Sunday, December 4, 2016

Meh

Well the DC crossover was pretty hit-or-miss. I liked Supergirl's episode, but it contained very little crossover. The Flash was so damn angsty and boring, with the aliens mind-controlling the heroes into fighting each other. The Arrow episode was better because the fantasy world the heroes hallucinated actually had touching character moments. The final Legends episode was back to annoying Barry drama which seemed wildly hypocritical given how some characters time-travel on a regular basis. I was so sick of that, and yet also frustrated that everyone turned on a dime and suddenly decided sacrificing one person was worth risking the entire planet. They finally had the climactic battle with aliens, but it was one-dimensional and tainted. They saved one alien in the past, who showed a little gratitude, but we never got to see if any of the other aliens could be reasoned with and talked out of the war. Really dumb and nonsensical plot. This is why I don't read comics. So convoluted, and focused on punching things rather than solving things.

Meanwhile, I went to see The Eagle Huntress today. Very inspiring documentary and yet fun too to see Aisholpan being a happy girl who played with friends and also put on nail polish for the festival. Reminded me a little bit of Queen of Katwe but with less harrowing family drama. For more girl power, I wish Hidden Figures was out already but it probably won't arrive here until January. I had to settle for just a taste in the recent Timeless episode set during the Apollo moon landing.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

November Sweeps already

Apparently there's some kind of four-show crossover on the CW, starting with Supergirl on Monday the 28th. I kinda don't care, 'cause I don't watch any of the other comicbook shows. (I tried Arrow once, but gave up on it.) I guess I'll have to record them and fast forward through any boring parts. Supergirl is fine this season, but I'm impatient that they still haven't gone to Cadmus to look for Papa Danvers, after Alex was so gungho about going there last season. But even with Cadmus people threatening aliens pretty regularly, nobody thinks it's urgent to go find them yet?

Meanwhile I'm happy with Timeless, which really allows Rufus to be an equal lead with the others. He even got to make Lucy stand outside, like he had to wait outside in the pilot episode. They finally began explaining a little about Rittenhouse, and I like the interesting time periods they choose to visit. I'll enjoy the show as long as it lasts, and hope that there will be a satisfying end.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Our Brexit

Still don't know how to process the election. There's been a lot of protests and ugliness, including that Veteran's Day incident in the Chili's in the DFW area. I can't stand it, though I try to have hope in Texas. Not blue yet, but making some slow progress.

I heard that Colombia signed a new peace deal despite their recent vote that defeated the previous peace deal. So somebody managed a fix to their crisis at least. I can understand Americans wishing the electoral college vote with the popular vote, though I'm skeptical that the petition will do anything. Obama and other people are emphasizing the "peaceful transition" thing. I know why he does it, because in the debates Democrats made a big deal about Trump saying he might not concede. It'd be hypocritical of us to not concede in return. But still, it's heartbreaking to do it again, after Gore gave up on the 2000 election.

I had to give up on watching political news lately. I even gave up on Designated Survivor last week because the political wrangling was so over the top and awful in that episode. It's going to be bad enough in real life, without imaginary bickering too.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fucking Election

Whether it was through hubris, complacency, or inaccurate polls, we lost. I shouldn't have got my hopes up, but there was such talk about a Democratic landslide, winning the Senate and the House, turning Texas blue... and it was all for naught. There will be endless post-mortems I'm sure, but I don't want to argue anything. I'm so numb and disappointed.

I couldn't get to sleep last night, and I also didn't want to turn on the TV again and catch Trump's victory speech. It's over and done. Last night felt just like the night of the 2004 election when my hope slipped away. I thought surely Kerry would win despite the Swiftboating, that people really hated the Iraq War and wanted out. But no, they wanted to "stay the course" with Bush. And with the bittersweet news that Clinton won the popular vote, but still lost the election, I feel twinges of Gore's loss in 2000 also.

