Full points to the Peanut Gallery for discovering the Eryldene open day. Precious few other folks did and it was a bit clique-y, because everyone seemed to be members of the trust, the band, the stall sellers or the fashion show but they were nice and we had a reserved table in the garden and after a somewhat rushed house tour (I felt so rude but it was running over time and I meant only to quietly excuse myself but as others were also wanting to see the fashion parade our poor guide got all flustered and, oh, I am a bad person) we just kicked back at our reserved table (with the special table clothes, oh my). It felt a bit like crashing somebody's garden party except we'd paid and like I said, they were friendly, so nae bother. And the tea was lovely. A little church fete-y but I would never complain given the setting and general ambiance of lovely.
Anyway, lovely table, lovely tea, extraordinarly lovely garden, lovely music, lovely clothes. I bought some old 50s magazines, some patterns (yes, I know how to make clothes from a paper pattern - I was never allowed to learn French or Latin or geography or geology or art or music at school but cooking, sewing and typing I did, and yes, it was the 1980s, can you believe it?) that I mean to but never will make (the dead sewing machine is a signficant roadblock but as I can no longer zip into my darling 50s dresses it's this or nothing). I also bought a coffee cup set that I'm not sure are genuine or merely retro but in either case, they totally rock.
Oh, such a lovely day. Too bad the long, long journey home was tiresome and perilous (with my precious cargo of unsecured fragile cups on overcroweded inadequate public transport on a what, a 200km round trip?), but the middle bit was most excellent, pleasing to the senses and soothing of the soul.
Of course, those cups only work in an alternate universe where I look like this and live this life...
It's so sad. We live so far away from anything cool, the Peanut Gallery actually changed halfway, lest anyone in our broken glass strewn estate see us in our Sunday finest.
Saturday was spent trying to cram a week's worth of housework into daylight hours, with limited sucess. Much sweeping, washing and watering and ironing but all rather halfarsed.
TV? Curiously still addicted to Human Target. At least, when I get woken up early by whatever it is that wakes me up (transiting possums, I think) I just catch up on some Human Target in the quiet dark, non interrupty, non 'should be doing something else' hours. There's a lot of Brit actors showing up in this, I'm beginning to suspect co-production (like Murdoch Mysteries) or maybe it's just a thing (and man, has that BP debacle set back the whole Brits as go to villians thing back another two hundred years, sheesh). I've no idea why I like Human Target, but I do. Even the boxing episode, which would usually have me reaching for the eject button redeemed itself with the oh so cute scene of codified male bonding towards the end. Awww.
Of course they quickly recovered by having Chance ride off with the girl, but still. Oh for the days of my B/W westerns were Maverick would ditch the girl and ride off into the sunset with his best buddy, but, alas, TPTB are wise to that now. So much more romantic.
Not that I'm ever going to go to the ficcy place with HT. No way, no how, nuh uh, not gonna happen. But still, cute.
The princess royal one had me in paroxysms of eye rolling. Seriously, dudes, if MI6/MI5 were that keen on despatching embarrassing royals, wouldn't Fergie have been toast long before now? I'm just saying.
But Chance vs Lucas? Bring it on - giggle.
Murdoch Mysteries. I know. It's clunky at times, especially with the whole 'this is how it was in the olden days' thing, but Life on Mars wasn't entirely spotless in this regard and it mainly only rankles when they start talking about women's rights (not as adavanced here as elsewhere, alas). It also gets very special episode at times, but other than that, I like. There's just enough Canadian quirky there to appeal.
Sat through some more Maverick, and sat through is the word. Watch Dutchman's Gold last, if at all, and at your peril. You'll soon know why. Oh, and the signal loss in the middle was Foxtel kicking the cable out, not us, cause it did the same on the repeat. Sorry, but it's Dutchman's Gold - you're not missing anything. White noise is a mercy.
Also had Simon's History of Britain playing away while doing stuff. Much backchat from the stalls, but the best was when we got up to Edward being asked to judge who should be the king of Scotland in some mediaeval celebrity knockout round. "Was John Barrowman not available?' snipes the Peanut Gallery. Snerk.
So I was very naughty, but avoid having to trawl through the flist with my hands over my eyes, I, um, obtained the White Collar finale. It took over four and a half hours (so I'm very bloody grateful I don't have to try that every week). Was it worth it? Not so much.
