Saturday, December 19, 2015

Petty Politics

There's a Democratic debate scheduled for tonight. I've been indecisive about whether to watch, because I didn't finish the last debate. Frankly, debates are boring to watch, and after I noticed so many repetitive answers from the first Democratic debate, I had no interest in rehashing the same stuff. I decided to just record tonight's debate and only watch it if anything interesting happens or if there's something new in reference to the DNC database kerfuffle.

Not a Star Wars geek

I won't be seeing Star Wars this weekend. If I go at all, it will be in a couple of weeks when the crowds thin and the hype has died down. I saw the original trilogy but remember very little detail from them, and I didn't see the prequels. The nonstop promotion campaign has made me curious, though also repelled me because they are so frustratingly vague about the plot and the characters beyond Han and Leia. I like that there are some women in this and whoever that stormtrooper guy is, but how am I supposed to be excited if I don't fucking know who these people are? So I won't be going unless I see spoilers about the movie that actually explain what the hell's going on.

Sadly, none of the other movies out right now interest me either. I don't care about Pixar anymore or whale movies or boxing movies or anything like that. Nothing until Kung Fu Panda in January I guess. So I'll probably stay home to watch some DVD movies I just bought or to watch some TV shows I recorded.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Scary Times

Meanwhile, the news has been disheartening, with hate crimes like the firebomb at the mosque, and the anti-refugee fever in several states. I'm glad that prominent Muslims like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have been speaking out lately. (By the way, I read Kareem's novel about Mycroft Holmes, and it was interesting for featuring Trinidad and a historical group of freed slaves there called Merikans. However, I felt that the mystery was more action/adventure/political conspiracy thriller than something solved by logical deductions. Sherlock appeared in minor scenes a couple of times as an annoying, cold younger brother; he was still in university and snotty and disapproving of Mycroft's educated fiancee.)

I have never found Donald Trump's campaign funny, and he's only gotten more racist and awful. I hate hearing idiotic soundbites from him on the news and try to skip past them, but even late night TV mentions him so you can't really escape. He often repeats himself over and over, as if he can't elaborate on a point with different vocabulary. He'll just keep saying the same simplistic lies as if repetition that will make them true.

Plus I've got to worry about the Supreme Court, which is considering a few cases involving Texas, such as affirmative action, Planned Parenthood, and voter ID laws... So this is Christmas, in the words of John Lennon.

Rotten Cold

I've had a runny nose and sore throat the last couple of days, but I've just started a new job, so I can't exactly miss training to take off sick right now. I've been muddling through, trying to eat soup and drink liquids to make me feel better, but it's hard to sleep when you're too congested to breathe. Hopefully I can recover this weekend.

I read that Ron Howard was promoting his new movie and made some comments about Arrested Development continuing, but it didn't sound like an official announcement. But I did have a dream that I was there at the press event, and that somebody asked about how the show should end. Because season 4 was so dark, would they go with an unhappy ending, like with all the Bluths in prison or something? Well in the dream, Ron Howard argued that people love the Bluths and they should have a happy ending. A dark ending would be "like Greg growing up." I have no idea who "Greg" is, nor did anyone in the dream. Maybe it was an obscure reference to some character he played as an actor. Anyway the context was that Greg was some innocent child character and that growing up would spoil the show. But I don't think that real Ron Howard would feel that way, since he was a child star himself (and so was Jason Bateman). Besides, AD has gone plenty criminal and dark already, what with the sex offender storyline and Tobias's awful plot with DeBrie. I do love most of the Bluths, though, and want them to be happy. I'll try to work more on my story this weekend after I do a bunch of chores I didn't have time for during the workweek.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Twilight Zone

Meanwhile the news about San Berdardino gets more surreal by the day. Apparently a bunch of press stormed into the shooters' apartment to gawk at the stuff like ghouls. It's crazy and seems to be distracting from any talk of gun control. So sad.

Apparently Texas backed down from refusing the Syrian family that's scheduled to come on Monday, but they still want a court hearing about refugees. I'm so afraid that somebody will try to leak info about the family (or other Syrians currently in the state) to put them in danger. It's so horrifying, and I'm afraid of more war too. The world's gone mad.

Holiday Cheer

Last night's The Wiz musical was really stunning, and so much better than Peter Pan last year. I've never watched the old movie with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, though I'm told it was a loose adaptation of the Broadway musical anyway. NBC's production team did a great job, especially with the flying and acrobatic stunts by Cirque de Soleil. I'm glad it got good ratings, and I hope the Broadway production will be successful too.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Need to Laugh

Meanwhile, sitcoms this week were especially good distractions from the world. The Muppets had a hilarious episode, even better than the one with the karaoke singing. I enjoyed the great duet with the guest star, and then Piggy had some crazy acupuncture beauty treatment. Gonzo finally got to do a daredevil stunt again, and Electric Mayhem did silly stuff too. I do hope they keep up this zany tone, to improve the ratings maybe.

Rotten Day

Shit. Another mass shooting in America. I don't know why they struck a San Bernardino center for developmentally disabled people. I'm so tired of this.

Meanwhile, there's a fight going on in Texas, with the governor suing to stop a Syrian refuge family from being resettled here. They were supposed to come this Friday. I thought governors had no authority to refuse refugees, so what does he think a lawsuit is going to accomplish? I worry so much about what will happen given all the xenophobia here, especially at that mosque in Irving. No wonder Ahmed's family felt they had to leave the country to be safe.

About the only hopeful news I heard lately was that Hillary Clinton's emails show that she strongly favors closing Guantanamo. So if Obama can't get it done, maybe somehow she could manage it. But then again, she'd still have obstruction from Congress. So disappointing.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Satisfied

Tonight was Minority Report's finale, and it was excellent. It really gave closure to the Precogs' story and even had time to provide backstory for Wally. He must have been wracked with guilt for lying to those kids years ago, for him to decide to kill Blomfeld to protect them. The Memento Mori terrorism plot didn't really interest me, but that was the only flaw in the episode. This show was much more satisfying than Almost Human, which was too procedural, ignoring the long-term mysteries of the show for too long. Sadly, Minority Report is probably cancelled, but it was good while it lasted.

Meanwhile, Supergirl got an order for seven more episodes. CBS is calling it a full season, though others are skeptical of its chances for renewal. I'll try to hold out hope. Tonight's episode definitely brought out more depth for Kara as well as Cat Grant. I really hope the show's planned Superman flashbacks won't be too intrusive. They shouldn't have to keep mentioning Kara's cousin so much.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Disgusting

I had hoped that America could through Thanksgiving weekend without another shooting or incidence of violence, but then a gunman had to terrorize a Colorado Planned Parenthood on Black Friday. The standoff with police lasted for hours, and I did see a report on the evening national newscast about some hostages being rescued. Really depressing and made me worry about what could happen here.

However, and this is the craziest thing, the local news report immediately after pretended that this story did not exist. The local affiliate usually at least acknowledges national headlines, even if they can't afford to send their own reporters to the scene. But this time the news was all about the rain and flash flooding in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. Granted, that's important locally, but then it was followed by feel-good fluff story after fluff story. In the last five seconds they had a headline about Breaking News, the gunman surrendered, but that was all in the 30-minute broadcast. Why didn't they acknowledge this before? What happened to the old mantra "if it bleeds, it leads"? Is this how insular and know-nothing the TV news has become? That nothing outside of Texas exists? It's unbelievable. No wonder you can only get informed news online.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

It's annoying how shameless stores are about advertising holiday sales even before Thanksgiving. I certainly won't go out to Black Friday, with all the crowds and Christmas music. I'll just stay home and eat and maybe watch my Tower Heist DVD too. Thanksgiving parades and football are boring, but maybe I'll watch the dog rescue special tonight.

I've watched various Native American specials on PBS lately including an fascinating history about the Choctaw Code Talkers in World War I. They also mentioned the Trail of Tears and boarding schools, so it was very interesting. I'm annoyed by the announcement that Supergirl is going to have flashbacks with a teenage Superman; what the hell relevance does that have to Kara? I thought they finally were going to stop mentioning her cousin after that chat session. I don't want him to take over the show, like Agent Carter kept mentioning Captain America (as well as focusing on Howard Stark). Let the woman stand on her own, please!

As for movies, I recently went to see Spotlight, and it was great, though sometimes I got the reporters and lawyers confused. I hope there will be other good films soon, now that the prestige pictures are coming out. I'm not interested in The Good Dinosaur and I'm not sure if I'll see the Danish Girl or not.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Shame

I couldn't watch more than 1 hour of the Dem debate on Saturday. After the initial questions about the Paris attacks and Syrian refugees, it seemed like most of the questions were issues they had already discussed during the CNN debate. Was CBS just assuming not enough people watched the cable debate, and needed to hear the same answers again? I was glad that O'Malley supported accepting 65,000 refugees, and got Clinton to agree. These Syrian refugees will be thoroughly screened, and we need to do our part, not repeat the horrible response we had to the migrant crisis from Mexico last year.

The xenophobia and fearmongering is really awful lately, especially since France is still committed to taking 30,000 refugees. I was really upset about that one mayor who talked about the Japanese internment camps as being a good policy for a "real" threat. It was not a real threat! It was paranoia and racism! Let's not repeat this shameful policy of FDR. (In fact I learned recently that immigrants of Italian and German descent were also classified as "enemy aliens" at that time as well.) I'm glad George Takei responded to that idiot who apparently doesn't know that American citizens were rounded up and imprisoned because of some imagined belief that they might be disloyal. I'm glad that Clinton dumped that mayor from her committee.

