skywaterblue: (Sisko laughs!)
Today, Slate's Matt Yglesias writes a long piece about the value of the Star Trek franchise focusing specifically on the message. That piece is entitled I Boldly Went Where Every Star Trek Movie and TV Show Has Gone Before and it is mostly a fine piece that I am mostly in agreement with that argues that Star Trek needs to come back as a DS9-like cable show in the vein of "Mad Men" to argue for a utopian progressive future.

I mostly agree with that assessment...except for this minor line: "Some of these one-offs—those set in the Mirror Universe especially—are fun. But others are dreadful (Sisko has to train his crew to beat a bunch of arrogant Vulcans at baseball) or simply bizarre (Sisko fights racism in the sci-fi industry of the 1950s)."

*record scratch*

SIMPLY BIZARRE?

Aside from being one of the best episodes of television on race ever filmed, "Far Beyond the Stars" is about the enfranchisement of black and female voices in fiction. It says more about racism in America in an hour than the entire series of Mad Men has in six seasons, because its point is simple. It says, quite simply says that our stories matter. OUR stories. To dismiss it as 'simply bizarre' is to show that no, you don't really get Star Trek at all. You're comfortable with a black male lead... so long as that black male never opens his mouth about race.

So yes. Star Trek needs to come back. And it needs to be a cable-drama in the vein of Mad Men.

And writers and fans like Matt Yglesias should have absolutely nothing to do with it.
skywaterblue: (Default)
From [personal profile] selenak. It'll be short because I don't own a TV and my ability to download is pretty limited.

Which TV shows did you start watching in 2012?

Legend of Korra, Breaking Bad, and The Newsroom. Oh, and Dallas. Was Smash this year? Smash.

Which TV shows did you let go of in 2012?

The Newsroom, in the middle of the second episode I got so squicked by the subtext of the whole 'embarrassing commentators' screwup that I turned it off. Even though it was the only thing I had left to watch on a 3 hour trainride from Basel to Kassel.

I stopped watching Smash after the episode where Derek decided to do naughty!Marilyn and it became clear that even hatewatching wasn't enough to make me care.

I haven't seen most of Dallas either, but I intend to get back to it so I'm not calling it a quit.

Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn't in 2012? Why?

Almost everything.

Which TV shows do you intend on checking out in 2013?

I'd actually like to finish Treme? It seems more my speed than The Wire and I got hooked during the time I had HBO.

Which TV show impressed you least in 2012?

The Newsroom. I powered through every episode of Studio 60 even though that's literally the worst show ever written, but damn. I saw which way the wind was blowing and skipped out fast. I was really optimistic about this one, because I thought Sorkin might really have worked through his issues but now I think he's just always been a mediocre writer with an ear for good dialogue. It's one thing to be so sick of his issues with women, and another for him to stick those same issues in the same plot for the fourth show running.

Smash was of course, terrible.

I thought Mad Men had a pretty 'meh' yeah - though, seriously Hollywood Foreign Press? You picked The Newsroom for a nom? In anything?

Which TV show did you enjoy the most in 2012?

Legend of Korra, probably, in terms of nothing in that show made me feel shitty or bad. I haven't rewatched anything but the last arc episodes and I'm really excited about season 2 because I have NO IDEA WHERE IT GOES.

I also really liked the third season of Downton Abbey, believe it or not. Most of the things that annoyed me about S2's horrific love triangles are gone now that Mary and Matthew are together, and they prove to be very effective leads together. I thought that season went from strength to strength and was a fairly effective unjumping of the shark.

Stuff

Apr. 29th, 2012 09:18 pm
skywaterblue: (Default)
-- Gallery show for my arts admin class, "Vitrine" went off really well despite being incredibly stressful.

-- Now I am stressing about my other art show, on May 8th.

-- I'm going to bum around Europe on the 15th.

-- The current plot arc on my Pern MUSH, 2pmush.net is incredibly absorbing. Also, we have a proper website now. How about that?

-- "Cabin in the Woods" - really, can Bradley Whitford be in all the Whedon things now? He fucking made that movie for me. I know I'm sad for him, but really. Bradley Whitford. Joss Whedon.

-- "The Hunger Games" - I also liked this. I thought it was very well directed, actually, to leave most of the emotional content unspoken in a huge Hollywood blockbuster is kind of a brave choice. Which speaks ill of Hollywood, but that is a film fan's prerogative, no?

-- "Game of Thrones, Season Two" - Dinklage is still awesome. Tiny dragons are awesome. Everything else about this show is barely tolerable.

