Too cute for words: School welcomes back TV hero. Yes, please, remind me again how young he is.
And isn't it odd how Much sounds so much posher than his master the Earl of Huntingdon, who now apparently hails from Blackpool (Robin Hood in Blackpool stood?).
It reminds me of a very amusing quote from the wonderful John Clarke with appeared in last Sat's Good Weekend (SMH, 9 Dec 2006):
"There are two kinds of actors. There are the kind who actually pretend they're other people. Like, if they're doing Hamlet, they actually pretend they are a Danish prince of that period and deeply angst-ridden over their inability to take action to revenge their uncle having murdered the king, their father. Then there are actors who pretend other people are them. So if they're playing Hamlet, Hamlet comes from Palmerston North."
Heh heh heh. Doesn't that just neatly divide all my boys into Group A or Group B. I've been searching for a lovely way of neatly cataloging them, and that pretty much does it. Heh. And no need to guess under which umbrella dear little Jonas falls.
Meanwhile, the general consensus among my few remaining mates is that young Robin is, indeed, a sociopath. But don't just take our word for it, here's Wiki (delete as applicable):
- failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
- deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
- impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
- irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated fights or assaults (both physically or mentally)
- reckless disregard for safety of self or others
- consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain steady work or honor financial obligations
- lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another
Oh no, not seeing it myself. Not at all. But you know, and this is where you all probablly hoot about me being a convict, but I'm not that bothered about his criminality. It's the emotional manipulaion and the all charm and smiles as a means to an end that really make me not like him very much as a character.
It's the bit where he tells Much that if he were a true friend, he'd do what Robin wants. The old "if you really loved me" whine that just sets my teeth on edge. What an emotionally abusive little bastard he is. It's not as if Much can refuse him anyway, being bound by duty/rank etc, even though, technically, they no longer apply (what with Robin being dishonoured, disrated, inherited and whatnot). He still is and is treated as Robin's servant (in fact poor Much seems to be everyone's servant now) and is expected to behave as same. In fact any time Much tries to have an opinion he is either belittled or admonished, usually quite savagely.
Robin can be a nasty little shit at times, and I'm note sure of the wisdom of making the 'hero' that deeply flawed. I mean, Sam Tyler is an arrogant little turd, but he can be sweet, funny and vulnerable with it. Most of Robin's charm is self serving, a means to an end rather than innate, if you know what I mean. He flirts only when he wants something, where Sam will be nice because he is nice (conversely Sam uses his coldness and toughness as a means to an end).
Ah well. It makes Guy the more interesting anti-hero. He wants. He needs. You can see it burning inside him. He may do 'bad' things, but at least he's honest about his ambitions, and conflicted, too.
Okay, so I spent a lot of Sunday and Monday half dozing in the non-cathode glow of Brit boys of various hues. A fistful of mersyndols, melty chocolate and men in green on the screen. My idea of fun.
The first man in green was old Sharpie as UKTV decided to replace the Profs with Sharpe's Eagle (so it would be churlish to complain, though I had been looking forward to my weekly Bodie fix). So there they were, 006 vs 007, and if you ever wanted to know why Dan refused to go brunette as Bond, look no further. Not good. And if he's said "Old Boy" once more, I should have thrown something at the set. It was a bit much after all of Grant's "Old Mans" in From Russia With Love (which I also watched, natch). The episode was also enlivened by some mild Sharpe/Lawford, and Sam's dad popping up as Wellington (or how many Troughtons can I watch in a 24 hour period?).
Aside from Mr Hood et al, and Torchwood, there was also an ongoing game of spot the Merry. Okay, putting on Teachers and Ultimate Force was cheating, I know, but still fun. I actually got S1E1 working again and there was Sam. I was trying to remember which one he was in the first episode. Not the Tom Hollander Lite gay guy at the end that Our Hero picks up while cottaging (after the tearful death of his slash buddy), surely. Surely, yes. Aw...so cute, but major dweeb alert on the hair cut. Yikes!
Then it was back to S2E4 for some surly surliness from Richard. Camo isn't really his colour, alas (so yay for the black leather), but he manages some glowers and looks of long suffering boredom and resentment from beneath his snappy little beret. The plots are actually very Spooks which is why I'm always surprised that theshow wasn't half as bad as it sounded. I'm quite addicted actually, hence the box set (and should I worry that my latest obessions can be readily produced from my collection of UK dvds now, or just enoy them?)