I'm from Vietnam. What would my life have been like if the US had refused to take my family after the Vietnam War? Or if the government made us live in internment camps?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Around the World again

I saw an ad for this week's Dr. Ken, with Margaret Cho guest starring as his sister. I do miss seeing Margaret Cho a lot, so I finally gave in and watched an episode. I don't really like the show; it's no better than the sitcommy ads for it. The main character is so annoying and him talking to the lamp was not funny. Doctor Wendi implied that her character might return for more appearances later. I do want to see Cho again, but not in this show. I miss Cristela.

Anyway, I finally decided to watch Jackie Chan's version of Around the World in 80 Days. I read the Jules Verne book and saw other adaptations years ago, but I resisted watching the Disney version back then, since it wasn't faithful to the book. But now I gave it a chance and was pleasantly surprised.

Paris Attacks

Wow, what an awful day yesterday. An unlucky Friday the 13th indeed. I'm glad I went to see The 33 yesterday, as the uplifting story of the Chilean miners was good for giving you hope in the world. (Well, not in the case of the mining company owners getting away scot free, and the miners receiving no just compensation, but I suppose the 33 all benefited from the book and the movie depicting their rescue.)

I hear that the Democratic debate tonight will have questions concerning the Paris attacks. I fear what kind of warmongering and anti-Muslim hatred will be stirred by this ISIS terrorism. They claimed responsibility for that plane crash too. Will war hawks here or in France use this excuse to escalate the war in Syria and elsewhere. Will we be caught in this perpetual, unwinnable "war on terrorism" forever? I mean, it's not that I think we should be isolationist, but I think at some point we have to cut our losses and try to concentrate on fixing our own country. It seems that the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are going nowhere, yet we can't find our way out. Can't even close damn Guantanamo.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Jason the Bateman

Wow, the latest Muppets episode featured Kermit singing The Rainbow Connection! I'm not sure why they split up the song with commercials, though. Bateman played himself as a jerk who manipulates Kermit, then gets him kicked out of yoga. I guess he likes playing bastards lately.

Fox announced a midseason schedule that will move some shows around. I'm glad I have a DVR to keep up with the changes. I was sad to find a Bones rerun airing instead of Minority Report this Monday, but at least it didn't get higher ratings than Minority Report in the slot. Anyway, I found out that Fox did that because Minority Report was behind schedule on producing episodes. As long as it returns and finishes its run I'm fine. Sleepy Hollow might not survive the move to Fridays, though. We'll see. I don't mind Brooklyn Nine-Nine going to Tuesdays as long as there are no DVR conflicts. I wonder when the other networks will release their midseason schedules.

BDS is not an attack

The European Union ruled today to label products from the Israel settlements. Hooray. When I took my trip to London, I was horrified to find that I accidentally bought stuff "Made in Israel". A European boycott might not make much difference economically to Israel, but it's good not to let them profit from such illegal occupation.

Netanyahu is asking for an increase of funding and he still says these boycotts are antisemitic. He never stops with these accusations and incitements. We're not trying to fucking eliminate Israel; we're trying to punish you and make you withdraw the settlements from stolen territory. Fuck you, Netanyahu, and fuck anybody defending you (including you, Hillary Clinton)!

Anyway, I didn't watch the Republican debate, because I don't enjoy circuses. The Democratic debate is this Saturday, though, so I'll tune in, despite my disgust with Clinton and Sanders.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Suffragette

Rachel Maddow hosted a "forum" for the Democratic presidential candidates on MSNBC. I don't have cable, though, so I didn't watch it. I hope it was good and informative. Even if I could have seen it, though, I was not in the mood to see two out of three of the candidates, what with the shit going down in Israel. The next debate is supposed to be on network TV, I think, so I can watch that.

I finally got to see Suffragette at last. It was a good movie about the militant British women who followed Emmeline Pankhurst. I think the main character Maud and her friends were fictional, though a couple of real historical suffragettes are included. It was a long hard struggle, even worse than was depicted onscreen.

It's sad that feminists still have to struggle for our rights, but at least we can vote and participate the way Maddow and Clinton are.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

No to Netanyahu

So Hillary Clinton is continuing to pander to Israeli hawks with an op-ed praising Netanyahu. She continues to be anti-BDS, so she is still on my shitlist. Fuck Netanyahu and fuck anybody who believes his lies when he comes to visit. He doesn't give a crap about peace.

Just when I was feeling more positive about Clinton she does this. I'm not voting for her in the primary, and if she becomes President I shall view all her actions on Israel with suspicion. But perhaps she'll be too busy dealing with domestic issues and other Middle East conflicts for it to matter.

I'm not voting for Bernie Sanders either in the primary, given how bad he is on gun control. (His rabid supporters are also a huge turnoff.) I've tried to research his position on Israel, and it's muddled at best. Apparently, he'll sometimes say good things about the two-state solution and show sympathy for Palestinians, but he won't vote to cut military funding or really change anything. You'd think, because he's Jewish, that he'd be immune from charges of antisemitism, and could rebuke Israel in a real way, but no, he's apparently still taking the safe stance of kowtowing to our so-called ally. Fucking coward. He's just a politician like everybody else, not some savior.

So I'm not voting in the Dem primary at all. I'll wait to see whoever the party wants to choose, then I'll vote Democratic in the general election. That's it. There is no "lesser of two evils" on this issue. They're both crap candidates on Israel, but I'll have to default to one of them because of everything else that's so important. I hate politics.

Makeover

So apparently The Muppets is getting a retool. There's a new showrunner, and it will be relaunched in the spring. I hope this retool will not be as disastrous as the Up All Night fiasco. I read so many people complaining that the Muppets shouldn't do adult humor, in clear defiance of Jim Henson's wishes. Or people want to go back to a variety show format. Personally I think the "Up Late with Miss Piggy" format could work better if they stopped repeating the "Piggy has a feud with female celebrities" bit. Perhaps a woman showrunner would actually focus on how fucking rare it is for a woman to host a late night show. (I don't have cable, but I think Samantha Bee's show hasn't premiered yet.) Piggy could have been giving monologues all this time about how special she is for this achievement, and yay girl power! She could have mentioned that she got an award as a feminist recently. Being a diva, she could have decked out her studio to look like Colbert's cathedral of Stephen. We could have seen Piggy do more musical numbers, comedy skits, or interact with her sidekick and band. They are criminally underusing the late show to focus on behind the scene office manipulations. I hope this retool actually accomplishes something instead of fixing the wrong things.

As for Empire, I was totally right to abandon ship. From reading the recap, the kidnapping was just a cheap cliffhanger stunt that was resolved quickly. There were consequences in the form of Hakeem sleeping with Anika and having PTSD, but I can't believe how ridiculous it was for Cookie to take Laz's advice on hiring the thugs for security. I also don't appreciate reading that Laura, the singer who rejected Hakeem's sexual harassment, is suddenly falling for him now. Way to forget you have a career and aren't that kind of girl! (And I know that Camilla's going to come back eventually, so why do we need this crap?) Anika's treatment is all wrong too; it's like she's the new Vernon that the writers don't know what to do with. Now Anika's reduced to love triangles with Hakeem, when she should have been teaming up with Cookie to take Lucious down. In my opinion, Empire could do with a feminist makeover too. I give up on this absurd soap.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fucked Up

Texas Tribune is saying that HERO is defeated according to early votes, but links to no numbers. Daily Kos said it's being defeated, but then links to numbers about the Constitutional Amendment, regarding property taxes. --Okay, I found the numbers on page 10 of 38 on the PDF from Harris County. How depressing, but definitely confusing, because there are multiple "Proposition 1"s on the list. The Houston Unites website says "don't be confused" there's three proposition 1s on the ballot. Why the fuck is an election run like this? How do we know that people didn't confuse these three propositions? Why not give them separate fucking numbers on the ballot?

Feminist 1995 Sherlock

I decided to check on the webseries made by Kate Tracey and Helen Davies again. This vimeo page seems to be recently updated with videos. Their tumblr page might also be current, although I can't find any date stamps on their posts.

Anyway, I think they may still make their November release date, but it might be only to their private backers on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. I really wish I could see all the cases shown in their Teaser from season 1.

Election Day

Everybody, get out and vote! Forget about the crappy 2016 elections, and pay attention to the 2015 elections going on right now. Many states have important races or propositions on the ballot, so if you're in one of those states, then do your part. I already early voted but am still nervous about what the turnout might be like today in Texas.

People in Houston especially need to care about the HERO ordinance. Vote yes for equal rights, and don't listen to the fearmongering about transgender people in bathrooms. It's gonna be nervewracking until the polls close tonight at 7 PM.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

November Sweeps

Yay! Jason Bateman is going to guest star on The Muppets soon. I suppose it's too much to hope that Will Arnett also shows up. (They both have previous experience with Muppets, appearing separately on Sesame Street.) At least the show's ratings finally held steady, even against the World Series.

Anyway, November sweeps are almost here, including the stunt crossover between Bones and Sleepy Hollow. We'll see how ridiculous that is. The Halloween episodes of Fresh Off the Boat and Black-ish were pretty great, but I loved Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Halloween heist more.

The last couple of eps of Minority Report have featured good backstory on Vega and the Precogs. I really do hope the ending is satisfying. The Supergirl pilot was good, reminding me a lot of how earnest Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman could be. I hope that later episodes continue with this fun, cheerful vibe, because I can't take more doom and gloom.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Scary Times

There was a lot of rain and flooding last week, but it tapered off by Saturday. There may be more rain for Halloween, though I hope it won't be as severe.