-- "The Borgias, Season Two" - Honestly, I had forgotten the fine details of a lot of what happened last season. The first two episodes were a little meh, and although I'm inclined to like the Pope's newest girlfriend due to her proclivities (and I kind of ship her with Cesare as of last episode) I think she's allllmost on this side of Renaissance Mary Sue wish fulfillment. Last week's episode was a rush a minute thrill ride in terms of the plot, though. I like it better than "Game of Thrones" by kind of a lot.

-- "Mad Men" - Less Betty, slightly more filler. Highlights of the season so far have been the conclusion of the miserable "Joan's husband" arc, if only because thank fuck it seems over, and pretty much everything about Lane. And whatever Megan is wearing. I'm not entirely feeling it this season, I think, but I think Peggy continues to be my life model and I kind of ship her with Ginsberg even though my heart tells me that Peggy/Don is endgame.

-- "The Legend of Korra" - Everything about this show is fucking great. A 30 minute cartoon for tweens, but it's better than all three of the shows above COMBINED in terms of teasing a plot and then moving it the fuck forward. That is because the above three shows are the bastard children of the "Sopranos effect" whereas Korra is blissfully from another age of television. When they knew how to block an episode as an episode and not as part of a miniseries.
skywaterblue: (adventuring in time and space)
The Korra clips are quite magical. They made me feel things. I'm also pleased that Mad Men and (somewhat less anticipatory) glad that Game of Thrones will be resuming the same week in March. Apparently "Mad Men" is pulling the two-hour television movie trick for the premier episode and I have no doubt that Weiner can pull off a great example of this storied TV trick. Anticipation level is high!

---

I am mildly enjoying "Portlandia" through the power of Netflix. Fred Armison's female characters creep me the hell out, though. I get that a sketch comedy show with a male-female duo can't have the girl playing the girls all the time, but... yeah, IDK. I've never much cared for him, though his Obama on SNL did grow on me with time. Also, it's weird to remember he was married to Zoey Bartlet/Peggy Olson for a white hot minute.

---

I am mostly really enjoying Kelsey Grammar's "Boss" which is rare because I don't often like television shows set in the city I live in. I feel like "Boss" uses its Chicago setting to its advantage though, possibly because Grammar's character has the habit of glorifying past mayors at the drop of a hat... which is a trait of his particularly highlighted by one of the straight up most beautiful shots I've seen in a pilot. Also, it helps that it genuinely feels like Chicago even in the interiors, rather than the obvious on-location shots.

Grammar's character owes a lot to the Daley fil, and a whole heaping to Jed Bartlet. As someone who has never found Bartlet to be as particularly... munificent as claimed by both show and fandom, I find this take on evil!Bartlet to be fascinating.

It's a shame then, that three episodes in, I don't find any of the supporting cast to be nearly so interesting - with an exception made for Kane's icy blonde assistant, and the young eager DA.

In conclusion, I'd really like to PA on this show or appear as an extra. However, I'm only on episode three and I have NO IDEA how they continue to stretch this show out longer than another season or two.
skywaterblue: (rachel maddow's shoes)
1. Rachel Maddow follows me on Twitter now. You are all insanely jealous, right?

This wasn't as big of a freak out for me as it was my other friends, because I don't write fanfiction about real people and thus never have to worry she'll find my Rachel Maddow/Ana Marie Cox stories. They don't exist.

2. Just Like Starting Over, a Mad Men Peggy/Don future fic. I'm not sure if there are a lot of stories in this fandom that project the characters forward - this one does a great job at applying the 1980s to the characters and style of the series. The little details are what makes this work - the opening gambit of Peggy's interview with Ms. Magazine, being asked about the Diana/Charles wedding. Don reading 'Rabbit is Rich'. It's the details that make the relationship seem believable.

And how can you not love the period-appropriate John Lennon title?

3. The cosmos own our luck. CJ and Toby, post series. Again, with the details. They're both political people, their lives take place in the background of big events - the choice to frame the dialogue as dashed off emails sent as CJ runs about fixing the world is inspired.

4. Malice Aforethought - DS9 needs a few more lawyers. I don't want to spoil it, but this is a fic about how Kira is awesome. Everyone likes that, yes?

5. That I can rec new fic from twenty and eleven year old fandoms makes me happy. Continue shining on, you crazy diamonds.
skywaterblue: (corset)


First Showing on Twitter says that January Jones is your new Emma Frost.

