season finale season

May 24, 2017

I’ve only seen the season finale to Supergirl, which managed to encapsulate everything good and bad about the show.  First, the good.

So remember awhile back I had an epic rant about the Green Lantern trailer?  The one where the doe-eyed girlfriend tells Hal, “I believe in you, you’re awesome, go save the world!” And what I wanted in that moment with the passion of a million burning suns was a show where the earnest supportive boyfriend tells the superheroine, “I believe in you, you’re awesome, go save the world!” And my friend at the time insisted I would never, ever get that? And I was so, so angry?

Supergirl gave me that moment.  I love Mon-el, he’s a doofus and adorable and perfect for Kara, and he does it. He tells her he believes in her and sends her off to save the world. It’s so wonderful, I cried, it made me so happy.

And then the show turned around and did this:  “We’ll fill the atmosphere with lead, lead isn’t harmful to humans!”

OMG what the actual hell did they really write that line of dialog, have someone recite that line of dialog, and nobody went, “Hey guys, you know what? THAT’S SO WRONG THERE ISN’T ENOUGH WRONG FOR HOW WRONG THAT IS.”

OMG.  Supergirl. Why do you do this to us?

so I have a question

May 19, 2017

But first a couple of things:

The Colorado Book Awards reception and celebration is Sunday!  My collection Amaryllis and Other Stories is a finalist in the genre category. Tickets are available on the website!

I’ve been watching my favorite osprey pair valiantly protecting their four nearly-hatched eggs from all the snow we got yesterday. Oh my goodness!

And now for my question. So I was cruising Netflix earlier this week when I discovered a Disney show called Lab Rats.  It’s a teen sitcom of the usual Disney variety, super goofy and aimed at 13 year olds. And…I kind of love it. I mean, I would have adored it when I was 13. But even now, I binged like 10 episodes before I even knew what was happening.

It’s about Leo, whose mother has just married a billionaire inventor ala Tony Stark except more like Tony Stark as played by Jon Cryer.  And he’s exploring the smart house mansion when he discovers three bionic kids living in the basement. Like, goofy Tony Stark has been performing totally unethical human experimentation on children in the basement and no one ever says anything about it. But Leo convinces Tony (Donald actually, but you know) that Adam, Bree, and Chase should be allowed to go to school and have normal kid experiences.  And also if he has bionic step-siblings at school the bullies will leave him alone.

I KNOW RIGHT?! Isn’t this the most amazing setup?  The comedy is on par with Weird Al and Spaceballs, and the kid actors are complete earnest and gung-ho and I kind of love them all. The show is all about family, which I also love. Leo and the three bionic kids instantly bond and it’s just so sweet.

I’m sort of bemused about the whole thing, really.

There’s another Disney show, Mighty Med, about two geek teens who discover a secret hospital for superheroes, which is also an amazing concept, but I only got a couple of episodes into that one because it seems more mean-spirited than Lab Rats, with a lot of the humor coming from making fun of its characters rather than growing out of their antics. Apparently last year they took characters from both shows to make a new one, which I haven’t seen yet.

Anyway, my question:  Has anyone else watched this?  Maybe anyone with 13 year old kids?  Is this really as fun as I think it is or am I just crazy and reverting to my childhood self?

 

misc. and sundry

May 8, 2017

So last week turned into “I finished a draft of the book so therefore I must do all the things I’d been putting off while I was focused on finishing the book.” It did not go well and I got a little stressed out. But after a mini-break on Saturday and an hour in the hot tub, I did All the Things on Sunday.  Which felt great right up until I tried getting through my sewing pile, and the serger stopped cooperating, and it was 10 pm and I realized I couldn’t figure it out right then and it was time to collapse and read a book. (Bernard Cornwall’s The Last Kingdom, since I like the show so much. The book is EVEN BETTER.)

Today. I’ll finish the sewing today.

And then I’ve been thinking about Legion, most of which I’ve seen twice at this point, and Mr. Robot, and how similar their storytelling techniques are, postmodern and surreal. But they both also have main characters with pretty profound mental illnesses. But the shows aren’t about their illnesses. They’re about all these other things, with characters who happen to have mental illnesses.  I love that.

Okay. Gotta knock some things off the to do list. It never ends. And that’s okay.

 

superhero saturation

March 6, 2017

I think we’re about to hit peak superhero. There’s been another recent expansion of the genre, and how successful it is will determine how sustainable the whole genre is.

Logan.  I haven’t seen in yet. I wasn’t planning on seeing it, because the trailers seemed self-indulgent and cliche. I’ve been tired for awhile now of Wolverine being the focus of the X-Men franchise — he was never my favorite. And there’s my cloying moppet rule. Wolverine + cloying moppet?  Ugh.  But the reviews and reactions to it have been phenomenally good, and now I’m curious. And another rated R superhero movie, so I guess that’s a thing now. Don’t know when I’m going to get to this, but when I do you’ll hear about it.

