swordznsorcery: (xenon)
( Oct. 1st, 2017 21:22)
I just found this post, which I apparently wrote on August 6th, and have no memory of at all. I do remember [personal profile] thisbluespirit doing the poetry meme again, and me thinking what a good idea that was; but it's news to me that I actually did it! Anyway, it's a simple enough endeavour (and I recommend it). You write down five fandoms, and then go here, and write down the fifth line of the random poem that you land on - whatever it is, and believe me, there's some doozies. Then hit refresh a few times until you've got five. Use them as inspiration for a ficlet for each fandom. Usually you'll end up with at least four poems by Emily Dickinson, but try not to find it too disheartening. The internet has always been obsessed with her.

(Not posting for two months isn't one of the rules, incidentally. That just happened, for reasons. Mostly involving stupidity.)

... )
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Apr. 10th, 2017 20:56)
I keep forgetting to do this, although admittedly it doesn't change much from week to week. Since last time, I've watched a fascinating mini-series that, like Boy Dominic, I picked up in a Network sale a couple of years ago, and have only just got around to. It's called Wolcott, and was apparently Britain's first police drama with a black lead. I wish I could say that it distinguishes itself! First the good points: it has a great cast. George Harris is a charismatic lead, and heads the cast well as the titular Wolcott. He's supported by a shedload of British character actors, many of them familiar from other police dramas, including Christopher Ellison (Burnside from The Bill as - surprise! - a crooked detective). Rik Mayall also features as a loathsome, racist PC. It also has very funky music. That's where the good stuff ends. Apparently the cast hated the show, and I can see why. It's trying very hard to be Shaft, but what worked for New York City in the seventies, is not going to work for London, and certainly not in 1981, the year of the Brixton Riot. The characters are dreadful stereotypes. Wolcott himself is impossibly good; everybody else is either a racist, or a two-dimensional Jamaican gangster. Jeepers. I've since taken refuge in a rewatch of the final season of White Collar, which I loved so much at the time. It's still good. If you've never seen White Collar, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Oh, and also in the world of telly - Sleepy Hollow finished. No decision yet on whether there will be a fifth season. I ended up really loving season four, against all the odds. It was nearly as much fun as season one, and the new cast were all great. Jenny got to be properly awesome throughout, and the last scene of the final episode was proper silly grin stuff. A nice place to leave the show, if it turns out that that was it.

In reading, I've just finished A Symphony Of Echoes by Jodi Taylor, the second in her time-travelling historian series. It's all about an institute called St Mary's, which houses a band of historians, who travel through time to witness famous events. Think time-travelling history nerds, fuelled by tea and explosions, and you're pretty much there. The books are fast-moving; a bit shallow, admittedly, but fun. Sentences like "We're St Mary's - there's something wrong if something isn't on fire", will give you some indication as to why it appeals to me. I've heard that the series gets better as it progresses, so I shall certainly hunt out some more. Otherwise still scrambling through a complete Sherlock Holmes readthrough, and am currently on The Valley Of Fear, which is an interesting one. Don't think I've read it before. Holmes books are always oddities. Nothing happens in them - absolutely nothing at all. They break all of the "show, don't tell" rules. We're told about everything after it happens, and never witness anything exciting. And yet somehow you never mind. Conan Doyle's prose is a thing of beauty. (Although if you could stop with all the "You can tell he's a criminal by the shape of his head", and "It was clearly a woman's handwriting," Sir Arthur, that'd be good, thank you kindly.)

Also a thing of beauty (corny links, I has them) was the weather of the last few days. My mother's weeping cherry tree exploded into life quite magnificently (she's only had it a year, and last year it only managed one flower!). It's properly settled in now though, and it looks stunning. Spring is nice. I do wish this one particular wasp (I'm assuming it's the same one, purely because they look alike, although I admit that that's hardly damning evidence) wouldn't keep flying through my window though. I have to keep leaping madly to the kitten's defence to stop her trying to eat it. *sigh*

There are pictures under the cut, of springy colour. It's all grey again outside today though. You're a killjoy, April. Give me my sun back.

