On Supergirl

Saturday, April 8th, 2017 03:00 pm
miss_s_b: (Default)
I grew up very much a Batfamily girl when it came to superheroes. Superfamily, in particular, I was v disdainful of because of the sheer number of powers they have. It's just BORING to have that many superpowers. But as I've grown older, and the Bat stuff has got relentlessly more Grimdark and depressing, there's an attraction to the more optimistic superheroes.

So when Supergirl's TV series started, I thought I'd give it a go.

We're well into series two now, and it has absolutely captured my heart with its quiet yet determined feminist agenda. At the end of s1 I was a bit worried because my favourite character Here be spoilers ) was leaving, and the big names they had revealed for series two were all-bar-one male.

I needn't have worried. The big storylines so far in series two have been:
Here be spoilers )
All of those stories could have easily been written to focus/centre on men. Only one of them was. Even the last one, which is nominally about the choices a man might make, has relentlessly focussed on the feelings and motivations of Supergirl and Rhea. And it's... It's astounding. Genuinely astounding. This series relentlessly, quietly, centres women with complex motivations, backstories and ideals. I didn't know how much I needed that till I saw it here. I can't think of any other SF/fantasy/superhero series that does this.

Of course, another thing I love is that it's become the Supergirl Home For Old Superheroes. Her adoptive mum is the 1980s supergirl Helen Slater. Her adoptive dad is 90s Superman and prize arsehole Dean Cain Here be spoilers ). The POTUS is 70s Wonder Woman Lynda Carter. Mon-El's mum and dad are Teri Hatcher (90s Lois Lane) and Kevin Sorbo (Hercules and Captain of the Andromeda). And it's stuffed with little references to lady fandom favourites (example: one of the recurring DEO staffers is an arsekicking lady called Vasquez).

And yes, I'll admit, in these relentless grimdark times in real life? A superhero as optimistic and cheerful and just plain good as Supergirl is what I need to be watching. She's not perfect, she's got flaws, but her heart is unerringly in the right place. And she's got a whole host of awesome villains to face, most of whom just happen to be women too. TV needs this show.

And I'm not just typing this blog post at all because I've just caught up on all that I've got recorded and it's AGES till the next episode, and MAN that ending (poor Kevin Sorbo! But OMG Teri Hatcher!)... ;)
miss_s_b: (Mood: Liberal)
So I've just steeled myself and sat and watched Russell Howard's Good News on t'iPlayer. And... I think Tim did good. The clip of him in his John Lennon specs aged about 12 at conference that they started with might have helped*. Russell Howard is still a shouty annoying berk, but I think Tim is worth watching.

Anyway, while he was not-awful-but-not-great on HIGNFY last week**, he was much more like the Tim we all know and love on this, so I'm less hesitant about reccing it. Here you go: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06r95rs/russell-howards-good-news-series-10-episode-7 Tim's bit starts at 15.50.

Oh, and Tim, if you want to go somewhere for a tat I know several award-winning tattooists... ;)

* although "oh how ADORABLE!" is possibly not the reaction a political party leader dreams of...
** and clearly very nervous: if you watch it, watch his hands
miss_s_b: (Default)
When I came down for breakfast this morning [personal profile] magister was watching an episode of Twin Peaks. I never saw Twin Peaks on original broadcast, but I remember everyone going on about how brilliant it was. My impressions from this morning's increasingly amazed viewing were as follows:
  • The writing is pretentious to the point of comedy, and the plot is waffer-theen.
  • The acting makes some of the cheesy 80s horror movies I've seen look like cinema verite - seriously, it's not even ham, it's gammon steaks.
  • The direction is pedestrian at best.
  • The lighting is truly awful. It takes a special talent to both over AND underlight a scene at the same time.
  • Not one of the characters I saw was in any way likeable.
The thing is, I'm left with the nagging feeling that future generations will say the same stuff about stuff that's really zeitgeisty now. Take Hannibal. I LOVE Hannibal. It's food porn with bonus men-in-great-suits and really good murders. The thing I love about it is how slow and langorous and, well, like arty porn it is over everything from the murder scenes to the cookery scenes to the fight scenes to - yes - the sex scenes. Lots of gratuitous slowmo and interesting theremin music... And yeah, I can see how future generations will decry it as a load of overly slow pretentious wank.

