitors them via drones and satellite feeds from Washington with her Washington team. The team is a diverse unit of four men and one woman. The actors are rather good.
The production professional. The writing....boilerplate. If you feel you've seen something like this before, you most likely have. It's your paint by numbers covert ops thriller. Hostage crisis, off they go to solve it, and kill the bad guys. Of course the bad guys try to retaliate. Will state that terrorists make much better bad guys than Russians/Communists, which were the bad guys in these shows in the 1970s and early 80s. Then it became the drug cartels and organized criminals involved in human trafficking, now it's the terrorists. And they are rather demonized. You, the viewer, will hate them and want them dead.

It's graphically violent and doesn't appear to have much to say -- so violent entertainment, with bias.

But well-produced and directed. Also the plot was rather tight. And we have the typical back story character conflicts, one guy died, the team is struggling to get past his off-screen death and accepting the replacement, who is proving himself. There's a woman on the team who is struggling with the new guy. A sympathetic CO.

The pilot focuses on the rescue of a female surgeon, who they think is just a hostage, only to realize she's been captured to save the life of a head of a terrorist operation. So, they have two tasks, save her and take out the head of the terrorist operation, who they thought was dead.
Meanwhile there's the team struggling to trust each other and work as a unit.

Like I said, it's nothing you haven't seen before and all rather predictable.

Overall rating? B-

4. Bright Lights Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Renyolds - this is the HBO documentary that Carrie's brother Todd Fisher produced and worked on about two years before his sister and mother's death, featuring his family.

It's an odd documentary. Not at all what I expected. The film crew basically follows the family around in their day to day lives, and interviews them and their associates. Featuring news footage, film footage, and highlights from past performances, mainly Debbie Reynolds. (I'm guessing they couldn't get the rights to Carrie's films?)

It reminded me a lot of the Princess Diarist, and some of the things mentioned and referenced in The Princess Diarist are here as well -- such as Carrie's attendance at the Comic Cons signing a billion autographs. She calls it the lap-dance. Or celebrity prostitution. It sort is in a way. People will wait around all night, line up around 9AM in the morning until 9PM at night...just to spend five minute with a celebrity and get their autograph. Can you imagine signing a million pictures? Or taking hundreds of photos with total strangers? This would be my definition of hell. She's exhausted at the end of it. And states, people think she's Leia, when she's more the custodian, and possibly the closest they'll get to the fictional character.

The relationship between mother and daughter, I found touching and relateable. Debbie lived just up the hill from Fisher. They could walk between their houses, they are next door. And visit each other constantly. Fisher states that she always went to her mother..."I always come to her." Until the end that is...and Debbie followed her daughter into the grave. The documentary is bittersweet and ironic in places, because as the viewer watches it, they know something Fisher and Reynolds don't, which is how they died and when. We know...Debbie died while making the arrangements for her daughter's funeral. We know it didn't matter what she left her daughter in her will. We know that Fisher got more tributes at her death than her mother did, it was the one time she outshone the public eye.

Fisher talks about the difficulty in letting her mother go, and fear of her mother's death. But Fisher goes first...leaving them behind.

The other bits worth mentioning?

*Both Carrie and her brother inherited their parents voices, but chose after witnessing what happened with their parents to never pursue a singing career or career in music. Carrie, who Debbie states has a better voice than her own, refused to sing or do the nightclub act that Debbie had groomed her for.
Instead, she chose to write and act in films.

*Eddie who at one time had more hits than the Beatles or Elvis combined, destroyed his career with drugs. A doctor got him hooked early on.

*Catherine Hicklind, Todd Fisher's wife, and 70s/80s television star and movie actress, is huge. She really gained weight. It's weirdly reassuring. You pass 40 and the pounds come on.

*Todd, Carrie, and Debbie compulsively collect pop culture and movie memorabila. They had to auction off Debbie's collection to pay off debt, and the fact that they could not build or create the museum she had dreamed of. Couldn't find an investor. Debbie had Marilyn Monroe's dress from the 7 Year Itch, the Rat Pack Suites down to their underwear, and Dorthy's red slippers from OZ, among other things. Also their houses are covered with photos of famous people.

*Todd at one point states that you have to marry into the fame or celebrity race or it will overwhelm you. And his family really overwhelms people, more than most. True, they've always been in the spotlight.

*Hickland, who had been in the television series Knight Rider, owns a replica of the car.