... )

Oh, and top five artists of the last seven days, courtesy of last.fm:

Joe Jackson
Pet Shop Boys

(a-ha just put out a new album in 2015, so that list is more modern than you might assume, honest.)
swordznsorcery: (Default)
( Dec. 26th, 2015 19:39)
2009 was the year that bit back. It seemed as though just about everybody in my family got diagnosed with something horrible this year. Happily, for the most part it went okay, but blimey, 2009. What did we ever to do you?!

Elsewhere, it was the year of Children Of Earth, the Torchwood mini series that broke the fandom. Some loved it, some hated it, some were baffled at how completely it reimagined everything. I think it's great, but it's so far removed from the first two series that I have trouble seeing it as the same show. It was also the year when White Collar started, hurrah! I do love that show. I probably didn't see it until early 2010 though. I know I had several episodes to catch up on anyway.

FlashForward also happened this year. And then stopped abruptly. It was one of those shows with a lot of promise, but a production staff who clearly didn't know what to do with a twenty-two episode season. Nothing happened for weeks, half the audience stopped watching, it picked up, but too late. A shame, as I should dearly have loved to see where it was all going! Another one to add to the list of sci-fi shows that got bashed over the head by the networks. It wasn't alone. This was also the year when the BBC aired Paradox, a wonderful show starring Emun Elliott and Tamzin Outhwaite as a scientist and a detective investigating weirdness from outer space. Outer Space!! I rewatched it only recently, and it turned out to be even better than I remembered, annoyingly. Why can't they let me choose which shows to axe and which to save?!

Talking of ending, this year also saw the final episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien, the chat show/Pythonesque comedy series that had been a hit for NBC since 1993. I only watched it for Max Weinberg, but it was a lot of fun over the years. I still rather miss it. Still, sixteen years is a good run for any show.

Some good films at the cinema this year. None of which I saw this year, or in the cinema, but whatever. The Hangover, which I love (and didn't see until around 2012), Sherlock Holmes (the RDJ/Jude Law version), which I think I also saw in around 2012, and The Brothers Bloom, which nobody saw in 2009. Which is a shame as it's extremely good, and I recommend it highly. So yes. Not so much "cinema in 2009", as "on DVD just the other day", but never mind.

Oh, and politics, world events, things that make me look brainy, etc, etc. Yeah.

... )
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Dec. 21st, 2014 19:01)
I have been fandom-stockinging. It's quite a good feeling, although life has done its best to get in the way! So I'm quite a lot behind schedule. I'd just got into the swing of things, and then I had to spend a day helping my mother deliver her Christmas cards (I keep telling her that she knows too many people, but she refuses to take me seriously). Then I lost most of another day when I had to help her do her last big shop before Christmas. Not that I mind such things, obviously! It's just that it's all time. Still, fandom-stockinging does stretch into the new year, which is a help.

Elsewhere, I am hoarding the last ever episode of White Collar. I shall probably watch it tonight, as I'm ever wary of spoilers. But the last ever episode! Ever! It's been one of my favourite shows of recent years; one of those with a great cast, some fun scripts, and just general entertainicity. Shut up, you're allowed to make up words in December. That is an actual thing. As is cramp. I'm attempting to write this whilst festooned in pussy cats. I'm looking after my sister's dog this weekend, while she and her husband visit his folks, and the cats are not impressed! They adore my younger sister's dog, but this is my oldest sister's, which is new and therefore scary. It's a sort of rescue - a grossly overweight King Charles, which is adorable, but clearly not if you're a cat. Or a car, which is what that word was for the first three attempts. I only have two cats, but right now it feels like about forty.

Sorry, I realise that I'm blathering on about nothing, but I haven't posted about anything but The Box Of Delights in forever, and I'm beginning to run the risk of no longer looking like a real person. And I am. Usually. Probably. Well, maybe. Actually at the moment I'm half cat, but you get the drift. Blimey, listen to that wind.

