January 26th, 2010


reviews: bad tv, good tv, shaun tan, tolkien

Caprica: Started watching this because mom thought it was a movie, not the pilot for a new TV show. Watched just the first half because none of the characters were particularly sympathetic or interesting, the dialog was insipid, and the whole thing pretty much just flat-out boring. The only even remotely intriguing thing about it was the culture, which seemed to be playing with (or rather, paying lip-service to) what a modern/slightly futuristic world built on the worship of the Greek pantheon might look like. Apparently, an awful lot like oh, say, our world, just with robot butlers and different curse words. And virtual clubs dedicated to every kind of debauchery known to man with a few more thrown in for good measure, but that seemed to be mostly an excuse to show naked girls kissing each other.

And since this is all supposed to be a prequel to Battlestar Galactica, we already know how things are going to turn out: badly. So really, why bother?

But Burn Notice and White Collar are back, which makes me happy. White Collar did an excellent job of taking the seemingly inexplicable ending of the previous episode and spinning it out into something that makes sense, while still retaining the possibility that Peter's been lying to Neal and is still lying to him. The episodic stuff was pretty throw-away, as usual, but the season arc is turning out to be a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. And Burn Notice was marvelous, as always. I have so much fun watching the characters bounce off each other and be totally kick-ass that the plot almost doesn't matter.

(...Though if I'd finished this before work, when my brain was still fully functional, I would have talked a bit about plot weaknesses in both shows and why they did/didn't bother me. I'm too tired now, though.)

Gave Human Target a go, and might keep up with it, if they tone down the extremeness of the dire situation the team (are they a team? I'm not sure what term to use) and their client wind up in. Though as my dad commented, the first two episodes must have pretty much blown their effects budget, so we'll see. It feels a little unbalanced, like the writers and everyone are trying to find the show's stride, but still a lot of fun.

Bought Tales of Outer Suburbia, which is by turns beautiful, whimsical, odd, disturbing, and downright breathtaking. The artist's versatility is astonishing.

It was in the kids section of the bookstore, which probably isn't the best place for it, but I'm not sure where else it should go.

Am currently reading the Silmarillian for trishkafibble's very late Christmas ficlet that definitely isn't much of a ficlet anymore. Can't speak about the whole thing, but the bits I've read so far feel authentic--like stories that could have been told over and over through the generations. Makes me want to sit down and do the same sort of thing for the Athosians and Satedans (and C&S, which has languished long and will probably languish a while longer, though not forever). Reading Tolkien always makes me want to quit my job, surround myself with books of myths and history and some atlases, and then write all the stories in my head properly. By which I mean, with fully developed cultures and such that will make in onto the published page only obliquely.

I started an encyclopedia once, for C&S. Now I want to dig it up and spend about a year or two completing it for real.

This is why I don't read Tolkien as often as I'd like: he's DANGEROUS.