Like I said, it's an odd documentary, but compelling. (Carrie smoked like a fiend throughout it, and drank a ton of coca cola, which her personal trainer kept trying to get rid of. He'd pour it out. She'd buy more.)

The documentary is worth a look. If you can get if for free, which I sort of did. I had a 30 day trial to HBO Now, so saw Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones and Bright Lights for free, more or less.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. I just finished watching Marvel's The Inhumans, which is not nearly as bad as the reviewers and the media seem to think it is. From a quality perspective? It's about equal to or on par with Marvel: Agents of Shield.

Is the acting bad? No not really. I actually found the bewildered and somewhat gruff performance of Anson Mount who portrays Black Bolt, oddly amusing and compelling. I can't decide if he's mentally challenged or just confused?

The plot? I don't know if it helps to be somewhat familiar with the characters from the comics? At any rate, the story is about a uprising among the Inhumans. Black Bolt and Medusa are currently leading the Inhumans, who are based on the moon. They are a society of hybrid human/aliens. If you've watched any of Marvel Agents of Shield, you may an inkling as to what the Inhumans are. At any rate, the comic books focused specifically on the Royal Family of Inhumans, Black Bolt, Medusa, Maximus, Crystal, etc. Each with different powers, except for Maximus who appears to be genetically human.

Here's the comic book history of The Inhumans:
Read more... )
The series like the books focuses on the Royal Family. spoilers )

If you requires quality in your television dramas and are very selective (aka a television critic) this is not your show. It's campy and a bit cheesy, with loads of melodrama and cheap special effects (think Agents of Shield, Wynona Earp or Supergirl not Heroes or Westworld). So if you like Supergirl, the Flash, and Agents of Shield? Give it a whirl, you might like it. Although it is more melodramatic and not quite as relateable.

First hour? D- (I was bored and my attention kept wandering. Maximus talks too much. Someone needs to smack him. He just drones on and on, or rather whines.) Second Hour? C+ (more active and compelling, also funny in places. Less Maximus whinging.)
Overall rating? C-

2. I really wish Disney would get its act together and stop threatening to remove content that I'm enjoying. Also stop charging more money for access. (Disney? If you have "commercials" you do not get to charge more. If you don't have commercials, you do. There are rules regarding these things, or there used to be.) Disney and Altice the owner of Optimum Cable are fighting over rates, and Disney is threatening to pull content if Altice doesn't pay Disney the rates it wants for ESPN, ABC, The Disney Channel, Freeform. The big fight is actually over ESPN, which I don't watch and could care less about.

Sigh. Anyone else miss the days in which Cable was basically just HBO and Showtime?

They've been posting their threat at the bottom of all of their television shows, stating the channel may go dark on October 1. So I sent angry emails to both services in protest.

Although...frustrating as it is? I will survive without General Hospital (which I can actually watch online), Grey's Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, and...I'm not sure there's that much else. Maybe the Inhumans, although admittedly on the fence about it. The first hour of the Inhumans was boring. The second hour was interesting.

So you know, not that great a loss. It's not like there's not a million other television shows cluttering up my to-watch queue.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Hmmm, remember when I was talking about the book that I'm writing...and how in the book the Aliens do DNA or gene splicing to create a hybrid race or species? (ie. Earther's get spliced with Alien DNA? ) Well, apparently someone else came up with the idea in Spliced about young people who decide to splice their DNA with animal DNA, and the impact it has on the world. Although this writer went in an interesting and somewhat X-men route with it.

As I continued to flesh out the world in which the story would take place, I quickly realized that the central premise—young people getting spliced and becoming chimeras—would have an impact on the world in which it took place, and would provoke a reaction from that world. Looking at the world around me – even back in the quaint, naïve days of a year or two ago – I knew that reaction would not be entirely pretty, and that the bigotry and intolerance I saw wouldn’t likely have disappeared by the time Spliced takes place (although, to be honest, I had hoped it wouldn’t have gotten so much worse so quickly).

That reaction became the final major component of the premise of Spliced—a religious and political backlash of intolerance against chimeras that coalesces around a law—The Genetic Heritage Act—that defines anyone whose DNA is not 100 percent human as no longer legally a person. It’s a stupid law, written by ignorant people, but with devastating effect. And as we’ve seen too many times in human history, when people define other people as less than human, it opens the door for wrongdoings of the most horrific kind.

