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The Borgias --- The acting of this historical drama tends a bit towards the wooden. I think they were aiming for profound, but it tends to fall a tad flat. I'm fairly certain that if I knew more about the Italian Wars I would be pulling my hair and nashing my teeth for the liberties they are taking with the Papal States, but the costumes remain utterly captivating. Brocades, interesting fastenings, gowns that existing on an architectural plane as well as fashion... fun stuff.

Supernatural--- There's a fair amount of nostalgia in my continued viewing of Supernatural. I love the continued presence of the massive and creative fandom, but I miss the days of Sam'n'Dean, though they were short. I find the weird political machinations behind the current season uninspired and often a little flippant with the previous canon. For all that Castiel's powers and responsibilities are supposed to have changed with his new power in Heaven, he continues to show up at plot convenient times and save the day. I'm about two episodes behind the current week, and I'm losing steam. Anyone who wants to tell me something awesome about Season Six is more than welcome to try and re-enthuse me.

Doctor Who --- The new series is looking deeply interesting. I'm loving the Amy&Rory dynamic, the rise of River Song in the plot's significance is deeply intriguing, and Eleven remains enjoyably wacky and dangerous by turns. I loved the brief confrontation with the Companions in the TARDIS after the Doctor received his mysterious invitation- his suspicion and savvy, as well as his trust in Amy's word, made me see shadows of Ten, but in a more dangerous mode. Delightful, interesting, and still funny. There's also a concerted effort every now and again from the writers to challenge the kyriarchy and that just is a warm and fuzzy touch. Wonderful work, and an unmitigated pleasure.

Game of Thrones--- Oh, where do I begin? I have read all the books, and loved Tyrion Lannister as a literary character for years. The focus of the series is enough on him on the moment that it almost makes me want to forgive the MASSIVE whitewashing and racefail going on with the Dothraki portions of the show. Like the whitewashing, the major problems that I have with the show so far are all based on the places where they choose to deviate from the plot and spirit of the books. The cinematography, costumes, and acting show wonderful levels of thought and intelligent direction. I am very impressed also by the level of skill evident in the children actors of the show- aside from the rather bland Sansa, they are all subtle and very sharp. A pleasure to watch.

I am, however, not terribly impressed so far by the level of high status critique of the show- most of the people commenting on the show either in the "legitimate" press or the blogosphere have not read the books. They don't know where things are headed and they set their standards too low on the points that matter and too high on things that don't really matter-- or they have standards way out in left field, like that random "professional" reviewer who contended that women would not read A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. There is a small but growing fandom talking about GoT very intelligently, and I look forward to more oomph coming from them in the future.

The Crimson Petal and the White --- This is a BBC production of a novel that I did not get to read to completion- I lost the book! It's centered around the main character of Sugar, a Victorian-era prostitute who begins a steady relationship for pay with a British businessman. She's brilliant, angry, cunning, and also deeply vulnerable and sympathetic. The show pays loving attention to the situation of women in Victorian England-- while the lower class prostitutes are correctly shown to be horrifically treated and abandoned by society, the upper class women in the series are all also trapped in various ways. I deeply appreciate the care put into the show, and I am looking forward to the next episode. It's a hard-edged JANE EYRE without the pretensions to gentility and class of that novel. I love this show so much.

LIfe on Mars --- Is the UK just better at making TV than the US? Because a lot of their shows are just fucking brilliant and innovative. LIFE ON MARS is the sort of ridiculously wonderful thing that would never make it only American TV because producers are too cowardly to take risks of losing money. The acting is wonderful and funny and sharp, the writing deeply comical and pointed, and it's just a loving and harsh portrait of the 1970's police from a modern perspective, wrapped up in a nicely unfolding mystery. Is Sam Tyler really trapped back in time? Or is he in a coma and trapped inside his own broken brain?
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kitewithfish: The Doctor tilts his head. (Default)
kitewithfish

August 2016

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