No one should ever have to see an Englishman's knees. It's just too terrible to contemplate.
In other news, they done killed my show. I liked the old Newsroom, the rococo speeches, the high ideals and slapstick. I was rolling and roaring over some of the crazy and arch moments that reminded me of old, classic fillums. I loved it to bits.
But nobody else did. so they retooled it. And ruined it. Now it is, to me, what everyone else was complaining of, just endless and dull with unloveable characters and a deadly righteousness. They've killed my show. I hot delete as soon as the end credits ran.
Whimper. I'm so glad I had the series one marathon on at the weekend, my last chance to enjoy it with an innocent purity, because I'll never be able to watch it again without know what is coming. Like, no matter how cool that opening shot is in Star Wars, you can never not know that Ewoks and Jar Jar are on the horizon. Yub yub.
Hardly any shows are appealing to me right now, new or returning (and retooled). At least True Blood is still a high cholesterol treat of daft, juicy goodness. It lost me for a few seasons, but I'm back now. I like that the badness is not so much an external force but pretty much all the characters making bad choices. It's much more organic and dramatically satisfying, and somehow novel, that actions have consequences. I like that they trust the haracters enough to let them move the story along without the need for Aliens From Dimension X or whatever. And I like they way they let the characters change up and down. Some characters I was deeply fond of when it started I now find somewhat indigestible, and vice versa. Again, the change is usually from bad choices, rather than being made the bitch of some external force (and yeah, not a fan of some series, no). It's far from perfect (and no vamp show is free from fright wigs), but it'll do.
At least I have one show to look forward to. Well, I like Elementary. It doesn't grab me and have me anxiousy wondering what's gonna happen next, because plotty wise it's pretty damn pedestrian (even the big reveal, yawn, did that even in my fic, so how rubbish is that then?) but I adore Jonny and just about any version of Holmes, and so I watch.
Speaking of my fic, which is dead in the water (new commute means no writing or typing any more), but by heck, you leave my Russian mobsters, gaolbird Peter and Neal dressing up as a fireman out of it, dammit. Damn, now I'll never be able to use that line:
Jones beat a path to Peter's door the moment Neal left, huffing with repressed fury and indignation. He knew it was bad, Peter getting involved with Neal like that. Here was the proof. Again.
"You knew about this, didn't you."
No preamble, no deference. Well, Peter guessed he deserved that. Peter leant back in his chair and answered with a weary yes.
"How much?" Jones had his arms out by his side, bulking himself up for a fight. He must have been terrifying on the football field.
"All of it. I was running him, remember?"
Jones struggled to rein in his incredulity with such an effort it looked like he was trying to swallow a brick. It caught in his throat and he coughed out a 'bullshit!'
No 'with respect', just an accusation, and he was right, but Peter was never going to admit it.
"Does it matter?" Peter pushed back. "The facts are still the same. He's in, I can get him to give up the group."
"Can you?" Jones asked, quieter now, and concerned. He knew what this meant for Peter, he also knew Peter had as much control over Neal as holding a tiger by the tail.
"I've incentivised him. It's this or prison."
"What if he runs?"
"Then he's chosen door number two."
"Sure you could catch him?"
Peter shrugged. "I know him. Not as well as I should, but more than anyone else. I know enough, I think I could play him, yeah."
That was a two way street, but Jones said nothing, he just got that bullish look on his face again.
"Since you are running this now, Peter, you should probably look at this."
He handed Peter a file. A thick file. It was all the jobs across the city that spoke of Neal's M.O., even when his tracking data said he was at home. Either he'd hacked the device, was outsourcing, or both. There was more, and Jones knew it would kill Peter to read it, as it meant such a breach in trust. Jones had done quite a bit of sleuthing and had found evidence had gone missing, saleable evidence, as well as office supplies, letterhead paper and the like, only in small, negligible amounts, here and there, but put it together and it was enough to equip a serious operation. If that wasn't enough, some of the places that had been hit already had case files. Neal had been there, with Peter, on official FBI business. He'd been using his access to scope them out, the insurance reports and asset listings providing a tidy inventory or shopping list, and what he'd stolen from the office had equipped him with enough authorisation to breach any barrier.
