prettyarbitrary: (Fuzzy Cthulhu)
[personal profile] prettyarbitrary
I've gone quiet again because I have been hiding from the internet and reconnecting with real life...by which I of course mean paperback books and TV.

What I have been watching:

Grimm - I just spent the past two weeks mainlining the entire run of Grimm so far, and catching up on season 4, and then flailing about it with over in her LJ.  Grimm is one of those shows that got off to a slow start.  Season 1 was not captivating.  But they found their stride about halfway through season 2, and as of season 3 it has taken its rightful place upon the throne of dark fairytale TV.  It's one part Buffy, one part Supernatural, and one part something all its own where fairytale monsters have their own ethnic conclaves in modern cities and cops respond to domestic violence calls at the three little pigs' house.

Doctor Who - I watched the first episode of the season, and then the last two.  I loved those and have no desire whatsoever to expose myself to any of the episodes in between.  BUT THOSE LAST TWO, LET'S TALK ABOUT THEM. *points at comments*  Oh god, that's the best Doctor Who I have seen in years.  And just possibly the best version of the Master EVER.

Sleepy Hollow - working on catching up on this one now.  I'm a few episodes into season 2 (so careful with spoilers!).  I enjoy this show but so far this season doesn't grab me like some of the others I'm watching, or the way S1 did.  I actually voluntarily stopped watching for the evening, when I could have continued.  But, there is John Noble, whom I would pay to watch recite the phone book.  I am captivated every time he's on the screen.

Constantine - some of you may remember that I adore Hellblazer of old.  The main DC John Constantine is softer than Vertigo's version (after all, kids could potentially encounter him), and the TV series is based on the DC version rather than the Vertigo version.  EXCEPT.  He's maybe a leeeetle more Vertigo than that after all.  Up through episode 3 I was beginning to wonder whether they were really going to manifest the potential here.  And then episode 4 happened.  Oh.  Oh YES.

Also, I cackled at the place where they apparently figured out they could draw the line on John's smoking habit.  As long as he doesn't actually puff on camera, apparently he can walk around with it dangling out of his mouth.

Date: 2014-11-16 04:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] airynothing.livejournal.com
As fandom's been fading from first place in my picture, I've been catching up on books! I read two China Mievilles I had on the bookshelf forever, the eye-opening _Dear Leader_ about North Korea from the inside, and now In The Garden of Beasts (it's dictator week!)

...also the other day I was practicing my Bunny Manders writing voice. But you didn't hear it from me.

Date: 2014-11-16 04:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
I keep meaning to read more China Mieville. I love his style. People talk a lot about the 'new weird,' ever since he hit the scene. They invented the term just for him, and then applied it to everything till they decided it was overrated. But when you read him, you know exactly what they're talking about.

Just looked up Dear Leader, and my goodness. I may need to get hold of that.

BUNNY.

Date: 2014-11-16 09:55 am (UTC)
alice_montrose: by me (Henry V - Hooded)
From: [personal profile] alice_montrose
RL does have a way to make online things seem insignificant, doesn't it? What nice books did you read? :)

Must catch up with Grimm (I only saw season 1) and I'm saving Doctor Who for the mid-season break thing they invented - whoever came up with it needs to die). The two episodes of the latter staring Capaldi that I did see were great, though, so I expect good things. And I've been thoroughly spoiled! *cackles*

Sleepy Hollow season 2 is not very exciting :( and I'm watching it for the eye-candy. And John Noble's voice, yes.

Constantine has been awesome so far. I haven't read the comics, but I've been enjoying the show. Soooooooooooooo good! *nod nod nod*

There's also been Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Arrow and The Flash... and the first season of Halt and Catch Fire (if you haven't see it you should because... well, Lee Pace is and awesome bastard in it!).

Date: 2014-11-16 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Oh, RL isn't being mean to me or anything. I just needed a break from the internet for a while. :)

Currently I'm reading The Company Man, by Robert Jackson Bennett. It was described to me as a steampunk noir thriller, and how could I pass that up? So far it is living up.

The last couple of books I tried to read, alas, defeated me with mediocre writing and I had to give up on them. The danger of young adult fantasy: some great ideas there, but the execution is sometimes flawed. Then again, I did pick them up off the clearance table, so.

Sleepy Hollow is great for eye candy, it's true! And even if the show is dragging a bit, I still love the characters (aside from Katrina, who continues to have all the dynamic appeal of a plank of wood). They really had me going with the season opener. That was well-played!

Episode 4 of Constantine was awesome! I couldn't believe that they used the Gary Lester storyline, but I was SO HAPPY. It implies really fantastic things for how they're drawing John's character and where the show may be going. (Also the fact that it's on the same network that runs Hannibal; they're not afraid of grotesque and horror!)

