Hunt stepped up after $56m Van Gogh heist
Faulty alarms blamed for Van Gogh theft in Egypt
Van Gogh stolen again
Just to check, dear Neal, you are an entirely fictional young bounder, are you not? Because I gotta say, it was a choke on my Weetbix moment over brekkie, I can tell you, when I read that. Snap!
Anyhoo, if I felt I was being too harsh on White Collar re my review last week, that's nothing compared to the withering scorn heaped upon it by the Peanut Gallery. He'd seen the wayward professor plot many times before (The Avengers, The Saint, maybe even Strange Report) but had never seen it done so woodenly before. "It's like they know the tropes," he remarked, adding the scathing aside: "And when I start talking in tropes it can never be a good thing, but it just lacked..." and here he flailed, but he meant spark, pizazz, that certain something, that twinkle which those old tv shows had and which White Collar fails to mainfest, no matter how hard it tries. White Collar does seem a cynical exercise in certain plots, but lacking in heart and a true understanding of the subject matter.
Leverage, though, oh, it gets it. It has heart. And it knows, and fanboys, its sources, to a ridiculous extent. Steed and Peel indeed. And don't even get me started on Archie Leech. But yeah, clearly the creators of Leverage own many of the same dvd box sets I do. Know them and love them, and that's the main difference, and you can feel it. On White Collar, they are making a tv show. On Leverage, they are writing a love letter to shows of yore, they are homage, they are respect and undying childhood nostalgia and affection and big, sticky lurrrve (much like Mr Moffat over on Dr Who, a lifelong fan who plays with and caresses the source materials).
And they rock. I couldn't get #301, but OMG, #302 and #303, so much love. So much squee. So many perefect moments. Even the really silly ones, like you just knew those kabuki costumes were going to be employed as disguises and yet the payoff was still so sweet. Oh, I love you, Leverage.
Series two, I will admit, I found a bit flat and formulaic, but it's back on form now, and flying. I was laughing out loud and giggling with delight over all the (really obvious) fannish shout outs and the character moments (poor Eliot, but how much did I love the hair flicking at the end of #303?).
I simply do not bounce up and down and flail about when watching White Collar (not even when Bomer gets his shirt off), so there's a really obvious difference in the shows for me. One I watch cause it's got actors in it I like, and one, ditto, but I absolutely adore and will forgo sleep to see (8 mins? Try 4.5 hours).
Other stuff I watched? Well, quite a bit as instead of doing all those household tasks as intended on my day off, I spent it clutching a hot watter bottle and a flagon of whisky.
There was Jonny Lee Miller galore. I adore Jonny. Of all of that lot, I always felt he was the nicest and most talented, but alas, he lacks the marquee of his colleagues. Nevertheless, I spent some very happy hours wallowing in Emma, which has become my very favourite adaptation.
Emma is difficult to do well. Cast wrongly and Emma is a manipulative bitch and Knightley too cold and stiff and Churchill a complete prat. This time around, well, Frank Churchill is still a prat, but with the charms of the better Wickhams and Willoughbys, Knightly was suitably frustrated and flummoxed by Emma and Emma herself, well, she was just a bored but well meaning young miss who didn't know any better, but made such a horrible muddle of it. She was, essentially, clueless (stll one of the better adaptations).
I liked this Emma and this Knightley and found myself dreadfully caught up in the all the farcical shenanigans. Pefect hormonal viewing. And I guess guys will never get why girls like bonnet dramas, they'll never get that the dance is far more exciting and intriguing than anything that might come after (or am I just construing from my former lacklustre gentlemen friends, all of whom could have given Mr Collins a run for his money in clingy, slimy, creepiness).
Also watched an episode of Eli Stone, and it was a jolt to suddenly have to deal with Jonny talking American, but, as much as I adore Jonny, I cannot take the Jesus-freakery that goes with that programme, so one episode it was.
The other show I caught up on was Lewis, series four. I'm only three episodes into Lewis and it's kinda like that Goodies episode with all the TV detectives (Lynley, Dalziel, Creek). They're only missing Barnaby, and I feel his loss.
The press was all about how they were hetting up Hathaway, so I wasn't expecting much, and then I get Hobson instructing Lewis to tell Hathaway how he really feels. ::love::
The pre-publicity seemed to be for an entirely different show and my fears were for nothing (unlike White Collar which promises Peter/Neal but delivers Mozzie glued to Neal's couch instead).
Yes, they are setting up Lewis and Hobson, but still, the first episode, it's all about her dealing with Lewis and Hathaway and their domestics. Heh.
And the posh bint from episode one? The press was all over that but it was hardly anything, just a Brideshead-esque rendevous that went nowhere. Far from giving Hathers a girlfriend they appear to have given him a boyfriend instead. One who knew his shirt size. Ah well. Too bad the butler had to do it, because they made such a cute below stairs couple. And yes, I liked the whole Brideshead thing, and I was bemused that discovering Hathers was below stairs put him in a whole new light for Lewis.
