Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Falling into fall television

I am markedly under-excited about the advent of the fall season of television.  Partly, of course, is because with streaming and DVDs and whatnot, seasons' edges are starting to blur.  But partly is because the options are just not enough to get worked up about.  Genre-wise, I've picked up Sleepy Hollow (decent pilot, overstuffed second ep, has promise, we'll see) and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.* (good pilot, has promise, what do you think happened to Coulson?  POSSIBLE SPOILER: I think he's a robot END SPOILER, and Arrow and The Walking Dead starts up soon (I'm exhausted just thinking about TWD - what a depressing show and if they kill Darryl, I quit).

Mr. Mouse and I watch Cougar Town, Big Bang Theory, Parks & Rec, New Girl; we're going to give that new Robin Williams/Sarah Michelle Gellar show a try because: Mork and Buffy!  but I don't have super-high hopes.  I've been enjoying Broadchurch but that is a lot of sadness and exhaustion too, plus it's done.  And Breaking Bad has had me on the edge of my seat for its last run of episodes - there's just nothing down the pike that can compare, though.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something (we do watch an awful lot of television) but, see, I'm just kind of ambivalent about it.  What about you?  What are you watching?  Anything good?  Anything bad?  Anything really good/bad?

Monday, September 16, 2013


The biggest reason why this blog has been so empty lately is because I've been binging on a couple of television and book series: Fringe (so, should that be "binge-ing," then?) and Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time.  Since I'm not recapping Fringe anymore and those WoT books are so frigging huge, I just can't bring myself to post anything about them.  (Except this here, I guess.)

When I mentioned to a coworker that I was re-reading WoT, he gave me a look and asked why on earth would I want to do that to myself?  It's a valid question.  I used to love that series but after discovering George R.R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie, Jordan's charms have faded.  I mean, how many times has a woman "sniffed and crossed her arms under her breasts"?  How many times do I need to know what a completely minor character's hair color is, or the fashion he or she is wearing?  But I am a bit of a completist and since I own volumes 1-12, I feel like I should at least finish reading the damn series.  And thus I am re-reading all those books because if I were to jump right to numbers 13 and 14, I would have no idea what was happening.  I will confess that there's a fair amount of skimming going on; I'm just paying attention to the parts where something actually happens.

Now, Fringe, on the other hand, is just wonderful.  I had started recapping it back when it began but it was too much with Lost as well, so I just stopped watching.  I've picked it back up and have plowed through the end of S3 and it's just so good.  It's completely batshit crazy, of course, but they've built the mythology well and I care about the characters.  Both John Noble and Anna Torv do a great job with playing two distinct characters.  It's a lot of fun and if you like light sci-fi, it's worth delving into.  I can only hope that Sleepy Hollow, which I am attempting tonight, will follow Fringe's model.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mini book review: NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

So, the first thing I did after finishing NOS4A2 is delete all the Christmas songs off my iTunes.  This latest dark fantasy/horror novel by Joe Hill is terrific, creepy fun.  We first meet Victoria McQueen as a pre-teen.  She has a gift: if she really, really, really needs to find something that has been lost, she can summon a magical covered bridge that takes her where she needs to go.  We first meet Charlie Manx as a comatose patient in the medical ward of a Supermax prison.  For decades he has been abducting children in his 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith (a car which should be parked alongside Christine in Hell's garage) and spiriting them away to Christmasland, a magical amusement park where he feeds off them like a vampire.  One day, young Vic goes looking for trouble on her bridge and she meets Charlie.  She manages to get away from him, but he vows revenge.

I really like Joe Hill's work.  He definitely calls his father (Stephen King) to mind - and even has a specific shout-out to King's IT - but his novels are tauter, faster-paced.  NOS4A2 is tense, scary and also funny, with vivid characters you root for, and Charlie Manx is a truly original, horrifying villain.  Seriously - way to ruin Christmas for everyone, Joe.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gearing up for the Fourth Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series

It's September which means it will soon be October which means the Fourth Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series is just around the corner!  Last year was a truly poor showing, due to my abysmal movie choices and's technical difficulties.  We're going to try to do better this year. 

This is what I'm thinking about, movie-wise:  The Convent, My Bloody Valentine (1981 original), Daybreakers, Friday the Thirteenth Part 3, Dog Soldiers, Land of the Dead, Ravenous and Severance.  That gives us some classic slashers, some werewolves, some zombies, some vampires, some cannibalism; there's a mix of old and new, some horror/comedy and straight horror, but nothing too gruesome. 

What do you think?  Any additional recommendations or replacements for something on that list that - unbeknownst to me - is really, really bad?  What do you say - are you ready for some scary movies?  I am!