Anyway, whilst avoiding watching the final ever episode of White Collar (final! ever!), I've been fiddling about on YouTube, and I found that some kind soul has uploaded The Greatest Store In The World. I don't usually go much for Christmassy TV, as I'm not really a Christmassy person. (Dean Martin-flavoured bits excepted, obviously). This is a really nice film, though. Dervla Kirwen and her two daughters are left homeless when their camper van explodes, so they move into a massive department store over Christmas. Also starring Peter Capaldi and Brian Blessed (with two legs, which is always a bit odd). I highly recommend it, and it's beneath the cut. One minor soundtrack-related warning - it dates from 1999. However bad you remember Steps as being, they're worse. Although oddly better when Brian Blessed is dancing to them.

Blimey, 1999! Where'd the time go?! Anyway, it's under the cutty bit. Highly recommended. Etc. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to move something before bits start dropping off.

Danger: Music By Steps )
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( May. 5th, 2012 00:25)
I've discovered an entire tape full of Players. That's a TV show, rather than a packet of cigarettes. It is, you probably won't be surprised to learn, utter nonsense, but finding it makes me stupidly happy, in that "I know it's daft, but I just can't seem to care" way that characterises so much of my television viewing. Players is a show about three con men, who get early release from prison in exchange for working with the FBI. And yes, that is basically the plot of White Collar. There are big differences, though. No redemption arc for starters, and no ongoing storyline. Television didn't seem to like doing them too much until recently. Players is mostly just about being a con man and chasing bad guys; and about being filmed from arty angles, whilst pretending that you're in a hip-hop video. And car chases. It's about quite a lot of them as well.

Probably more than you could ever wish to know about a low budget action adventure series from 1997. Starring Ice T. )
swordznsorcery: (jack)
( Jul. 10th, 2011 02:36)
There has been no Torchwood for a long time. The BBC keeps doing this; they give us a little bit of Torchwood, and then they take it away again for ages. And then they bring it back for a bit, and make it a bit shinier (and a bit less original, but apparently to the wider world, "less original" means "better"). And then they take it away again. I am not entirely sure that this is acceptable behaviour, but the BBC is very hard to argue with.

But now they are apparently giving me ten whole new episodes. This is five more than they gave me last time, so I am trying to overlook the fact that it's also three less than they used to give me. Given that episode one involved helicopters, however, it's probably rather more expensive than it used to be, so I should be understanding, and not make too much of a fuss about being three episodes down. I am not very good at understanding. Obviously the BBC and all of the important people involved in making me shiny new Torchwood all read this stuff all the time, so I would like to make it clear at this point that I would much rather have thirteen episodes of cheap Torchwood than ten episodes of very flash Torchwood. However.

I have Torchwood! Shiny new Torchwood, with the long, swishy RAF coat, and the wriststrap! I have missed the wriststrap. And I hope that the watchchain didn't blow up when the lovely secret underground headquarters did. Maybe it's indestructible too? After all, if you're indestructible, you'll want your things to be as well. And the wriststrap obviously is. Sorry, I appear to be rambling.

Largely spoiler free rambling out of respect for BBC viewers )
swordznsorcery: (xenon)
( Mar. 10th, 2011 03:22)
White Collar ended. This is sad, obviously, because it should go on forever and ever and never stop at all. And there should be much wearing of hats and waistcoats, and lots of Diahann Carroll singing. But it ended anyway. Now I apparently have to wait until the summer for it to come back, but I live in Britain. I could be waiting years for a summer. I don't want to have to wait years for more White Collar.

On the plus side, apparently it's due back around the same time as True Blood, which would make the summer twice as worth waiting for (even if I do have to wait several years). It's been months since Bill and the queen challenged each other. Poor Bill's been suspended mid leap all this time; and that can't be good for you, even if you are dead already.