So if you love Twin Peaks, good luck to you. But if you didn't see it at the time, and weren't embedded in the culture surrounding it, don't bother now, because you just won't get it. Become a Fannibal instead. It's worth it for the cookery scenes alone.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Cthulhu the Six!Fan)
Things I have seen of late and wish to blog about:

Jack Dee, live at the Victoria theatre in Halifax. Was hilarious, although on a couple of occasions he skirted a bit too close to the "I'm not racist but" line. He was wearing amazing purple loafers, though. And he made fantastic attempts at inserting local colour into his set along the lines of Mark Steel's In Town. If I had paid for the tickets I would have considered them good value for money. 8/10

Gambit was silly, but a lot of fun, with the usual caveats about Hollywood movies' stupid approaches to gender politics. It has lots of naked Alan Rickman in it, which, IMHO, is recommendation enough. 7/10

Sightseers is the most original film I have seen in a long long time. If you imagine a feminist take on Natural Born Killers written with the dry and wistful humour of Alan Bennett you're somewhere close to beginning to grasp the feel of this heartwarming romcom about serial killers. I don't want to go too deeply into any of it, because I want you all to go see it. There's a bit of gore, and there's some strong language and really, really inappropriate concepts... but the way they are handled I guarantee you will laugh at all of them. Line of the film was he's not a person, he's a Daily Mail reader, but literally every scene has at least one laugh out loud moment. It was an utter joy hearing peals of laughter in the cinema, and it was lovely hearing the other patrons enthusing about the film as they left. It's not a film that needs to be seen on a big screen by way of effects or big visual stuff, but it's a film that makes for a great shared experience. Go and see it. Please.
Also if, like me, you fall in love with the leading lady you might wish to see her other works, which include Horrible Histories and Garth Marenghi's DarkPlace. 10/10

Strictly Come Dancing has been a lot of fun this year, principally because of the adorable, modest, brilliant and talented Lisa Riley, who has absolutely bloomed and become an amazing dancer. She also SO clearly is having the time of her life and getting on like a house on fire with Robbie. I'm not going to give Strictly a mark though because it's the kind of thing you know whether you like it or not.

Elementary I love love love. I love Johnny Lee Miller's characterisation of Holmes (and have just about expunged his Frankenstein's Monster from my brain), and I love Lucy Liu's sharp yet caring Watson, who has EXACTLY the right balance of intelligence and compassion to be Watson as Watson should be - not the dullard Watson is so often portrayed as, and I REALLY love the way they interact with each other. This is not a brilliant Holmes leading a stupid Watson to enlightenment, it is two people learning different things from each other, exactly as it should be.
Part of the reason it's so good is because the Moffatt series has dibs on the original stories for TV adaptation the makers of Elementary have been forced to be creative, and they have come up with something genuinely great. Better than Sherlock? Hell yes. Sorry Gatiss. 9/10

American Horror Story: Asylum I am having very mixed feelings about. It took me a LONG time to get into series 1 - and I thought about giving up on it more than once - but once I did I really loved it. Jessica Lange is still awesome, and every episode passes Bechdel without a problem, partly due to the huge cast, but partly because there is actual proper gender balance... but there are some bits of it which seem to be going for titilation over plot (oh, I know, in a horror series, what a shock). I'm also not sure about having it setting just two time periods, and the vast majority of it in 1964, rather than jumping about through history, and slowly tying things together. However, I am willing to keep giving it a chance longer than I normally would because the first series did just go on getting better and better. 6/10

Grimm series 2 is still gender unbalanced and still has needlessly silly terminology, but other that is a lot of fun. I am DEEPLY in love with Monroe. The conceit is interesting, and it falls neatly into the slot for fantasy in my head. And a lot of the recurring characters are great too. I particularly love Nick's mum and Monroe's mad-as-a-bag-of-frogs biker ex-girlfriend Angelina. 8/10

