- Black Mirror - A satirical British science fiction anthology series from the mind of Charlie Booker, Black Mirror is a dark and twisted treat. Each episode - and there are only a few - has a different story and a different cast, and all of them involve technology that is not that far away from us right now. As an X-Files, Fringe and Twilight Zone fan, as well as a fan of dystopian fiction, it's like this show was made for me. It's got a great cast too, which made it great fun to recognize people (from Sense8, Agent Carter and the U.K. version of Skins, among others).
- Howl's Moving Castle - I read the book. I don't think I even realized there was a book and thought it was just the acclaimed Miyazaki animated movie. But no, it was a book first, by British author Diana Wynne Jones. It's a lightweight YA fantasy novel about Sophie, the eldest of three sisters and, in the world of fairy tales, thus doomed to a boring and unfulfilled life. When Sophie inadvertently pisses off the Witch of the Waste, the Witch turns her into an old woman. Her only chance at breaking the spell is the Wizard Howl, he of the titular moving castle. Sophie insinuates herself into Howl's household and then the adventures begin. Howl's Moving Castle is stuffed full of fire demons, jilted lovers, fancy outfits, animated scarecrows and plain old magic. I got sucked in against my will and now I'm just going to have to move the movie up to the top of my Netflix queue.
- Doctor Who - It wasn't as though I was actively resisting Doctor Who, I just figured that I needed a chunk of time to watch a bunch of episodes in a row to really gain appreciation for it. Everything I have read said that the 2005 revival, with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, is a good place to start - that those of us new Whovians don't really need to delve into the classic episodes. I'm almost all the way through the series (I understand that Eccleston only played the Doctor for the one series) and I'm really quite liking it. It has some fairly scary monsters for such a silly show (the Dalek, the Empty Child zombies, the Autons). I have a big ol' girl crush on Bille Piper, who plays the Doctor's companion, Rose. And Eccleston does a very nice job with the Doctor: he's got some darkness to him, this incarnation. Good fun. I'm anxious to finish out this series and see what fan-favorite David Tennant does with it.
- The Revolution was Televised - This non-fiction book by Alan Sepinwall covers the shows that changed television into the amazing landscape that we now know it to be. Sepinwall discusses in detail the following shows, which include several of my all-time favorites: Oz (which I now have to watch), The Sopranos, The Wire (which I definitely have to watch), Deadwood (love love love), The Shield, LOST, Buffy the Vampire Slayers (!!!!!!!!!), 24, Battlestar Galactica (love love love), Friday Night Lights (love), Mad Men (it's on my list) and Breaking Bad (love love love). Those are some seriously excellent shows right there. The Revolution was Televised is easy to read, packed with information and interview tidbits and just fascinating to any of us who love good television. Highly recommended.
- Mr. Robot - I also watched USA's Mr. Robot which is just great. Rami Malek, as main guy Elliott Alderson, is phenomenal as the brilliant, damaged untrustworthy narrator. The plot moves along quickly - a hacker group, fSociety, is looking to take down the largest corporation (Evil Corp) in the world, thus fomenting chaos - but it's the character beats that are the most compelling. Great stuff and a wonderful change of pace from USA's usual blue sky programming.
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