winchesters

Review: The Foundling; 'Hollywood Babylon'

it's funny that Georgette Heyer is considered a romance writer, since quite a few of her books--such as The Foundling--aren't really romances. For instance, the vast bulk of this story is really an adventure--technically there are two romantic plots, I guess, but one of them is really the mcguffin for the story, and the other is the inciting incident: two childhood friends who probably would've chosen each other for marriage are basically forced into by their families and find themselves doubting whether it's actually what they wanted--which leads to our our hero going on walkabout so that he can figure out what his own will actually is. Underneath everything, there's a somewhat profound question: what does it mean to be your own man? How do you balance self with the various familial and social duties we all accumulate over the years? However, it's all done with Heyer's typical wit, making for a very funny story--a slow boiling comedy of errors, helped along by various small adventurous side-plots that help keep things moving along: blackmail and kidnapping and such, though without malice, so it mostly retains the air of being an adventure rather than turning into an ordeal. It's not that kind of coming-of-age story. Overall, quite enjoyable.

As is SPN's "Hollywood Babylon", which remains a staple of my 'I just feel like watching an episode of Supernatural' roster. Dean's glee at being involved in a movie is infectious, even though Sam remains firmly baffled throughout. The side characters verge on caricature, but the guest actors do excellent jobs of selling them as plausible people. The first ghost's black-and-white effect is kind of stunning--don't know whether it's make up, light filters, or just good old CGI, but however they managed it, that lends a nice touch. The recurring comments from people about how Dean's "one hell of a PA" are funny, but given what's about to happen at the end of the season, also seem a bit foreboding. (There's also a sense of catharsis to the whole thing, which is understandable given what the production team had been dealing with for two years at that point.) If someone asked me to introduce them to the show, this episode would almost certainly be on the list.

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