Unfortunately when I tried the excerpt, the style is too "Ready Player Now" for my taste. I like the idea but the way it's written feels very YA, which doesn't work for me.

That's actually been my difficulty with a lot of sci-fi books. I liked Anne Leckie's ideas, just couldn't get past her bland writing style, and somewhat confusing use of personal pronouns. There's a way you can do it without being gimmicky and confusing, I know I'm doing it in a book that I'm writing. (I read on subways, people, with lots of conversations in multiple languages surrounding me. It's gotten worse. Used to be easier. Or I'm just getting older. Possibly both? I think it's the advent of cell phones or smartphones, which are far noiser than books and magazines. Now I get to hear people's personal and private conversations with their's as if I'm constantly stuck in someone's phone booth. I miss the days in which wifi and cell access was not possible on the trains.)

2. Reviews of Gifted and Inhumans --Yikes.. no one appears to like the Inhumans. I have it recorded, will let you know. Yet, in stark contrast, everyone appears to like The Gifted. (It did have the better trailer. You can tell a lot from a trailer. If you can't hobble together a good, rather spoiler free trailer, your movie or show is doomed.)

Two quibbles with the reviews?

* Iron Fist wasn't THAT bad. (It actually held my attention longer than Luke Cage did. But that may be because I've seen more black exploitation/drug dealing drama's (actually I think just about every drama with mainly a black cast has to do with drugs or crime - Empire, Atlanta, Star, Power, The Wire, How to Get Away with Murder, and now Luke Cage. This is not a fair representation of reality. 98% of black Americans, believe it or not, are not criminals, drug dealers, incarcerated or involved with it in any way. While Iron Fist dealt with Asian Martial Arts, which I've seen far less of and while it too is somewhat of a racial stereotype, not quite as annoying to me. Mainly because I haven't watched that much of it.) I also held my attention longer than any episode of Marvel Agents of Shield, Supergirl, The Flash, DC Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow, or Gotham has.

That said...yes, it paled in comparison to Defenders, Daredevil and JJ.

And I'm apparently in the minority in not being overly impressed by either Luke Cage or The Punisher (I liked Electra better than the Punisher).


* The writer clearly has not read Marvel X-Men Comics, because he thinks the Gifted doesn't focus on any of the characters from the comics. Wrong. It does. Polaris, Blink, Thunderbird, and the other one, are all from the X-men comic verse. The only new ones are the kids. The Struckers are also from the X-men verse. So many of these television reviewers have no knowledge of the comics.

3. Unexpected cost of the new A/C has set me back in my furniture budget. I'd intended to get two more items for apartment. But most hold off...due to unexpected expenditure. Damn A/C.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Zombie Apocalyptic Christmas Musical - just the thing to give the zombie lover in your life for Christmas.

I am on the fence. Not a fan of zombie movies or television shows. Zombies squick me, for want of a better word. But, I like musicals. (It is admittedly odd that the novel I'm currently writing (and may never finish) has as it's back story the Big Zombie Apocalypse That Wasn't -- ie. Aliens took over by accidentally causing a mini-zombie apocalypse.) Anyhow, doesn't matter the musical - I'll watch it. Musicals make me happy. Although I did draw the line at the High School Musical and the musical about the Descendants of the Disney Villains, mainly because the music hurt my ears and gave me a headache. And, I admittedly could not make it through the live television broadcast of Peter Pan, Hairspray (seen it too many times) or Rocky Horror Picture Show (ditto).

2. An Arkansas Dentist got a Green Screen and Illegally hijaked Star Wars footage to make his own local commercial

3. Apparently the David S. Pumpkins Halloween Sketch was such a break-out hit last October on SNL that they've done an animated Halloween special based on it, and voiced by Tom Hanks. (Somehow I missed all that. I'm okay with missing out on it. )


There's other things, but they are depressing and/or enraging or just annoying, therefore not worth mentioning.

Weather is nicer today. Crisp. Robin's Egg Blue Sky. So blue, I couldn't stop looking at it.

Frustrated by everything at the moment. But at least the weather is getting cooler and nicer.