I'm not sure I buy Hather's Run DMC t-shirt, either as a vintage piece or recent purchase, but the one item of clothing that really had me choking on my tea - the coat with the elbow patches. Hathers would never, ever, ever. I can only assume he had to borrow the frightful thing after a sleepover.
There's been a lot of rather satisfying Hathaway strop, too, rather like in S1. Much stalking off and deathly silences in ep one where Hathaway has to deal with a former grisly case, old skeletons, and, heavens, people enquiring after the parentals. The poor lad. At least the well placed strop over the stolen guitar was something Lewis could help with, and how much did I love Lewis enlisting his daughter to track down the stolen guitar on Ebay? ::love::
Unlike other shows I could mention, the lads on Lewis are rarely acting at cross purposes to each other, and if they're mid snit, it's off to couples counselling with Hobson and/or Innocent. Would that other shows were so agreeably chummy. Some shows know the meaning of 'buddy cop show'. Some shows know that, like any good Jane Austen novel, misunderstanding and disagreement must be only a temporary obstacle, and never, ever a means to an end.
That said, the quiz one I liked least, and yeah, I was glad to see the annoying prat get himself quickly offed (yet another annoying ex boyfriend trope, and you wonder why I'm single) and Alan Davies was way creepy as the sleazy quizmaster (who knew QI had an even darker side?) and to be honest I was so disappointed it turned out to be a development application fiddle (how pedestrian) and not something really Russian spy worthy. Sigh. Could they have not worked Smersh into it somehow? Oh well. At least it was nice to see Alistair again.
I gotta say, I'm enjoying this series of Lewis more than I have in a long while. Just from the opening shots of bucolic, sleepy Oxford to the first officiously posho buying it, it's just, well, it's so Morse one feels one can just settle in. It's all cosy and familiar, and again, perfect hot watter bottle viewing.
I dunno, this series, at least what I've seen so far, Lewis seems to have settled into its skin. It's not trying to be edgey or real or like any other cop on the box (especially since it has outlasted them all, cf the revolving door of unemployed tv detectives). It's mad Oxford dons murdering each other. It's what we expect and it's what we get. Can't argue with that.
Other than that there was some clearing of the IQ, and such a difference between shows I wanted to watch and felt I had to watch - I was six times more miserable and ill durung shows I was watching only out of duty, and that includes a very tedious High Chaparral.
At least when I was stuck doing the ironing during The Vikings there was much to guffaw about (and beardy Tony was really working for me, but for the love of Odin can somebody give him some pants?) and we lasted nearly the whole film without making one Ikea crack and it answered the noggin troubling question of where I'd seen that scene from Merlin before.
Other than that I threw myself into a weeding frenzy on Sunday out of guilt over my slothy Saturday (and made myself right poorly for the rest of the day). I'm sure some of you still thing when I say gardening I mean wandering about with a bonnet and basket, when in fact I mean hacking back jungle, wrestling poisonous vines and giant criiters (cf The Monster From Green Hell or any particularly lurid Tarzan film).
Also, I'm persona non grata with the birds. The big grey panther/feral cat was right up in the tree in stalky mode so I raced out waving the broom and yelling at it. This was not to be borne. The cat was one thing, but my unseemly behaviour quite another. Scolded and shunned, all weekend. Sniffle.
Election? Meh. And I was only accused of being a child snatcher twice, which is good going for me out in public. I dunno, you tell these parents you find their offspring repulsive and they're not the least bit reassured. I just don't get it. Oh, single = snatcher out here. I dunno why, it's just this whole Salem witch trial hysteria they have. I'm always being attacked when I go forth into the world beyond my desk. But then again, I get attacked for just about anything. I guess I just look funny. I always figured I'd be burnt or stoned to death one of these days. It's just the way people react. Elephant man? He had it easy.
Never mind. Tv good. Reality awful. Give me more tv.
Tuesday: Still being ostracised by all the wild creatures, bar one parrot with a broken foot who had no choice but to beg for food. Sigh.
Meanwhile, I feel like rubbish. I was telling myself it was the extreme gardening, or the very late night struggling with the interwebs (I've done me dash re my monthly limit and am now on mighty speeds of less than 6kps so just reading and replying to emails is an act of torture) but no, I really, really feel rubbish today.
And I feel guilty, too. It's one thing to look a beggar in the eye and tell him, no lie, you don't have enough spare change for a coffee for yourself. Quite another for the idea of a coffee to take hold, especially when one feels so awful, and to scrounge for loose change in pockets and the bottom of my bag to come up for a small flat white (liar!). If it's any consolation, it was a frightfully dreadful cup and it's done me no good at all. I might as well have given the guy my $3, only it would have been quite the exercise in fumbling and scrounging. Ever had a beggar shake his head and walk off? I have.
Oh dear. Speaking of oh dear, seen Alan in that startling suit? And, since he gave me the phrase in a long since mostly forgotten Brit com, all I can say is: oh dearie me. It looks like he bought it from the same gentlemen's outfiiter that also has Dougray Scott and David Tennant on their client list. The place must be razed to the ground, for the sake of my eyeballs. Not the thing to see when you've got a headache banging away louder than the gangbanger's doof car from the bottom of the street. Oh dearie me indeed.
