the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘TV & Movies’ Category

I’m late to Discovery, and I’m fine with that.  After watching the first season, i have a lot (holy shit a lot!) of thoughts.  I wasn’t sure how to get them all down, so I cheated, and interviewed myself about my experience.  This is not a review or a critique, it is a ramble.   Cuz I got thoughts, and what is the internet good for, if not rambling?

 

Yeah, so this blog post is less about ST: Discovery and more about how I react to things.  But I finally watched the first season, and I Have Thoughts.

 

Very minor spoilers ahead.

 

This showed on CBS All Access like a year ago. Why did it take you this long to finally watch it?

 

Biggest reason: I don’t find CBS All Access to be worth what they are charging for it. There isn’t enough there there.    I love subscription streaming services, when those services offer a lot of stuff I’m interested in watching. Netflix could double what they charge and I’d still be ripping them off.  CBS All Access was asking me to pay however much a month for one show. I still find that idea laughable. Discovery looked interesting, but this was a simple value equation: was the cost of CBS All Access a value match for what I was buying? Nope.

 

A friend bought the 1st season on Blu-ray and offered to let me borrow it. So that’s how I ended up finally watching Discovery.

 

What did you think of the overall design of the show?

 

I love the artwork of the opening credits. I’m a sucker for anything architecture-y.  I liked the interiors of the Klingon ships. The color schemes for the Discovery sere darker than I’m used to for a Star Trek story,  it was more Deep Space Nine (a station that wasn’t designed by the Federation), everything was more Battlestar Galactica than I was expecting.

 

Battlestar Galactica? What makes you compare this show to BSG?

 

Design. Color scheme. Dark plot elements. Tension.  The focus on non-verbal communication and body language. Even how it was filmed.

 

I’m used to Star Trek sets being of neutral color schemes, I’m used to the camera angles being more “old school”, so that one set, one hallway, could be made to look like many.  The set designs, camera angles, and filming style felt more Battlestar Galactica or even Firefly to me. Grungier sets, more sharp edges and fewer softened edges, more hallways that looked like actual hallways.  I grew up on Next Gen and Voyager. Those scripts were written almost “cozy mystery” style, where you knew from the first minute of the episode that everything would be neatly wrapped up and sanitized in 42 minutes with minimal tension, no anger or arguments, no issues with integrity,  plenty of diplomacy, and that in a few weeks the characters would forget everything that happened in this episode. Deep Space Nine left that episodic-ness behind somewhat, which was nice.

 

Discovery didn’t feel sanitized. It didn’t feel like anything was going to be wrapped up in one or two episodes. The character’s non-verbal communication added a ton of tension and suspicion. I didn’t feel like the characters would forget what happened in a few episodes. It felt like a scifi soap opera. It felt like Battlestar Galactica. I mean that as a compliment to both shows.

 

You posted on twitter that you’re afraid of Jason Isaacs. What the hell?

 

He’s a really great actor.  Has a metric fuckton of presence.  He walks into the room and your eyes are on him (ok, maybe that’s just me?).  I saw him in a Netflix original tv show called The O.A., which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it.  Isaacs plays the villain, and boy is he sociopathically villainous. I left the first season of The O.A. scared shitless of him.  The 2nd season of The O.A. comes out soon, and in the promo, it looks like the characters are now friends with him? What the fuck! Why aren’t you running away from him as fast as your legs will take you? He’s the bad guy!!!

 

So when he showed up on Discovery, a loud voice in the back of my head was screaming “RUN”.   It wasn’t the words that were coming out of his mouth that made me nervous, it was all his non-verbal mannerisms, that he looked away from people while talking, the angle of his shoulders, his not quite smile when things were going the way he wanted.  Watching him on screen was like noticing a big spider crawling down behind the sofa. I know it’s there, i just don’t know exactly where, or when it’s going to crawl out, or if it’s two centimeters from my shoulder, right this second. Oh, hai anxiety!

 

I was so freaked out by him that I had a tough time paying attention to what was happening on the TV screen.    It made me feel a little better when some stuff is revealed about his character, i felt justified in my anxiety and unrelenting fear.

 

What about other actors and characters? Who did you like? Who didn’t you like?

 

I love Michelle Yeoh.  She makes everything better.  Every scene with her is my favorite scene. She looked like she had a TON of fun filming her scenes, and I just love everything about her and her character.

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doctors wife

I’m pressed for time today, but here are a few quick thoughts on last night’s Doctor Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife”, written by the wonderful Neil Gaiman:

  •  Idris, I think her name was?  LOVED  everything about her! her verbal mannerisms, a little mad, a little doctor-y, and right when she first meets The Doctor, she’s talking all funny and fast, sounding a little like when the Doctor regenerates and has to get used to his new body.  Even her name sounds a little like the name of the big blue box.  You think you stole a doctor and ran away? adorable! brilliant!
  • Anyone else think she looked just like Helena Bonham Carter? And damn am I thankful that she wasn’t dressed in Tardis Blue.
  • Do you think River would be jealous of Idris or do you think they would get along?  They both know the Doctor’s real name (or at least I assume Idris does), yet The Doctor calls Idris sexy, and just calls River sweetheart.  Speaking of River, what was it that Idris said? The only water in the forest is in the river? or something like that? And then the poor woman was just so thirsty at the end, desperate for water. interesting. . .
  • The voice of The House (brillaint freaky scary character, btw), is it just me, or did he sound just like the Cat from Coraline?
  • Idris and the Doctor flying through space and time in a half-assed, barely put together, nearly walless,  partially floorless, roofless and doorless TARDIS?  the freakingest awesomest thing EVAR! (at least this season).
  • End of the episode was a bit of a dues ex machine cop-out.  Neil Gaiman I love you to pieces, but sometimes your endings are less than awesome.

Doctors_wife_screenshot
And lastly,  number 10, I miss you so much.  number 11, you’ve got the wacky, you’ve got the adventurous, you’ve got the “I’m the madman with the box” down.  But you’re missing what made this show for me: the tragedy. the dark. the rage.  Number 10, you knew the universe burned so bright as to be blinding, and yet you never stopped staring at it with eyes wide open.  And you knew that brilliance was only possible because between the stars lied the darkness, where your regrets and your sorrow and your family called to you from the depths of your memories, of who you are, and what you chose to do.  That darkness and regret and tragedy and rage that you carry with you Number 10, that is what drew me into this show. And I miss you. I miss you like the bluest daytime sky misses the star light, like the desert cries for the rain,  like the dark side of a lonesome planet misses the warmth of the sun.   Matt Smith, I find you a fine actor, but sir, you are not my Doctor.

 Looking through my readers, feeds and tagsurfers, I suddenly feel just plain obligated to post about GAME OF THRONES, HBO’s new epic fantasy series.

For those of you who have been living under a rock, Game of Thrones is the first book in George R R Martin’s epic fantasy series called A Song of Ice and Fire. Frantic and obsessive fans are eagerly awaiting book five, which is scheduled to hit bookstores this summer. In this series, noble families fight for the throne, younger siblings come to understand they are nothing more than bargaining chips and wedding fodder, old magics are brewing in the frozen north, and good men and women take empire destroying secrets to their graves. Oh, and there is tons and tons of sex. And after the sex, there is tons and tons of violence, kidnapping, brutal murder, betrayal, more sex, and more betrayal.

(And just for kicks, these are all images from the board-game, cuz I totally dig the game. It looks all complicated, but you can learn the rules in about 2 minutes, and it’s a ball to play.)

And now, on to HBO’s version.

First, the good.

Peter Dinklage, Sean Bean, Harry Lloyd, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. They were excellent. Harry Lloyd absolutely made Viserys, and I knew I recognized that wonderfully crooked smile from Doctor Who! Peter Dinklage and Sean Bean are always a pleasure to watch, and Coster-Waldau had Jaime down.

I really liked the credits/intro as well. Great way to cram a lot of important geographical info into a small amount of time, especially for viewers who aren’t familiar with the books. They immediately know we’ve got two (for now) important cities on one continent, and across a narrow sea there is another city where some action will be taking place. Animation came off as a little cartoony and higher tech than this world warrants, but I can forgive it.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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