Over to Teachers where we had some very cute scenes, albeit brief, with young Jonas the toy boy. Especially where he's made to read Juliet, upon pain of pretty pink frock. So that's what his look of death looks like. I've not yet seen it used in Hood (it's still all flirty flirty flutter flutter). Heh.
I'm warming to S4 Teachers, even if my fave boys all exited, somewhat severely. You know, I wish I could describe my office as being like The West Wing, but really, it's Teachers. Sad, but true.
Then Joe Armstrong popped up on UKTV in Waking The Dead. What was really scary was I flicked over, and I remembered instantly that this was Joe's episode. Did I also remember Ray Stevenson was in it? Not a bit of it. Not until he walked on, no. Ooops. Now I'd tell you that I prefer Titus Pullo a hundred thousand times to Allan A'Dale, but, hmmm, the evidence was almost to the contrary (though Ray did have a smaller role, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it). There's a part of my mind still teasing me cruelly over this. Oh dear.
Tuesday night brought more Teachers. Yes, I had more serious and pressing fare to watch in my rare window of cold weather, but I was tired and cranky and Teachers seemed to fit the bill, as Jonas wasn't in it much and I didn't have to pay too much attention. Of course, I could have watched Torchwood which had no Jonas and requires no grey matter whatsoever, but let's not get carried away.
And Jonas did feature quite a bit in one episode, looking very fetching, and tossing off his nasty little shit and arrogant bastard faces, which I've come to know and love. And there was the flirty face, and quite a bit of squeeing from me there, I'm ashamed to admit. I was also bemused to note that the Irish really comes out when he swears. Too cute.
Of course, I tell myself to act my age and I realise this infantile cooing over tv characters is abnormal behaviour, but since real men spit on me and call me names, normal relations remain beyond my grasp. Alas, I was told I was too ugly to ever marry when I was four, and thus it came to pass. So squeeing over actors half my age on telly it is, then. And he is cute (this morning I realised who he reminded me of, but let's not go there) and the wee slip into Irish really amused me far more than it should. Oh dear. What an embaressing crush, especially as Robin is a textbook psycho (but that never stopped me before, more's the pity).
Okay, enough about Mr Hood, though I am still wondering why he went off to fight his holy war, since Robin, in this version, seems to be not overly religious (thank you). Perhaps he was after one of those free indulgences the popes used to hand out upon signing up for crusades. And if so, why? Why would Robin need a get out of gaol free pass? Not for shagging the help - that never counts. So what did our wild, impulsive and arrogant young hooray henry get up to before he went off to war? Hmmm. And that whole obsession with King Richard - amusingly disturbing.
Okay, Torchwood. Where was I up to? The evil fairies one? I kinda liked it, even if it had nothing to do with Torchwood per se. Probably why I liked it. Yes, it was let down by acting and characterisation again, and huge crater like plot holes, like all those Jack flashbacks, though I assume that's from his time agent days and Jack wasn't too fussed about time pardoxes re multiple appearances in WWII (the problem with putting all the backstory on firewalled pages is that I have no idea what's going on. It's a piss poor way of telling stories and it was proved to fail with The Matrix and Star Wars so why they even bother I do not know but whatever).
Mentioned the country cannibals too, did I? Sadly, aside from the ripoff mania involved, the plot lacked a certain amount in logic. In the vast desolate wilds of the US and Oz, where the source material originated from, strange isolated tales of terror make sense. I've had experiences that involve breaking down in creepy one pub towns staffed by dwarves, but how remote can you be in the UK? Pish and posh. Also, what a bunch of wussies. I once stayed in an old shearing shed that had dead foxes dangling from it and it was considered unmanly to turn a hair, so bollocks to all their screaming and carrying on.
I know pre-schoolers more mature and more intelligent, and the campside snogging tales proves it. Also, I bet they camped in a flood plain. I bet their tents would have washed away. Losers. I was hoping old Owen (Mr Teale) would have bit Gwennie's ear off. Alas, no. If these people are our last best hope, we are so screwed.
