Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend

It looks like I was right about the staircar in Captain America: Civil War. Good job, Russos!

Today I made a peach crisp to use up the peaches I picked from my tree. I think it turned out okay. Maybe too sweet, and not a brown enough crust. Instead of white sugar I was using this special "evaporated cane sugar" my sister got me. It's off-white and doesn't clump much. Maybe I'll try again soon since I've still got plenty of peaches left. Or maybe I'll do an upside down cake instead.

The latest Houdini & Doyle episode hinted mysteriously about Constable Stratton's secret life again. Not sure what's going on with her, but it was nice to see her out of her uniform. Unfortunately the show seems to be in the pattern of leaving one unexplained death to keep up the mystery of the supernatural. I dislike stuff not being wrapped up properly. I hope they break the pattern next time. It was nice to see Doyle interacting with Kingsley, and Houdini performing for the kids.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Captain America: Civil War

I waited until the crowds thinned to see this movie, and until I read enough spoilers to decide whether it was worth it. I saw it mainly for the introduction of the Black Panther, but was in general annoyed that the movie was overstuffed with other characters like Spiderman and Antman, but I guess they had to do something with Thor and the Hulk gone.

SPOILERS BELOW, but probably everybody's seen this movie long before me.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Chaotic mess

I read that one of the Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram was found. Some of the details are unclear, and I'm not sure what will happen now, and if the other girls can be rescued.

Meanwhile, politics has grown rather nasty. I lost respect for Bernie a long time ago with the database breach, but I'm glad that some mainstream reporters are finally taking him to task for not discouraging the viciousness of his Nevada delegates. Bernie supporters try to play it all down with claims that "oh chairs were never thrown. One guy picked up a chair, but put it down." Um, maybe, but the hysteria should never have gotten to the point where any chair was lifted off the ground with intent to threaten people. In what world is that an acceptable way to peacefully protest? Plus, nothing justifies releasing people's email addresses and phone numbers afterward so they can be bombarded with harassment and death threats. I hope police arrest and punish the perpetrators. Free speech does not come without reasonable limitations.

I also hate that our Texas politicians have been grandstanding about transgenders in bathrooms, attacking Obama and claiming our schools will be fine without federal funding. It's so stupid and embarrassing. Plus, I still don't know how to process the Supreme Court punting the birth control cases back to the lower courts. What if the lower courts arrive at different compromises? Then what are we gonna do? We can't go on with such legal confusion; we need another SC justice to break the tie!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Blasphemy and Cyanide

The latest Houdini & Doyle featured a faith healer who held popular tent meetings, and a man who was seemingly struck down dead for not being a believer. I like that the show has often cast black actors in supporting roles, not just as background characters, but substantial speaking parts. Too often, period shows don't cast with diversity in mind, seemingly ignoring historical examples of black speakers like Frederick Douglass who were popular in England.

As for the mystery, Houdini predictably railed against superstition, then suffered a horrible illness. It was hard to watch as his illness progressively got worse and looked disgusting, but we saw his mother doting on him, confirming their close bond. Meanwhile, Doyle's wife revived and I foolishly thought this meant that the writers were going to keep her conscious for the rest of the series, but no, this was a temporary fix. Back to the stupid "tragic" coma you go! I seriously think the show is not going to bring up Jean Leckie at all, because the writers don't want to make Doyle look unsympathetic for stepping out on his family. So they'd rather keep Touie on ice and pretend that Jean Leckie does not exist. I'm a little surprised that TV writers wouldn't find Doyle's real life drama to be juicy and useful in appealing to viewers, but apparently not. Maybe they don't think anyone would believe his protestations that his relationship with Jean Leckie was platonic for 10 years.

Anyway, I did like that Constable Stratton had the initiative to exhume the body and get Doyle to do the autopsy. At least she somehow didn't get fired for it. I hope the show tells us more about her soon, like the comment about her parents. At least she's getting some character development, but I still want them to shut down the unnecessary romance with Houdini. It was funny when Houdini kept slapping Doyle awake and Doyle later returned the favor.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Family Fang

Yesterday I saw Jason Bateman's new movie, after it finally came to my area. It's apparently based on a book, which I haven't read, and the brother character was originally named Buster, but it's changed to Baxter in the movie, I guess to avoid connection to Arrested Development. The Fang family is sort of like the Bluths, but not exactly. Whereas Bluths are all about money, corruption, racism, etc, the Fangs are obsessed with performance art. They act out elaborate scenarios and love shocking people. Each "piece" is filmed, making for crazy home movies, though not as commercially motivated as the Bluth Boyfights videos. For the eccentric Fangs, it's supposed to be Art, showing Life to Society.

Nicole Kidman is great as Annie Fang, the older sister who becomes an actress. On set, she has a fight with a sleazebag director trying to get her to film a topless scene, making all these Hollywood arguments about how it would be empowering and brave and other sexist crap that made me roll my eyes. I was a little disappointed in Annie's eventual response, but the movie framed it as being part of her spiral out of control in tabloid gossip, so I guess they acknowledge it was a bad choice for her to give in. Meanwhile her brother Baxter is a novelist having writer's block, and I'm glad that Bateman is not playing a jerk this time. Baxter goes to write a freelance article about some farm dudes with potato guns; through hijinks and bad choices of his own, he ends up in the hospital, and thus has to reunite with his parents and sister at home while he recovers.

Upfronts Begin

Well, TV networks cancelled a bunch of shows recently. I'll miss The Muppets, but given its low ratings, it was doomed long ago. I also started to not care about Grandfathered, so I'm not sad that it's over, especially with Jimmy's stupid behavior in the finale. I'm relieved that Supergirl got renewed, even if it's changing networks. Now I have to worry about the CW's ratings again, after not watching since Nikita ended.

I was very pleased that Castle got cancelled, but disappointed that Sleepy Hollow got renewed. Yes, Nicole Beharie asked to be written out, but then why didn't they do it at midseason and make it permanent, instead of bringing her back for the rest of the season? Abbie's death at the end was worse because they implied her entire purpose was to help Ichabod's journey, rather than to live her own equal, independent life as a Witness. Well, anyway, I'm not watching the 4th season. I already gave the show a second chance in season 3, and it turned into a dull, meandering mess.

Anyway, so the new fall shows will start being announced this week. None of the plots sound that great, though I like some of the actors. There's a confusing number of time travel shows for some reason, but I spotted Malcom Barrett along with that guy from You, Me, and the Apocalypse on one. I hope the Nancy Drew show finds a place somewhere, and I'm still kind of anxious about The Carmichael Show. I'll look forward to seeing the full schedules soon.