Buying and reading cheap romance novels as if they are candy for the brain. (I miss Shipperx who got this, no one else seems to. Except for my mother, who is doing the same thing for similar reasons.) Perhaps they are. They help me escape for a bit on the subways and trains, I seem to spend half my life on. Two - three hours a day, excepting Saturday and sometimes Sunday. Today was trying to read -- but ended up with a young man and a eight-ten year old boy sitting next to me. They proceeded to engage in a bizarre conversation that kept filtering in and out of my reading, making it difficult to concentrate on my book. Even thought it was a book that requires little concentration.

Man: I brought you a gift today from Arabella. She misses you.
Boy: Oh!
Man: You can open it.

[I sneak a glance at it, it's an odd black plastic puzzle box. The boy seems thrilled by it. Go back to reading.)

Man: I don't want to tell you too much about her or anything else we're doing, the less you know, the less you will have to answer.

Boy: Okay.

(Me: WTF?)

Man: It's important that you feel safe and your safety is our priority. But I will try to set something up so you can see her. She misses you. Arabella does.

Boy: I miss her too.

Man: I've been meaning to ask...I...have you felt that I haven't been there for you? I know I've been really busy with other things. But did you feel that I wasn't there for you?

Boy: No, no. I never felt that.

(I glance over again. Man and boy bump fists. I try to go back to reading. Seriously, this is not the sort of conversation one should have on a subway.)

Man: We can't talk much about this. Have you felt you had anyone to talk to?

Boy: Yes, there's been some people. I was sort of able to talk to my Mom about it.

Man: Do you understand what happened?

Boy: About abduction yes...

(I go back to reading...or try to.)

Man: We're going to get off soon. I'll show you around and take you ...

Boy: Okay, no problem.


See? Weird. I decided the kid was safe. The man was obviously some sort of friend, advocate, social worker, or teacher. Not parent. And the kid had been through something and they were trying to get him safe. The whole conversation kept filtering in and out of my attempt to read and ignore it, because honestly it wasn't my business, and I felt like I was eavesdropping. But they sat right next to me.

This is why it's almost impossible to read anything requiring concentration on the commute.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Poem. I can't remember if it hits the Haiku structure or not. I don't think in numerical structures. And, well can't count worth shit. (Which is why I don't really knit or crochet, you sort a have to be able to count or you end up with well interesting blankets and scarves and hats.)

The past smarts
with every yesterday
Inditing us with its judgments

2. Former freshman roommate posted the following comment on FB in response to another one.

"So what, should I be upset that I can't eat cupcakes due to stiffness in my joints, or that my phone is racially profiling me?"

For some reason I found this funny, when I stumbled over it. Former roommate, who happens to be African-American, and relatively light-skinned (although frankly I never thought much about it), was attempting to state on her phone or post as a status via her smartphone (a Samsung) that she was feeling grateful for being less stiff or lighter. And the phone auto-corrected or provided her with the option..."feeling grateful for being light skinned". This understandably infuriated her. Because she's been discriminated against and bullied for the color of her skin. And isn't happy about being judged by her phone on the basis of it.

The woman who responded is half black and half Hispanic, and another former college friend. She's felt better going off dairy and sugar, because it has lessened pain in her joints. (Which reminds me, I really have to go off ice cream soon. I keep buying small pints of gourmet gluten-free, low dairy, organic ice cream -- latest was McConnells, and Van Leuwen, which seriously is amazing, particularly the salted caramel. I've also gotten on a gluten-free cookie kick, mainly because I don't tend to binge on them. So a bit of sweet. Done. But the sciatic nerve and back pain is back, along with neck and shoulder -- granted this is most likely unrelated...but I digress.) Anyhow the second woman stated, yep, off sugar helps with stiffness.

Her response to the above? "Uhm..admittedly a conundrum, but hey less stiffness."

Anyone else having issues with phones? I barely use mine. And when I do, it does not do that.
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Star Trek Discovery

Dear CBS:

Why couldn't you put your derivative and seemingly redundant male-centric series on CBS All Access, and your cool, female centric, innovative, and ground-breaking, not to mention well-written and well produced series on CBS?

As it is, the only show I feel inclined to watch on CBS is Big Bang Theory.

You gotta change that. Then again, don't own a Nielsen Box, so you probably don't care.

Also, when premiering a new show, please don't put it after a football game, where it will be cut off by anyone who chooses to record it.

And I am resisting your diabolical plot to get me to subscribe, aka pay, to watch The Good Fight and Discovery, even though I really, really want to.

