Category Archives: TV


  • The pizza guy from the Oscars ended up getting a $1,000 tip.  So that’s good.
  • People who are slamming Idina Menzel’s talent after her Oscar performance should hush up, because they were not the ones standing in front of a billion people a couple of months after her marriage broke up and alakjda;skdfasd.  No, that was so not her best performance at all.  I cringed for her, poor thing.  That said, she is amazing.  Amazing.  Haters to the left.
  • Vikings!  Now that the massive drama-punch of the end of Season 1 has become a drama-bomb of epic proportions, I want to go back and see how it all started.  Kudos to the show for sticking to a world and a moral system that isn’t ours.  That said, kudos too for showing that even actions a society allows can have personal consequences.  It’s pleasingly complex.
  • That said, I would watch a show made up of just Lagertha, Bjorn, Floki, and Athelstan in a hot minute.
  • This weekend is FogCon!  So excited.  I love literary cons; they’re like school without notes or tests, and between classes you get to sit in a pretty bar and chat with people who really want to be there.

the yellow king

Writers who are a lot smarter than I am have already written reams about True Detective.  See here, and here.  But whether you see the show as a funky character piece, a procedural with unreliable narrators, or a dip into a murky-deep mythos, I’ll say this:  while I’m watching, I have to remind myself to breathe.  Each hour intensifies a sense of sick tension that I’ve never really experienced with a TV show.  The 8-episode run is more than half finished. I want the last three episodes now.

Spoilery spoiler spoiler SPOIL after the cut.

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In praise of Natalie Dormer

After watching the trailer for Rush about five times in a row, I have a new term for Natalie Dormer.  She’s a chaos hottie.

Seriously.  Her character kisses Captain America without being Peggy Carter.  Her character topples Catherine of Aragon.  Her character snuggles up to Joffrey.  Joffrey.  You think he linked death-by-crossbow with sexy before she was all ‘ooh show me how‘ at him?

And in Rush, she’s a nurse who falls under James Hunt/Chris Hemsworth’s shirtless spell in about three nanoseconds.  David Bowie starts up on the soundtrack.  She pulls the curtain shut around the examination area.  It’s a busy medical center, but she’s Natalie Dormer.  The chaos hottie.

I really look forward to her showing up in things by now.  Her characters will purr at someone, they’ll say something ridiculous in the most innocent of voices (“Shall I fetch my brother?”), and something chaotic will happen.  Awesome.

Arrested Development Season 4 mini-review

It drags until episode 7, “Colony Collapse.”  After that, it’s one big swirling call-back and layer upon layer of nested stories until you finally figure out in the 15th episode everything that’s been going on since the first.  It’s a risky structure, especially since the first half of the season feels so random and scattered, but by the end it’s as fantastic as always.

Two points:  I wish the first six catch-up episodes of the season weren’t quite so long and expository, though I know that had to be done.  Also, I don’t think the flashback sequences of George and Lucille worked well except as a ‘look who we cast!’ gimmick (that said, Wiig did a much better Lucille than Rogen channeled George).

It’s a dark, dark season.  Too much Ron Howard, too little Maeby, just enough of everyone else.  I was giddy every time Argyle Austero (Tommy Tune) made an appearance.  And of course, the show’s mythology remains gleefully intact.  No other show can make me burst into laughter just at a small (or very large), “Her?”

Right now in pop culture

A few impressions from having too much time on my hands:

I am really looking forward to the Winter is Coming series on HBO.  The previews have been fantastic, and even though Sean Bean is a good 15 years older than the role he portrays…it’s Sean Bean.  If you want noble + troubled in fantasy, he is a go-to guy.  The rest of the cast as seen in the previews seems fine, if a little too clean and pretty for the grimdarkgrim world George R.R. Martin created.

Having now seen both The Adjustment Bureau and Source Code, I am reminded that the hardest thing a science fiction film can do is nail the ending.  Both of these decent science fiction movies fall short in that department, and though Source Code is a superior movie in acting, directing, pacing & all the rest, the second of its two supposed endings is SO weak that it cast a pall over the rest of the movie that I had previously enjoyed a great deal.  Boo!  I like a twist now and then, but really, stop writing kooky endings that invalidate the entire emotional premise of the rest of the movie.

I have read about a third of Patrick Rothfuss’s immediate bestseller The Wise Man’s Fear, and so far it’s enjoyable, if not as “squeeee” as the first book in his Kingkiller series.  The university bits have a sort of puckish Harry Potter vibe to go with the carousing and magical exposition, and while I’m enjoying it, it’s starting to feel more weighty and less downright entertaining than the last book.  That said, Rothfuss can actually write funny, and for epic, high-faluting fantasy, that’s fairly rare.

Something else I’ve been enjoying:  Michael Stackpole’s At the Queen’s Command, his fantasy retelling of The Last of the Mohicans and assorted other colonial novels and sources.  It’s an alternate French & Indian war with dragons and magick gunpowder, and while the characterization is SO broad (no old country person can do right, though at least a few new country people seem capable of doing wrong), it’s an entertaining treatment of a historical period I’ve always found fascinating.

A few pop culture notes.

FlashForward, you have exactly one night – tonight – in which to not suck.  We’re giving you this chance because we like Jack Davenport.  If you blow it tonight, if you spend half the show rehashing the last two shows, we’re done.

So You Think You Can Dance Season 6, you had it against Ryan from the start.  Yes, he danced stiffly.  Ding him on that.  Get rid of him, sure.  But the snarky “Maybe you spent too much time in the studio and not enough time practicing” (I paraphrase) was just egregious.  Yes, he helped get Evan a ton of votes.  But jeez.  Otherwise, I have to say I’m looking forward to the season – lotta great dancers out there!

Top Chef, I have stopped buying you on iTunes because the last three times I watched it were just the snarkiest things ever.  If I wanted to listen to an hour of guys giving opinions of themselves and other guys, I’d…you know, talk radio.  Something like that.  I’m in it for the cooking.

Fringe, you are smart to give me more Spock tonight.  Yay!

Criminal Minds, I haven’t watched last night’s episode yet.  But wow, I heard it was good.

Oh Jack Davenport, no!

So far, tonight’s FlashForward is nothing but leaden exposition.  Leaden.  Heavy, laden, dull.  I hope the show can swing back around; I like the cast, and it’s an interesting premise.  But omg, no one needs to say, “You know, we all saw something,” every five minutes.

That said, Fringe once again rocked.  I was pretty irritated at the beginning plot point for the season, and was worried it would just be a rehash of everything learned in the first season.  But instead they’ve ramped it up and kept it interesting, and now I’m completely looking forward to next week.  Plus, Olivia Dunham?  Badass.