Seems not even dear Raylan can escape being lumped with a short and supposedly funny offsider, but at least this one is better than most, I use the word 'better' in its broadest and most generous sense. Still, it's not as if Raylan is without his tropes, the broiling daddy issues, the needy self absorbed skanks he keeps getting involved with, but at least young Timmy is gorgeous, the acting crisp and the lines so deliciously and darkly funny as one could hope (as opposed to other shows re daddy issues and skanks). At least that hasn't changed (there's a bit in The Simpsons where Homer is desperately trying to watch a show he likes before the studio re-tooling kicks in, and it's a moment of deep empathy I've always shared with dear Homer).
Boyd is back, to my relief and delight, the dear poor seemingling having difficult days running a criminal enterprise staffed by hillbillies, but I presume this comedy Boyd will revert to the wild and dangerous and magnificent creature that he is, and this is just so much soap to make it appear more shocking later on. That's one sad thing about it being series four, in that I don't think there's much dear Boyd could do now to shock me, but the fact that I can't wait to see if he can is a testament to the writing and acting (and their dark imaginings).
In fact, it's so good (and, as pointed out in a review I read somewhere, Justfied has yet to be cloned), that even though I can tell you I find Boyd far more intriguing a character than Raylan, I honestly couldn't say one was a shadow self of the other. That might have been how it was in S1 (in very broad strokes, even then, it was never that simple), but now? Well, goodness knows where this odd dance of theirs is heading, but I'm not expecting a happy ending. You know, the whole no redemption for western outlaws thing that threads through Hell on Wheels and even The Hobbit (and LOTR, big time).
Nevertheless, yay. I love my westerns and I love Justfied. Tv with teeth, and a knowing smile (but not Hollywood teeth, nothing slick down in Harlan County).
This year's theme, for me, so far, seems to be about characters with no belief in their right to redemption, and also little boys who refuse to grow up (but more on that later).
Even though I will never finish the fic, I still think the writers, if you could call them that, on White Collar, have got it so wrong. It's not Neal's story, it's Peter's. He's the one who has his life turned upside down by this strange visitor. Sometimes I have fun with it, painting Neal as Mephisto, Peter Pan, a vampire, one of the little people, Pan, any agent provocateur who sends Peter out on adventures, adventures that will change Peter from his peers forever.
And sometimes I have way too much fun (but like it's ever going to see the light, so indulge my overblown metaphor, a Norman Lindsay painting in words:
Peter woke and found the head nestled beside him on the pillow belonged to his wife, and he sank back into the bed with regret, and even a small sliver of resentment.
It was completely unfair of course, and he had no right to complain. Elizabeth was beautiful, sexy, funny, smart, independent, brave and understanding beyond belief. She accepted him and his life and took things as they came. She was everything a man could want, should want, but she wasn't Neal. Bright, shiny, amazing Neal who gliitered and sparkled and slipped through Peter's fingers like quicksilver. The mercurial little imp who had bewitched him, infected him, intrigued him, entranced him. The tormentor who made everything in Peter's world seem dull and imperfect, who, like Mephistopheles, offered glimpses of a world beyond, a world of such dazzling experiences, excitements and pleasures, who gave Peter just a taste and made everything else seem like ashes.
Peter knew it was a dream, and yet he had woken beside Neal, just the other morning, and he had tasted. He loved his wife and if there had been no Neal he would have been satisfied, and content. But there was. A Neal who buzzed and fluttered and sprinkled dust in his eyes that made him see the world differently. And he wanted it. He wanted Neal. Neal was quick and brilliant and unpredictable. He made Peter race to keep up with him, he danced ideas with Peter, and when they were in synch, it was a joy like flying. He made the world brighter and louder since he'd stolen in the window of Peter's everyday life. He made Peter's heart beat faster and his cock hard.
Peter lifted himself off the bed and took himself off into the shower at that point. He stood under the water and thought of Neal and grunted out his release. He remembered what it was like to push inside Neal, the feel of him, under his hands, his scent, his mouth. he leant against the tiles and jetted warmly against them, the water washing away the deed. A brief flare of catholic guilt was quickly extinguished. He wanted Neal so badly it hurt, like a burning, all consuming fever, and now he understood how a junkie must feel, always craving that next hit, searching for that perfect high.
But first they had bad guys to catch. He turned off the taps and composed himself, putting on his Agent Burke face. The brick wall that Neal had tried so mercilessly to get in and under. Well, he had, and now Neal knew it was just a facade. Agent Burke was not made of stone. He had a heart and human parts. He had a heart that was falliable and it wanted what it wanted, and there was nothing he could do about it.
Maybe if he'd had a normal teenage obsession, he could have dealt with it better now. But he hadn't. He'd been so driven, repressing everything he was, hitching his will to his chosen profession. He'd made himself through hard work, not easy talent. It was why he envied Neal, and was so easily angered by him. Everything came so easily to Neal, there was no effort, no appreciation, no sweat or sacrifice. It was just one shiny object after another.
Peter was just another in a long line of toys, he knew that. But he also knew that Neal had stirred things up, shown him what was possible, woken Peter up from his sleepwalking existence. Peter was awake now, and things could never go back to the way they were.
Peter Burke glared at himself in the mirror and straightened his tie. He was Peter Burke, a thief taker, and he would still take Neal, if he had to. So long as he could still think like that, and believe it, he told himself, he was safe.
There's a whole lot of through the looking glass stuff, and Peter being surprised he hasn't woken up in an old parking lot, so ethereal Neal seems at times, if not downright perverse. And I'd be remiss if I didn't throw in trickster spirit, too. And so many Grimm references I'm suprised I'm still bothering with this fic, to be honest, and that's before I ever say Once Upon a Time or Grimm. Never mind. Like I said, just another notebook to be abandoned and gathering dust on the bedside table.
