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 it...it 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 else...eh..jury'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 doctors...so 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 her...in 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.