kindkit: Picture of the TARDIS, captioned "This funny little box that carries me away . . ." (Doctor Who--TARDIS)
[personal profile] kindkit
Things I've been watching:

That Mitchell and Webb Look. I've been binge-watching this for a couple of days now. I'm enjoying it a lot even though I find it (usually) more wry than laugh-out-loud funny. Sometimes it's actively unfunny, as in the sketch where a man goes into a little shop ostensibly to buy food, ends up buying two cans of cheap strong beer instead, and it's clear that this is a routine he goes through every day as he desperately, hopelessly tries to cover up his alcoholism. I was astonished to hear the audience laughing at it (or was it a laugh track?). Apparently the last sketch from the very last episode was the (in)famous old Sherlock Holmes, which makes everyone cry; somehow I'm not surprised that Mitchell and Webb chose to end the show that way.

Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain's most recent show, which is less about extreme food adventures than Bourdain's previous work and focuses to a surprising extent on history, culture, and politics. I was loving it, and then we got to the episode about New Mexico, where I live. I found it oversimplified, almost stereotypical, and much too filtered through Bourdain's romantic obsession with cowboys and the west (and guns--there was a long segment of Bourdain with gun enthusiasts that I skipped most of because it made me so furious). So now I wonder if the whole show is like that and I just didn't notice because of my own ignorance; other episodes, especially those set in troubled parts of the world, did seem a lot more serious and balanced to me, though.

Weeks ago I started watching Captain America: Civil War on Netflix and got so bored about half an hour in that I still haven't finished it. I guess I'll watch the rest eventually, but the whole premise is so contrived that it's hard to care. But part of the problem could be me: I often have a hard time settling in to movies, even though I can watch episode after episode of a TV series.

Things I've been reading:

Right now I'm about halfway through Matter, one of Iain M. Banks's Culture novels. I'm enjoying it all right, but I don't understand why so many people say these books are the best thing ever. The ones I've read have all been a bit same-y, and so the worldbuilding that was initially so impressive ceases to impress. I do give Banks some points for naming a ship Eight Rounds Rapid, though.

Before that I read Dan Chaon's new mystery/thriller Ill Will, which, again, I liked well enough, but which also seemed like another example of that phenomenon where a "literary" novelist writes a genre book and is wildly overpraised for things that are, in fact, pretty typical of the genre. Chaon did throw in a few self-consciously literary touches, but I don't think they were necessary or even beneficial to the story. And plotwise, I still can't decide if the surprise ending, which I saw coming almost from the beginning of the story, was in fact meant to be a surprise or if we were meant to notice the clues and be worried/horrified that the relevant character didn't notice. The second is more interesting narratively, but also makes the character so inept as to lost all my sympathy.

A while back I read Kai Ashante Wilson's Sorcerer of the Wildeeps but forgot to post about it. It's a little bit slight and short, story-wise (it's a novella, really, not a full novel) but it's fantastically well-written; I especially admire how Wilson melds African American Vernacular English and a high fantasy setting in a way that is first surprising and then just absolutely, seamlessly right. The worldbuilding is tantalizing, too, and I hope Wilson writes more in this universe. And did I mention that the main characters are queer men?

Other stuff: I have a 24-day streak on Duolingo in both German, which I'm just beginning, and French, which I studied for years and then neglected for years. Has anyone else noticed that some of the Duolingo example sentences are rather . . . dystopian? I keep getting ones like "Don't believe that soldier!" and "It's better to avoid that zone." Or, today, "A little robot came and saved them," which was nice.

A request: Now that I've joined the 21st century and have Netflix streaming and Spotify, I'd love recs for movies, TV shows, and especially music.

Date: 2017-04-02 05:58 pm (UTC)
lilliburlero: detail of a rippingille stove, Erskine Childers description of one of these as 'formidable and hideous ironmongery' (rippingille no.3)
From: [personal profile] lilliburlero
In my Duolingo adventures with Irish, I got 'Tà an bhean sa chuisneoir', 'the woman is in the refrigerator', which was more 'self-consciously down-with-the-tropes' than dystopian, but still raised a wry smile.

I found Civil War aggressively boring, even though (because?) I was somewhere considerably short of sober when I watched it. I've recently watched some earlier MCU stuff and I found they're OK if you've got someone to keep up a running sarky commentary with.

Date: 2017-04-02 06:28 pm (UTC)
halotolerant: (Default)
From: [personal profile] halotolerant
Did you watch 'Stranger Things' yet? Although imperfect I did enjoy the faux nostalgia. Also have enjoyed 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' and 'Arrested Development' (although the latter is often problematic in numerous ways) and quite enjoyed 'Sense8', I think 'Orphan Black' is up there now too? I keep meaning to watch 'Gotham' now that there's a (sort of) canon gay thing in it.

Date: 2017-04-03 04:55 pm (UTC)
just_ann_now: (Default)
From: [personal profile] just_ann_now
*waves from the Network*

You know that there's a sequel to Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, right? A Taste of Honey, which is also quite wonderful!


kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)

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