cloudsinvenice: a bird peers through a gap in its wing feathers (birb)
Finally got around to seeing Macbeth (2015) and loved it. There are little things like the children singing to Duncan which don't add anything to the plot, and to the best of my recollection aren't in the play, but add enormously to it. It's very particular in its sense of location: not a specific place in Scotland, so much as the atmosphere and emotional sense of place. Actually, what it reminds me most of, in that way and in terms of the quality of the cinematography, is A Field in England.

Tried an episode of Taboo but it didn't grab either of us, but tomorrow I'll have to see the new episode of Sherlocl. Obviously I wasn't wild about last week's, but I am curious about what the writers are up to and I'd like to see if it's more engaging.
cloudsinvenice: a skeptical-looking woman squints at us (side-eye)
Bear in mind that I'm faintly hysterical, since the moment I got online to rant about the show I fell over this bizarre news story about the sinking of the Titanic, and I can no longer tell what's real and what is highly contrived clickbait-esque bollocks. In the context of seeing a new Sherlock episode, this is most unfortunate.

Anyway, Sherlock... )
cloudsinvenice: Tree silhouetted against a twilight sky, with full moon behind it (Twilight tree/moon)
Found a nice new blog, Wyrd Britain, which is full of supernatural stuff and folk horror - specifically I was interested in the latest post, about The Witches and the Grinnygog. I'd thought I knew all of that sort of children's TV series made in Britain in the 80s, but apparently not. Watched it on YouTube and I don't think this one will be getting a DVD revival for the reasons the blogger points out, but it was an interesting curiosity.

Then, through the IMDb page for the series, I came across this Den of Geek article: Spooky and magical 80s kids' TV dramas which mentioned a few more that I'm unfamiliar with. There's also some interesting stuff suggested below it which will enchant anyone of the right age to remember Look and Read...
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
Naturally after the tumult of The End Of Hannibal, I had to get back into Ripper Street. I am assured that it's worth hanging in there for, but my god, it's accomplished more wailing and gnashing of teeth in this house in the first four episodes of season 3 than Hannibal did in an entire three seasons. Yes, even the episode with the... laboratory slides...

Reassuringly, vidders have made two versions of the Friends opening credits, remixed a la Hannibal:
cloudsinvenice: Tree silhouetted against a twilight sky, with full moon behind it (Twilight tree/moon)
For a short time I felt a ridiculous sense of achievement: I'd finally tracked down the text of something I'd once seen being performed by Harry Secombe (90% sure it was him, anyway) on a BBC archive clip. The sketch consisted of him explaining that there's no such work as Paradise Lost, based on the assertion that none of us knows anyone who's read the whole thing. (I suspect a fair few of you would disprove that, but it was funny.) The Daily Mail (so it's good for something...) supplied the context that it had been written by Bernard Levin for Ned Sherrin's That Was The Week That Was, and I actually thought that I'd found the full text on the website of a literary magazine, The Foliate Oak, except that their poem on the subject (which I like very much) is credited to Mark J. Mitchell, and doesn't contain the quote that the DM article included.

Despite a YouTube search, the sketch 'There Is No Such Book As Paradise Lost' remains elusive...
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
Oh god, sorry for making two posts in a row, but this episode of Beauty and the Beast (s1ep5, "Masques") is killing me. Seemingly every American series that ran in the 80s had to do A Very Special Episode About The Troubles In Northern Ireland, and they're my kryptonite. The above line was what made me turn to my boyfriend and go, "Give me the laptop back, I need to liveblog this!"

Catherine and her dad are at a Hallowe'en party to honour Briget O'Donnell, an Irish peace activist. Her bodyguard gets anxious about Mr. Chandler's sword and makes some remark about "croppies" which (as tedious exposition explains) might have been current in 1798 but is basically just an excuse for Irish People Being Irish Irishly and George R. R. Martin (for alas, it is he who wrote the episode) to show off his research. There are fears of an assassination attempt by 'Orangemen' (which... you can see what they were going for in terms of using terms associated with different sides in the conflict, but it conjures up really weird imagery of some guy in a sash and bowler hat showing up to murder her, as opposed to some generic UVF or UDA guy).

Anyway, Briget is being played by some Irish American from Wisconsin who does Fakey Floaty Romantic Vaguely Southern Irish Accent (you know the one) despite being from the Bogside ("In Derry," she tells us sadly, "the night has a darker music!") and... oh, it's just going to get worse and worse. But I am gripped. Horribly, horribly gripped. Also, Briget has a thing for Vincent (my boyfriend is now ad-libbing in her atrocious accent: "Sometimes I just want a hairy paw on me fanny!"), so it's not going to end well. I will edit in more awfulness as and when it becomes necessary.

it became necessary )
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
This is less a recap than a collection of bullet points, but then again, some of the recaps have also been collections of bullet-points... I plan to do the same thing with the new episode of Hannibal tomorrow, when I've had a chance to watch it again.