I didn't cry. I don't know if it's because I'm dead inside after so many disappointments in Texas elections. I still have my Democratic representatives at least, and there were pockets of good outcomes nationally. I still have to work tomorrow and go on with ordinary life, just like I did after Kerry lost. Somehow we have to survive and hope for the least amount of damage.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bella, An American Tall Tale

This week, on my vacation, I went to see Bella, a musical comedy about an African American woman in the Wild West of the 1870s. She takes a train from Tupelo, Missisissippi to reunite with her Buffalo soldier sweetheart in the New Mexico, but she encounters colorful characters and has over the top adventures. It's also an antidote to whitewashed history, showing that the West was full of Mexican vaqueros, black Exodusters, Native Americans, and Chinese laborers who built the railroads. (The Chinese character does mention his people building the railroads, but he says that he himself is a rich cattle baron's adopted son; Tommie Haw is a wildly sexy fantasy in Bella's dream one night.) Many actors play multiple roles, singing and dancing.

The musical is partly inspired by the story of Saartjie Baartman, too, the South African woman who was tragically exploited in European freak shows, used as a scientific specimen to support theories about racial inferiority, then dissected and displayed in museums until 1974. Thankfully, her remains were finally sent home to be buried with honor in 2002. Like Baartman, Bella has a big booty, and her grandmother boasts that they are descended from an itty-bitty girl who came from Africa, but never forgot her pride in her roots. (The itty-bitty girl's spirit is depicted as a woman in a body stocking suit probably similar to Baartman's actual costume in her shows.) In the way of tall tales, Bella's booty has magical powers, saving her from a white man's attempt to rape her, as well as a train robbery and a huge fall down the mountainside. Unfortunately, Bella is exploited for her booty too, getting talked into joining a circus for fame and fortune, only to discover that she will be a primitive Princess Ooga-Booga "captured" from darkest Africa and turned into white man's servant. Fortunately, Bella is able to turn the tables to change the degrading act and regain some of her dignity, but the show business life costs her dearly, and she turns to drugs and alcohol (as I think Baartman did in her final days). But Bella finds redemption with help from her family, and the story stays upbeat, celebrating the diversity of forgotten American history.

The songs were really great, with wonderful performers. They even got a standing ovation in the end. Also, they mentioned that the show is going to New York in the spring 2017. I wonder if the whole cast will go? I wish them luck.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall TV

Finally, Supergirl is back! The move to the CW seems okay so far, but I'm upset that they suddenly dropped the Kara/James relationship after building to it the whole first season. I guess if the show stops doing love triangles and other romantic nonsense, that will be fine, but it does seem abrupt to end that plot instead of just shoving the relationship into the background. They could have followed the example of Jake/Amy on Brooklyn Nine-Nine last year, keeping them low-key and stable while the plots focus on the core team working together. Oh well. I hope Superman doesn't get annoying, and I can't wait for Lynda Carter to guest star as President.

As for new shows, I'm enjoying The Good Place, Speechless, Pitch, and now Timeless. I'm also watching Designated Survivor mostly waiting for Maggie Q and Malik Yoba to get something important to do. I was frustrated that the President chose that scumbag liar for his Chief of Staff; he could have kept the guy around to be his devil's advocate without elevating him above his true ally. So annoying; but I guess the writers want irony and drama about the Chief of Staff conspiring against the President. Whatever. I enjoy Timeless a lot more, especially last night's episode about Lincoln's assassination. Rufus got to talk with black soldiers after the war, and write their notices to find their families. It was really touching, in the midst of the main plot, and I am curious about the Rittenhouse conspiracy involving the tech mogul played by that British guy from You, Me, and the Apocalypse. I hope the ratings will stay good.

As for movies, I saw Queen of Katwe and Birth of a Nation recently. I liked Katwe more and wish it had been more successful. You don't have to know chess, and there was plenty of family drama to be interesting. I look forward to seeing Loving soon.