I was shocked by Netanyahu trying to blame the Holocaust on Haj Amin al-Husseini, so he could tar all Palestinians as genocidal and anti-Semitic. (Even though Hitler began killing Jews before he met with al-Husseini.) I'm glad Netanyahu was criticized internationally for it, though the US can't seem to rebuke him more than verbally. When will Israel face any real consequences for this kind of incitement to violence? Good luck negotiating a ceasefire again.

I still don't know what's going to happen with the Planned Parenthood raids in Texas. Apparently, they are merely threatening to terminate Medicaid funding, but haven't done so yet. I still hope courts can block it.

Hillary Clinton had a pretty good week after the debates and the Benghazi testimony. She was just on Colbert's show, and I felt a little better about her when Clinton said that she would let big banks fail this time, and break them up if they engage in risky behavior. Maybe her plan could work after all.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Soap Trope

Tonight's episode of Black-ish was much better. Johnsons are "CEO churchgoers" who go on Christmas and Easter only, but now they try out churches. Junior seemed to like both. Diane going to court-ordered therapy, and being so evil, makes it easy to see why Charlie doesn't like her. The Jewish woman in Dre's office getting sent to HR was absurd but believable, with the clueless boss. But I still wonder why we focus so constantly on Dre's work colleagues and not Bow's.

The description for tonight's Empire was completely wrong. Anika didn't show up at all, much less work with Cookie on some launch party. I was bored for much of the episode, and I didn't like the music. I can't believe the Feds claimed that Vernon committed suicide to save embarrassment; what a disappointing, anticlimactic end to that story. I increasingly dislike Lucious's flashbacks about his Mom. Are they trying to make us sympathize with him? I don't, because he doesn't share these memories out loud with anyone or explain to Andre why he treats him so badly. Oh, you don't believe in God, do you, Lucious? To me, you're the one who needs to "man up" and confess your sins. If you won't confess to your family, then at least go to therapy and work through your issues. I didn't like the kidnapping at the end, because it feels like a stupid cliffhanger stunt just because the World Series is next week. I guess I can quit watching now and just read a recap after the next episode to find out how Hakeem is rescued.

Some shows will be off next week for the World Series (or Halloween specials). At least Supergirl will finally premiere. I was hoping that the Suffragette movie would come out this week, but I guess it won't reach my local theaters until November 6.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Save Our Science

What a shame. Ahmed Mohamed and his whole family are moving to Qatar now it seems. It's bad enough that his arrest gave Irving and by extension Texas a black eye. But of course the xenophobes and (and atheist jackass Richard Dawkins) had to belittle his clock and insinuate dumb conspiracy theories about how he was set up by his father hoping to scare people. At least Ahmed got to attend the Astronomy Night at the White House.

It's really sad that science education has come to this. There used to be a stereotype that kids who became future engineers often spent their time disassembling and reassembling clocks, toasters, and other gadgets just to learn how they worked and to see if they could put it back together. No, I guess it's not "inventing" things, but it's exercising their curiosity and learning to tinker. But apparently a Muslim kid is not allowed to grow up like all the other geeks. Apparently he was being "provocative" and "divisive".

How depressing, on top of Texas pulling Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood due to those shitty videos. I hope this gets blocked. Anyway, early voting has started in Texas for seven amendments to the state constitution. I voted today after reading and downloading a couple of guides about the propositions on ballots. I don't live in Houston, but I wish good luck to them about upholding the HERO ordinance.

At least Canada had a good election. I heard that the new Trudeau might be more attentive to Aboriginal rights.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Arrested Misfire

The latest Black-ish episode was a clunker to me. I did wonder why they were doing a "Daddy's Day" in October, but that girl saying it should replace the racist Columbus Day was so crazy, given that people in real life are actually trying to change that holiday to Indigenous People's Day. No one even tells that teenager that her idea is so very wrong and insulting. I know it's a silly sitcom, but to me it's beyond ridiculous that any advertising firm would try to create a duplicate/alternate Father's Day on such a politically and racially charged day. It's so ridiculous that I can't suspend my disbelief, let alone find it funny. Plus, the plot about Dre hiring the other girl to be in the commercial was nonsensical. He's an advertising man; wouldn't hiring his real daughter to be in his commercial be a form of inappropriate nepotism? The commercial didn't even feature Dre playing that girl's father. So why on earth would Zoey expect to be hired for that campaign, and why would other people claim that it's somehow a betrayal of her for Dre not to hire her? This was so silly and over the top.

Overall it reminded me of the plot of Arrested Development's episode "Afternoon Delight" with Michael and Maeby getting jealous of Lindsay and George Michael spending time together, and vice versa. I think it worked better there because there was no dumb ad campaign involved, and the holiday was Christmas, which has been lampooned plenty. I mean, there were some fun moments in Black-ish like Charlie giving Zoey a driving lesson, but the absurdity about Daddy's Day just felt like meaningless and annoying whining. Meanwhile Bow and Junior bonded, and I kept expecting to learn that he was buttering her up for something in particular, but no, the show apparently intended it to be a creepy motherboy situation like what Dre had with Ruby. That did remind me a little of Bluth incest too, but I just didn't find it funny here.

Oppression and Occupation

The violence in Israel has been escalating to the point that people are calling it a Third Intifada. It's very sad and frustrating to feel so helpless, witnessing this stuff from afar. I don't know what can be done, and if John Kerry can do anything when he goes there. I mean, it's not like Netanyahu is going to agree to stop Israeli settlements and "collective punishment" of Palestinians.

Also depressing is Obama's announcement of keeping troops in Afghanistan. So the war continues both there and in Iraq, even after all these years. How do we get ourselves out of our own unwise occupations? And how do we avoid getting mired in war in Syria too? There's no easy solutions that I can see, especially with fucking Republicans still obsessed about Benghazi for political gain.

Last week I watched the He Named Me Malala documentary, as well as the 1982 movie Gandhi when it aired on TV. They are both good films about the power of nonviolence and making a difference in the world despite the cost.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

More Wu, Less Hughes

Fresh Off the Boat got its back-nine order, which is a good sign for renewal for next season. I haven't enjoyed the last couple of episodes, though. I totally did not like the dad being so gaga about the dance and Pretty in Pink. I know I should identify with John Hughes movies due to my generation, but I actually didn't see those films when I was the right age for them. I was a shy misfit and didn't go to dances at all, either. I heard the iconic '80s songs on the radio and liked them, but never knew what movies they were from. Eventually I did watch Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller, but didn't really like or remember them. So no nostalgia haze about the rite of passage from me. Anyway, I hope Fresh Off the Boat will improve soon; maybe the plot with Jessica, Honey, and Grandma flipping houses will be funny. Constance Wu still deserves an Emmy.

Democratic Debate

Well, the first debate was last night, and I saw it with a crowd of enthusiastic viewers. (We clapped a lot.) Nationally, 15.3 million people watched, which is not as much as the viewers of the recent Republican debates, but I think it's still pretty respectable for cable. Due to technical difficulties and speeches from the local party leaders, we missed the national anthem and the first two speeches by Chafee and Webb, but I don't think it mattered much.

I did not appreciate how CNN tried to hype a possible appearance by Joe Biden (so glad he didn't take the bait) and to criticize Hillary about those damn emails. Bernie was totally right that we don't want to hear any more about those emails. I can't believe Anderson Cooper had the nerve to scoff at Hillary, "How can you call it political?" when she just brought up Kevin McCarthy. He fucking admitted that the committee was purely political! Shame on you, Anderson, for that, and the disgraceful question about conscientious objector status somehow being a disqualifier for being commander in chief. "Commander in chief" does not require military experience; it is a civilian status, just saying that the POTUS has supreme authority over the armed forces. I'm glad that Jim Webb didn't take the bait, but otherwise, I didn't like his performance. He gave very bad, Republican-ish answers about the Iran deal, and kept bringing up China. CNN also irrelevantly brought up whether Bernie had smoked pot; what the fuck does that matter? Just ask about their policy on legalizing marijuana, Anderson, not juvenile shit for soundbites!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

More TV

Well, Fox cut Minority Report to 10 episodes instead of 13. At least they didn't pull it off the air, and are promising a satisfying conclusion when it ends. I'm sad, but I'm getting used to all the shows I like getting cancelled (or turning horrendously awful like The Good Wife and Castle). I would have preferred to keep this show instead of Rosewood. Not only is Minority Report's cast diversity cool, but they fixed the racist Washington NFL team by renaming them Red Clouds after Lakota chief Red Cloud.

My local PBS station has started airing old Miss Marple episodes (the ones starring Joan Hickson) so at least I can turn to that for light cozy mysteries. Nobody makes detective shows like they used to. It seems that Hollywood thinks that "mystery show" means "police procedural" with lots of crime scene gore and arrogant leads who defy rules and brutalize suspects for no reason. I'd take even a revival of the short-lived Andy Barker, P.I. about now.

I read recently that NBC is developing a pilot loosely based on Wendy Davis, and modeled after The Good Wife. I don't know if I'll watch, as it might make me depressed about Davis not becoming governor, but then again, so few shows are set in Texas. Also The Good Wife turned into such repetitive crap that it would be nice to have somebody do it better. Have to wait and see how that turns out, I guess.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Meh TV

I think I've had it with Rosewood. It's not getting any better, and the detective Villa is just too abrasive and unsympathetic for no reason. Her arguments with Rosewood, and his arguments with his mother, are so repetitive. Nothing is accomplished by them. I don't feel sorry for Villa, and I don't even know what the point was of her therapy session. The show keeps trying to tug our heartstrings about Rosie's health problems too, but I find it manipulative and jarring to toss in serious drama in what was advertised just to be a fun and light show. This isn't what I was promised. This is just CSI with arrogant jerks for leads. What happened to light mystery shows like Monk? There's been news that a new Nancy Drew show is in development, but it'll probably just be a boring police procedural; or worse, its brand of feminism will be along the lines of the soul-killing Agent Carter. No thanks.