Sometimes I think the problem with spoilers is not so much that they give away bits of plot, but that they big up those 'surprises' way too much so that when one finally sees it, one is left decidedly underwhelmed. Or furiously underwhelmed as in the case of the White Collar finale.
When I read the article about how Neal had betrayed Peter so terribly that nothing Could Ever Be The Same Again, I was thinking, well, holy cow, and expecting some Spooks style game changer where Neal turns out to have been a KGB agent all along and he stabs Peter to death with his tie bar before making off with the music box.
But no. What we have is just Neal lying to Peter, manipulating him and setting him up and getting him out of the way so Neal can get what he wants. In other words, business as usual. This is about as novel as those blurbs in the tv guide that read 'The Enterprise crew land on a hostile planet' or the Doctor battles the daleks. Again. Yawn.
And Peter never forgiving Neal? Oh, please. It's the same old game. Neal ruthlessly abuses Peter's trust, Peter splutters for five seconds, then falls back into line. I despair. It makes Peter look like a prize doormat, like Darrin Stevens, like Colonel Klink, like the Sheriff of Nottingham. Cursed, foiled again. It's not clever and it is seriously eroding all respect I have for Peter. It's like when Angelus crows "And you fall for it every time". I know Peter has serious blind spots when it comes to Neal, but, fer serious? If Peter is supposed to be one of the sharpest pencils in the box, no wonder the FBI is in trouble. Anyone who can be outfoxed by Scooby Doo antics deserves to be on the dole. Harumph.
Honestly, I was kinda hoping Alex would prove to be an actual femme fatale and take Neal down, but no such luck there, either. Oh yes, they did put one character in jeopardy but like I care. And as if Neal is ever going to learn to play nicely with his toys, no matter how many of his so called friends and lovers he burns through. He is such a child, and a brat at that.
Nobody ever seems to be seriously bothered about just how dangerous a loose canon Neal is. I mean, he breaks parole, steals a gun, discharges it, and they...ground him? (And like that ever works, with Neal's flat a revolving door, I wonder if he was ever crimped by his prison stays). Sheesh.
Oooh, maybe Peter will get tough and revoke his television privileges or something. As if.
That said, I did like the scenes at the NotFrick Museum with Neal doing the whole Errol thing with the banner. I do like it when Neal is being ruthless man of action rather than the smarmy sod he usually is (too much in his head, that boy), and the bit afterwards when Peter sends him home, sans biscuits, like the bad boy he is, and he has another minor tanty. Oooh, Emmy reel. Well, at least we had a rare moment of Neal not being totally in control. It's a problem with these can do anything guys, they're so in command they can be kind of hard to like. Caffrey, like Chance, could do with more moments of unguardness, because these work. I'm not asking for Winchester style woe is me blubbing, just the odd moment of actually feeling something real, and conveying it to the audience, instead of forever having their game face on, because it's distancing, from the audience, and from the other characters. Imho, of course.
Also, the way Neal shuts down Peter when he tries to get close, it's nasty. At least Chance had to the good grace just to smile. And poor Peter, whenever he really thinks he and Neal are on the same page, whammo! Neal puts the rug out right from under him. I mean, I know it's Neal's MO (bait, lure, trap), but, poor Peter. One step forward, three steps back. And like I said, he's been sucker punched so often now he just looks ike a sucker. Yes, Neal is very pretty and so charming and birds appear whenever he is near but he's a born sociopath and ruthless with it.
If only Peter could make the small headway Watson makes with Holmes, but then, Watson is doing the whole live in remedial thing, isn't he. At least Holmes cares for and respects Watson (in his own way, certainly). I don't get that with Neal, he just sets Peter up too often. Real friends don't screw you over like that (they just screw you).
As for Fowler, well, that was a bit of a let down, the whole just a patsy thing. And will Peter take any of the seriously unsubtle "I used to be you" warnings from Fowler on board? No way. He's Peter. Clues, warnings and suspicions are not his bag (he's FBI, after all). Clueless, that's our Pete. Inspector Clouseau is his hero.
As for Mozzie, if I seriously believed they were going to kill off another character or that Neal was going to learn that recklnessness has consequences and that these aren't just games he's playing, then it'd be fine. But it's White Collar. They'll use this cheaply, so it'll be completely wasted (and I've seen enough spoilers to have some idea of what's next).
Neal never learns. He's Reset Button boy. It's just not that kind of show. And I don't even mean that Neal has to learn how to behave and toe the line. He could equally learn to play a better game or match an eye for an eye, but it'll be back to cheap two bit cons in ten minutes, next episode, I'll bet you anything you like.
