swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Dec. 27th, 2015 19:32)
Oh, 2010. That was a year and a half. I always knew, when my grandfather and I started living together, that it was only going to end one way. Obviously. I always assumed I'd take him his cup of tea one afternoon, and find that he'd slipped away in his armchair though. That or that he'd just not come down to breakfast one morning. I didn't expect him to have to take to his bed and slip away by degrees. I imagine that neither did he! The cruel irony of old age is that, if you're strong enough to still enjoy life, you're too strong for your body to give in easily - and just a few weeks before he fell ill, he was still getting up the stairs faster than all three of his sons. I suppose it was stupid of me to expect him to go quickly. The NHS were amazing, though. District nurses are a wonderful thing. (Even if it is always a slight disappointment that they don't ride bicycles nowadays).

As to the rest of it, I think it was a quiet sort of a year. I wasn't paying attention for the first few months, admittedly, but I'm sure I'd have noticed if pirates had raided the Houses of Parliament, or Prince Charles and Prince Andrew had duelled over the succession. Or even something major that didn't involve swords. It was the year when Nip/Tuck ended, my beloved show that was now a shadow of its former self thanks to bad management. It was the year when Lost ended, and 99% of the fandom boggled at the screen in bewilderment, and wondered why we'd bothered. It was also the year when several million childhoods heaved a collective sigh, when both Corey Haim and Gary Coleman died - and Stephen J Cannell, come to that.

On the international stage, there was some brief hilarity when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano became the bane of every newsreader's existence, by spitting out lots of smoke and debris, and buggering up the airlines for a good few weeks. It was also the year when America raided the BBC's store cupboard, and nicked the superb TV miniseries Edge Of Darkness for a Hollywood remake. It seems to have vanished without trace, so clearly sometimes the the gods of the screen are just and true. Not often, I'll grant you, but sometimes. The BBC also raided their own store cupboard, and came up with a sequel to Upstairs Downstairs, annoying pretty much all the fans of the original. I enjoyed it, but admittedly I never got around to bothering with the second series, whenever that was.

And of course this was the year when a-ha called it a day, the year after their final album, Foot Of The Mountain. They released a final single, and then went their separate ways. Until this year, of course! Sometimes you do get a happy ending - albeit a temporary one. Naturally.

... )
swordznsorcery: (littlejoe)
( Dec. 21st, 2015 20:03)
I moved house in 2004. This is probably my main memory of the year. Up a hill in the middle of nowhere. Windswept, desolate, silent - if it weren't for the fact that the whole of Gloucestershire seemed to use the local roads as a race track, it would have been damned near perfect. Well - that and if the local landowners hadn't had some kind of psychotic hatred of wildlife. I used to go for long walks with my sister's dog, and spend them disassembling snares and counting illegally shot badgers. It was a nice place to live though. Illegal fox hunts notwithstanding. Got stranded up there every winter, and the power used to go off at the slightest excuse, but the middle of nowhere is definitely the best place to live. Internet speed sucked, mind.

Other than that, 2004 was a quiet sort of year. Sad one too though. It was the year that Christopher Reeve died. Richard Biggs from Babylon 5 too - and he was young and healthy, and had just said good morning to his wife, when he dropped dead. Just goes to show! It was also the year when I rediscovered pop music, by unexpectedly becoming a McFly fan. They brought out their debut album this year, and I've followed them ever since.

Angel came to an end this year, a year after Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It should have lasted longer. Frasier ended too, although that one at least had had a chance to run its course. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet aired its final episode in this year as well. It had come and gone since... 1984? Always worth watching. The Magnificent Seven were two men down by that final episode, and they found a lovely way to end that really did the show and cast proud. And it was the year that Lost began. Hmm. Now there's one that went on much longer than it should have! I think it's the year that The OC and Nip/Tuck both started in the UK too, though they'd probably started earlier than that in the US. The OC was a teen drama that hooked me completely, despite me being a good fifteen years above the target age group! It lost me after a bit, but that first season was bloody good. And I fell hard for Nip/Tuck. That tailed off too when the showrunner bailed, and went off to do Glee instead, but for several years I thought it was the best thing on television. Properly clever stuff.

Cinema! This was the year of Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow. I love that film so much. It was a flop, which was a hell of a shame, as they'd intended it to be a new franchise. I could have had lots and lots of Sky Captains, but clearly nobody else wanted them. No fair. It's a glorious film, full of giant robots, and vintage touches that hark back to the weekly cinema serials from the pre-war days. And I wanted a sequel. I shall go away now and sulk.