Peter read it, after Jones had left, and slumped in his seat. Neal had been using the Bureau, and Peter, the whole time. All Peter had done was make a criminal a better criminal, and give him access to the best addresses in the city. It came up again and again in the reports, posing as policemen, insurance investigators, from the Bureau, repairmen, firemen. Neal's closet must look like a Village People tribute band. And all of this done right under Peter's nose, blinding him with those blue eyes and that smile.
God, thought Peter, he deserved to lose his badge. He'd been so stupid. So very stupid.
Okay then, drag him up then. I dare ya. I double dare ya.
Shows I do like, like Suits and Supernatural, are not screening here. Other shows I tried and loathed. Usually, or at least I used to be, more forgiving, but the couple I tried, I really didn't like. A fatal combination of writing and casting. They've tried to write anti-heroes, but because they hired American actors instead of better trained non US actors, instead of a complex and layered performance of dark and light, I was just getting smug douchebags grinning and preening at the camera. Yuck. Really, like skin crawl, I feel ill, yuck.
Like, gimme a reason to watch. It can't all be about smug arseholes doing crappy things. Give me a reason to care. That's what it is, these shows have no souls. Not surprised, given the track record of one of the people involved (Dearth of Imagination Inc.).
My gosh, I could make better pitches. Oh, what were we giggling about last night? That's right, it was an old Burn Notice and Michael was saying some covert action was a lot like ballroom dancing and I was all, really, Michael? From whence does this ballroom dancing expertise come from? How come I never saw that episode of Burn Notice?
Then it just turned into this whole run down about this show about under cover ballroom dancing spies, Strictly Ballroom meets I Spy (apparently you have to pitch shit like that), or Covert Affairs or The Americans, if you want something more contemporary. I was re-imaging the I Spy-esque opening credits, with a bossa nova beat. Spies with spangles.
Well, it makes just about as much sense as what actually gets made these days. (And if you do make it, I want at least a credit).
So I webt off to see the screening of The Gobe's Taming of the Shrew. No small undertaking, as it's a 100+km round trip but public transport, so I'm pretty committed (but the old line about it being easier than trying to get to London doesn't hold true. Cheaper, yes, but those buses were more horrible than being stuck in the cheap seats for three days).
That said, it was fun. I got there in time to find a lovely cafe this time, filled up on tea, then discovered the Chauvel really does do double measures of red wine. Red wine and and maltesers, I was all set. Not quite as crowded as before, though the folks behind would not shut up with the running commentary, but I enjoyed it, still. Very ribald, lots of drunk acting and broad farce.
Not sure about the plot, as Petruchio pretty much does a full psy-ops torture deal on poor Kate, denying her food, sleep, clothes or comfort until she submits. And she does. It's all a bit uncomfortable, no matter how many dick jokes they throw in, and I always feel like there should be a right of reply, about men being dicks and dserving of shrews from their bad behaviour.
Anyways, a rollicking performance, disquietening war on women themes aside (odd, for Shakespeare, who is usually, and sadly, still, one of the most sympathetic of male writers), and I ran into a mate, so that was good, too.
That was pretty much it. Saw the finale of Elementary. I'm bemused that they've latched onto the whole beekeeping thing, like it's one of the few things from the books t'other Sherlock hasn't already nicked, so they're making it theirs. Elementary is still barely Sherlock, but if I watch it as eccentric British guy CSI, then it's just about watchable, and frankly, I would, and have, watched Mr Miller in just about anything.
'...although it's enormous fun to work on something I read as a child, I think it's really important for all of us to step back from that and create new universes and new people and new messages and new icons, so ten years from now we can reboot those.' Joss Whedon
Yesterday: A new dress, drinking rose while watching the sun set over the harbour, and listening to Tim Minchin say Cartesian enough times for me to nearly slide out of my seat. How to turn a really bad day around.
First of all, I had to buy the new dress. Had to. I set off to work wearing one of my treasured pale blue tops, which is something I should never ever do, because sure enough, evil hand managed to tip tea down it before the day was out. It doesn't matter what it is, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, miso soup, coke, so long as it's brown, it's goin' down.