For the folks not living in the US, the only way people living in the US can watch Star Trek Discovery and The Good Fight is by subscribing to the shows on CBS All Access Streaming via the Fire Stick or Google Play or Rogu or SmartTV. We can't get it otherwise. Also it's not like Netflix where you can pay say $11.99 a month and get unlimited tv shows. No. You pay just for that show.

Talked to my mother and a co-worker about Star Trek Discovery, both loved the pilot but neither want to subscribe to CBS All Access to watch it. My mother even stopped halfway through...because she realized she'd have to watch the rest on CBS All Access. had issues with the Klingons not looking like the Klingons in all the other versions of the series.

I finally watched it -- or rather half of it. The other half was cut off, due to the aforementioned sporting event that I wasn't aware of.

Verdict? The portion that I saw is really good. There's a few weaknesses here and there, but nothing major. Suspenseful, thoughtful, interesting lead characters, and the special effects...spectacular.
Also the credits are innovative and different, not to mention quite good.

Rather like the female captain, and commander team-up. And the commander caught my interest immediately. Also, there's a great line in there about racism and culture. "I'm not talking about race, I'm talking about culture -- this is about culture, there is a difference." It didn't occur to me until they said it.

So now I want to see it. I particularly want to see the second half that was cut off. Dang it.

The Klingons looking different didn't bother me. I figured out a reason right off the bat and was able to fly with it. (They look different because they are different tribe than Worf and the others. Just as humans look different, so do Klingons. Also, I rather liked the realistic makeup, and how alien the aliens appeared. As opposed to just humans with bad make-up.)

2. Young Sheldon -- eh, seen this sort of thing before. I found the first fifteen minutes annoying and deleted. It's your basic family drama, with the smart kid, the dumb parents and siblings, and everyone mocking one another and what they like. I found it depressing, the characters unlikeable, and impossible to relate to.

Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV). I admittedly have an odd sense of humor. Most American sitcoms don't work for me.

3. Better Things -- more depressing than Young Sheldon. This is angsty embarrassment humor with a sadistic streak to it -- very dark, similar to Louis CK in tone, with a high emphasis on sexual humor.

Not my cup of tea. I found it cringe-inducing and deleted.

4. Me, Myself and I,

Cute. But I found the jokes obvious. The humor slanting towards embarrassment and deleted within 15 minutes.

It didn't work for me. Also there are no women characters...well there are, but they don't register. Heavily male centric. None of the men are relatable. And within five minutes I wanted to smack the lead character upside the head. Also, I don't like it when characters break the fourth wall and talk to the camera. It irritates me.

So, I didn't like anything or nothing held my interest, except for Star Trek Discovery (or rather the portion of it that I managed to see) and that's the only show I can't access...LOL! This is making me think I should kick cable to the curb and go all streaming. Particularly since I'm having difficulties calling my mother long-distance on my landline and she's the only one I call using the landline. Wait, I'm not sure it is a landline. It's part of the cable three for one package, internet, phone, and cable.

My mother commented on the fact that David Boreanze had a new television series and she didn't understand how he kept getting roles. (She tried to watch Angel, but did not like David Boreanze. She thinks he's ugly and his appeal is completely lost on her.) I told her I wasn't at all surprised. He has a square jaw, and fits the traditional macho guy/action army guy trope which is attractive to many men and women (not us, admittedly, but we don't own Neilsen boxes, so really, who cares?) Well, she admitted, he certainly is well cast as a Navy Seal. Yep, except one problem with that, I told her, it's one of four military oriented television series premiering this season. And bears a lot in common with S.W.A.T, which looks a bit more interesting and better cast.

And I'm hoping I didn't screw up on the a/c placement. In an attempt to get the A/C away from the A/C's dropping water on it, I put it in the window across from the side of my bed. Now I'm concerned its not the best air flow option for the apartment, and my sleeping. It's about five to six feet away...but...will it make me ill? I don't know. Can't do anything about it. Cost me $100 bucks to get it installed. Can't afford to move it again. Can't move the bed -- only other place to move it would be next to the radiator.

Other than that...the day went well, believe it or not. Got stuff done at work and got a compliment from boss -- an oddity. Shoulder and right leg, and right hand are aching for some reason. Co-worker/aisle cubicle mate suggested epsom salt shower, because who takes baths any longer? But I might do a bath.

I'm thinking now. Since I'm somewhat frustrated with television at the moment.
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