I loved seeing John with Gary. The bombastic showoff act John puts on for Zed is getting a bit old when it isn't ever broken up by anything, and it was great to see what he was like with someone who knew him well enough not to bother.

I really have no idea what to make of Manny the angel. He's new, and weird and interesting (and has cheekbones you could cut paper on). But it's bound to go badly; I think it's already becoming apparent, isn't it, that angels are the one thing John gets along with even worse than demons. XD

Now, what I'm really hoping for is that they run with a couple of the storylines that landed John with some really great demonic enemies. They're the kind you'd love, Alice: suave, evil Machiavellian bastards who hate John so much that killing him would be too easy. ^_^

Date: 2014-11-16 06:15 pm (UTC)
alice_montrose: by me (Gothic Love Birds)
From: [personal profile] alice_montrose
If you have not read it, try The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (a.k.a. Sarah Monette). It is my favourite book this year, and I am not afraid of pimping it to everyone. That is what young adult fantasy should be. Also, it has zeppelins. :)

Like I said, not having read any of the Constantine comics lets me see the show in a subjective light, and I like what I'm seeing so far. It's one of the times when I am happy to be able to distinguish between different productions of the source material. (Although, to be fair, I am probably one of the few who did not dislike the movie...)

I like the promise of Machiavellian bastard demons very much. Fingers crossed, eh? Because we need morally ambiguous characters in TV shows. The ones that will turn on you in the one moment when you don't see it coming and you go "Whoa! Awesome plot twist!"

Actually, it has been a great autumn season for series of all kinds. I have not been following these many things in years...

(Now if only my cat would vacate my computer chair so I can get started on those Thranduil icons... but she looks so adorable and I loath to disturb her... little demon...)

Date: 2014-11-16 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Yes, I need to read The Goblin Emperor! I love all her things.

I liked the movie, too, actually (among other things, TILDA SWINTON.) It didn't read as a Hellblazer adaptation, but as a movie it was good, and I'm glad we have it.

I know, I am so pleased with TV lately. Throwing my favorite kinds of things up left, right and center. It's wonderful!

Maybe if you just sit on her very lightly. I bet she would make a great butt-warmer!

Date: 2014-11-16 06:33 pm (UTC)
alice_montrose: by me (emo - Cat Love)
From: [personal profile] alice_montrose
Oh! You know what else Constantine reminds me of? It sometimes gives me the same vibes as Hellboy. I suspect it's the whole human/demon shared verse thing. And makes me long for a "Prince Nuada" to show up...

She has moved further back, so I shall attempt sitting on the edge of the chair. *ponders the physics of that plan*

Date: 2014-11-16 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Yes! They do have a lot in common. John crosses paths with the fairies less often than with demons, but conveniently the two groups share some things in common. If you hear the name "Nergal" on Constantine, then good things are probably coming.

'Good' by the definitions you and I use, anyway. ^_^

Do it! What could possibly go wrong?!

Date: 2014-11-16 07:57 pm (UTC)
alice_montrose: by me (Default)
From: [personal profile] alice_montrose
Nergal, huh? Well, not to get your hopes up, but from the IMDb full cast and crew list comes this:

Joey Phillips ... Nergal (unknown episodes)

Date: 2014-11-16 08:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
YEEEEEEEEEEEES.

*reminds hopes that they won't necessarily write Nergal the same way*

BUT STILL. Fingers crossed, oh boy oh boy!

Ahaha, oh man. I just looked at his IMDB bio and what a niche he has! The two things he does are consult on shows as a forensics specialist, and play demonic figures.
Edited Date: 2014-11-16 08:46 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-11-16 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] call-me-ishmael.livejournal.com
After one of the Constantine showrunners said dumb stuff about John being bi I haven't been too eager to check the show out. Do you know if they changed their tune about that? I want to check it out but if they didn't amend their position I'm hesitant to do so.

Date: 2014-11-16 05:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Oh man, Ish. "Dumb things the showrunners said about John being bi" is a subject so layered it needs unpacking.

First, let us separate out the jackassery the reporters have put in the showrunners' mouths, by cherry-picking quotes and deliberately taking them out of context to stir controversy and by translating cautiously-couched comments into "THEY SAID THEY'LL NEVER." (Case in point: "THEY SAID HE'LL NEVER SMOKE" but by episode four he's walking around with a cigarette.)

And then let us recognize that anytime you ask a showrunner a question at a convention panel, the answer you get will probably come off sounding stupid and more obnoxious than if they'd had a chance to think about what they're saying.

Taking those points into consideration, the showrunners have indeed said a number of things of varying levels of obscurity, obnoxiousness and intelligence, which boil down to these facts:

1: They don't really want to get much into John's relationships in general. (A relief to me personally, because aside from anything else, John's relationships inevitably end up unpleasant and emotionally abusive.)