Couldn't be helped. I was only trying to have a cuppa with shaking hands after yet another dreadful day of extreme exclusion and belittling. Apparently giving me the crappest desk in the crappest location and the crappest job wasn't enough. Humiliation ahoy. It was enough to make me cry.
Or tip tea over myself. So I just packed up and left, and, with coat firmly buttoned up, struck off to the shops and bought myself a new dress - and it was on special. It was black (good choice) with fake vintage flowers based on what a Thirties pattern of what they thought Chinese patterns might look like. A bit of a fudged pastiche in other words, but I liked it, and so rayony it's practically waterproof (because, yes, with the rose, I really was quite upset, you see). Normally I don't go the plastic fantastic but it was a soft rayony thing, not crackly and snaggy like the stuff I'm used to. Like I said, some weird vintage inspired thing, but I liked it. And it'll do in a pinch.
Back to the building where I bought a pair of scissors (to snip off the firmly affixed designer labels) and snuck into the foodcourt loo and changed. Voila.
Raced down to Wharf Two and pretty much knocked back that rose while watching the sun set. Then it was time for the Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead briefing.
They always hold these, but usually on the weekend, which are hard to get to, but here was one on a weekday. Everyone was there, Mr Upton, presenting, the director, and the boys, Tim and Toby. Toby looked very thin and restless, and, to my mind, like he's gone Hollywood already (two plays and he's off, whimper). It was like he was on the plane already. Which is a touch unfair, as this was something he'd wanted to do for years (so the Sunday papers said).
Tim was fun, and won my heart. First for dealing with a woman up front who demanded to know why they're indulging in stunt casting, with a great deal of grace and humility. And then he won me again by highlighting Cartesian themes, and saying Stoppard had Godoted the hell out of Hamlet.
But he really won me when he said, referring to the auteur theatre that is so vogue in Sydney right now, that somebody can wank all over a chocolate bar and people will want to see it and pay to see it but for him, he cares deeply about caring deeply.
Oh man, that's exactly what I was trying to say. Caring deeply about caring deeply. Feeling for the characters and their journey (even or especially if it's doomed). Yes, that's it exactly.
He was very funny, and cheeky, which enlivened the very scholarly answers re matters of theatre, philosophy, life, death and purpose. Not exactly your standard con questions, then.
There was a big Stoppard love in, especially from Toby (natch), with highlighting of how Stoppard had decided to highlight some of the more hack work parts of Hamlet (coincidences, quick exits, pirates) with gleeful delight, layering it with Godot (you had to be there to see Tim demonstrating a typical audience member going mad watching Godot) and other theatrical themes in jokes, not to mention great slices of philisophical canon.
Wow. Impressive. That was so much fun. Wicked, silly, smutty and so high brow, and, since I could follow along with most of it, I felt a bit smart again (after being so roundly dismissed all day).
Thanks, guys, I needed that. I should go along to these things more often, I like the insights. I tell ya, the STC has taught me, through the essays and the programmes and these educational panels, more than I ever learnt at school.
And they don't sneer. Which is so important. I was reading the introduction of the old copy of Aristotle's Ethics I picked up in Elizabeth's the other week (further Toby connection) and it was such a nasty, snobbish Oxfordian piece of well of course you know Latin and this and that but what really made me want to lob the offending tome across the room was when the Oxford don (who seriously needed to turn up head down in a fishpond in the pre-title sequence of Lewis) said that if one is fond of the Impressionists one can contemplate them by buying a Manet. As you do.
Upper class twat. It's that exact 'tude that kept me from trying to better myself (but now Sydney Uni are so desperate they'll take anyone's money, even mine).
But yes, thanks to STC, for never making me feel alienated or excluded, because it matters. For a gal from the wrong side of town, who prefers Hamlet to football, it really matters. For someone put in her place every second of every day (my place is the crap little desk in the corridor), it really matters. Because exclusion is awful. It cuts deep at the soul.
Meanwhile, I seem to have come down with a severe dose of the stupids (which has not helped things). I'm hoping it's just a cold or something (I have a rash, but it's probably just the laundry powder), because I do not want this to be the new normal.
I am forgetting shit all over the place, and now my yoghurt just exploded. All over me. Yoghurt spooge all over the place. Fabby. (And no, I am not racing across to the dress shops again, I can just wear it today). You know, in the old building I had a fresh shirt in my bottom drawer and I never, ever needed it. Now I don't have a bottom drawer, and, man, I need a whole freakin' wardrobe.