Sadly, the show that is getting better--Minority Report--is dropping rapidly in ratings. I'm afraid it won't be able to finish its run. Almost Human was similar, but way too slow in making progress on its story arc; it became a boring procedural. If only Minority Report could trade ratings with Rosewood, but that would mean they'd have to switch timeslots. I guess I should just enjoy it while it lasts.

I'm frustrated by Empire too. I don't like Jamal being whiny and led around by Lucious. I don't like Andre begging futilely for forgiveness, or Lucious not even telling him that his own mother had mental issues. The plot seems to be treading water like an ordinary soap, which makes me apathetic. The previews for next week imply that the show will finally address Vernon's murder, so I'll stick around for that. But if something doesn't change soon, I'll give up. Maybe only check in for the season finale.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Church and State

I'm really annoyed by how people keep violating the separation of church and state. A public elementary school in Georgia kept leading students in Christian prayer, and harassed students for not praying. It's really horrible that they keep perpetuating this mistaken belief that America is a Christian nation. It is not. There are Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, atheists, etc. who have religious rights too. The 1st Amendment is about freedom from religion, as much as freedom of religion. The government is not supposed to allow teachers to proselytize to students like this. If you want to teach your kids Christianity, then send them to Bible school or a private religious school; keep your faith out of our public institutions, which are supposed to be for everyone!

I personally am agnostic and went through a Texas public school education. They didn't do daily prayers at my schools, though they did have "invocations" at the graduation ceremony, and I was outraged and appalled to be expected to bow my head and listen to somebody talk about "our Lord and savior." He's YOUR Lord and savior, not mine, and this isn't a freaking church, you asshole!


Friday, October 2, 2015

Meanwhile on TV

Sleepy Hollow seems to be better now, with Pandora putting the Headless Horseman on ice in her magic box. We can move on from all that Moloch mess, I guess. I miss Irving, but was at least glad that Jenny got to shine. I was really worried about her when she got knocked out; I kept saying, "Go check on Jenny" while Ichabod and Abbie were hugging. I'm not sure about Betsy Ross (and where she'd fit into the previous story about Crane, Abraham, and Katrina) yet, but since she's in the credits too, I guess we'll get more development later. It is kind of fun that the show has lots more female characters now.

On Wednesday I had a blackout in the middle of primetime, so I missed half of Empire. What I saw seemed okay, though the flashback with Lucious's mother was too confusing. I guess I'll stick with the show for now, as long as they don't do that crap about pretending Lucious is innocent; maybe his sleazy lawyer can work that angle, but I don't want anyone else participating in stuff like that shitty concert in the premiere. That was really fucking offensive to use Black Lives Matter that way. I liked Black-ish more, with its tackling of gun control.

Not Shiny and New

So apparently everybody's talking about the Pope's meeting with Kim Davis. Progressives and other apologists want to believe that the Pope was tricked into the meeting, does not support Davis, and is not homophobic; I mean, he met with an old gay friend and his family, so he's totally tolerant! Well, whoop-de-doo. Pope Francis might just be a "hate the sin, love the sinner" kind of guy; I don't buy this stupid PR back-pedaling, when they could have come out with a stronger statement to begin with.

Just yesterday people were saying that the Pope meeting her was not surprising, and people deluded themselves into thinking he was cool. No one's investigating the discrepancies between Kim Davis claiming she got 15 minutes in private, with a blessing and rosaries, and the Vatican's new claim that it was just a few seconds with tons of other people visiting. I don't give a crap about which version's more accurate. The Pope's still Catholic no matter what, and he did meet with some nuns to support them resisting Obamacare's birth control mandate; he also made Junipero Serra a saint despite objections from Native Americans. He's still tarnished, and his church is still problematic. Sure he's better than previous popes, but let's not get blinded and give him more credit than he deserves. Kudos to Pope Francis for focusing on climate change, immigration, and the poor. Boo on the shitty hypocritical stuff. If he helps in some areas, fine, but I'm not going to idolize him or Bernie Sanders 'cause people want them to be cool. I want fucking results, not promises of change.

I'd rather focus on the Palestinian president giving up on the peace accords because Israel has sabotaged the peace process every step of the way. I'd rather that we get new Republican leadership in Congress that's not crazy and intransigent. I'd rather we take Obama's speech to heart and actually work on gun control this time instead of speculating about the shooter in Oregon. But no, nothing ever changes in politics. It's so frustrating.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Miss Fisher season 3

I've had a strange problem with my Netflix lately. When I access my account from my Tivo, the video plays, but with no sound. I keep messing with the audio settings, but nothing seems to fix it. However, when I access Netflix through my Apple TV (using the same television), both audio and video work just fine. I don't know what's going on.

Anyway, I found that the new season of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries was on Netflix now, so I binge-watched the episodes over a couple of days. There's new pictures in the opening credits, and the show is still fun and enjoyable. They even had an episode about female hysteria featuring an "electric massager" device. The show continues to be feminist, with Dottie asserting to both Hugh and her Catholic priest that she's not going to be a meek obedient wife. In one episode, a woman disguises herself as a man in order to become a pilot, and in another, we learn of the women factory workers who died of radiation poisoning after painting watches with radioactive paint. (Polonium is substituted for radium.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Muppets and Other Premieres

Damn, it's officially fall now, but Texas still has 90-degree weather like it's summer. I wish there was some relief soon, but the meteorologist said it wouldn't be for another month. (And with global warming, who knows how much worse it will get.)

Anyway, The Muppets debuted last night, and I liked it so far. Way too many people are complaining about the show being too "adult" now. This isn't Sesame Street. Just this Sunday, PBS aired a special about Jim Henson, showing that he hated people pigeonholing his muppets as being for kids only. He created the original Muppets variety show in order to prove that his muppets were for grownups too. (I watched it as a kid at the time, so some jokes flew over my head. That's probably what will happen here.) I hope it continues to get good ratings.

I was so glad for Fresh Off The Boat to come back too, and was not disappointed. I was surprised, though, that the same actress who had played Fozzie Bear's girlfriend was playing Jessica's massage therapist also. (I think she's one of the leads of that Another Period show, but I don't know their names yet.)


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Edalji, Emmys, more

I didn't really like Arthur and George overall. You'd think, if the writers wanted us to treat the rippings like a mystery, that the show would try to show many suspects early on, but actually 2 out of 3 episodes kept trying to raise the doubt that "maybe he's not innocent!" and "boy, his foreign family sure are weirdos!"; they even had Sir Arthur deliberately destroy footprints because he feared they would be evidence of George Edalji's guilt. Way to prove that you're not emotionally involved and blinded by your own bias! And the whole shit about a Hayden Price character being a real-life Moriarty (when it was probably Adam Worth) just to make George look sinister was a waste of time. Really horrible, and the ultimate solution to the mystery, with the guilty persons getting killed, was so convenient. Stupid fictionalized mess. The only part I really liked was George's sister mentioning "Speckled Band" to point out that Sherlock Holmes is sometimes wrong. Heck yeah, he's fallible. And Sir Arthur is too, which makes the arguments against his amateur investigation more valid. The closing titles talked about George's pardon but glossed over the fact that he was not pardoned for the letter-writing. Well at least the appeals court was created.

Anyway, I also watched the Emmy Awards on Sunday. I don't usually watch them anymore, but decided to do so this year since Andy Samberg was the host, and I've grown fond of him in Brooklyn Nine Nine. He did great, though the awards quickly became boring once I realized that Olive Kitteridge was going to win every damn category it was in. I don't give a damn about the other cable shows either. I stayed with the Emmys though, enjoying how Taraji was so happy for Regina King, and then Olivia Davis later. Very nice moments in the show, though I'm still disappointed that Constance Wu wasn't even nominated.

I decided to try to watch Minority Report after all, since I do like Meagan Good. The pilot did acknowledge that Pre-crime was wrong and rightly abolished, with Wally talking about the "outliers" in the minority report. The freed convicts who had their lives ruined and wanted revenge was a good way to show the consequences of the bad policy. And yet they still don't have an answer for why Meagan's character should trust Dash's visions. If the visions of the three precogs contradicted each other, then why does she think that Dash, or Dash and his brother, will somehow miraculously get everything 100% right and be in agreement now? The other storyline with Agatha and Arthur afraid that they'll be recaptured and put back to work does suggest that the show can see how problematic it is to try doing Pre-crime stuff again. So I'll stick with it for now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Arthur and George and Sherlock

Sunday I watched part one of the Masterpiece adaptation of Arthur and George, the novel about George Edalji's case. I've never read the book and have since heard that the book and TV show take liberties with historical accuracy. It was an okay show and kind of spooky. I knew I recognized the actress playing Jean Leckie from somewhere, so I looked her up in IMDB; Hattie Morahan actually played the love interest in the Mr. Holmes movie, so she's been romancing both ACD and his fictional creation. I like her in this role, though her comment about ACD's weight would have made more impact had the actor been padded more heavily to resemble ACD. I'll have to see what parts 2 and 3 are like before I can really judge the whole show. There was a 10 minute behind the scenes video at the end of the episode which was interesting too.

In the meantime I was curious about what happened with the feminist s(her)lock web series, and after a search I learned too late that they did an indiegogo campaign this summer to get more funding. I totally missed it, but would not have been able to fund since I'm still unemployed; I should have tried to promote it though. Oh well. Their Facebook page says they still finished filming season 1, though and are doing post-production. They also have a new logo, and are using hyphens instead of parentheses. I don't know if they'll stick to their November release date or not, but at least they posted their first episode on the Indiegogo page. (It was an adaptation of Dancing Men, only the cipher messages were mailed and also faxed, due to it being 1995. I liked it, and enjoyed seeing both Lestrade and Gregson appear, as if this were Study in Scarlet. No backstory about how Holmes met Watson, but we do see her begin writing her first story on Holmes's case.) I'll try to check in on them again later.

