Monday: Sigh. I was so happy this morning, the bus was only 15 years old, I had my book to read, and a dear friend had sent me piccies of my fave pretty blond boys. Especially the pretty blond boy I was drooling over all weekend.
So yeah, basically, can't do anything right today, ditto Sunday, ditto Saturday, ditto ditto ditto. But never mind. I managed to get at least a wet Saturday, my annual wet Saturday, and I wallowed. Oh, how I wallowed. I was quite evil in my wallowing, but, well, sod it. There was The Sweeney (it's amazing, the attention to period detail in that) and The Saint. The Saint was once again battling neo nazis in one ep and wicked corrupt town planning happy councillors in another (were that Simon was here to give a few local pollies the old fisticuffs). Oh yeah, the Sweeney had an amusing bit as a long shot features Jack chatting up villain's missus in the distance, and in the foreground a red MKII Jag glides past. The foretelling! Yea, verrily, there will be no more fast car chases and villains being urged to get their knickers on. Yea, there will be instead much Wagner and strolling about the nice bits of Oxford. But hey, at least they'll give us Bradley James, eventually.
Which brings me of course to the highlight of my dvd indulgence (sorry Dave, tho' I did watch E&E again, it just doesn't compare, and what's with letting the chaps wear their hats indoors and at the dinner table?). Nope, in these trying times, gimme pretty boys with big swords and bedroom eyes. Why yes, I am that shallow. And loving it.
But, slightly seriously, I grew up digging all things Arthurian (I think the Beeb misunderstood what they meant by the romance of Arthur and Merlin, but never mind) and, having spotted Bradley James in Lewis (hard to miss, even with my Laurence Fox goggles on), the show was full of win just by announcing the cast list.
And my, what fine twaddle it is. Especially the second volume where it gets darker, angstier and, oh yeah, slashier. I don't think I'll have time to work my thoughts into proper form (and besides, despite trying to read proper grownup academic texts about the boys, my slobbering greymatter is pretty much all "lookatBradleyomgheissogolden", etc).
The questing beast. Okay, nice grab from the source material, if used somewhat non-traditionally. Was bemused, much like Mr Wilson pointing out that no one apparently knew what a griffin looked like despite there being a huge bloody statue of one in the castle, ditto the QB. Also, that sure is a pissweak slow working poison, enough to let Merlin backpack around Europe and back again. I must mock, having spiders down the back garden that'll drop you dead in 15 minutes. So lack of respect to the rather pitiful questing beast in that regard. But oh my, the angst (especially Uther) and the h/c (Merlin cuddles! Feverish Arthur!). I won't complain, not even if I thought Merlin's shopping around until he got a death he could live with was a bit on the silly side.
Btw, Merlin is a bit of a badarse, isn't he? I mean, young Artie has taken out a few nameless stuntmen in the name of king and country, but Merlin? Woe betide anyone who threatens his beloved Arthur because that boy plays hard, and for keeps. Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?
Then again, Merlin always did have a dark side. I wonder if we'll ever touch on that legendary dark side proper, rather than just having our anti-hero rack up the kills in the name of Arthur?
I can see Uther's point (which is one of the really good things about the series, that Uther might be a brute and an arsehole but he usually has a point of view and he's usually right) about magic practitioners. Merlin is demonstrably dangerous, deadly and reckless and tempered only via Gaius and Arthur's friendship.
That said, I do rather like it when Merlin slips the leash, as it were. Nimueh sure wasn't expecting anything from the boy when she turned her back on him, but she'd made him angry, and you don't want to make Merlin angry. Bet she won't make that mistake again (and will she get him back, as per tradition?)
And the way Arthur and Merlin are constantly sacrificing themselves for each other would be laughable if it wasn't so damn good and slashy. They might slag each other off at every opportunity but my goodness, they have a hardcore R&J thing going on there beneath the surface. Perhaps Merlin is doing the self sacrifice bit because he was told it was his duty and destiny to do so (the only reason? I don't think so), but Arthur? Pretty, pretty, pratty dumb as a box of hammers but he's such a handsome guy young Arthur and his to die for Merlin. Is it because Merlin stands up to him, snarks at him, takes all his abuse? Because suddenly this posh and feckless but oh so pretty hooray henry is fighting monsters, defying death in dark caves, swigging poison, championing peasants and, lordy, standing up to his father, all in the name of love. Sweet! They gaze into each other's eyes, then start slagging each other off again. Like a 30s comedy, nothing says I love you like a face full of fruit.