Shoulda gone to bed early last night (though given my tossing and turning, a few extra hours wouldn't have made much difference). Damn me, me internet (so called) connection and my sheer stubborness in working my way through my online to do/see list. well, most of it, anyway. Quite a few vids I'd saved up were not available to filthy, dirty foreigners, so that cut quite the swathe, but I did manage to, eventually, see two interviews with Mr DeKay, one of them quite lovely and informative, and I even got closure on Jonesy, re the whole Carnivale cliff hanger. I hate shows that get cancelled on cliffhangers, btw. It's a constant source of irritation. In any case, Timmy did get out of the well, apparently. Not that the knowing meant I could finally get some sleep, but still, good to know.
I wish folks would interview Mr DeKay more often (and I wish I could see them as 80% of the vids I had lined up were verboten) because he's a personable and entertaining chap, quite quick and funny and gloriously unable to stick to the script (unlike Matty who bores me witless with the same stock replies over and over). Oh, how much to I love Tim and his wildly slashy overtures re the show and the whole Peter and Neal thing. If only the show he thinks he's acting in was the show I was actually having to watch, because I'd much rather see Tim's version. The way he plays it up, oh, I just love the man.
Fearless and wicked - if only I could see that side of Peter in the show. If only we really could see Peter go into Terminator mode should someone foolishly try to harm Neal or take him away. Peter is very possessive of Neal, apparently. Too bad we never really get to see this. Sigh. Whatever White Collar you're in, Tim, that's the one I want to see.
Election? Still meh, though Himself found the situation should Bill Shorten become the leader of the opposition interesting. My Mother-In-Law the GG. How very 60s sitcom. It all becomes bearable if one views it as a sitcom. If Quentin was Endora, with Bob Brown as Uncle Arthur - snerk.
I think the Peanut Gallery is suffering from a Bewitched deficit because it was the second Endora reference that evening, the first being an ad for Mad Men which came on telly an intoned that Don Draper was the advertising executive who had everything. "Including a witch for a mother-in-law? 'Cause then I'd watch it," snarked the Peanut Gallery.
Oh dear, daytime tv withdrawl starting to bite now that we're back to being a working stiff? I dare say. The poor petal.
Such a lovely day. Too bad I'm stuck inside. Have I mentioned how wonderfully quiet it's been on the weekends lately since one of the drug labs blew up. We were washing the dishes the other Friday when there was indeed an enormous kaboom. Sirens everywhere (which is odd because oftentimes there are frightful, window cracking booms with no sirens at all). Must have been an election window get tough stunt, with the sirens, because, like I said, usually, not a peep, and the cops here, deaf dumb and blind, like the house on the main road, right near the bus stop, where you can hear the hoses hissing night and day. But anyway, yes, there was a kaboom and, until last weekend, the car re-birthers had been lying low. Two blissful weekends without the ear splitting scream of angle grinding or paint fumes. Sigh.
Such is life in my neighbourhood. The little worker cottages are just perfect for, um, cottage industries. No wonder I have allergies, though. First I grow up next to the factory that made Agent Orange, and now I'm surrounded by meth labs. Cough, wheeze. And yet I blame the magnificent wattle tree in the front yard. And it is magnificent this year. Which probabbly means it'll cark it. They usually do. I should take a photo, except I'm here, not there, and when I'm home it's night. Sigh.
PM update: I did get to the park. And I even cracked open the book. And closed the book. I finished off the notebook I started in NYC. Sigh. The book that proves that near enough is nowhere near good enough. Also full of complete rubbish. Would that I could get it down on paper when I think of it and not try and reconstruct it when I'm tired and headache-y at least twelve hours later. Alas, I have yet to learn to write stuck standing up sardined on trains or buses. Or while doing the dishes. Or any and every other onerous duty that comes between me and writing. Grumble.
That trip isn't even a memory now. But boy, I was close, but the old right place, wrong time (not even the Doctor screws up as much as I did). Every time I see a photo now it's like yep, I remember that place (especially the park and scaffolding, oh how I remember those, especially the scaffolding, cf pigeon of doom).
But yeah. Finished pencil, finished book. Finished. Done and dusted. To be typed up, put away and never thought of again. Sigh.
Poor old notebook. Madison Park, numerous cafes, the NY library, not to mention LAX, for hours and hours. Ah well, the old brown one had to put up with numerous pubs in Oxford. Ah, Oxford, now we're talking hazy memories...
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Bomer Dons His White Collar in NYC
White Collar Scoop: Uh-Oh, Neal Gets Double Teamed!
Matthew Bomer Filming White Collar in NYC
Thomason doubts 'White Collar' romance
Star of “White Collar” TV Series Learned the Art of Expression at Mason Gross
White Collar Q&A: Catching Up With Marsha Thomason
Marsha Thomason Offers Insights Into 'White Collar'
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White Collar Season 2 Episode 7 Preview Clip: Prisoner's Dilemma
Poptimal.com: White Collar's Matt Bomer at Comic-Con 2010