Meanwhile, Spring has sprung, etc. I've had two compliments on my brand new blouse with the highly stlised papyrus motifs swirling all over it, and three bouqets over the Daniel Craig scans (so there will be more Dan coming up, make no mistake, because thankyous always grease the wheels of the old scanner) and it makes such a lovely change to all the brickbats I was being clobbered with.
I've also lost a bit of weight. Solely to do with being stupendously freaky ill all week, but still, I've scored a couple of compliments and the azaleas in the front garden are happy.
The whole ick factor was not helped by the lunch meeting with actual lunch on Wednesday. Being a poor govt dept, we had to pay for this ourselves, but made the dreadful mistake of letting the diet zealot fetch the food. You should have seen our little faces plummet when she returned, all bouncy, bearing a tray of salad boxes. Rotten salad, at that. Fie on her Puritan ways.
Meanwhile, PG also fell to dodgy catering at a highpowered lunch meet, which led us to imagining evil caterers, knocking off highly placed government officials (not us, of course, but our lords and masters for whom the catering was arranged). Okay, possibly we've been watching too muich Adam Adamant/Avengers, but still, it made for a fun and not 100% implausible conspiracy theory.
Either that or it's nigh impossible to get a decent, uncontaminated sanger in this town.
Speaking of which, I finally got to see The League of Uncharitable Ladies. Sadly, this episode had been bigged up to an extent that a certain amount of underwhelment was guaranteed, but it was still pretty silly, in a delightfully and entertaining way, and the sinister charity collectors scene is a classic. I should have watched it earlier though, when I had the high fever, because the oh so arty I need a brown paper bag camera work was a bit, well, a bit much, in my delicate state. One of those viewing experiences where you sit there and bitterly regret the fact that you're watching it sober. (Edit: it was Ridley Scott who was giving me the dry heaves with his student-esque camera work - well, indeed).
But the main thing I watched last night, and pretty much the only thing I've watched this week, was Sharpe. Regiment, this time, and thus we're into the dreadful Jane episodes. I can't stand her, so these episodes are less favoured than others, despite good plots and brilliant guest stars (oh yeah, baby). So yeah, the Jane Factor dampens my enthusiasm, just a bit. However, the irritation that is Jane dimmed somewhat by the wonderful Lady Anne, whom I adore, for her archness, her directness with Sharpe and the way she just played all the men and resolved the issue to her satisfaction. People might try and tell me it's all about the draft and dodgy dealings at Horseguards, but it's really all about Lady Anne.
There's some nice character stuff here, too. We get to see Sharpe return 'home' for the first time in ages, not quite fitting in, and we get to meet Maggie Joyce, the old pro with the heart of gold, who was a far more formative influence on young Sharpe than the edited UKTV versions would have you believe (in the books, especially, I dimly recall). Mind you, Sharpe was far more comfortable in his old stamping grounds than mixing it uncomfortably with the highest society in the land.
Two favourite bits that struck me last night: Sharpe grin when he realises he's pulled at Prinny's party, and Horatio's immediate assumption that Sharpe would have been flogged, on account of Sharpe being a cheeky bugger. There's a small note of indignation from Sharpe before he shrugs to the truth of it. I also loved Sharpe in his shiny new uniform, especially when he leans against the fourposter in Lady Anne's room. If I were Lady Anne, I'd have given him another go, just for looking so fetching. There was also a nice flashback moment with the eagle being brought in. It nicely juxtaposed Sharpe, the real hard man's soldier, and the simpering, powdered ninnies who surrounded him.
There's actually a lot of good, honest poor folk (Maggie, the conscripts) versus the evil and corrupt ruling classes (Simmerson, Fenner). Heh, no wonder I like Sharpe, old Bolsie that that he is. It's a tad simplistic, but it makes for good drama, especially as Sharpe seems to be done over at every turn, being outwitted and outfoxed, which is hard to watch at times, as I so prefer it when Sharpe is being the clever one. Sharpe is just no match for the machinations of political corruption, and he's completely distraught over Lawford's apparent betrayal. I say apparent betrayal, because, as Lady Anne tried to explain, Lawford is a poltical creature, and trying to rescue Sharpe as gracefully as he could, it's just that Lawford's morals differ to Sharpe's more black and white views. Not to say Sharpe is whiter than white as he enjoys the odd spot of theft and adultery for starters. Perhaps I should say that Lawford, being in another class, has a different way of doing things, much the same as celebrities never face gaol time for crimes lesser mortals would be banged up for. This is what Sharpe can't understand, the high powered backroom deals. Dear Sharpe, always preferring the direct approach, like a punch.
Of course, Sharpe's biggest mistake and error of judgement is Jane. I cannot for the life of me work out how a man who seemingly prefers strong, ballsy women, could fall for simpering Jane, and a Simmerson at that. Well, he pays for it, and he rather deserves to, imho. I can only assume that he was thinking with little Sharpe and/or she appealed to his masculine vanity as her rescuer, especially as Sharpe must have been feeling a little bruised at being a sockpuppet in everyone elses' games for the story. Mind you, I'm quite convinced that he's Jane's puppet too, manipulated into marriage. It's not quite beyond the scheming little bitch, afterall.
I see, too, parallels with Jack Aubrey, who, aside from being Sharpe's contemporary, falls from brilliant and decisive captain to being all at sea and so very easily duped and ran rings round on land. Sharpe, apparently, cannot be faulted on the frontlines, but back in England he's lost, unwelcome and easily made fool of, and much the same can be said his misadventures in Justice.