Arthur's daddy issues? Where to start? It's kinda sweet to see just how very insecure Arthur is (and given Uther's increasing outbursts of angst over the boy, ya just want to knock their heads together sometimes).
Camelot: the police state. It really is, and all those WWII analogies are quite intended (although you could find police states and repression in any era, says she, currently reading up on the Tudors and the English Civil War). The question that hangs over the series is a very serious one: would Arthur give up Merlin? Does Arthur already know? Is he turning a blind eye or wilfully not joining the dots? Would Arthur betray Merlin, his Merlin, to his father? Because on the one hand Arthur talks the talk and walks the walk as chief enforcer of his father's policies. On the other hand, Arthur has openly defied his father to save Merlin's life (the flower), to rescue a druid boy (okay, bad call, but that was a big deal for Arthur and not given its proper due in that episode, I felt, since it decided to play the 'what if you could kill an infant Hitler' card instead in the time it was given), and Arthur lied to Uther's face about killing the unicorn wrangler (okay, a lie of omission, but still). Would Arthur have turned Will (Merlin's ex) in had Will not taken the blame and conveniently carked it (nice job, btw, Merlin, but who wants bunny boiler exes in the mix, eh? and I kinda like it that Merlin's magic isn't a deus ex machina for every problem, there are limits, for now)?
So the question remains, would Arthur turn in Merlin in, to almost certain death, or would he keep his secret? At some point Merlin has to be outed. Will Arthur feel betrayed by Merlin's secrecy and lack of trust, or is he biding his time, knowing Merlin will tell him when he's ready (meanwhile tossing acts of heroic defiance towards his father at Merlin's feet like roses).
The master/servant relationship. Where do I begin or end without getting silly or pervy? It's all about class, and yet Merlin is ridiculously uppity (all for the good of Arthur, so he says) and Arthur seems to delight in making life difficult for his faithful companion, yet Arthur's grand gestures speak far louder than words, and the joking relationship, the playful intimacy between the two boys, is so lovely (such a contrast to other shows). More, please. (Even better, the lads carry on exactly the same off screen, and the chemistry - woof!).
The camp old dragon: will Merlin stop rescuing Arthur, who is a tough high maintenance, ya gotta admit, now that he knows it was just amoral manouevering, or will love out, because I do think Merlin does care. And did I mention how cute it is that Merlin's mum is so thrilled he's brought home his new BF, and such a step up from Will, a prince of the realm, no less. She could give Sharon Gless a run for her money in the embaressingly over supportive mother stakes.
Mind you, Merlin's mum: now there's a gal with a past. When they say Merlin's got the devil in him, they ain't kidding. She likes da bad boys, does Merlin's slutty mum. To be honest. I kept waiting for someone to pop up and do the whole "I am your father" speech, but no, they resisted (so far).
I suppose next season they'll have to start populating Camelot with canonical knights (cool bandname), which is a shame, because I'm quite happy with the Merlin and Arthur show, but I suppose Arthur must have his entourage. I suppose at some point young Arthur is going to redecorate as well (Uther's table being decidely oblong) and Merlin's gonna get into installation art ("I call it stonehenge").
I also like the really tight unit Arthur and Merlin have formed. They really don't brook any intrusion or comment upon their odd little relationship. Kinda cute, but
Okay, there were tiny hits of Arthur/Gwwen and Merlin/Morgana, but we know neither of those end well. Still, it'd be a shame if the boys toned it down for S2 (no sign of that yet, though, phew). And why kill the golden goose?
When I ran out of episodes (weep!) I just played 'em all over again.
Sleep? What is sleep? Stayed up last night playing with the Merlin commentaries instead. My favourite has to be for ep 10 where the girls are enthuiastically slashing the boys until Colin starts whining about the ladies "fuelling the websites". And what websites would those be, Colin dear? Urls, si vous plais.
No, seriously, the urls, now, sweetheart. OMG, ladies and gentlemen I have a shiny new fandom. Oh my yes. There's Bradley, all golden hair and derring do, and Colin, all snark and surprisingly badarse. I wuv this show so much.
Also, we now need a term for when actors are rps'd by their colleagues.
Oh yeah, Laurence was also in the repeat of Jericho. Remember Laurence? Heh.