2: They have not in fact ever said that John won't be bi, or that they're opposed to it.

3: They are basically not committing at this juncture. "It came up later in the comics and it might come up later in the show," is what it all boils down to.

Which is still dumb, but is it average straight-dude dumb, or actively-biphobic dumb? Hard to tell! So I'm taking the path of optimism and going ahead with watching, hoping to see it crop up at some point.

These guys seem to pay attention when fans indicate that something is important to them, so I'm also hoping that the clamor will help them give a second thought to how meaningful visible bisexuality is in media and expand their minds on this issue.

Man, even if they don't want to push it in the show, it'd just be nice for once to hear something like, "Yes he is, but we don't know how much it'll manifest in the series."

(As an aside, isn't it funny that everybody raising a stink about this is totally overlooking the fact that in the comics, Zed was also bi? In fact if I remember, she DID roll out of bed with a girlfriend very soon after we first met her.)

Date: 2014-11-16 07:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] call-me-ishmael.livejournal.com
Thank you, that makes significantly more sense than the confusion I'd been hearing. (Sometimes I lament the increased communication between fans and creators. It can be such a mess sometimes.)

I agree that his relationships are better off not being a focus. The ones I remember were terrible. Though I would like at least a damn nod to the bisexuality. One day there will be more bi characters on TV than I have fingers, one day.

Haha it's been long enough I don't remember Zed very well. I guess Constantine has the advantage of popularity.

Thanks again for the clarification. I'll probably check it out.
Edited Date: 2014-11-16 07:49 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-11-16 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
I want a damn nod to the bisexuality too. Even if it's just an occasional once-over of a hot guy at the bar, or a comment to Zed or something. *keeps fingers crossed*

Date: 2014-11-28 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Ish! Yo, good news on the Constantine front!

Bisexuality confirmed! (http://johnconstantine.co.vu/post/103782518013)

Date: 2014-11-16 02:12 pm (UTC)
trobadora: (Nick Burkhardt)
From: [personal profile] trobadora
and then flailing about it with over in her LJ.

I think you're missing a name there - I wonder who that could possibly be! *g*

Season 1 was not captivating.

To be fair, I enjoyed it well enough, and it definitely had enough to keep me going! It's not bad in season 1, just not nearly as good as it becomes later.

It's one part Buffy, one part Supernatural, and one part something all its own where fairytale monsters have their own ethnic conclaves in modern cities and cops respond to domestic violence calls at the three little pigs' house.

This is a fantastic description. :D

Date: 2014-11-16 03:38 pm (UTC)
trobadora: (smaller on the outside)
From: [personal profile] trobadora
Oh, and also - Doctor Who was brilliant. I'm not really feeling very fannish about it at the moment, but I love it all the same.

Sleepy Hollow just didn't grab me this season, so I've stopped watching for now. And Constantine is still on my to-watch list.

Date: 2014-11-16 05:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
I re-fannish on Doctor Who a bit every time the Master shows up. ^_^ But Moffat's run keeps pushing me away, so I doubt this'll be enough to get me re-engaged.

Not sure about Sleepy Hollow myself, right now. I could watch more today, but I'm not really feeling the urge.

Oh, Constantine. <3 When you start watching, let me know! I could talk about it for days.

Date: 2014-11-16 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Ugh, LJ erased my link. BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW I MEANT YOU?

And exactly! Knowing the people I know, I've started recommending that they begin watching with the zombie arc.

Date: 2014-11-16 06:01 pm (UTC)
trobadora: (Default)
From: [personal profile] trobadora
If it wasn't right in the middle of a very complicated plot thread I'd recommend people start with Face Off. But it might be a bit much. *g*

Date: 2014-11-16 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Yeah, unfortunately there's a bit too much going on there for new viewers to really get the full impact.

Date: 2014-11-16 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] killabeez.livejournal.com
I'm just reaching the end of S1 of Grimm in my rewatch, and I must say I'm enjoying it a lot more on second viewing, and now that I'm invested. The Renard bits, especially, are fun because I didn't honestly pay that much attention to him the first time around. I thought he was being set up as purely an adversary, so I wasn't that interested. It's also interesting to remember what Monroe was like before he met Rosalee, and to rediscover the fun bits of his quirky nature, friendships, history, etc. I like seeing Juliette more involved as a vet, and I can see why they set her up in that profession (and subsequently, I feel, forgot why they did that in S2).

Nick in S1 doesn't have much personality, and Hank is a bit cardboard cop cutout, too, but there are good moments for both of them.

Date: 2014-11-16 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Yeah, that's what I remember too, from the first time I tried to watch it. I've started recommending that new viewers start with the zombie arc. Things have really livened up by then, and honestly the backstory is not such that they'll feel lost if they step in at that point.