One could also sally forth on a discussion on how returned soldiers can never fit back into society, but as a foundling, Sharpe really didn't have a place to begin with, never mind the disquiet his rise in rank and fortune might cause to impoverished nobility (who really, and ironically, only have their ancestral lands and rank by being blessed with ancestors who were hard men and good with a sword like Sharpe, anyway).
Oh, did I mention the Sharpe rolling around in mud scenes? Heh.
I should probably type something up about Life on Mars here, but I'm a wee bit busy, so here's something I posted over at TRA, Re: Sam's Naivety:
I definitely feel that Sam acts somewhat foolishly at times. Perhaps it's his being all at sea, or hs wildly swinging back and forth as to whether he believes it's all real or not, but I do agree that it's mainly because the rules and regulations Sam has relied upon are no longer there to guide him. He's working without a net.
At least, that's the only way I can think of to explain how a bright and presumably promotable DCI could get situations and people so wrong. Let's not forgot he was somewhat blindsided as to the real killer in the football episode, too.
The Joni trap, though, I can't understand. Even in 73 there were rules and regulations regarding women and at no time should Joni have been left alone with Sam without a WPC present, specifically to head off the situation, or even spurious accusations, of what was to transpire.
Sam knows this, yet all his sensitive copper training flies out the window when Joni, like Gene, appeals to Sam's holier than thou ego. Tsk. It's a real Achilles heel on Sam, appealing to his pristine vanity.
So Sam knew the rules, broke them, paid the price. One can only guess that Sam is either choosing when to obey 'the rules', or he's like a teenager, cutting loose at last and making the horrible mistakes he's never made before because he was never given opportunity.
In many respects, Gene is so savvy because he had to learn the hard way, playing rough in the office and on the street, but Sam, bound up by current regulations, has, in effect, had his police experience sanitised, removed of all temptation and opportunity to really screw up. Sam doesn't know the lines and boundaries because he's never had to, it's always been set down for him. I don't even think he's, lately in 2006, had too much engagement with the suspects, seeing as there are so many intermediaries in the interview room.
So the 70s, ironically if it's all a fantasy, is raw and real and in his face and Sam just doesn't have the experience he should have in making decisions, because, up to a point, they've all been made for him.
Either that or he's a complete div.
Others replied that Sam was an idealist, and true, he does try to always look on the sunny side, but at times I do wonder how sane that would be for a DCI used to seeing the worst in people? At least, serving the unwashed public gave me a crusty cynical side, so if Sam is still always looking on the bright side of life, how crazy and/or naive is he? An optimist in the midst of a nervous breakdown?
Sometimes Sam wanders about with such unrealistic expectations (and strane behaviour) I can only think of him as a holy fool, like Galahad or those zen monks I was diggin'.
Which reminds me of a line from the D&P book I was reading last night (A Pinch Of Snuff), re Pascoe: He felt very tired and despondent. Perhaps even Galahadhad on occasion felt like saying sod the Grial and going off home for a tatie-pot supper and an early night.
Not poor Pascoe, alas, nor Sam. He's always showing up to work. He really is nuts, ain't he.
Meanwhile, spoke too soon: heavy showers of work merde from on high. How dare I step outside to enjoy the lovely Spring day!
Also: never watch The League of Uncharitable Ladies during Legacy week. Eeek!
The League Of Uncharitable Ladies
Life on Mars is dandy
The beautiful game just got more beautiful
Girl from UNCLE
Outtakes, Bloopers & Goofs
On TV: Can 'Bones' do justice as a lead-in for new Fox legal drama?
Multiple orgasms trap benefit cheat
Chaser star in court
Reopening an unsolved murder case
More Depeche Mode reissues on the way
Cynics mock stars African charity
Farrell wins restrain order
Music revolution as firm allows free downloads
The best public transport system in the world? Tell that to London's long-suffering commuters
Artworks 'safe' after the Royal Academy goes up in in flames
Dig unearths round table evidence at Windsor Castle
Yorkshire folk 'most opinionated in the country'
Dolphin runs amok off French coast
Overweight women may lose right to free IVF
Too fat for a family?
Memo to America: coffee is served HOT!
Something in the air
English slang and colloquialisms used in the United Kingdom
Podcast - Bill Bryson
Stolen Munch paintings found safe
Odd Characters in E-Mail
What to do with a drunken sailor? Record
Peter Jackson to film Dam Busters
Actor Glenn Ford dies at age 90
Laconic idol Glenn Ford dies aged 90
Affleck bemoans pitfalls of fame
Man About Town
The 63rd International Venice Film Festival - "Hollywoodland"
The 63rd International Venice Film Festival - "Hollywoodland" Photocall
The 63rd International Venice Film Festival - "Hollywoodland"
The 63rd International Venice Film Festival - "Hollywoodland"
What If...? An alternative history of the world
Report highlights north-south suicide divide
Veronica Mars Sneaks Online a Week Early
A galaxy of stars beams into town for the 'Star Trek' 40th anniversary gala
Exclusive! "New" Star Trek Is Set on Stunning
Foo Fighters' singer makes good on Beaconsfield promise
Who owns the music, MTV or me?
Unplugged: Rock's dead heroes...
Remember the time
Google offers digitised Dante and online Hugo
Devil in the detail: Vatican exorcises Harry Potter
Fishermen 'flabbergasted' by seal slaughter
The courtroom hit parade: The Beatles' top ten (lawsuits)
Kiefer Sutherland: The time of his life
And finally, I was rummaging around for old Daniel scans when I found this: