June 18th, 2015

Carravaggio

Red Letter Day

Well, it’s a red letter day, not that it matters to me. Daredevil is dropping on Netflix, and someone, Netflix arrived in Australia at last, I got an account, I upped my IP contract, and…I’m working. Not just today but the weekend, too.

Oh well.  I’d only waited years to see it, and they’d cast sweet little Charlie, too. Most of the reviews are ok, it sounds like the worst they can say is same old, a point rather hilariously made in one piece that referenced the Lego Movie’s Batman song, and, yes, well, point.

I mean, I was only saying the other day how the Flash has been different (so far) by being a bright, colourful and cheerful superhero show in amongst all the gritty angst, and, as the piece pointed out, surely Frank Miller’s 80s Reagan era darkness has had its day, whether you’re talking about Daredevil, which was a dry run anyway for the Batman which set the template for the next 30+ years.

So yes, poor old Daredevil, seemingly like yet another moody streetfighter, when he was actually the pioneer and poster boy for darkness and misery, but there you go.

Not that it matters, because I can’t see it (not that I could, because in reality I know I’d just be staring at buffering circles until I cried, but you know, not happy).
In other news, no theatre and darkness – actual darkness as we’re off daylight saving and into Autumn now (even the weather has finally caught up) so it’s black when I go and black when I come back.

Didn’t have to work  over Easter for once, and, as it bucketed down for two days, and a bit, and as I was bereft of superhero shows  (no SHIELD, Arrow or anything else out here, and they’re rounding up pirates so it’s no go at all) and not of a mood to sit through any barrow pushing historical drama (and I’m not talking actual barrow mongers here, though they’re always there hiding the fire hydrant they couldn’t move, but you know, those films/tv shows that push issues, when lack of running water went hand in hand with institutional injustice, etc.), I dug out The Champions, which I’d not watched in years. (More...)
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Stormy Weather

So we’re out after three days of what possibly was or wasn’t a cyclone (it’s more of a nomenclature thing than the fact we’ve been lashed with floods, wild tides and 100km winds for three days).

Three days of extreme not good. Other folks had worst times, but for me the highlights were on Monday when the bus driver decided to end his shift by stranding us in the dark and pounding rain while he drove off, also going A over T several times, once achieving the splits at last (ouch) so I’ve been wearing my Docs every day since, and yesterday where flashy and bangy lightning slamming to the ground close by while I was crossing the road was extremely and dangerously distracting, especially as it was wall of water zero visibility, which is why I also had to be herded across the road by a sou’wester clad copper because it was impossible otherwise. All that to get to and from work. Tuesday night, the night we were all told to leave the city, was actually the least difficult trip home.

Home is soggy, being situated to ensure all floodwaters run down the driveway and under the front door, but other than that, phew.

So, with nearly 200,000 people off the grid due to blackouts on Tuesday night, and me home safe due to mandated early mark (see evacuation order), would it be wrong of me to think now is the time to try Netflix, without those 200, 000 F’ers jamming my bandwidth? Yes, it would be wrong, but I was right. I managed to watch two whole episodes of Daredevil without any blips or blurps, as it was meant to be watched. It’s actually not bad.

I heard they’re making another series. Yay. It’ll probably be the whole Elektra and Bullseye thing - and I’ve gone straight to The Tick place – it’s a marvel that I don’t start quoting The Tick while trying to watch Daredevil, waiting 40 minutes for another two words of dialog to load, or not.

‘Another urban myth dispelled. Ninjas don't bounce.’ – The Tick.

So anyway, today Mother Nature decided to throw fog at us, but that’s ok, I can do fog. In fact, I was thinking today would be the day I would get to work without going A over T once, when a skateboarder came down the ramp.

I tell ya, if I keep showing up at work bruised and bleeding, folks will think I’m secretly fighting crime at night. Ok, more likely they’ll think, correctly, that I should be allowed out without supervision.  Sigh.

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Fish story

Everyone has a fish story, or rather a hail story, but not me. Apparently it thundered and stormed and dropped so much ice o the city that football stadiums were blanketed, ice flows washed down the river, people went snow boarding. And I slept through it all. I was unwells. Also slept through the dawn service, to my eternal shame. Very unwells.

Ah well. At least Sunday unwells brought forth the box sets (I tried Netflix but it wasn’t happening). Still with The Champions, but I’m a sucker for mad voodoo monks running amok in Cornwall. Not to mention a particularly slithery Donald Sutherland showing up in another voodoo episode.

Such lurid televisual treats, and it’s amazing how much fabulous British telly in the 60s was made by blacklisted Americans, including Mr Sam Wanamaker, who also gifted the world with the Globe Theatre, which is a joy, an absolute joy. I wonder what gifts those weasels who sat in judgement have given us? Nothing good, I’ll wager.

