Wednesday, December 13, 2017

TV this week

Last night was even sweeter when it came to LGBT representation. Fresh Off The Boat had Eddie and friends helping Nicole to get a date with a girl barista. The kids were so silly and over-caffeinated, but well-meaning, and it's good that Eddie is able to be friendly with his ex-girlfriend. Meanwhile on Brooklyn Nine Nine, Jake helped Rosa come out as bisexual to her parents, who did not take the news well. Rosa's dad later apologized, but said the mom needed more time, so Jake organized a game night with her work family to cheer Rosa up. Holt even hugged her and congratulated her; they've come so far from early days when Rosa dated Holt's nephew Marcus and didn't want to discuss the relationship.

As for other TV this week, the Lucifer's finale was disappointing. They finally revealed Pierce's true identity as the Biblical Cain, and I remain unimpressed. I knew he was shady all long. Why did the show every try to pretend Pierce wasn't the bad guy who made all the files on Lucifer? Why push Ella's huge crush on him, and the fake-ass chemistry with Chloe? The whole technicality of the Sinnerman being some accomplice for Cain is a cheap bait and switch. Plus no one has explained how two human beings were able to restore Lucifer's wings, or take his devil face, or why they wanted Lucifer to kill the Sinnerman. What a shitty episode to start the fall hiatus on.

Doug Jones Wins

Yay! Victory in Alabama, even if Moore refuses to concede. The margin is too large for an automatic recount. I'm so relieved. This gives me hope that maybe we can turn some seats blue in Texas as well, despite all the pessimism and previous defeats.

What a great day.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Shape of Water

I saw this movie today and enjoyed it. It's my first time watching a Guillermo del Toro film, though I've heard about his reputation for years. This is a lovely fantasy romance drama, with great performances. Elisa's friends are interesting characters, and even the scientist guy has his own motivations for helping to free the creature, known as the Asset. There are some bloody, somewhat gruesome moments, particularly about the villain Strickland's fingers that were bitten off, and the cattle prod that he uses to viciously torture people. But overall, the movie is sweet and full of kindness. Elisa and her gay neighbor often watch old Hollywood movies together, and in one scene she imagines herself starring in a movie musical with her lover. Very nice sort of fairy tale.

One of the trailers before Shape of Water was for Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs a stop motion animation pic due next year. I'm not sure if I will see it or not. Recently I watched The Grand Budapest Hotel which I did like. I've gotten used to Anderson's quirky style, but this one was a zany, somewhat frenetic tale of murder, theft, and prison escape, mixed with the beginning of war. The story is framed as a book that a young girl reads, then the Author telling the tale, then Jude Law as the young Author hearing the tale from an old Zero Mustafa about his mentor the hotel concierge Monsieur Gustave. Like in Anderson's other films, there's a lot of nostalgia for an old world that's gone, and apparently Anderson based it on the writings of Stefan Zweig from that era. Lots of quoting from poetry, lots of refinement and elegance, but also a dark underbelly. Anderson fooled me into thinking that Agatha was going to get assassinated by that henchman Jopling, but no, her eventual death was unrelated to the adventures in the movie. Coincidentally, there are also severed fingers in The Grand Budapest Hotel. I wish there had been more Jude Law in it.

Friday, December 8, 2017

99

On Brooklyn Nine Nine, Rosa came out as bisexual in a cool, understated way. Rosa has long been secretive and private about her life, so this revelation combined with the Thanksgiving reveal that she had become closer to her family after getting out of prison, is wonderful character development. The fact that the actress is bi is a bonus. I hope the rest of the gang will find out about Rosa soon.

Her costar Terry Crews meanwhile continues to be awesome in real life. After filing a police report about his sexual assault, and seeing his abuser only briefly suspended, Terry has now filed a lawsuit against him. Hopefully, the abuser will suffer some real punishment and consequences this time. No one should get away with that kind of stuff.

This might be the show's final season due to low ratings, but it's been a great ride, and I will miss the characters and their humor when they go.

World on Fire

California's burning and Trump's set the Middle East on fire with his proclamation about Israel. Stupid to enrage the Palestinians and then talk about moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, where it will be a target for protests and attacks. I only caught a little of the news on TV at work. It was galling to hear him say that he was merely recognizing "reality" by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital. He's divorced from reality and regularly declares facts as "fake news". Pretending that he supports a two-state solution when he's just driven a stake into it. Jerusalem is disputed territory, supposed to be worked out in the peace talks, but he's circumvented all that, declared Israel the victor, and he expects Palestinians to just accept that? The rest of the world to accept that? Fuck him and Netanyahu too.

TV News is as useless as ever; my local stations were reporting on FBI Director Wray and trying to cast doubt on Mueller's impartiality by talking about the guy that got fired long ago to make sure they didn't have any partisan bias. And of course there's the hysteria over Franken resigning. His awful speech trying to talk up his legacy while continuing to deny the allegations. After so many "I don't remembers" and "I take hundreds of photos", I don't give a crap about you, Franken. Shitty blogs like Daily Kos are still full of defenders who insist that we're giving in to Republicans. Fuck you deniers. This reckoning is for everyone, red and blue.

About the only good news lately was Australia's Parliament finally voting for marriage equality. In Texas, there's some new Democratic candidates signing up to run. Not sure how much I want to contribute again, given my disappointments after Wendy Davis and others. But we've got to at least try to get rid of Abbott and Cruz and Cornyn.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Meh Villains

I'm not enjoying either the Reign storyline on Supergirl or the Sinnerman on Lucifer. The love triangles aren't that interesting either. I thought that after the DC Crossover that Reign would finally arrive on Supergirl, but they went back to Sam and Ruby again, plus reinforced Sam's friendship with Lena and Kara at the Christmas party. Is that supposed to make it more heartbreaking that she's becoming Reign against her will? But they spent no time explaining Reign's origins and destiny until this measly prophecy from cult leader. And even then we don't understand what Reign's motivation is. She attacks gang members and Morgan Edge, but is that Sam's feelings coming through, or is Reign programmed to attack bad guys? If she's supposed to be some Justice figure or Nemesis, please clarify instead of throwing around Devil analogies. If she's supposed to be avenging Krypton's destruction, they why target Earth rather than other surviving Kryptonians like Kara? As for the love triangle, we finally got an explanation about the underwater ship being there for 12,000 years, but it was underwhelming, and I still hate that the writers are still relying on love triangles for plot devices.

As for Lucifer, the whole Sinnerman thing has been a complete bore, worse than the season 1 mystery about Chloe's botched case. They haven't given any answers about Lucifer's wings or addressed whether Amendial will get his powers back. I'm really hating Lieutenant Pierce, and the writers have clumsily tried to imply sexual tension in the most anvilly way. I was so disappointed about the love triangle with Maze, Amenadiel, and Linda. Wish they'd stop this nonsense and have fun again.