In the meantime, however, White Collar has still ended. This is Not Fair. It may even have to lead to Epic Sulking. Mind you, how cool is it that that's two seasons now that have ended with Neal nearly being blown up in a really badly fake explosion?! It could become a running theme. Shooting Andrew McCarthy should not become a running theme, though. That was just mean.

And elsewhere Hawaii Five-0 is on yet another break. American TV has some seriously weird scheduling. I'm sure they only do it to annoy me.
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Feb. 10th, 2011 02:20)
Some random observations.

1. Every episode of Hawaii Five-O should feature Daniel Dae Kim in the jungle. It conjures up happy memories of Lost back when it was still good. Also, wherever possible, he should make his escape on a motorbike, having suddenly become inexplicably bullet-proof.

2. White Collar is awesome. I think I may have mentioned that previously. However it's approximately 2000% more awesome whenever an episode features lots of Diahann Carroll. It's like she breathes gold dust or something. And she sang! Briefly, but she sang.

3. Hawaii Five-O should feature more random visits from vampires. We've had Spike twice, and this week Lorena. For some reason, vampires in daylight in Hawaii just seems to work. Maybe they should try the same trick in reverse, and have somebody from H5O in True Blood? I vote Daniel Dae Kim. He could play zombie!Gavin again! Okay, so zombie!Gavin got beheaded, but this is True Blood. That really shouldn't be an issue.

4. Jazz music and a lead who wears a hat automatically makes a show better. Yes, that was just another way of saying that White Collar is awesome. But it really, really was this week. And it had lots of Diahann Carroll in it.

She worked with Dean Martin, you know. See, everything good comes back to Dean Martin in the end. Probably.

5. Hawaii Five-O is completely mental, and I hope that it stays that way for as long as possible. Although I do wish that somebody would give Scott Caan acting lessons. Maybe his father could help.

6. Did I mention the bit about White Collar being really quite good?

7. I've just heard that there's going to be pirates in the next series of Doctor Who. What are the chances of having some pirate Daleks?

Come to that, I wonder what the chances are of getting pirates in White Collar.

8. White Collar also had Billy Dee Williams in it this week. Lando! Just like it's always good to be reminded of when Lost was good, it's even better to be reminded that Star Wars was as well. And still is, if you concentrate just on the original bits.

I guess Lando pretty much qualifies as a pirate, doesn't he. And Caffrey did that awesome antique-dagger-and-a-curtain Errol Flynn thing a few episodes back. So we have had pirates in White Collar after all! Cool.

9. I wonder what the chances are of getting pirates in Hawaii Five-O?

10. Or Daleks.
Just because this picture amuses me, really. And because the show's over now for another year, leaving me with nowt but White Collar for entertainment. White Collar is terrific, obviously, but it is sadly lacking in outbursts of extreme violence. At least as a general rule.

Not entirely work safe. And apparently not PhotoBucket safe either. )

And I've just discovered that White Collar is on one of those unfathomable mid-season breaks that American TV so loves. On that cliffhanger?! Bastards!
White Collar came back, and I completely failed to notice. Just caught up with episode one, though, and it's still great fun. Still not enough Diahann Carroll, though. Also, there wasn't nearly enough of the hat this week. *glare*

Also again, and rather bizarrely, the scene where Peter and Elizabeth had dinner at a rooftop restaurant featured the worst piece of backdrop projection I've seen in years. Seriously, those old movies where they'd have a pretend car wobbling around in front of a movie screen, to make it look like it was going somewhere, are more realistic. And far less distracting. Were they suddenly rendered incapable of going outdoors, in some freak, fresh-air-related accident? Was one of the actors frightened by a bush?

If you're going to have bad FX, at least have the decency to make them endearing. Not that I mind really. This is still the most fun you can have with a suit, a hat, and a complicated piece of forgery.

Also again again, can we have Tim Matheson robbing banks every week? Preferably in a hat, although that point's negotiable.



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