PM update: Just lashed out on a couple of new skirts for autumn. Well, I needed a couple, as fave old skirt fell to bits and the emergency replacement I bought last year I loathe, and the other replacement I bought suffered a...laundry malfunction. I'm just still gasping over the price but they looked so nice on (and this never, ever happens). Now if only I could fix up my shoes (limited to flatties now, sigh) and hair (this last month has finally sent me grey). Not that'll it get me respect or stop the bullying (work/bus), but at least I'll know I tried, just a bit. Also back on fruit and water. Boring, but I'm trying, I really am.
Tuesday: Meant to go play on ze interwebs last night but a storm that rolled around for hours put paid to that idea. I did however watch the Top Gear Vietnam special (the bit where Richard faceplanted into James's crotch could quite possibly be a series highlight, but I'll let you decide). It wasn't as good as other specials, imho, but I was still cracking up all the same.
Then I put on some Lewis. Oh yeah, that episode. To my shame, I didn't even need to look it out because the disk was still beside my bed because I'd been watching it just before I went to Blighty (and have barely been in my room since thanks to work). Oh my, but Bradley is so pretty. Oh yeah, I was hooked at the first flicker of screen time, and was so glad he gor a series (and what a series, he's just a perfect Arthur, for that show). It's not like I've forgotten my boys, but, my gosh, Bradley is pretty. Yes, I was sad enough to measure him up against young Laurence. If young Mr Fox really is 6'4" in old money, then Brad must be rounding out at around the 6ft mark (we'll call it the Ackles effect), but I could be wrong. Doesn't matter, was just happy to watch my fave boys in the same show. True, Laurence isn't as pretty but he has this smouldering slow burn thing going that gets me going gah every time. But, oh my, Bradley is pretty. Throw in funny and you've got yourself a winner there.
The plot was all about Morse, too. Really, Lewis, time to get over it, as he was constantly told throughout the episode, right down to the none too subtle scene where Hathaway chucks out the Mozart and puts his own cd into Lewis's slot. Subtext much?
Oh yeah, while flipping about the channels waiting for Maverick to start (wicked Bret completely broke a safe cracker down to tears) I saw this odd US programme that had Captain John from Torchwood and Uther from Merlin in it. Freaky, huh? Smirk.
Back onto Merlin, because, to be honest, nothing else is going through my fevered brain (and you should try feverishly half remembering old Welsh poems you read at uni at 2am in the morning) I don't really have a problem with the setting of the series. To be honest, I think Robin Hood burnt away the last shreds of my expectations in that regard, and since they were eyeing American sales, I can quite forgive them going the full Disney. Besides, regards Arthur it's rather hard to deman historical accuracy. For myself, while I've always agreed with the standard setting of 5thC-6thC AD, since I've been reading my Brit Museum Book of Cool Stuff We Got, I wonder that no one has ever thought of researching more those anti-roman invasion princes of Camulodunum. I mean, big invasion, rallying and revolt of Britons. But that's just me. I just really like the name of old Colchester.
But enough of that. Did I mention how hot Bradley is? Especially in brood mode (and thanks sleeper_frost for accepting the quest to find the piccies).
Another friend is sending me pics of cute kitties to cheer me up, but I'm really rocking the broody Bradley pics, just personally. I couldn't place the icon I saw at first, but of course they're from the poisoned chalice episode (my, they do love that motif) where Uther has once again crushed dear little Artur's hopes and dreams with his magic daisy (such a delicate little petal, is young Arthur). So Arthur sulks. And broods. And...swoon. um, where was I? It's kinda funny, they way this show plays out. Go, I dare you not to think "I love my dead gay son" later on in the series. I double dare ya.
Meanwhile, back in real life, such as it is, when the Environment minister gets his old band together for a charity concert, am I cruel to think it smacks awfully of "let's put on a show!"? Still, this country runs on lamington drives. No, really.
Epic Merlin pimping post
Colin And Bradley - GMTV
'It's something I wanted again in my life'
Worth Watching - Feb 22: Flame and Citron Trailer
Childhood abuse victims more vulnerable to stress
Perth's Heath Ledger wins Oscar
BBC Doctor Who The Tennant Tapes - Tape 2
Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket and more reimagined as Penguin Classics
Merlin/Arthur Stripped to the bone
Philip Glenister on Richard and Judy
Gretchen Moll, Harvey Keitel find new Life on Mars
Maori upset by stage 'mooning' haka
Jackman on song at his first Oscars
Americans give Hugh's Oscars performance a tick
Ledger honoured at Hugh's musical award ceremony
From claws to applause: Jackman's Oscars blitz
Evil Mugabe hoards lost Doctor Who tapes