... )
swordznsorcery: (johnblack)
( Jan. 30th, 2015 15:52)
So, [livejournal.com profile] jekesta wrote a question fifteen for the shipping meme. I decided to steal it. Partly for the sake of completion, and partly because it amused me.

15. If #1 broke up, which characters from #2 or #3 would they each get together with?

Obviously Dayna and Tarrant never would split up, because they're Dayna and Tarrant, and who else could they possibly be with? Nobody else would gallivant so gleefully through the universe, blowing stuff up and shooting things with such gay abandon, whilst being chased by an entire galaxy full of foes. Apparently by choice. But if they did temporarily split up... well, this is a tough one, because trying to put them into a relationship with either #2 or #3 is hilarious. Firstly, they'd probably both eat Hammond. Secondly, Oliver's a car - and B7 canon says that hardly anybody in the future even knows what one is. He's a bit tiddly for them anyway. I suspect they'd prefer something with more zoom. And then there's Sean and Christian. Dayna would probably just shoot Sean; and if she didn't, Tarrant would. So as potentially the only one left alive, they'd both have to share Christian. Which could work. Given his psychological issues, he'd fit right in with the Liberator crew. I shudder to think how it would all end, though. Probably with it turning out that he'd slept with Servalan behind their backs, and inadvertently fathered the galaxy's next tyrant. But he'd be very apologetic about it, whilst simultaneously sleeping with the rest of the crew on the quiet. Ultimately, Avon would probably space him. In a moody montage featuring much vodka, and lots of angry sex with a stranger dressed as Travis.

Good old Christian. Ever a catalyst for things going wrong in all the ways.
swordznsorcery: (johnblack)
( Jan. 25th, 2015 19:33)
So, in an effort to post something that isn't Dempsey & Makepeace related, I decided to steal a meme from [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook. On the face of it, an odd choice, since it's shipping-related, and whatever the opposite of a romantic is, that's me. But whatever. It's a thinly-veiled excuse to womble on about television, so it's not that much of a stretch. Widely-ranging interests, apparently I doesn't has them. Well I do, but I handle them elsewhere.

So, the brief is to choose five OTPs before reading the questions, and then attempt to answer said questions. This was quite a struggle, as I had to choose five ships that I actually care something about. Having sweated over that for a bit, I surprised myself by actually caring quite a lot about the ones that I chose. Blimey. I'll be reading Mills & Boon next.

(No I won't. Not never ever ever). But anyway. Five ships, and none of them with pirates dangling from them:

01 Dayna/Tarrant (Blake's 7)
02 Hammond/Oliver (Top Gear)
03 Christian/Sean (Nip/Tuck)
04 Bill/Sookie (True Blood)
05 Donna/Josh (The West Wing)

Questions follow beneath the cut.

... )
Day twenty-seven, the best pilot episode. I'm really tempted to go with Nip/Tuck, because not only is it a really great episode, but it also has note-perfect character introductions coupled with man-eating crocogators. And if you're going to have a pilot episode of anything, man-eating crocogators is a damned good thing to include in it. But I think I might be leaning towards The West Wing. It really is a masterclass in first episodes. I love how all of the characters and their workplace are introduced. I love how it all hits you like a series of smacks in the head (in a good way), with all these people zipping past at high speed, having whirlwind conversations, and saving the world, and being politicians that you actually want to have running things (which is quite a feat in itself). Why must you always be making me choose, meme? You're cruel.

Hmm. I choose The West Wing. As much as anything else, I no longer have a Nip/Tuck icon (I don't have a WW icon either here at DreamWidth, but let's just ignore that. This paragraph made a lot more sense over at LJ), so Josh rather wins by default. And by having Leo and Donna and Sam and CJ and Toby, and also just by being Josh. He doesn't have any man-eating crocogators, though. He does have the President falling off a bicycle, but with the best will in the world, that really isn't the same.
Day twenty-six, the most omg wtf season finale. Hmm. And switching to rant mode in 3... 2... 1...

I've mentioned the end of Angel season five before, but much as I hated that last episode, and also certain aspects of the whole season (mostly the bloody awful mind-wipe, which destroyed two years of plot and character development), it wasn't all bad. The crowning glory for finale disasters therefore has to fall upon Nip/Tuck season six, also the end of the series itself. I loved Nip/Tuck. It was a dark, funny, at times wonderfully insane story about two plastic surgeons, and the many people who came to them for help. In keeping with the theme of cosmetic surgery, it was a show all about façades, and about beauty only being skin deep. It had more subtext in one episode than a lot of shows manage in their entire lifetimes. Key to that were the two main characters, Christian and Sean. The show's publicity always emphasised that Christian was the bad boy, and Sean the good guy, but anybody who actually watched, knew that the reverse was really true. Sean was a moral vacuum, whose family life was a sham. Christian, on the other hand, was a deeply wounded abuse survivor, struggling to keep his life together. Sean was frequently highly judgemental about their clients; Christian never was. Christian also adored Sean, and would have done anything for him, a loyalty that Sean was never capable of matching.