Isn't it interesting how knowing the show sheds new light on the early seasons?

Date: 2014-11-16 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] killabeez.livejournal.com
Isn't it interesting how knowing the show sheds new light on the early seasons?

It really is! I'd also forgotten how many of my favorite tropes they did in S1 (cage fighting, medical experimentation, etc.)

Date: 2014-11-16 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Hahaha, yes! I love how they smash together really old fairytale tropes and newer internet-crack ones. It's such a thing of beauty.

Date: 2014-11-16 06:04 pm (UTC)
trobadora: (Renard)
From: [personal profile] trobadora
Yeah, there's so much in season 1 that is so much more meaningful in retrospect!

Date: 2014-11-16 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
They're really keeping the viewer's eyes on the surface level in S1, but once you know the characters, you can see the things that aren't apparent to a stranger.

I keep marveling over the skill with which this was done. It really is the same as meeting someone for the first time, and not realizing how much you're seeing until you know them better.

In terms of the series, it may not have been the best move, because I think it ended up making the show look like something it wasn't (and thus failing to attract the right audience to begin with). But it was still beautifully crafted.

Date: 2014-11-16 06:15 pm (UTC)
trobadora: (Renard - coins)
From: [personal profile] trobadora
Yes, it's incredibly well done from a craft perspective! It impresses me no end, too.

In terms of the series, it may not have been the best move, because I think it ended up making the show look like something it wasn't (and thus failing to attract the right audience to begin with).

Yes, I'm starting to see this myself. It didn't really apply for me the first time through because I watched it all so quickly, I didn't really have time to form an opinion about the show based on season 1 alone, and of course I was always more interested in the Renard side of things than many early viewers. But season 1 really didn't show off the best of what the show was capable of becoming, or even what it was aiming towards ...

Date: 2014-11-17 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] just-shauna.livejournal.com
I'm gonna have to bed to differ on my opinions on the Master. It may be because I've seen more of it, but I thought it was very contrived. It feels like Moffat is saying "Oh, you're upset that we cast yet another white guy as the doctor, here have a woman as the master." The whole season has left me feeling very flat and tired. The actors are doing their best. But the writing just seems bland, and it's just rubbing me REALLY the wrong way.

I guess after being so invested in the whole GamerGate thing, and delving more and more into feminist theory, I'm starting to see the misogyny that Moffat has been accused of. All his female characters seem very flat to me, and I really hate how every woman has to have a man behind her actions.

I'm ready for a new show runner. And just am not sure if I'm going to continue to buy season passes for it as I have been doing.

Date: 2014-11-17 05:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prettyarbitrary.livejournal.com
Not watching the past season and a half probably helped me feel better about the season finale, I freely admit.

And ditto on the rest. Moffat's Doctor Who just keeps alienating me.

Date: 2014-11-17 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zenten.livejournal.com

This has been my favourite season of Doctor Who ever, even more than McCoy's last season.  Most of that has to do with Capaldi though.

Doctor Who

Date: 2014-11-17 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] derangedstray.livejournal.com
I actually loved the Master! They are wonderfully perfect in their own crazy way. Some of the script in the previous episode did make me cringe at times. (though I did like that mythology/folklore theme going on) Moffat has good writing though that shows more in sherlock, I enjoyed seeing more of Clara she's quite an interesting character :)
Edited Date: 2014-11-17 06:58 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-11-18 07:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mugenmine.livejournal.com
Constantine HAS been getting better. I had pretty much written it off halfway through the first episode. I had been such a huge fan in High School and it was one of the few series I collected from start to finish (and The Sandman), so I was skeptical from the get go... Second episode was kinda meh for me, but then I kind of liked the third one a bit more and yes, the fourth one nailed it for me. Finally they hit the kind of stakes I'd been looking for. It was awesome to see then veer towards the comics again. I'm going to have to reread the series! It's been so long that I've forgotten basically everything. I look forward to the revisit. I really hope it stays on this track :-D Gotta dust off my comic books!

Date: 2014-11-21 04:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] batik96.livejournal.com
I love "Grimm"! And your viewing list ... I make a point of watching "Grimm" and "Doctor Who." I've seen one ep of "Sleepy Hollow" and one ep of "Constantine" and liked both, but I haven't managed to watch anymore of them.

There's so little TV that I bother with, and your list seems to have hit all my current high points!

Date: 2014-11-23 07:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dreamsofspike.livejournal.com
Ooooh, you're into Grimm? :) I LOVE that show, and it currently has a tragically small fandom. :P

I love Monroe, he's my favorite. And I love all the layers the show has been developing over the seasons. I am fascinated and charmed and absolutely love it - although I agree that the first season was a little slow. :P

Hope to be able to discuss the show in the future, so glad to find another Grimm fan :)

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