An opinion further set in concrete with the next episode, featuring more shameless alien snogging, though the Pride & Prej meets Bodysnatchers opener had me amused, just for a bit, even it the whole lights over the hill had been done to death by first season X Files. Yes, more show me this earth thing you call kissing. Earth girls, it seems, are indeed all easy, and lipstick lesbians. Not that there's anything wrong with that except for the fact that the girl on girl action is so gratuitous it's just, well, porn. Oh, sorry, it's adult and demnostrating the deep emotional resonance of the characters. Yeah, sure. "And then all my clothes fell off," as Cupid Stunt used to exclaim.
That's all that episode had to offer. Alien shags Torchwood person. Jack kills alien. Chuckles around the water cooler. Oooh, feel the quality. And what is with the everyone wants Owen thing? He looks like a muppet and he's sleazy and not terribly professional (at least one can imagine Ianto's saving grace is that he never puts out broken biscuits or leaves a tea stain on the cups).
They keep killing Suzie (but I wish they'd kill Gwen). The Risen Mitten (dear lord), brings back one of the more interesting and complex TW characters, or she was until we learn it's all about her daddy issues, and really, is there much competition for interesting from the rest of the gang? (Okay, so the Teachers gang are just as sex obseessed and pathetic, but at least they know it).
It was a better episode than most, with the threat from within rather than without, though I'd prefer Suzie to Gwen (and so would 100% of a quick vox pop of mates) so it kind of fell down majorly over the whole GwennieSue in peril thing (ie not caring), and Suzie turns out to be another notch on Owen's bed post. They really need to get out more. Okay, so I get it. Suzie's a mad bitch, GwennieSue is the centre of the universe and Jack is a cold bastard (ruining all of his previous charms). I was appalled that they used Gorecki, because it's one of my most fave songs (and used to such effect in Moulin Rouge), so that had me just about throwing things at the tv. And the stop watch scene? Shameless pandering, but I'll take what I can get. More Jack/Ianto please. At least their flirting doesn't make my skin crawl, though Ianto seems to be over his whole robo-babe deal rather quickly.
Nah. I'd rather talk about Robin Hood. One of my mates presented the theory (over a particularly fine yum cha) that Much didn't love Robin at all and it was all an act for his master, a mere "shaking of the money tree", as they put it, and Much was really an evil genius quietly plotting Robin's downfall.
I kinda like it, because I hate seeing Much so abused (Robin is very mean, both in teasing and the manipulation), but sadly Much's pained reactions don't quite sell the idea. Nor is there a money tree left to shake as such, though loyalty and habit must still count when wealth and rank cannot.
So I'm not quite with the Much is only smiling because he's paid to idea, though I think at times it is true, but Much as a medieval Jeeves I could buy. Robin, the young psycho, certainly needs someone to be a steady hand on the tiller, as it were. It's all very well to bounce around taunting the Sheriff, but it falls to poor Much to be the fixer of food, shelter, etc. I've been reading articles about road managers and concierges to get into the mindset. Poor Much is like the manager of a temperamental diva, and he's the one who has to ensure all whims are catered too. Poor Much. Can you imagine Robin's rider when he went on the Crusade?
Don't realy want to talk about Marian (except I am bemused by the obvious antipathy betwixt her and Much, can you imagine the household if Robin had stayed?) but I did like the bit where the Sheriff takes a swipe, accusing her of a spinster's frustration rather than righteous passion for the down trodden. Heh. I had a manager, very much like the Sheriff, possibly worse, say exactly the same thing to me when I was Marian's age. In fact, I had the exact same thing said to be by a Sheriff-like manager just yesterday, which brought it to mind. Hmph (but it obviously rang true so it was a funny line).
Okay, yes it's badly written, poorly acted and woefully costumed, but ever so slashy, and my friends agree that there's something worthwhile in there, if only it could be distilled from the dross.
It's the costumes that drive me mad, though. Especially as the armourers went to so much trouble. Robin's bow is a thing of beauty, ditto sword and I swear I saw and loved a shield just like Much's in the Dogue's Palace or Wallace Collection (sorry, they all start to blur, especially when seen all at once).