Anyways, I was happy, I had my boys. Oh, I really had my boys. Sunday night gave us Jamie Fraser doffing trou in Outlander to fix the water mill and the titular Ross Poldark shedding shirt in the now infamous scything scene. Oh my.

Of course, it’s wrong to objectify the boys. Fixing the mill and mowing the hay were absolutely essential to the bucolic plots. Oh yes, very. Heh.

Meanwhile an old friend of Himself’s rang on the landline, which was enough to confuse anyone these days, and then I thought they were some sort of scammer as they wouldn’t give their details and were very interrogative. Eventually, somehow, I sorted out that they weren’t actually a Nigerian scammer. They, of course, are now convinced I’m completely insane. They’re probably right.

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Old soldiers

Last night, for some reason, I dreamt I was trying to watch Soldier Soldier on TV, but even in my dreams the universe places 999 obstacles twixt me and destination couch. I’m only really bemused because dear old subconscious had picked up on the fact that I’d seen a splendid number of chaps with Soldier Soldier on their CV, even though I’d not really noted it, in shows as far flung as Turn, Grimm and Game of Thrones.

Sharpe is also making a strong showing this week, guest cast wise, but clearly the subby only has room for one lot of squaddies at the moment.

I hardly blame it. I’m surprised the old noggin is working at all. It certainly hasn’t been up to factory specs this week. In fact today is the first day I’ve been coordinated enough to attempt to tell you about it.

Last week, in a rare early mark (that is, only leaving an hour late) after an entire zoo of a week, I managed to get a seat on the bus, but my smug was short-lived as the lunatic driver (can they not hire anyone who can actually drive these days?) lurched to a sudden stopped and I had a seven kilo bag swung in my face at about 70kph (okay, maybe 5kg at 50kph, but still). It rang my bell good and hard. Damn nearly broke my nose and glasses and I saw stars and I though a smashed up noggin and nose that still feels stunned and squishy and not right was the worst of it. Although I felt ill, that’s nothing unusual given the overcrowded bus and bad driving of the madman behind the wheel. But when I tried to get off the bus, and for hilarity’s sake there was a cop car lurking on the corner, but clearly they must have had bigger fish to fry, I staggered, fell over several times, threw up all the way home and all night, and am still suffering the mad swirls five days later (and as for my 12 hour work day on Monday where I was not at all right but nevertheless left to manage a late running urgent media job, let us just shake our tender heads and say no more about it).

I’m fairly sure I’ve concussed the old noggin, which is weird because I’ve had my bell run before, but they copped me right on the spot, and so, not good. No, no medical attention, no money to do so, have to pay for flood damage and Himself’s bills. Yeah, well, if I keel over it won’t be my problem anymore (I’m really beginning to understand my father’s mindset, what he was thinking marrying that ludicrous fairy tale awful woman I’ll never know).

Meanwhile, speaking of always being smacked in the head, I finally finished Daredevil (there’s something to be said for a soaking wet Saturday and a complete inability to sit up, let alone stand up). I liked. I liked a lot. Typically, because either I’m a girl or weird or both, I liked Nelson Vs Murdock best, because of all the flashbacks to the buddy and sore tried bromance of Foggy and Matt. Reviews I’ve read have not been kind, and anyone who doesn’t get how betrayed Foggy is, and how for years he’s helped where he didn’t have to, how he was made an utter fool of, and lied to, well, clearly they’ve not had enough one-sided friendships to wince the way I did. Poor Foggy.

I also really like the way Foggy has been made less the 2D idiot sidekick, as he did suffer a rather dreadful case of the Watsons in previous versions (that is, as in some versions of Holmes and Watson where Watson is portrayed with an IQ of less than 70 and more likely to stick his foot in a bucket than find a clue – see Kate Beaton’s comic). So Foggy not being a legal idiot and having hurt feelings was a big improvement.


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Chaps in Tricorn Hats

So much has happened, and that’s just in the TV serials I’ve been watching. (Actually, sod all is happening in real life, I can’t even get my act together re getting the washing done).

So, I just had my last Tricorn Hat Sunday, which was when I watched Turn on Showcase, featuring JJ Field, Outlander on Soho and then Poldark on the ABC (with the mighty and smouldering Aidan Turner, never once having to leave the 18th Century (there used to be Black Sails, too). It was rather fun.

So Poldark and Outlander finished up, and imagine watching those two finales back to back. Not a dry eye (or seat) in the house. I should comment on Outlander, but as the book is basically H/C with Jamie as the whipping boy (literally) it’s no surprise that Jack managed to carve out a little corner of the castle for recreational activities. The heavy editing and conflating of scenes and events in the series worked much better than the books, to my mind, and the religious imagery the boys apparently introduced during rehearsals kind of worked, especially with all the overt bells and smells that went on later.

Is there a place for such sadism in entertainment? Well, considering the imagery and stories coming out of similar POW compounds, I’m thinking it’s at least somewhat indicative of the experience, so at least one can argue veracity.

More high drama over on Poldark, as we have those staples of English fiction: wicked and jumped up nouveau riche, disease and a wickedly indolent and unruly underclass. Throw in a bleeding heart doctor who can’t keep it buttoned, a feckless lord of the manner and a brooding Bryonic hero and you have a steaming syrup of tropes and, oh, what delicious fun.

I don’t think I’m enjoying it as much as I enjoyed watching the original version, but I was younger then, and Bryonic heroes were meat and drink to me, and this version feels rushed (rather than the far more leisurely paced, some might say plodding, original) but the scenery is to die for (it was all shoddy sets under overhead lighting on tape in the original).

Nor is it quite as luridly gripping as, say, Wilkie Collin’s The Dead Secret, a gothic novel set in Cornwall, but it’ll do.

And as for Turn, I will keep spoiling myself, if I don’t know how it already turns out, and I do grit my teeth over the portrayal of the British, etc. (I have ancestors who fought for Cornwallis and also loyalist Quakers who had to leave, all who ended up here by hook or by crook), but I do so like JJ Feild in it, the fasionable Mr Tilney from Northanger Abbey, as was.

Ah, Northanger Abbey. It is, pretty much, a regency era Puberty Blues, especially with the car bore rev heads who think the ways to impress the chicks is to drive so fast they scream. And this a good hundred years before the invention of the automobile, thus proving that type has been with us ‘ere long and is hard to kill (more’s the pity).

And as for Mr Tilney and his enthusiasm for the latest fashions, well, yes, but at least it would have been a splendid wedding. Fabulous, even.

Back to Turn, and I must confess, and it’s a shocking volte-face, I know, but I am seriously watching it for Burn Gorman. He is Governor Frontbottoming his little heart out as the gormless commander, and I’m just loving it. It is pitch perfect, for what the character requires, and it’s making my re-appraise my former harsh sentiments towards the late (that said, Owen was still a dick).

What else has been happening? Not a lot. Still suffering from the concussion, so I’ve missed three plays so far, and Vivid, and doing the washing. Cockatoos came around on the weekend for a hello, and several bags worth of seed. As they were all eating out of my hand, I obliged, it was nice to connect with somebody, even if that somebody had a beak and feathers.

Oh, I did catch up with a friend up from Melbourne. Took them to one of the new cafes around the corner, an Asian/Australian café/market, and they loved it (phew! – taking someone from Melbourne to a café is like taking someone from Brooklyn out to your local, you brace for the critique).

It was good to catch up, and just talk about things, including some stuff that had clearly been bottled up, because I felt good a whole twelve hours afterwards (why don’t I have more friends who leave me feeling better, not worse?).

Also, the hot/sour pork and noodle soup was to die for. Seriously.

I’ve also discovered a burger place nearby that is near-as-dammit the Shake Shack in all but name and copyright, so that was cool (or would be if the burger hadn’t sat there like a stone for days). That was wicked, but I was feeling better, for a very short window, and hungry, for an even shorter window.

Not that I’ll ever get back to America, sigh. Still, the cultural difference, including the use of the phrase ‘fanny-pack’ as was tittered over in the paper on Sunday. I remember walking off the plane on my first ever visit, and I was on US soil minutes before I saw a bargain bin advertising Fanny Packs for five dollars. Nothing out of the ordinary, you may say, but in my local lingo I’d just walked off a plane and straight into a sign screaming $5 Cunt Bags. So I was a bit o.0 and so not ready for it. And then they’ll tell you they’re rooting (fucking) for their team and I’m all o.0 again and help.

As Oscar so aptly put it, two peoples divided by a common language. They’re a mad lot, those Yanks. Many good points, but omg with the quirky.

But yes, no more lobster TV for the foreseeable future. Oh, what am I saying, we’ve got Banished coming up, which I will be grumbling all through because Joseph Millson, no less, has turned Major Ross into a moustache twirling baddie, when the entire Millson branch of the family (oh yes, boyo, convict stain on one branch of your family tree) owe their very existence to the humanity and decency of Major Ross so harrumph. I’m sure Ross is regretting it now.

So if anyone is having their ancestors turned upside down in Turn, I sympathise, because mine are about to get the same treatment in Banished (and by a distant cousin, no less, oh bitter irony). Bad Joseph, no biscuit.


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