They mention that they are still continuing to promote the s(her)lock show, and their Tumblr has a post recapping their appearance at a recent convention. I was surprised that they were fans of Elementary too, so they did a panel about that. They both defend the show and criticize problems. I disagree with them about Moriarty and Mycroft, but am glad to see them defend Joan Watson and analyze the rich emotional relationship she has with Holmes. I'm still not returning to the show, but good luck to it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ian McKellan as Holmes

Summer TV is so awful. I used to care about the TCA press tour and follow all the news announcements, but now I'm not interested in each network trying to shill and create buzz for their shows. Not many of the pilots excited me, and I'm waiting on midseason for anything creative and different.

So I went to see the Mr. Holmes movie after all. I read the book years ago and hated it, so I wasn't planning to see this adaptation. However, I read a review from someone else who did read the book, and they told me that things had been changed, which explained why the filmmakers made the title change; it's not exactly faithful. So I went to see it, since it came to a movie theatre that was convenient to me. It was an okay movie, if you like retired, beekeeping Holmes. I personally don't enjoy Holmes as a hermit without Watson. Audiences seem to connect to it, though, with Holmes struggling through his senility and connecting with the boy Roger. The movie is doing relatively well for its small release.

I hated the book for some annoying writing conventions that the author insisted on foisting upon readers. He would start a flashback scene, show half of it, stop it to digress to another plot, then return to the exact same scene a long time later, repeating pages upon pages of stuff I ALREADY READ and DIDN'T NEED REMINDING OF, then finally show me the other half of the flashback. However, that was a lie; there's actually a third or fourth part of the scene which he has withheld from us, and will return us to later, while unnecessarily REPEATING EVERYTHING ELSE AGAIN! Fuck him and his editor who let that get published that way. Thankfully, the movie doesn't try to visually replicate that insane repetition, so that's was a relief. The characters had funny moments, and the ending was much improved, so those problems were fixed too.

Also, there's a scene where Holmes attends a fictional movie based on one of his cases, and Nicholas Rowe plays the fictional Holmes in that film. It's not that Hollywood rewrote the case, though; Watson was responsible for the inaccuracy because he deliberately changed the mystery to make Holmes into a hero instead of a failure. To save his reputation (and to hell with what the real client thought?) and perhaps help Holmes get over the tragedy. One of the themes of the movie is that people tell well meaning lies to protect other people and soothe their pain. It's interesting for me to see that Watson lies so much in the movie, almost constructing a false Holmes persona like in Without a Clue. I have often asserted that Watson lies in the stories myself.

SPOILERS BELOW

Summer Blues

We're in for triple-digit heat all this week, and it's making me miserable. I've also been down about all the bad news lately, including the horrific arson attack in Israel, where terrorists burned down a house full of people and killed a baby. I don't know when will be enough for Israel to really change.

But today I read that a federal appeals court struck down the voter ID law in Texas, so that's good for the next election. We still have horrible politicians in Texas, though, and we're so gerrymandered it's not funny. I really hope Hillary Clinton means it when she says she's pursuing a 50-state strategy to improve Democratic chances even in red states like Texas.

Comedians love to snark, but I haven't really been amused by Trump's antics nor do I care to watch the Republican candidates debate anything. I'm apathetic and tired of the circus atmosphere. It's bad enough we need to defend Planned Parenthood from these anti-abortion zealots, but they keep threatening to shut down the government like they haven't learned a thing. Lately, Daily Kos has turned into a nonstop Bernie Sanders cheerleading site, having stupid pie fights constantly about him and Clinton. Even yelling at the founder Kos for not supporting Bernie. I hate those navel-gazing progressives who can't stop flaming each other over every damn thing, and yet it's hard to find any other political news site that's worth following. Liberals are supposed to be big tent, include everybody, but they're so divisive.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

History Lesson

All the pontificating about the Iran deal is so much bullshit. I read Juan Cole's recent article about Reagan's Iran-Contra scandal, and am freshly appalled. At the time, I was just a kid living in blissful ignorance and watching TV sitcoms. I found all news boring, and briefly was brainwashed by Texas's red atmosphere into liking George Bush, Sr. when he ran for President; thank God I grew out of that.

When I grew older I heard about the Iran-Contra affair vaguely as being something awful like Watergate; but I never realized just how diabolical and criminal it was. The President was playing so many countries against each other as if he were a dictator with unilateral powers. I can't believe that Reagan and his cronies got away with this stuff, and that Israel used to love making deals with Iran in the 1980s. So Netanyahu shouting about how evil Iran is now, and how they're so dangerous like ISIS, is such a crock. Israel has nukes already which it won't admit to; why don't they agree to be inspected by the UN? Why don't they disarm, to keep us from sanctioning them? Hypocrites. I definitely prefer Obama and Kerry's diplomacy to the illegal, villainous schemes that constituted Ronald Reagan's foreign policy. You're damn right I'm still boycotting Israel.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Unfulfilled Potential

The last two episodes of The Millers aired tonight. The first one was a Christmas episode, and it was awful. I was indifferent to Kip for a while, but they went too far with him. It's bad enough that Kip hangs around with Carol and her whole family, pushing to be included in an unhealthy way, but he appears to have no other friends at all. Apparently, when he divorced his husband Leon, he did not have any other friends or his own family to fall back on. So instead he's trying to steal Nathan's family in a really creepy and needy way. Strange is that only Nathan is bothered by this, not his other family members or even Ray. Plus the writers chose to have Nathan and Kip childishly fight, as if the fights were supposed to be funny. But they aren't; they're just cringe-inducing. I'd rather have seen an episode devoted to Nathan and Ray adjusting to being roommates, but no, we have to have Kip hanging around for all the holidays. What a crap episode.

The last episode was slightly better, but Kip still dominated way too much in his plot. I preferred the plot where Nathan was dating a teacher to try to help Mikayla get into a good school. He found out that his niece didn't want to attend that school or be a hippie, and he helped her tell her parents. (It might even have been a callback to when she discovered that she didn't want to be a vegetarian last season.) That was actually somewhat nice. I still liked the earlier episodes with the Pope and the scifi convention better. So I guess I do agree with CBS about cancelling the show. If it was going to continue in this vein, Kip would continue to throw the balance off and prevent me from seeing plots I actually cared about, like Nathan and Ray living together, or Debbie working and Adam being a house husband. Oh well.

In other news, I heard that Michael Cera is cast as Robin in Will's Lego Batman movie. That will be fun when it comes out. Season 2 of Bojack Horseman is out now, but I haven't watched it yet. I'm really missing Gob more than Bojack, and I'm getting tired of satirical shows that skewer Hollywood. (Or Hollywoo.) I'll save it for when I'm in the mood I guess.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Peace and equality

What a week it's been so far! I'm glad that the Iran deal was done, and I'm only pissed at so many Congresspeople acting outraged and licking Netanyahu's boots by pretending that it's a diplomatic disaster. As I understand it, five other countries, not just the US, also agreed to make the deal with Iran. I read some of the details on Vox and other sites, and they do seem like reasonable terms to me, given all the inspections. Some people will never be satisfied until Iran has zero nuclear stuff, even though the tiny amount they're allowed to keep can only be used for power; there is no way they'll be able to enrich it enough to weaponize it. (And meanwhile we let Israel have unknown amounts of nukes, despite their war crimes and human rights violations! Why don't we sanction them, huh?) I really hope Congress won't grandstand and try to reject the Iran deal.

In other good news, the Boys Scouts finally lifted their ban on gay adults and scout leaders, though it seems to be optional from troop to troop. Oh well. Baby steps I guess, and at least this will solve the problem for gay scouts who want to stay in the troop as they get older. I heard that the Pentagon will allow transgender people to serve as well, so things are looking up overall.

Anyway, I signed up for new insurance in the Marketplace (since I lost my previous coverage at my old job), and hopefully nothing will happen until my coverage starts. I'm going to a job fair later, and if I get hired and get benefits there (big maybe), I'll have to make changes afterward. But it's better to be safe than sorry. Gosh, it's so hot in Texas in July. No rain in sight either. That's what bothers me more than idiots panicking about Jade Helm conspiracies.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

TV blahs

Last night's episodes of The Millers weren't good. There was no mention of Ray moving in, so maybe the episodes were out of order. The Thanksgiving episode was silly, notable only for an attempt at a father-son love triangle. The other episode had Cloris Leachman guest starring as doddering Aunt Louise. There are two more episodes left this coming Saturday, and I hope they are better.

I'm getting kind of fed up with Masterpiece showing only period dramas that I'm not interested in. The only mysteries they've got scheduled now are repeats of past seasons of Sherlock through summer and September. PBS is going to air Arthur & George this year, but no dates are given yet. I hope they bring Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries back soon.

Today I also tried a new recipe for Panda Express's Mushroom Chicken, and I only realized too late that I didn't have any balsamic vinegar. It didn't turn out bad, though.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Outrage

I'm so disappointed in Hillary Clinton. She wrote an anti-BDS letter to a pro-Israel billionaire donor, comparing the boycotts to anti-Semitism, even though many Jewish people support BDS. Fuck you, Hillary. Best case scenario, she doesn't mean it and is just pandering to this guy for money, but that would still make her a hypocrite (just like all other lying politicians). Worst case scenario is that she means it, and is a blind loyalist to Israel, a foreign nation.