And the music box? They've bigged it up now so much that whatever they reveal it to be now, it's going to be very damp squib indeed. They've set themselves up to, well, there's no opposite word to exceed, but if there was, that's what they'd be doing to expectations. It's gonna be a big bowl of meh. And like I said before, if it turns out to be some bit of masonic weirdness, and the whole Mozart thing is not allying my fears in anyway on this score, well, then, I shall be very cross. Yes indeedy.
But I did like Bomer in this, he always seems to save his best work for the finales, though to be fair, it's usually the one time we get to see Neal in actual action. The real Neal, or, as real as it ever gets, as opposed to the persona he presents to various people, which is meant to be fake and yet somehow offputting on account of it. Unlike on Leverage, we rarely ever see Neal with his game face off, bar these finales. So I don't mind these mini series, because otherwise we'd never get to see Neal in action, improvising on the fly, demonstrating at least why, in some universe, that he got himself on the most wanted list.
Oh White Collar, you could be good, but it's just not there yet. So frustrating. Why do I care, I dunno, funny how these shows get under your skin. Maybe it's just the Bomer pretty. No, there's a backstory there to Neal, I just haven't seen it, yet.
It's another great pity that White Collar just doesn't seem to have room to allow for the oodles of cute that happens off screen. Seriously, I've seen far, far less PDAs between cast members who have since married, I'm just sayin'. Embrace the cute, White Collar. Embrace the dark. Mix 'em up. See what happens.
And for fuck's sake, give Neal a heart and soul because I'll give up entirely if that's not addressed soon. This too perfect knight is rapidly becoming highly unlikeable. The Quest is creating quite a bit of carnage. Okay for olden times, a touch frowned upon now.
I mean, even the good Doctor these days gets a bit squeamish when the trail he's left in his wake is brought up. And Neal? He's not even doing it for the greater good. Just his own selfish reasons. That boy needs therapy (oh, don't start me humming the Avalanches again).
I dunno, for me, Neal just always seems to come down on the side of selfish brat than tormented soul, but that could be just my baggage. They could have sold it to me more with with just a couple of quiet half worded exchanges with Peter (you know, codified man talk, like they do on other shows). It would have demonstrated Neal's innner life, that he trusts Peter, that he and Peter share 'something' (whatever that may be) and then it would be more shocking when Neal betrays Peter's trust, rather than just SOP.
That's the problem with White Collar. It knows the tropes but it's sort of like a covers band, just not quite hitting it. It's not the real thing. Come on, White Collar, make me a believer.
At least it wasn't as bad as Lewis. I mean, wtf. Was it just me, or did they not bother to mention who was doing all them murders or why? Yes, we had drunky Rupert Graves, panto drunk acting his tits off, and some moderately cute stuff from the boys (mainly passive aggressive snarking and eyerolling but I've seen some supposedly canon tv flirtations built on less) but wtf with the plot? Or plot, MIA, as it happens. The students, the psychic, it just went nowhere. I mean, there's red herrings, but then there's also wtf has this got to do with anything? Oh, I'm so confused. I can only assume the script editor, if they have one, went mad with the scissors and cut out all the explainy bits (I thought it was EvilChannelSeven being evil, but no, the dvd is equally confounding) or was absent on duty and let a wildly meandering story go through without any attempt to gather the threads into some sort of sense. Worst. Episode. Ever.
Seriously...it made no sense. None at all. And I've sat through all 57 seasons of Midsomer (they play nothing else down here).
Oh, I've had to create a new alias for Neal in my fic (long story, 3.5 books still to type), and I thought the name Jensen Healey would be nicely inconspicuous. Heh.
And, my dear Matty Bomer, what were you thinking? I showed the Peanut Gallery and he also agreed the Rupert the Bear formal wear was a touch flamboyant. Not even my 80s hair bands wore anything so outre and when you've manage to, um, startle someone who lived through the 80s, you can be assured you've really gone there.
Yes, I'm fiesty today. If you've been reading the tweets, you'll know I've been fair worn down by eejits today and I did say I'd see out the evening sitting in the corner like that old priest in Father Ted snarling Fek! Fek! Fek! Arse!
And to the girl who loudly declared Vampire Diaries was better than True Blood - how so? Please qualify your bold statement. True Blood has Alex in it. QED, honey.
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