And then came the final season. The creator had left, to focus on his new project Glee. Whoever had taken over apparently didn't give a damn about the show's history, or about the characters themselves. Suddenly Sean actually was the good guy. Also, after six seasons as an only child, he suddenly had a brother. The biggest change was Christian, though. Arguably he had finally collapsed under the weight of his own spiralling depression, but if so, it would have been nice to have seen it happen, rather than have his character change into a total bastard overnight. His on-again/off-again girlfriend committed suicide by throwing herself off a boat, which was both out of character and completely against the spirit of the show. Nip/Tuck always toyed with the dark, but a smile was never very far away. Suddenly all traces of light were gone. Christian became more and more objectionable, and Sean was treated like some poor little wounded soldier being beat up on by his partner. Then it ended, with neither a whimper nor a bang, in a fashion that the actors themselves objected to. It was a mess. And goodness only knows what happened to Christian's son, who vanished utterly. He was only about six, so he can't actually have left home, although by the end I wouldn't have blamed him for trying. So, for taking a gloriously twisted, fun show, and turning it into something truly unpleasant, with no internal logic or respect for its past, the award has to go to Nip/Tuck. But I heartily recommend the earlier seasons. At its height it was a colourful, wonderful, absolutely mental show, and I miss it. It deserved a much better end than it got.
swordznsorcery: (true blood)
( Apr. 23rd, 2012 23:36)
True Blood has announced its return date, although I think they actually did that several weeks ago, and I've only just noticed. Also there's a trailer! Well, more of a glimpse, but they call it a trailer. It'll be nice to have True Blood back. I've given up on The Mentalist now, Hawaii 5-0 decided that we weren't going to be friends anymore, and Ringer has gone away. Probably forever, as I was the only person who watched it. So True Blood could be the only television that I watch until Steven Moffat decides to give me Doctor Who back. There are Worries, however. Seasons one, two and three of True Blood were awesome in every way, except for how there was altogether too much Sookie. Season four was rubbish, though. And this will be season five, and I am suspicious of season fives by their very nature. Should that be seasons five? No, I don't think so. Consider the evidence, anyway:

The rather-too-involved Universal Theory Of Season Five. Also True Blood trailerage in screencappery. )
I found my screencap hat again. I guess it was inevitable really.

In no way dial-up friendly. )
It's been a funny sort of year for television. Doctor Who followed up last year's mostly fabulous season with one of mind-numbing tedium; my beloved Torchwood suddenly became lots of other people's beloved Torchwood as well (still not sure if I'm happy about sharing ); and Nip/Tuck brought in Sharon Gless as a woman who murders business rivals by turning them into teddy bears (I'll be honest - that one pretty much wins the award for surprises). Some unexpected television, at any rate. And still the surprises come. This year, Days Of Our Lives has been one of the best things I've watched. This isn't a first, exactly (and possibly the fact that I don't watch much television should be a defence here). It has mostly centred around general humour and silliness in the past, though. The true glory days of Days doing proper drama all happened before I started watching the show (thank goodness for YouTube). This year, though, I really don't know what's happening. Maybe it's the threat of the axe, that's finally made the writers pull their socks up? Maybe it's the fact that they've actually been listening to their veteran cast members this year? I don't know. I don't care. I only know it's working. First we had John Black being the best thing on my TV earlier this year, with his brainwashed oddball act; then we had John and Rolf, in the world's least likely comedy double act; and now we have Stefano. Mad, cackling, evil genius Stefano. Monday August 11th, and an episode of Days Of Our Lives of all things, and it's one of the best episodes of anything that I've seen all year. Genuinely. I'm not sure whether or not I should be scared. Is this one of the signs of the Apocalypse?! Scared or not, though, I am bloody impressed. My little daftly entertaining diversion just became unmissable TV. I admit that I'm only cautiously optimistic about what's to come, as they have a history of setting up great things and then buggering it all up shortly afterwards, but for now... it's looking good.

Keep it up, Days. Show big budget TV a thing or two. And please, please, please, don't screw it up this time...



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