BDS is non-violent, grass-roots action to protest a horrific regime. Of course we're trying to punish Israel. Just like the anti-Apartheid campaigns wanted to punish South Africa. South Africa still exists as a country, by the way, but Apartheid ended. That's all we're seeking. Israel can exist; it just needs to stop its occupation and make peace with the Palestinians (maybe through a two-state solution or whatever else is viable at this point).

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Religious Liberty Lawsuit

So the legal challenges begin about marriage discrimination in Texas. A gay couple was repeatedly denied a marriage license so they sued the county clerk. She finally issued their license, but they did not withdraw the lawsuit because they want to make sure she will not give this same runaround to any other couple that applies. Hopefully the lawsuit will also discourage other county clerks from defying the Supreme Court's ruling.

Also I came across this religious liberty quiz, lately, and it's still relevant. If only jackasses like the governor and attorney general would listen!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Millers suprise

Happy Fourth of July! Will Arnett's cancelled sitcom is back on CBS, at least for a little while. The Millers was taken off the air so abruptly, and there was no word that the remaining episodes would ever surface, but here they are, getting burned off against fireworks. (My Tivo says there are more episodes next Saturday.) I know lots of people hate this show and think it's stupid, but I enjoyed it while it lasted. I don't think the addition of Kip in season 2 really made any difference, but I liked that they continued the theme of Nathan's bromance with Ray. Apparently they're going to move in together now, so that's something to look forward to in the next set of episodes. My Tivo OnePass says that there are four episodes I haven't seen yet. I hope CBS airs them all, even if there's no real series finale.

I remember when the cancellation was suddenly announced, that the show substituted an episode that they had previously skipped; it was made to air after The Big Bang Theory, and they pandered by making the plot about a science fiction convention. The episode was full of meta references to their ratings and their lead-in show. Sure, it wasn't as great as Arrested Development, but it was still entertaining. I'll have to remember to watch season 2 of Bojack Horseman when it comes out.

Monday, June 29, 2015

More Supreme Court decisions

In other news, I'm so glad that the Supreme Court blocked the Texas law that would have closed most of the abortion clinics in the state. I don't know if they'll take the case, but it gives time to appeal the lower court's decision. If they do take the case, the law could remain blocked until they decide.

I'm trying to hope for the best, and I also want marriage equality to be settled in Texas. I can't believe that the Texas Attorney General is pushing this religious liberty angle and planning for lawsuits. He's defying the Supreme Court's ruling and advising others to do so. It seems that other states are resisting too, and it's so depressing.

Kennewick Man

I recently saw a PBS science documentary called "First Peoples" on TV, and the each episode concentrates on a different continent. Rather than start with Africa, the first episode was about the Americas, debating who discovered this place first, and how they traveled here. I remember as a child in school being taught the story of people crossing the land bridge over the Bering Strait and walking south following herds of migrating animals.

However this episode started with the story of Eva of Naharon, a 13,600 year-old skeleton found in underwater caves in the Yucatan. She's a young woman and hunter-gatherer who was buried in the cave by her people. We learn about the discovery of her bones and see reenactments of what her life might have been like. But there's a mystery about how she could be living in the Yucatan, when previous archaeological evidence was that people didn't arrive in the Americas until 13,000 years ago. They then recount the old land-bridge theory, and discuss the Clovis people (named after their "clovis points" technology of making spearheads). To further confuse the mystery, we learn of another skeleton, the Kennewick Man found in Washington state, whose remains have been fought over for nearly 20 years. It was very engrossing, and actually quite topical, for DNA test results have just been published this month.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Love Wins

Hooray for marriage equality! I'm glad that the Supreme Court ruled favorably for Obamacare yesterday too. (I'll definitely need a subsidy since I'm losing my health coverage from the job I lost.)

Of course, our horrible governor and attorney general are remaining defiant, talking about religious freedom (even though the legislature already passed the bill saying religious officials do not have to perform same-sex weddings). County clerks, however, are surely not religious officials, so they shouldn't be defying the Supreme Court. I'm glad that several Texas counties have already started issuing marriage licenses. Congrats to everybody who got married today!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sherlock's Dad

Well, I wasn't looking for this news, but I couldn't help but learn that John Noble is cast as Holmes's father in season 4 of Elementary. I already quit the show months ago. This is too little too late in my opinion (and I'm so fucking sick of every episode being about murder, instead of the variety of crimes and non-crimes from the original canon).

I mean, if I believed that the writers would actually do something useful with Holmes's dad, such as him pointing out what a hypocritical dick Sherlock is for continuing to live at the brownstone and live off his trust fund while bemoaning his obscenely wealthy father, that would be a good sign. Somehow, I doubt that the show writers have that much self-awareness about Holmes, given the smug, self-righteous tone he's had for 3 seasons already. It was like they hated the idea that Holmes should ever deign to take a private client or a non-murder case, either for the money itself or for the thrill of the puzzle. Plus I suppose there will be no mention of what's happened to Mycroft, and whether Holmes senior knows anything about what happened to him, MI5, or even Kitty Winter. By the way, was there ever any explanation about Holmes's mother? Is she dead or what?

Most of all, I don't want to see Moriarty come back, which I'm sure they'll do at some point because they seem to like psychopaths too. Good luck to John Noble, anyway.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Season 5

Yay! Arrested Development will be back in 2016! I'm very happy to get more Bluths. The cliffhangers will be resolved, and hopefully Gob and Tony Wonder will be back in love. I wonder if they'll bring back Franklin and the banana stand too.

Well, I better finish my Far From Over fic as fast as I can.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Texas shenanigans

Well, it looks like all the anti-LGBT bills in Texas died this session. So assuming that the Supreme Court rules for marriage equality soon, Texas won't be able to block it.

Battleground Texas is also prepared to sue for violations of the National Voter Registration Act. I had to renew my driver's license this year, and if my voter registration hadn't gone through, I'd definitely be pissed if I couldn't vote in the recent elections. As if we didn't have enough problems with gerrymandering.

We also need to get some abortion rights, restore funding to Planned Parenthood, expand Medicaid, and get rid of fracking. Stupid GOP rebelling against federal laws, but damned happy to take federal aid for disasters like the recent flooding. So depressing.

Monday, May 25, 2015

To the Death

Dammit! The Pinkertons ended season 1 on a cliffhanger and so far I cannot find any confirmation of a season 2 being ordered. I hope it comes back. Despite some disappointing episodes, I enjoyed this show much more than many non-syndicated shows this season.

At least we got to see one other female Pinkerton agent finally, even if she didn't stay for the investigation. Allan Pinkerton has been in the last two episodes as well, though he mentioned nothing about Robert, so I assume that Will kept his promise not to tell his father about the coup; still, I wish that Will and Kate had mentioned it in private between them, so we know they haven't forgotten it.

SPOILERS below

Friday, May 22, 2015

No more grimdark

In TV news, the Supergirl pilot leaked, and most people seem to like it. Good. I was hoping it would be bright, charming, and light, unlike the gritty darkness of other DC properties. I hope it will be like Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman, because I want some fun feminism instead of the soul-crushing Agent Carter. I'm over Marvel but willing to give DC a chance this time.

On Netflix I tried the Daredevil show that was praised so much, but I stopped halfway through the pilot. It was awful. His stupid monologue about his father being a boxer took so damn long and he never explained to the confessional priest what the fuck his father had to do with whatever he meant to confess. And he didn't confess it, so why even go to the church in the first place? Stupid, incompetent exposition dump. Besides that, I hated all the violence and degradation against women. Sure, this is a gritty dark crime drama about a vigilante, but I don't need to see a bunch of sex traffic victims cowering in fear while the hero beats up the bad guys, and the girls don't even think to try to run away until the man freaking tells them. Later, I sure as hell don't need to see a guy attempt to kill the woman in police custody either. Sure, she defended herself and survived, but why do I need to see that violent, victimizing shit in the first place? What is wrong with people?

I don't watch shows about serial killers or stalkers either. I even quit the CSI shows years ago over their constant need make more exotic, horrific methods of murder that felt like voyeuristic exercises in titillation. I'm so sick of this garbage that everybody else seems to like for being edgy. I mean, no, I don't think stuff needs to be censored or anything. But me personally, I don't want to see psychopaths just being evil for no dang reason. There comes a point where it's gratuitous and you can't take anymore. Not everybody gets off on sadism, you guys.

Happy Birthday, ACD

So the ACD Estate are suing to get the new Mr. Holmes movie stopped, as well as get money from the filmmakers and book author Mitch Cullin. The article also mentions the copyright trial they lost last year to Leslie Klinger, so this looks more than a little desperate.

The last 10 Sherlock Holmes stories are still in copyright, so this lawsuit is based on specific elements from those stories. However, I disagree with their claim that Holmes becoming warmer, gentler, and kinder is something that happened only in the last 10 stories. I remember him being warm and sentimental in some early stories, as well as stories right after he came back from his fake death. I also disagree with their claim that Holmes "got over his distaste for dogs" only in "The Creeping Man." Holmes had no distaste for dogs in The Sign of Four when he used a dog to track the creosote trail. But that's the thing about ACD, he didn't write with consistency and planned character development; he didn't care about Holmes that much.

Anyway, considering that Mitch Cullin's book came out in 2005, and the Estate is only suing now that it's been turned into a movie starring Ian McKellan, this feels like pure greed. (I read the book years ago, but hated it, so I won't be seeing the movie either way.) I hope that the Estate loses again, especially with their claim of trademark infringement which they hope to apply forever.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Upfronts

Still no news about Super Clyde, so I guess the pilot is dead again. So sad. Various trailers are being released to promote new shows, and I just don't "get" the Minority Report one.