My feelings are thoroughly mixed.

Spoilers. )
skywaterblue: (highlander)
Did I not post about Mad Men 4.3 last week? That one was really amazing and had me on the edge of my seat. By contrast, this week's had a bunch of important plot stuff that I couldn't really get worked up about...

More specifics. )

Oh, and Rubicon was on. I think I skipped a week, maybe? This week's was pretty awesome because it was more about the nutty analysts having to decide whether to kill a guy based on sketch intellegence and less about the crappy metaplot which even Miranda Richardson cannot save. As I said on Twitter, show would be awesome if it were more 'West Wing with spies' and less whatever the fuck with this conspiracy plot.

I heard they fired the head writer and retooled it after this episode, so that's interesting?
skywaterblue: (pornjosh)
I bah-leeted a long thing about Inception that basically summed up some stuff. Non-spoilery: it's still a great film, but I probably won't see it a third time and I won't recommend anyone go who has suicide 'issues' as it's really quite triggery. I thought I was good, but both times I saw it I spent the next day feeling rather awful, so yeah.

I'm convinced... )

ANYWAY.

Mad Men 4.2: Spoilers )

Rubicon 1.2: Um, it was on before 'Mad Men' and 'Sherlock' wasn't done downloading? Actually, the second episode is vastly better than the first one. The spycraft is still dumb as shit - I hate it when I've read the same reference material as the show's writing staff? But the main character's team consists of a mixed sort of pathological wastes, all of whom seem borderline Aspergers and they get a lot more fleshed out this week. They must be asking them to make this acting choice, because even the wizened old salt who the main character is going to for help with the arc plot seems messed in the head.

I approve. They're way more entertaining than the arc plot, though that too is getting fun now that Miranda Richardson actually has scenes?

West Wing Season 7: It occurs to me that all my first reaction posts to that are now buried in Friends lock. I'm sure they're embarrassing to reread so I won't unlock them. I've been going through this season again on DVD, and as far as I recall my reactions to the episodes NOW are basically the same as they were then. Though I think I remember liking the Debate at the time but now I'm firmly in the 'no, that breaks the rules of the show AND it sucked' camp.

If you want to read me bitch and moan about it, I've been spamming Twitter.
skywaterblue: (pornjosh)
First, Mad Men 4.1: Some thoughts. )

Interesting start to the season. Not entirely clear what the season's themes are, but I only watched it once.

Rubicon

This is the new show that AMC is pushing hard to air after Mad Men. It's your basic LeCarre-esque espionage saga with a heavy dose of 'this has a series mystery'.

The problem is that the pilot episode deals so heavily in tropes - there's a message hidden in the crossword which starts a chain of assassinations, the head boss is clearly a double spy, and the main character is supposed to be a genius analyst. Yet when his boss gets killed despite leaving him a not at all cryptic message about what train he was going to be on and a motorcycle encouraging him to leave, and then creepy boss offers him old boss's job at the funeral, main character suspects nothing.

I'm spoiled by Garak. If anyone had killed one of Garak's associates in a 'train accident' after they left him keys to a shuttlecraft and a cryptic message, he would have been on to it like scales on Cardassians.

What I'm saying is this: Spy Dramas? The ONE PLACE it's okay for your character to have 'genre savvyness' as a trait. Because that's THEIR FUCKING JOB.

Also, the writers maxed out the main character's manpain attribute: his wife and kids DIED IN 9/11.

Skip skip skip.

Inception: Too complex to really review after only seeing it once. At a certain point in the movie there are at least five layers of story you have to be keeping track of, and while I'm pretty sure I know what happened, jeez.

I actually don't think it was as meaningful a meditation on the act of filmmaking as the Prestige is, but I'd have to see it a second time.

The special effects are really astonishing, though, and I didn't even hate Leo DiCaprio that much... even though I never am able to watch a film with him in it without thinking 'that's Leo DiCaprio'. I understand why people think this indicates he's Old Hollywood Like That, I just find it fucking annoying in 2010.

OH: The real astonishing bit is how good Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in this film. I bought him completely as an action hero. I would love to see some more movies with him as the lead. The end.

Sherlock 1.1: WHOA THERE. It's awesome and hella slashy. I love the way they use mobile phones in this - probably the most natural use of phones I've seen in anything in some time.