On to the entertainments of Saturday, whisked away from drudgery (thank you) there was yum cha, shopping and a fillum. I was under orders to buy tickets for The Prestige, and under threat that of I came back with Daniel Craig instead of Christian Bale they would hurt me. I don't mind, I like Chris (and Hugh and David and Michael) and I like stuff about magicians. I really liked it. Sadly, I guessed the plot twist very, very early on (it was very obvious), but I was happy to see it unfold, if somewhat mechanically, and I adored the actors, the costumes, the colours, etc so I was entertained, if not surprised. I was only disappointed by the lack of giant rats - the Chinese magician put me of a mind to watch Weng Chiang again - grin.
Last night's tv was a veritable explosion of pommy bastards (sorry, the Ashes mania filters through even to my practiced level of disinterest). First up we had State of Play, featuring John Simm, Philip Glenister, Bill Nighy, James McAvoy, David Morrissey and Marc Warren. As if that wasn't enough to be going on with, there was Teachers or Ultimate Force to choose from afterwards. Yes, this time they were, unkindly, opposite each other. Jonas vs Richard. Robin vs Guy. Don't make me choose. Especially as it was the last Jamie Bamber episode and Richard resplendent in startling white rugby shorts. I ended up flicking, being reasonably aware of the better scenes in both shows. Thank goodness for the old box set, eh? In the before time, I would have been screwed.
Weirdly, SOP seemed to tick over extrordinarily fast. Was it just me, or was it shaved of a few scenes here or there? Maybe it's just because I wasn't wallowing in dvd land and pausing and rewinding whenever one of my boys did something particularly fetching. It was cute to note a few gestures I've come to associate so closely with Sam appear with Cal, especially when he was flustered or snarky (Sam's near default settings - grin). Ah, pretty Cal. Pretty pretty Bell. And Bill was just, well, Bill.
Yeah, it's still vaguely slashy in the first episode, before Cal moves on from Stephen to the wife, especially the whole room sharing and clandestine meetings thing. Yes, it's all because Cal is on the hunt for a story, but watched with the sound down, these are also the motions and locations of an affair. Cal is seducing Stephen, he just wants what's in his briefcase, not his briefs. I think. I dunno, there's a subtext there, certainly. A little bit of residual hero worship from Cal, possibly.
One thing I did notice this time around was when Cal admits the girl was most probably murdered, Stephen demands to know how Cal could know this, and it sounds very much more like how did you find out rather than how did you come to that conclusion. A clue, Watson. And one I'sd missed before. I'm usually too busy drooling over Simm by lamplight.
And speaking of the LOM gang, Liz White also popped up in Ultimate Force, making last night a record for the most cast members viewed in a single day without resort to dvds. Now, this should have inspired me to finish off the fic, and it did, but unfortunately we're suffering the painfully ill effects of a champagne hangover, the last days of me wotsits and a severe case of bad bus driver (there was an ick factor, and I damn nearly kissed the ground when I got off, before puking on it, and it can't have been possible to get from there to here in under an hour but we managed it in terrifying fashion).
So we're jut a tad too delicate to manage the finer points of fic polishing this morning. Sorry. Otherwise I'll just get crusty complaints about the obvious lack of proof reading (though it wouldn't be for trying) and that'd make me feel even worse. Urgh.
At least that's the office parties taken care of, formal and informal. Gladhanded the mandarins, hopefully didn't get too drunk or say anything I shouldn't have (I did at one point find myself sallying forth on the extreme behaviour of former managers and while it's very poor form to talk out of school, it was all true and as funny as it was disturbing). Tried flaunting my buxom charms at a few comely lads but they all ended up clawing at the walls trying to escape. Sigh. Don't know what they're missing, consoled AP. Yeah, right. A fat bad tempered pervert with an unseemly fetish for young Irish boys.
A fat bad tempered pervert with a hangover.
Some good news though. Well, in the sense of an ill wind, etc. A friend has to move over Xmas (not their choice at all) but this means I now have a charity shop buddy to cart away beloved goods with, and someone who understands the pain and grief involved in parting with classic and beloved articles that sadly can no longer travel with us (curses on the church of minimalism and the actual limits of storage space). So long as we can imagine someone loving our crap as much as we do, because listening to the garbage truck grind it down it more than I can bear.
Also, I made up the Guardian's work station Xmas decs. Pretty. And fun. And something to do while el server is off sulking in a corner somewhere.
Btw, Robin is right in one respect: you can't try and change the system from within. I've learnt that painful lesson again this week. Damn that Sheriff.
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