In spoilers no-one can hear you scream. )
cloudsinvenice: comic art: woman enters room, sees something shocking and gasps (comic: "Oh... OH!")
I think we can all agree that the problem at Gallows Gate is that someone thought to name the place "Gallows Gate" in the first place. It's just asking for trouble...

badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger )

So, the recaps are back. Let's see how long before my head explodes from prolonged contract with a ship more doomed than the Titanic...

Telly meme

Jan. 1st, 2014 08:34 pm
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (GoT: Brienne)
I know, I know. One day soon I'll post with something that is not a meme. But today is not that day. I got this from [personal profile] londonkds:

What shows did you start watching in 2013?
Quite a lot, actually. I haven't watched so much current TV in years! My Mad Fat Diary, Ripper Street, Utopia, Hannibal, Teen Wolf, Elementary, Community, Parks and Recreation, Agents of SHIELD, Orphan Black... no doubt I'm forgetting some and will need to edit them in later.

Old show-wise, I also watched all of Freaks and Geeks.

What shows did you give up on in 2013?
Utopia (the torture was too much - I know, I know, "SAID THE HANNIBAL FAN", but I can handle worse in the horror genre than elsewhere), Parks and Rec (it was hit and miss for us), Agents of SHIELD (it just felt incredibly mediocre), Orphan Black (about 60 seconds in, when I realised it was building to a railway suicide, which Wikipedia confirmed - I realise it's not ABOUT that, but I didn't want to spend the rest of the season trying and failing to anticipate flashbacks and recaps).

I enjoyed the first couple of seasons of Teen Wolf, but lost interest a couple of eps into season three - I suppose the storyline with the Argents just worked so well, and wrapped up so completely for me, that I couldn't get worked up about the pack of alphas. I really liked Stiles and his dad, and also Lydia.

Which TV shows did you mean to get into in 2013 but didn't?
Supernatural, Once Upon A Time, and I vaguely meant to try Homeland but it had gone off 4oD by the time I geared up to do it. Oh, and Orange is the New Black because it looks awesome. I wanted to see Les Revenantes but I could never get the streaming to work. And I really want to see The Michael J. Fox Show!

Which shows do you expect to check out in 2014?
All of the ones I missed above, plus the new season of Game of Thrones.

Which shows impressed you the least in 2013?
I guess I covered that in the "which shows did you give up" answer.

Which shows impressed you the most in 2013?
Being Human recovered from a catastrophic fourth season with a funny, clever and touching season five. Sad that it had to be the last one, but they gave the characters endings I could live with, which is more than could be said for the original cast.

Fresh Meat had another really good year, as did Game of Thrones which, while it does some things I dislike, on the whole does a great job of condensing a huge unwieldy epic into a concise TV show. My Mad Fat Diary and Ripper Street were both incredibly good, and I love the central performances of Elementary.
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (comic: "I'm going to YEE!")
This week the writing mojo has not been with me, and since I'm currently encumbered by stomach pain, it comes without imagery. But [personal profile] teylaminh, as ever, brings screencapping flair (much needed in a fandom whose heyday predated the DVD era) in her recap:

In which my wildest speculations turn out to be correct. Sort of. )
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Police: So Lonely)
It's entirely my fault that the Grand Jonathan Creek Rewatchathon has proceded glacially slowly. Thanks to [ profile] teylaminh for her patience, and you can check out her half of the recap here.

Jonathan Creek: person or narrative conceit? )
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
"Don't you dare go back to sleep, you lazy sow, now come on! You've got three seconds before the saucepan lid!"

Maddy, Maddy, Maddy. You make so much sense to me. You're the kind of person who can't find the motivation to drag herself out of bed... but can and will build an elaborate Ferris Bueller-esque multilayered alarm system in order to counteract that tendency. One involving crashing saucepan lid sounds. I understand this intimately. I am lucky enough that the phone I have now comes with an alarm that inexplicably includes a very loud sound effect of horses' hooves, but before that... well, if I'd only had the wit to do the saucepan lid thing...

Read more... )

cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Harry Potter: Voldemort/Bad)
"I just got a strong feel!"

- Maddy Magellan, predating Tumblr by about fifteen years.

Read more... )Excitingly, you can join the rewatch even if you don't have the DVDs, because as she discovered, a YouTube member, "Instrumentuls", has uploaded the lot! Enjoy. :D

You can check out teylaminh's post here:
cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Police: No Time This Time)
 In light of being exhaustedly brainless and fearing the wrath of HTML foul-ups, I decided this very belated post would be both truncated and un-illustrated. For more fully-featured Creek fangirling, see [ profile] teylaminh 's journal...

Read more... )

cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
Edit: since the cut situation is sorted, I've edited this to reinstate the intended pics. Thanks, DW Support!

"What's with that "Mmmmmm," and that irritating crinkled look that says there's more to this than meets the eye?"
Jonathan's irritating crinkled look: an expression we will be seeing a lot of )

Somehow I had forgotten this show's habit of opening with ridiculous sight gags. Clearly that business with the paintings last time was not a one-off! Here, Jack Holiday, "legendary king of slapstick" and obvious Norman Wisdom analog, is advertising Tonga bananas in the style of a Carry On movie. It has to be politely explained to him that "the image of a bike parked between a girl's buttocks" is not quite the thing these days. Proving that a shit day will generally get shittier, he then discovers that Alan Rokesmith, the supposed killer of his first wife, has had his conviction overturned.

Enter: Maddy, who's doing a press conference with the innocent man and his family... and is disappointed to see a cheque for his life story being ripped up. "Do you think any of us is interested in money?" asks the man's wife. "FFS YES!" say Maddie's eyes, but she's meant to be the crusading investigative journalist, so she's not getting a look in. Alas. Also alas: do you really think that this guy is going to get his chance to "breathe in the freedom" in a peaceful seaside cottage as he plans? Fuck, no.

Maddy watches the money leave the building.
Jack Holiday turns up dead in a locked underground bunker - an understandable suicide, but a teensy bit implausible given the arthritis in his hands - his famous banana ads required him to have a stunt banana peeler. Guess who's going to be getting a phonecall from Maddy?

And naturally, when he does get said phonecall, Jonathan acts all faux-matey-casual and "Ooooh, tomorrow... I'll just look at my diary." His diary is so little-used that he has to lift a boombox off it in order to stare at the cover (which says "1997", the year before this episode aired - that might be due to the ep having been made in 97, but I'd like to think it's an intentional lampshading of the desert that is Jonathan's social life).

At Holiday's home, Jonathan gets shown around by Jack's former-secretary and second wife. She enthuses over an outfit Jack wore in a movie and Jonathan becomes a condescending dick ("The actual outfit!"), which is a not-so-subtle impression I'm already forming of him on this watch-through. The woman explains how Jack's trousers were all weighted around the waist so they'd fall smoothly to his ankles (if they stopped halfway it wasn't funny), and Jonathan gushes, sneeringly (you think it can't be done? You haven't seen Jonathan do it!) about how people don't realise "the scientific precision involved!" Whereupon I call bullshit, since it's hardly a million miles from the illusion stagecraft that is Jonathan's own bread and butter.

He never met a lock he couldn't pick. She never met a brain she couldn't pick. They fight crime!

R points out that Les Dawson is in the background of this story: like Holiday, he was part of a generation of comedians that came up through music hall - and like Holiday, we all remember seeing his second wife interviewed after his death, navigating the presumable emotional minefield of celebrating her husband's life while including the context of his first wife. I feel like it's one of those real-life tropes I've seen in more places when entertainers get biographies, too.

Anyway, the thing that makes this show so watchable AND rewatchable is the wonderfully casual, snarky, as-if-they've-known-each-other-for-years ping-pong of Jonathan and Maddy's conversations. Each, in their own way, is averse to suffering fools gladly. Maddy's getting more used to Jonathan and is quick to come up with her own surreal but logical explanation for how Holiday's suicide could've been accomplished - even if Jonathan does swiftly shoot it down by pointing out that the method didn't require Holiday to lock himself into a bunker left over from the Cold War.

A moment most evocative of Jonathan's social life in general.
The case progresses haphazardly - the moreso when Jonathan wakes up to find a melon with a large knife stuck through it on the pillow next to him. Subtle. And yet, it'll make a lovely breakfast.

Maddy: "I could've come in here and found you with your throat slit!"

Jonathan: "Yeah, I think I saw one of those little sewing kits in the bathroom for just such an emergency."

If you hadn't seen the pilot, The Wrestler's Tomb, this would be a really good, representative episode to start with, showcasing as it does the classic style in which Jonathan and Maddy communicate, and possessing a very satisfying locked room mystery. Only Adam Klaus is missing, presumably because they were still recasting after Anthony Stewart Head's departure for the Buffyverse. (His scarily grinning face does appear on a poster in Jonathan's windmill, however.) This also the episode with the dramatic toilet cross-cut that has been so celebrated on Tumblr, thanks to unicornbandages.

You can't really ask for more, can you? As ever, the rewatch continues at [ profile] teylaminh 's place:

Pics credits:,,


cloudsinvenice: woman resting her head on her hand, thinking (Default)
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