Powerless. Another one I haven’t seen yet. (See, this is how I know we’re saturated, I just can’t keep up with everything.) I’m curious, though, because it’s a different model — within the DC franchise, but adjacent to it, not involving any of the tent pole characters. A little like Agents of SHIELD, maybe. Oh, and a comedy. Trying something new, successful or not, so good job there.

Legion. Basically the reason I’m writing this whole post because I saw the first episode last night and it pretty much blew me away. What joy, that this genre can still blow me away! It’s X-Men, apparently, but a corner of that world I know nothing about, and it turns out I really like not knowing who these people are or what comes next. I’m resisting googling it all.  The story didn’t even look like a superhero story until the word “mutant” is mentioned, and it’s mentioned so casually that the flow of the narrative isn’t jostled at all. I think it does for the superhero genre what Mr. Robot does for cyberpunk, which is apply post-modern storytelling conventions to a genre story. It’s delightful.  I hope it can maintain this feel.

So, I know what I’ll be watching this week.

 

library event tomorrow

February 17, 2017

Reminder: I’m doing a library event with Kevin Hearne in Denver!  Check the website for details.

When I did my viewing roundup I forgot to mention that season 2 of The Expanse has started, and it’s kicking ass and taking names.  BOBBIE DRAPER IS IN THE SPACESHIP.  And yes, my big spaceship fetish is well pleased.

But having read the books…I KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN AND IT’S FREAKING ME OUT ARGH!

And now I think I’ll step outside and get some sunlight.

 

Monday roundup

February 13, 2017

My current knitting project is a giant shawl done on #4 needles.  For non-knitters, #4 needles are small (not the smallest), and make dainty little stitches.  This thing is going to take me all year. It’s gonna be gorgeous, but wow.

So I’ve been watching some TV while I work on this.

Voltron.  This is a Dreamworks Animation reboot running on Netflix.  I watched a ton of 80’s Voltron as a kid, enough that I pretty much adored that scene in Pacific Rim when Gypsy Danger draws a sword out of nowhere and slices a ro-beast — I mean kaiju — from shoulder to hip.  So I had to give this a try.  And I like it.  It’s cute and fun and has the spirit of the old show while updating some things (and very surreptitiously and neatly adding another girl character).  I’m halfway through second season and Shiro is about to go do something foolish, I fear.  But that’s what he does so it’s okay.

Taboo.  I’m only a couple of episodes in, but I’m intrigued.  This is Tom Hardy in 1814 London going up against the East India Company.  There’s some very pointed post-colonial critique going on, which I hope to see more of. In the meantime, it’s sort of the evil opposite of most Regency-era stories.  I gotta tell you, when Jonathan Pryce (playing the head of the East India Company) drops an f-bomb I about jumped out of my seat.  I’ve been watching him in movies for thirty years and I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say fuck.  Huh.

CW DC superhero shows. These days, I just flat-out call this the Superfriends.

And a movie:

Lego Batman.  Well, it’s pretty much what it says on the tin.  The first five minutes were kind of my favorite, where the pilots of McGuffin Air manage to poke at both The Dark Knight and Tim Burton’s Batman.  So yeah, a little meta going on there.

 

Monday updates!

January 9, 2017

One week until MARTIANS ABROAD!  Don’t forget to check the “conventions and signings” link on the right for where I’ll be over the next couple of weeks.  I also started a Goodreads List of some of the books I used for research, as well as other books about exploring space, in case you’re looking for some sweet sweet science.

Last week I read Well-Schooled in Murder by Elizabeth George.  This week I’m reading Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in France.

I caught some of the 2003 Daredevil movie on TV last night, and it’s kind of shocking just how much the basic mode of superhero movies has changed over the last decade.  That thing had a voice over I’d forgotten about.  A lot of cheesy cinematography.  A lot of assuming the audience isn’t going to get it so we’d better dumb it down.  And Colin Farrell as Bullseye?  I had totally forgotten about that.

So is anyone watching Versailles?  I’ve seen the first few episodes and I’m intrigued, but I’m not quite convinced it’s entirely good.  If I was going to be flippant I’d say it was The Tudors in France, and I’m wondering if I’m enjoying this more simply because I don’t know the history the way I know Tudor history and so can’t get distracted and offended.  It’s definitely of the Game of Thrones sexy sexy, naked women everywhere, court politics mode of TV.  But it also has a few characters who entirely defy stereotypes.  The brother, for one.  The lady doctor is completely charming me — I want a show all about her.  But mostly the aesthetics are amazing.  There’s a theme about Louis’ vision for Versailles, and the dream-like nature of the project.  He literally has dreams and visions about it, and sometimes memories intrude.  There’s a fantastic ambient score underlying the whole thing, adding to the not-quite-real mood, and lots of beautiful, deep shots of gardens, rooms, crowds of people.  It’s quite lovely.  But in the end, is it really just The Tudors in France?  (Sorry, Francophiles.  Maybe The Tudors is Versailles in England?)