Anyways, what happened is it's so damn high up here I can't get reception, and anything I bring up here with me, like bottles of water or tubs of yoggie, tend to get pressurised like on a plane, and I should know that by now, but nope, not this morning. Splatter. Sigh. Mutter.
At least I remembered to wear a shorter skirt when I went to see the Taming of the Shrew. I've learnt by now that three or more hours in uncomfy seats will have me twisting and turning and wriggling so much that by the end I'll have knotted the heel of my shoe in the hem of my skirt so comprehensively that there's nothing to stop me from simultaneously dacking myself and faceplanting when I try to stand up. Perfect for a sitcom, less so for real life.
Okay, so maybe the office has a point about my incompetence, but, still. I do actually have the quals. They should respect the quals, even if I am lurching about like Lucille Ball on a bender this week.
"Will this work?"
"It will if you let me do my thing." Neal slapped Freddie's hands away from the remote controls.
Carefully, tweaking the controls this way and that, he sent the toy helicopter up and up the side of the building. A camera on it showed him on his own phone where it was. He sent it up over the roof and down into an air vent. Carefully, carefully, playing the game, he dropped it back down through the ducts he'd memorised from the plans, with only the dim light from the phone stuck to the toy helicopter with duct tape showing him the way.
"How is this going to help us get inside again?" Freddie had to ask.
"This," Neal promised. "Is our invitation to just walk in through the front door."
Down, down he sent the toy helicopter, until it emerged into the darkened showroom. Neal sent it deftly to the back room, hovering over the safe like an angry wasp.
"And how are you going to crack the safe?" Freddie taunted.
"Remotely," Neal answered, with a smirk, and pushed the button.
The image on his phone cut out. There was a trilling of sirens, and a coil of smoke in the air.
"Are you mad?" Hedeon had to ask.
"Oh, he's that," Freddie answered, a little shocked and awed.
Neal, smiling, led the way to the back of the rental car. He threw open the boot, tossed the remote inside and pulled out an axe.
Freddie was rather alarmed, to see Neal grinning so widely, too perfectly, axe gripped in his hands, until Neal picked up a fireman's helmet from the boot and put it on, and at last they understood.
Just cheap costumes, Neal had picked them up from a strip club, of all places, but they'd pass in the dark, with the smoke, with everyone running about in a panic.
All they had to do was walk in and look like they knew what they were doing, smash open the cases and the ruined safe with axes and load up on everything they could carry and then walk out, one by one, as quick as they could, in the same confident manner, as though they were going back for more equipment, or to liase with the cops outside. They'd walk past the firetrucks and flashing lights, through the smoke Neal had thickened with some well placed smoke bombs, and vanish.
Eve, waiting languidly by the car, watched them strip off, easily, as the outfits were only held together with velcro, and admired the lean, toned bodies as they doffed the heavy coats and then pulled on and buttoned up tight fitting shirts and expensive suits. Neal, as perfectly formed as a statue of Apollo, Hedeon, hard bodied like an Egyptian god carved from granite, and Freddie, as lithe as a romantic poet, buttoning the crisp white shirt around his throat and wrists.
"My three fallen angels," she teased, and they slipped into the back seat, Neal in the front passenger seat, as always, he didn't even have to call shotgun. Eve threw the car into gear and drove off with a bump of acceleration. Eve always drove stick, and she drove like a race driver, so much so that Neal had to place his hand over hers as she changed gears, squeezing slightly, and she obeyed and slowed down a little.
It wouldn't do to draw attention. They drove up to Queens, changed cars, burnt out the one they'd abandoned and drove back, all the way to the hotel, catching the lift to the penthouse suite, and not daring to laugh or smile until the door shut firmly behind them. Then the champagne corks popped and Neal scattered their jewels, silver and gold across the marble tiles in a glittering wave of treasure.
My version was more fun, and pre-empting Magic Mike because I wrote this back in '09, based on an old episode of Inspector Rex. Really. Ah, well. Neal is the dog.
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|Studio Cine Live
|Studio Cine Live
14 June 2013
14 June 2013