Saturday, December 29, 2012

NBC's Deception

I heard that Deception's pilot is available online, but I haven't watched it yet. I think I'll wait until it premieres on TV on January 7th. In the meantime, I am reading about it with interest.

I've never watched Revenge, which everyone seems to compare this show to, but I thought Revenge's premise was not about solving a mystery, so much as exacting vengeance against your enemies while using an alias, a la The Count of Monte Cristo. I hope that Deception will be about the murder mystery, and won't focus as much on soap opera drama. In other words, I wish it would be like season 1 of Dirty Sexy Money rather than season 2, when it made less sense, and wasted the good actors.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Just when I thought the trend of shootings occurring every few days was over, it starts up again. "So this is Christmas" indeed, John Lennon. And it seems that initial reports on Friday pointed to the wrong person as the gunman, because the news media still has not learned its lesson about rushing to conclusions instead of fact-checking. How about less idle speculation on the identity of gunmen, and armchair psychology about their motives, and instead spending more time grieving for the victims? There's hardly any public space where people, young or old, can feel safe anymore.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Yay, I'm glad that Netflix is adding subtitles/closed captioning to many streaming movies and TV shows that didn't have them before. Now I can watch more stuff without having to pause and rewind to catch the dialogue. So for now I don't have to upgrade my TV speakers.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Most Sand

"She was the best girl I ever see, and had the most sand."

That's Huck Finn's description of Mary Jane, the girl that got away. I've been rereading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn lately, and though I find certain parts pretty boring or pretty ridiculous (Tom Sawyer's shenanigans for setting Jim free), I liked the book more this time. I hadn't noticed Mary Jane before, but now I see that it's a sign of Huck's growing maturity, before he resolves to free Jim from slavery. Mary Jane is one of the daughters of a dead man named Peter Wilks, and the conmen known as the duke and the king pretend to be Peter Wilks's brothers from England, so they can steal the inheritance. Huck Finn goes along with their scheme at first but starts to feel so guilty that he decides to steal the money back for the orphan girls. He expects to escape by himself (and reach Jim, who is waiting with the raft), then send a letter back later to tell the girls where the money's hidden.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Interlude, revised

This is a revised version of the Interlude from DIM that I posted before. It's a glimpse of Helen Stoner's life in 1881, before she meets Sherlock Holmes and before Julia dies. This version includes a scene with Constable Tibbs.

See the previous Interlude for explanations of Helen's middle name and the backstory about Julia witnessing the death of their butler in India.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I'm glad that Nikita's ratings are up, but sad that we're heading for the midseason finale so soon. At least it's back in its old timeslot. I frankly don't care about Grimm being delayed until March. Season 2 has been such a disappointment.

On TV today I caught an airing of the 1967 movie Fitzwilly, starring Dick Van Dyke and Barbara Feldon. Years ago my older sister first introduced me to this madcap movie about a butler who masterminds robberies so that he and the other servants can support their old employer, who doesn't know she's penniless. It's made by the Mirisch production company who also worked on Billy Wilder's films, and it has the same sort of feel about it. It's such a fun gem full of familiar faces.

Same old Israel

Israel announced 3,000 new settlers because they're jerks who still claim it's the Palestinians holding up the peace process. Juan Cole says that the Europeans who voted overwhelmingly in favor of recognizing Palestine at the UN may be able to punish Israel with boycotts or other actions in the future. If so, maybe they can fix what the US seems incapable of fixing. (And what Egypt can't help with anymore.) I can only hope.

I've been disappointed with people like Jon Stewart, who on a recent show falsely implied that the intractable Israeli/Palestinian conflict is ancient and goes back to Biblical times. No, it goes back to the founding of Israel in the 20th century and its illegal land grabs. It's also based on humanitarian injustices and racism more than religious disputes about the Holy Land. Stop selling the misconceptions.