It could never be about Neal, he doesn't want redemption, as much as he pays lip service to the idea, and he has told too many lies and done too many bad things to ever wrrant it. No, it can only be about Peter's downfall, now that he's let that imp whisper in his ear.
Also, so many story trashing spoilers on WC. I did try to finish before it started up again, but I had to do everything for everyone else first. Should I bother, abandon or just label it as totes au and be done with it?
PM update: At first I was happy, because even though the bully was slinging rafts of verbal darts my way, I have my new Samsung and my new headphones and I just dialled up the volume and Triplej played Talking Head's Burning Down the House and I have never heard it like that. Finally, some Spock (ie, some 21stC tech working for me) and no more bully (except the dull bubble somewhere in the distance like an open sewer).
Unhappily, I bragged about something I had tickets for and it just got cancelled. Jinxed! Every time, jinxed. If you wonder why I only mention stuff I'm up to afterwards, this is why, otherwise there is no after, just me being upset, because I was really, really, omg, so looking forward to seeing QT next Monday. Weep.
Smugness comes before a night in, watching Miss Marple on the telly, apparently. Sigh.
I do, I do believe in tapas
Ah, Wednesday. The less said about it the better, but on the plus side, the new Samsung has excellent sound and it made my headphones sing. So I went over the wall at last and though I'd planned to bus it to the threatre because I was wearing one of my better dresses, I caught my reflection in a shop front and that was it. Forced march up the hill, you fat arsed freak.
Of course I undid all that effort just two blocks from my destination. There was an indifferent coffee shop there that I was used to sitting in and writing reams and reams to the unwanted and unfinished fic, until they chucked me out, which, if my luck held, wasn't too long before the Belvoir bar opened.
Imagine my surprise then to discover the fake French decor had been ditched for fake Spanish, and it was now a tapas bar, the same chain as the one I liked in Randwick so much. Chain you may sniff (they had two before, it must be up to four now), but it suits me. Open when all the cafes have shut up shop, perfect for a drink and a quick snack, and the food and wine tick all my boxes for happiness and the staff are usually nice and kind to old maids, even though it did start to fill up with brighht young things, so alas, I think one of my favourite scribbly places may soon be too cool or crowded for the likes of me. Nevertheless, jolly well cheered myself up (wine, Wodehouse, song), and rambled up the last few blocks to the Belvoir.
I must admit, mordbid curiosity pushed me to see what on earth the Belvoir would do to Peter Pan, given their reputation for, um, restaging the classics (fair enough some say but I like a certain fidelity to the text, there's reason why it's a classic and you are a dranatst working in a small Sydney theatre, harrumph) and the fact that, as pointed out in the programme, it's not a proper theatre, per se, just an open space in the corner of an old tomato sauce factory.
Well, from such limitations, creativity can sometimes fly. It was hilarious, the school play on a budget/dress up ethos actually making the damn thing. The set was the children's bedroom, except an average, Aussie suburban bedroom, as as the adventure progressed, flickering lights were fairies, flippers gave us some mermaids, cutlasses made from rulers some pirates, the blue bedspread became a lagoon, the wardrobe a pirate ship and the bed with the gree matress the croc which finally did for Hook. It was, quite frankly, with no backstage, flies or wings, magnificent.
The cast were great, too. Meyne Wyatt was perfect as Pan, arrogant and cocksure and all over the place, jumping in and out of the window (which actually opened out onto the street, I wonder what the neighbours think), just as he was in School for Wives. I'd love to see him in something where he asn't so impossibly cocksure, just to see if he has a bit more range.
Charlie Garber was perfect as Hook, and his heckling by the two giggling and shrieking bratlets up the back was one of the more priceless moments of theatre I'm ever likely to see. Yes, there were kids in the audience, and at first I was alarmed (don't like 'em, as a rule) but they kind of made it, laughing at the very broad strokes, and the moment when a little voice declared he did believe in fairies, well, everyone just melted, cast and audience alike.
Gareth Davies, one of the sheep from last year, was there, Geraldine Hakewill was as good as ever, but I'm afraid my beloved Harriet Dyer stole the show again, or maybe just for me, because I was watching her shameless scene stealing with delight. She is such a clown, it's a joy to watch. If I must endure comedy sidekicks on tv, I wish they'd cast Harriet instead. She's actually very good at it. Jimi Bani, who also played the crocodile, in a cardboard box and a quilt, was also good. He had the smile down pat.
So, yes, a jolly night. A rambling rambunctuous performance, but cute, and fun and playful. Everything you'd expect in otherwords. Which was entirely unexpected, for the Belvoir.
Thursday was meh, aside from The Hour, which I just adore. Okay, yep, the plot is getting a bit Downtown in the extremely obvious stakes, but it's a grand collection of some of my very favourite thesps all prowling about in fabulous retro drag, so it has me, anyway, plot be damed (but the missing daughter? The Dickens, you say).
Friday was hot, super record breaking hot (nearly 47C out where I live) and I made myself a bit woogy trying to save the garden in stifling heat. I'm sure to lose half my apple trees, weep. Shrug. What can one do? It's the way we live now.
This morning I was again pouring water and tea leaves on the burnt up sticks, begging them to live. At least I tried. Oh, I've discovered peppermint tea makes the mozzies go away, but attracts ants. Spiders remain the same - you should see the latest spider bite on my shoulder - gruesome. You should have seen the spider I had on my shoulder this morning. there I was admiring an enormous web, wondering where the owner was, when he tapped me on the shoulder. I shook him off, and he rambled away, crashing through the undergrowth, as big and hairy as the one in Dr No. Zoinks.
And that's it as it's hotwater bottle time. I'm thinking more Shakespeare dvds.
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