I haven't seen the Minority Report movie in years, so correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the point of the film that Precrime was terrible and oppressive? That's why it got shut down? It was unfair that people were being imprisoned for crimes which they hadn't committed, as if they were predestined and had no free will to change the future. Also, some of the Precog's visions were wrong, and therefore shouldn't be trusted. So this fucking TV show says that one of the Precogs wants to go back to predicting crimes and have a cop help him stop various murders and stuff. So he fucking wants to go back to the old horrible system? Why are we excited about regressing to bad old days? What the fuck?

Also, what the fuck with the stupid conspiracy theorists in Texas? Shut up about Jade Helm 15, you idiots! You do not speak for me! Fuck you!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Boko Haram

I was happy to learn lately that Nigeria had rescued some of the kidnapped girls from Boko Haram, but I thought they said they hadn't found the Chibok girls yet. Now I read this report about the girls not only being rescued, but harassed. So awful, after what they went through. I wonder why Nigeria couldn't have done more months ago, when all the other countries offered help.

Pinkerton Family Business

Happy Mother's Day. Today's episode featured Will's brother Robert Pinkerton, who was played by a different actor, so I don't see why the show bothered to incorrectly claim that Robert was Will's twin before. Anyway, Robert came to do performance reviews on Kate and Will, who are suspicious because normally George Bangs does such evaluations. (George H. Bangs was the real life General Superintendent of the agency, and Allan's right-hand man.)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Renewed Shows

Well the networks announced a whole bunch of renewals and cancellations all at once. I'm kind of glad they did, instead of keeping us in suspense until the upfronts. I am happy for fans of Agent Carter, but as I said before, there's no way I'm watching season 2 unless I get a guarantee that Peggy is the boss now instead of being put-upon and disrespected in the SSR. She's more than earned S.H.I.E.L.D. already, and Howard was a total dick to only give her a stupid apartment.

I enjoyed both Cristela and Forever, but am not surprised that they were cancelled. What I can't understand is why ABC renewed Galavant. It had terrible ratings, and the finale sucked big time; I will never watch that show again.

I'm happy about the pickups for the new Muppets show and Supergirl. I hope that superhero show will be closer to what I wanted Agent Carter to be. Of the pilots, I'm sad that The Brainy Bunch and Craig Ferguson's show apparently were passed on. There's been no news about Super Clyde so far, and I was hoping it would get through this time. At least most of my other favorite shows were renewed. There may be more news tomorrow or at the very least, next week. I'm glad I got my Tivo working again.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Back Online

Well, I just had a frozen banana to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro. I don't enjoy margaritas, though.

I changed internet service providers over the weekend, so it was almost like being in Sudden Valley with nothing working. I agree with Maeby. It's like living in 1999. I managed to get my computers and devices working with the new wireless network today, but my Tivo wouldn't update, and now it's stuck without an internet connection. If I can't get it fixed tomorrow, I can always watch on my other TV with an antenna.

I saw Age of Ultron this weekend and found it meh. Sure there were some funny scenes, and Maria Hill even actually asked the meta comment, "Where are the women?" But the romance plot didn't work, and the action scenes were too long and repetitive. Why do I need to see Iron Man pummel the Hulk so freaking long? Why couldn't the "Veronica" whatever have succeeded, and we could jump back into actual plot instead of mindless destruction? I hated the neverending battle at the Eastern European city too, with all the civilians and the endless robots. It reminded me of Iron Man 2 where he kept fighting waves of robots, and I didn't fucking care. I am definitely fucking over Marvel, and found the stupid Ant-Man trailer just plain stupid.

I much preferred While We're Young with Ben Stiller.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Small Victories

It's been a mix of good and bad news lately. Last week I lost my job, but at least I'm safe and sound, unlike everybody in Nepal during the earthquake this weekend. So I'll be busy with jobhunting and also signing up for new health insurance when I lose my benefits.

Today early voting started for our local May election, so I voted, because I need to have some say, even if I'm blue stuck in a dismally red state. Participate in democracy, even if it's just municipal and school board elections! It's the only way to change anything.

I'm glad that Loretta Lynch finally got sworn in as our new Attorney General, because at least that fight's over. I also read some encouraging reports about efforts to transfer Guantanamo prisoners and close the prison before Congress can interfere again. Here's hoping Obama can get it done.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Buffalo Gal

Well, The Pinkertons had several episodes that I didn't like much, as they clumsily figured out how to rotate their varied cast members. Sometimes Kenji would be there, sometimes not, sometimes Miyo was there, sometimes Annalee, etc. I also disliked the attempts to manufacture sexual tension and jealousy between Kate and Will. The strange episode with Belle Starr was very unsatisfactory, portraying the female outlaw as some frustrated housewife foolishly daydreaming about western dime novels. There was nothing about her real-life experience with criminals from an early age, such as growing up with Jesse James in Missouri, and she never got to prove herself a sharpshooter. The writers tried to make her sympathetic, trapped in a loveless, arranged marriage, and they let her escape to freedom. I don't know if she'll come back with Jesse James later, but I'd rather she didn't, with this kind of false backstory.

But the show has recently redeemed itself with an excellent episode featuring Buffalo Soldiers, called "Forever Free." John Bell got to go undercover as a cook to try to find the killer. The white commanding officer, while often sympathetic to his soldiers, still was capable of being arbitrary and cruel. Not only did the episode deal with the traumas of ex-slaves, but there was a twist, because one of the soldiers was a woman passing as a man. The Pinkertons discovered this, but chose not to out her after the case was solved; Kate sympathized and wanted the soldier to continue to serve and earn her pension. I like how this show explores topics of race, class, and gender in a sensitive manner, and I hope they keep this up.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Taste the Happy

I'm glad that the Bluths will be back for 17 more episodes, though I wonder why Brian Grazer said it so casually and with no elaboration about the deal. I hope we'll find out details about when Season 5 is coming.

So I better get back to my Far From Over fic. I've almost got an new chapter ready to put up, and it looks like this epic will be about 50+ chapters total.

In other news, I recently enjoyed seeing the movie Effie Gray, about the real life marriage of Victorian art critic John Ruskin, who never consummated it. Apparently this story has been dramatized many times before, though this version is from Effie's point of view, from her beginnings as a naive young bride, through her disillusionment and loneliness, until her eventual escape. Ruskin is brilliant and charming at times, earning public admiration, but clearly he is off and strange too. Perhaps it was due to his doting parents indulging him so much, but he has some emotional disconnect from the needs and opinions of other people. He treats Effie with disdain and neglects her until she's ill. Ruskin seems to have an idea that women (or rather girls) are either virginal and pure or wicked harlots living for pleasure. Nothing between the two extremes. Effie tries hard at first to try to understand him and please him and somehow assert a role for herself in her husband's family, but nothing works. Eventually she finds allies to confide in, and they help her to get the marriage annulled. I thought the film ended too soon, but it was a interesting look into how fucked up Victorians could be about sex, power and marriage. I'm glad that Effie finally found happiness with someone more sympathetic and attentive.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Goodbye, Joan

In other news, March Madness basketball stuff has pushed Elementary aside for the time being, and I've decided to not watch the show when it returns. I've watched almost three seasons, and this is as good a place as any to stop, given my continuing frustrations with the show. I suspect that they'll bring back Moriarty at the end of the season, and I don't wanna see that, even if they bring back Kitty or Mycroft or that drug dealer guy they introduced lately. The show continues to be obsessed with murders, while tantalizing us with throwaway references to cases involving stolen music and pit vipers. I can't take it. Also, Ms. Hudson hasn't been back, nor do they even care enough to give her a first name after all this time.

In the most recent episode, they brought back Joan's mother Mary for a puzzling and not entirely convincing story about dementia, and Holmes had the nerve to lecture Joan about her family. He claims that his family doesn't need a "referee" but then what did Sherlock think Mycroft was doing when he pretended to have a message from Father demanding that Sherlock move back to London? Then when Sherlock did move back to London, not a word was spoken about whether he interacted with his father or Mycroft or told Kitty about such things. The show seriously has forgotten the entire mystery of Holmes's father, and remains totally blind to Sherlock being a huge hypocrite living off his hated father's money (unlike Mycroft, whom Sherlock despises for no good reason). Plus it appears that the show feels that they already "fixed" the Holmes/Watson living arrangement problem just by having Watson make an office downstairs. Never mind that we never see her solve her client's case, nor tell Holmes that she was wrong to say that she doesn't deserve a normal life. They think it's fixed, but it's not. So I'm not gonna watch this dysfunctional garbage anymore.

There's plenty of other TV shows to watch, even some kind of zombie procedural that Veronica Mars fans are excited about, even though I didn't find it funny or charming at all. Anyway, FOX has just ordered a show about Houdini and Doyle, based on their real life friendship before it turned sour. Of course it will be heavily fictionalized, turned into a buddy-cop supernatural mystery, but I can shrug it off and think it's no different than the show with young ACD and Joseph Bell solving crimes. It's something to look forward to for next season, anyway. Oh, also, I hope that feminist Sherlock web series gets released soon.

Trying to Stay Positive

Obama says he should have closed Guantanamo Bay at the start of his presidency. (I think I remember that he signed something to that effect on that day, but could never get it though Congress obstruction.) He's been slowly releasing prisoners though, and I wish he could empty it and shut it down before he leaves office.

Anyway, that's the only bright spot in political news lately. I hate that Netanyahu won the elections in Israel, and I don't trust him at all now that he pretends he supports a two-state solution again. He showed his true colors already. I wish Obama would actually rebuke him by cutting Israel's damn funding. But nothing ever changes. I had hoped that Israel would have gone left this time, but no such luck.