Mainly I want to say this:

BENEDICT CUMBERPATCH IS THE PERFECT CASTING FOR DREAM OF THE ENDLESS

MOFF, GAIMAN: STICK SOME BLACK CONTACTS ON IT AND GETTER DONE BEFORE HE'S TOO OLD.
skywaterblue: (the universe was waiting)
Actually, I'm going to try and get through some real life announcements first:

The selling of the zine at the Vegas Valley Comic Fest went well. I sold about twelve copies and gave out some freebies to the publishers (as you do) who were not THAT interested but polite about it (as they are). I was kind of bummed about it, but that's life, you gotta keep chipping at it to get shit done. If you for some reason want a copy, it will be up on etsy in a bit for three bucks, and you'll be able to pick one up at Alternate Reality in Las Vegas, and Chicago Comics/Quimbys as soon as I have the time to run some more off and send them out, etc.

Anyway, Abby and Joe and I had a good time, despite the fact I had slept all of six hours in the last 72 and was about to kill someone to eat their flesh. (Or fall asleep over my drawing board, one or the other.)

Now to Doctor Who shit. Before "The Waters of Mars" airs, I just want to mourn the death of my long strangled ditch-baby spec script.

Possibly spoilers for 'The Waters of Mars' (Kind of only spoilery if you are going into this episode absolutely blind.) )

I'm not saying mine is better than RTD's, because quite frankly, mine has some epic plotholes where even diagramming couldn't help me figure out how the timey-wimey worked. I just think it's a hilarious story that I will tell you all now for bragging rights.

Now some reviews of TV:

Sarah Jane Adventures: This week's baddie was a Time Lord in Disguise. That makes two Time Lords in Disguise this season. I actually thought it was kind of boring, missed Luke a lot. As usual, Clyde had all the best lines. The Aspie Science Kid was annoying.

Merlin: Jesus fucking Christ were the Troll episodes a waste of time, which is all I have to say about them. Well, actually, Uther making out with the troll was kind of brain bleachy too, despite the fact you knew the show was gonna go there.

Spoilers for 'The Witchfinder' )

Mad Men: Okay, wow. )

Looking forward to next year!
skywaterblue: (NERV: all's right with the world)
I'm repasting this from [profile] madmen_tv, with some tweaked thoughts:

Analysis of the symbolism of the May Pole scene in Mad Men s3: Love Among the Ruins )

I thought it was pretty laden with obvious sexual imagery, but I guess there are people really confused by the whole scene.
skywaterblue: (katamari obama)
Still can't get hold of the unemployment office, don't know what I'm going to do about homework for my science class. I'm only taking nine credits after all, since no one got cut off the Screenwriting class and I was third on the waitlist. (Sucks to be me.)

The budget cut protest at UNLV was quite impressive, as was the show Noelle was in. Nico didn't show up to his own gallery show, though, and that made me sad.

The Impossible Project bought the old Poloroid factory in Poland and is seeking to green-refurb it to make new poloroid film! They need your help and I think it's a quite worthy cause, so check it out.

Elizabeth Moss and Will Armistad are engaged?! Damn. I feel like this means I can't talk smack about his Barack Obama any more.

Attention all Germans on the friends list: if you like Battlestar Galactica, Bear McCreary has a Battlestar Ballet premiering in Hagen.

On the third day of Barack Obama's presidency the President gave to me: new stem cell research and an end to the global gag rule.
skywaterblue: (Number Six)
Sixth Month Leave )

Wait. So this new Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio movie is just a rehash of Mad Men? Feh. The trailer has some amazing sound work, though.
skywaterblue: (Default)
This chart on legal immigration to the United States from Reason. Mainly because having to work with My Previously Crazy Not!Boss and having to listen to her talk racist smack all day made me long for something like this that I could tape to her forehead.

In conclusion: IMMIGRATION = NOT AS EASY AS YOU THINK IT IS.

More cute Mad Men illustrations!

I think I might buy that one of Joan and the Copier.

Wired article on the utter timelessness that is Weird Al Yankovich.
skywaterblue: (Default)
Other than 'hot damn, that was amazing':

Cut for mild spoilers )
skywaterblue: (breakfastclub)
Mad Men )

Next week's episode looks compellingly amazing.

The new Microsoft ad campaign is WEIRD. WEIRD. I mean, Bill Gates seems so normal and funny and Jerry Seinfield is so obnoxious (well, nothing new there, I guess.) It's sort of like the ramped up the Apple Mac v. PC ads with more surrealism and more annoying.
skywaterblue: (reagan smokes)
My dad, of all people, sat through the entire Mad Men marathon and then we watched the new episode together. Which was a rocking success, I thought.

Especially... )

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