I don't even wanna hear from fucking Rick Perry or any of the Texas GOP right now. They make all of us look like insane idiots, and I'm still worried about how the Supreme Court will rule regarding Obamacare.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

International Exhibition of SH

I couldn't time my trip to London last year to coincide with the Sherlock Holmes exhibit at the Museum of London, so when I saw a similar exhibition in Dallas, I decided to go. It gave me something to do on the Ides of March, as I don't want to see the Cinderella movie. The museum tickets and parking cost a lot of money, though, so I decided to see this instead of the Watson intelligence play that I mentioned before.

The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes is an interactive experience where you're given a notebook and are supposed to solve a crime while going on a tour. It was a little confusing at first as I tried to figure out that I was supposed to insert the pages of the notebook into various machines that would stamp, emboss, or punch holes to show that I had collected some evidence. It was also very crowded, so I often had to wait to get to each section of the exhibit. I messed up the first time through on one part, but was able to figure out which clue I got wrong, so I could fix it. The solution was appropriately weird, involving a Pinkerton detective and coded messages sent by seedpods.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Still Not Cancelled

So Netanyahu is still going to give the speech tomorrow. I haven't commented before because I kept hoping either he or the Republicans would back off and realize they'd gone too far. That the Democrats would really boycott the speech instead of being afraid of AIPAC calling them anti-Semitic. That Obama would "rebuke" Netanyahu not merely verbally but in some concrete way, like cutting off funds to Israel. But no, that's never on the damn table. Never. So nothing changes, and I'm tired of America being beholden to Israel. The most I can hope for is that Netanyahu will lose the Israeli elections I guess. But will his replacement be any better?

I'm glad that Juan Cole reprinted part of Leonard Nimoy's thoughts on peace from 2011, and his wish for a two-state solution in Israel. Too bad it's 2015 already, and they've still made no progress. Rest in peace, Spock.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

No Wonder Woman

The weather has been awful here lately, though it's certainly not as bad as how the Northeast has been snowed in. But I'll be glad when the ice and snow are gone.

I watched the Agent Carter finale and realized that I wasted 8 episodes on this show. I should never have watched it. Yes, it's more competently written than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The writers clearly had a plan here and executed it; I just disagreed with almost everything in their plan.

SPOILERS BELOW

Monday, February 23, 2015

Tone Deaf

In Thursday's Elementary episode, Sherlock Holmes continues to be a huge hypocrite, lecturing everyone about how corporations and lawyers view people in purely financial terms. Yet he lives in the brownstone owned by his father, who is exactly the same kind of monstrous one-percenter he rails against daily. Worse is that it seems the writers are completely unaware of this contradictory shit; they act like Holmes's ranting is righteous anger. It's really discouraging to continue with a show that is so in denial about its main character. Holmes, when you forsake your trustfund and move out of the brownstone, and earn your damn living from private clients, then you can talk about the evils of capitalism without being a tone-deaf, idiot snob. You profit from that rich one-percent lifestyle every damn second of your life. And you had the nerve to despise Mycroft for having a job as a restauranteur! At least your brother earned his damn living instead of being a dependent on your father's money.

Anyway, as for Watson, she did indeed move into the brownstone, with a slight twist. They attempted to "fix" the situation by having Holmes talk about her emotional regression since Andrew's death, and Watson responding that there was nothing wrong with her seeking a safe place to call home. Then Watson decided to set up an office space for her in the basement, and she finally acknowledged that she was indeed going to take separate clients and not always be Holmes's detective buddy. I still think it's too little, and Watson didn't take back her words about how she didn't "deserve" to live a normal life. Fix this damn shit, writers.

One thing I will say about the villain of the episode, Dana Powell--I wish that was how they wrote the character of Moriarty, whether male or female. Just someone cold and calculating with a meticulous scheme, who wasn't obsessed with Holmes, and cared about money only. That's how to do old school Moriarty correctly, instead of as some Catwoman femme fatale. Moriarty should not be merged with Irene Adler at all. It's so wrong and cheapens both characters. Why should I put up with this, while the show completely drops the mystery of Holmes's father? It's just as awful as the Grantchester show being obsessed with its love triangle, to the detriment of the detective mysteries. I'm certainly never watching that show again.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Guest Host

Will Arnett got one of the open slots on The Late Late Show since Craig Ferguson left, and I recorded it last night. It was both his first and last time hosting the show, which became a running joke throughout, as Will and his guests feigned nostalgia and grief about his imminent departure. At the end, Jimmy Kimmel even sang Neil Diamond's song "Hello Again" rewritten as "Goodbye" and then they trashed the set, knocking over the couch and some guy in a ketchup costume.

Seeing Will reminded me of how I much I like seeing his face on TV, instead of just hearing his voice in Bojack Horseman or commercial voiceovers. So I hope his new Netflix series Flaked will be good, though I'm not sure about it based on the show description yet. Will did mention CBS cancelling his sitcom during his monologue, but that's just how it goes in show business. I do wish he had mentioned Arrested Development more, since David Cross was on, but I guess he didn't want to start another internet rumor about when season 5 will happen. Will also mentioned Bateman once when talking about going to the Golden Globes with Cross. I had hoped that the "sidekick" would have been a nice surprise like Bateman or Ben Stiller instead of pre-taped Will Arnett; it was an amusing parody of phoney showbiz tropes at least.

Well, I hope it won't be too long before seeing Will's crooked smile again. I was surprised that it was also the last night for Peter Lassally, mentor to many late night TV hosts including Craig Ferguson. I think the show still has more guest hosts until Corden actually takes over, but I've already seen the ones I wanted to see. Later edit: I just found out that Peter Lassally was the man who brought Will the suit in the cold open; I didn't know what Lassally looked like. Also apparently he retired that night because all the remaining guest hosts have pretaped their shows before Arnett's. Will really was the last guy.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy New Year

Well this has been a pretty good Lunar New Year, what with the first same-sex marriage in Texas. A lot of times it feels hopeless being blue in Texas, so this was good news.

I'm also very encouraged by the new diversity on TV. Fresh Off the Boat has now survived two Tuesdays in its competitive timeslot, and they had a fabulous sex talk episode this week. I certainly enjoyed Jessica teaching her son Eddie that "no means no" and "respect girls!" I hope the ratings stay steady for next week. Also Black-ish's ratings have recovered lately, so it looks like we can have multiple successes at the same time.

Even The Pinkertons has added to its cast diversity lately. This week's episode not only brought back their former Japanese client Kenji, but added a female "mystic" named Miyo who was part of Doc Sprague's travelling spiritualism show.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Had to Ruin It

Well, fuck it. They brought back Jamie Moriarty, at least in the form of a letter voiceover. I feared they would do something like this with the Kitty vs. Gruner storyline, but instead they did it with Joan's nemesis Elana March, that mob boss she sent to prison. I don't want Moriarty back for any reason at any time. I hate her. They should never have merged her with Irene Adler. Fuck. Now I go back to checking spoiler websites to warn myself if she's guest-starring in an episode, so that I can fucking not watch it.

God they had to ruin a perfectly interesting episode with Marcus Bell working a case with Holmes with this shit. And then we have Joan Watson's horrible ending speech about how she doesn't "have the right" to a separate life, and how being a detective means that she commits herself to never trying to live a normal life again. Fuck that. The dramatic music over the scene seemed to ominously hint that the writers are aware that Joan's epiphany is fucked up, but it's not pleasant to watch her basically concede that Sherlock Holmes has been right all along, and that other people getting hurt is all her fault.

Bell and Gregson are detectives too, and they're allowed to have normal lives (even if Bell is a workaholic who'll take a case during his vacation days). It's never implied that Gregson and Bell aren't allowed to have romantic relationships or family problems; it's never said that they have to live in the queer eccentric lifestyle that Holmes lives in, due to all the people they've sent to prison. Why the fuck would Joan think she has to adopt that lifestyle just because she made dangerous enemies? I hate this. Fuck. If the remaining episodes of this season don't undo this shitty mess, then I'm not coming back for next season. Fuck you, Holmes, poisoning people's minds so that they're emotionally stunted, wounded, and willing to crawl back to you saying "You were right all along. I don't need an outside life. I'll never question you again, oh wise master." Fuck!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Less soap, please

This week's Pinkertons episode was focused on "the sweet science" of pugilism, and the client was Kate's childhood friend Henry who is now a bareknuckle boxer. Unfortunately, Henry didn't reveal any interesting information about Kate's past, such as her maiden name, family, or details about her late husband. He mainly kept trying to flirt with Kate and imply that Will Pinkerton was jealous. I really don't like the show trying to force romantic hints like that, because I actually would prefer Will with Annalee, the local madam who also runs the hotel bar. I also thought the show had been trying to establish Will flirting with other women like Rebecca the preacher's daughter. I would prefer that Will and Kate just stay colleagues and friends at most. Next week's episode shows the return of Kenji, their Japanese client from earlier in the season. I hope the case will be better, and I wonder when Allan will return to Kansas City.

I saw the latest Grantchester episode, featuring secret gay affairs, blackmail, and murder. I do appreciate that the show tries to handle such delicate topics, but I still think that too much of the show is wasted on Sidney's love life. Sure, I'm glad that Sidney is getting over his broken heart, but Amanda had to act so jealous of Hildegard. You're engaged, Amanda, and you know how hard it is for him to perform your wedding! Why would you be so catty about how she'd make a good vicar's wife? Be happy for him, and act like a friend. I really do hope this Amanda gets written out of the show, because I can't take her anymore. Can we just get back to the mysteries?