Continuum on the other hand, I am starting to wonder if it was made to fit exactly into a slot in my head. It's like someone thought Hey! Jennie loves sci-fi and she loves detective shows and she loves kickass female lead characters: I wonder what'd happen if we put all those things together? The result is a show that's by no means perfect, but still really, really good. I particularly like that the police department's geek is a girl, and am enjoying very much the mystery-of-the-week format. It's still overly male, but it's a step in the right direction, and passes Bechdel most weeks. 8/10

The Almighty Johnsons series 2 is being rather enjoyable too. Ingrid, Ty and Olaf are still my favourites. It's fun to see my predictions coming true, but also being twisted in unexpected ways. The episode A Damn Fine Woman is one of the finest episodes of television I have seen in a long time, and the rest of the series has been a lot of fun too. 8/10
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Cuddly Cthulhu)
Skyfall was pretty bloody awesome, aside from the last 90 seconds or so. It's certainly Craig's first Proper Bond Film, and I'd say it's the best Bond film since Goldeneye. The only bit I didn't like in an otherwise very enjoyable film was SPOILER! ) However, I have solved this by adding a thirty second coda to the end of the film in my head: I wish this was a spoiler ).

For a more incisive review, please see the fluffy elephant (you may recognise the content of the first comment).

The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists is one of those rare films that's better than the book. A thoroughly enjoyable romp, despite some dodgy gender politics, most of which I have forgiven because of the stonkingly good singalongable soundtrack (yes, I'm shallow).

Madagascar 3 was surprisingly enjoyable, but the soundtrack was nowhere near as good so the gender politics bothered me more ;)

Hotel Transylvania was pretty good, despite some REALLY dodgy gender politics AND the only gay character being a serial sexual assaulter (which the film was at pains to normalise - which kind of takes away from the positive of having a gay character in a kids' film. Paranorman did this a LOT better). Holly loved it so much that she wanted to be a vampire for Halloween, though (see yesterday's post).

Red Dwarf the new series has been pretty good. Not "OMG AWESOME!!!" but pretty good. I'd be pleased if they make another series.

Question Time I haven't actually watched this series at all, and my stress level are markedly lower. Still addicted to Any Questions on radio four, though.

Drabblecast is a podcast I would have unreservedly recommended right up until the most recent episode, which had some problematic content hitherto unknown to this listener, and I've been listening for a good 12 or 13 episodes now. The content is very varied but always interesting (even the problematic episode was interesting) and the host has a voice which doesn't grate on my ears, which is almost unknown in a ficion podcast.

Clarkesworld podcast is even better, IMHO. The host has a LOVELY voice, and gives insightful comment on the stories as well as reading them very well (aside from her pronunciation of some English placenames in the superlative "England Under The White Witch" episode).

University Challenge I have been pretty addicted to this series, but that's possibly because of the game James and I have taken to playing while watching it. It's possibly quite a cruel game. We try to spot the serial killer, and what their method of killing is. For example, the most recent episode had a poisoner, a Lecter-esque cannibal, and a very worrying alien wearing human skin...
miss_s_b: (Default)
I can't believe a pub singer version of Bohemian Rhapsody was enough to knock Jaz out. FFS. And Ruth getting knocked out was totally unjustified too.

(ETA: for those who haven't realised, I just saw the results for The Voice. Looking forward to when the competition is over and then I can look forward to hearing Becky, Jaz and Ruth again. Of those who are left, if Bo doesn't win, people need shooting).
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Lee)
I have watched up to episode three of this, and find myself really conflicted about it. On the one hand, I am loving the references to old horror films and "real life" serial killer lore, and Jessica Lange, Tate and Burnt-Face-Guy are all awesome.

On the other hand, the central family are all incredibly annoying characters, and the performances of the actors are wooden (the husband), an elderly version of Alicia Silverstone sulky (the mother), and slappably irritating (the daughter).

I have a small amount of telly time, and there are lots of Uhmerican dramas vying for my limited attention - Walking Dead! Bones! NCISes! Castle! - and I don't know if it is worth spending telly time on this show, but I WANT to like it...

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 5

Should I continue watching American Horror Story?

View Answers

Yes! It gets lots better!
1 (20.0%)

Give it another couple of episodes to see if you think it gets better
2 (40.0%)

Don't bother, it's not worth it
2 (40.0%)

Christ, no, it gets LOTS worse
0 (0.0%)

#Psychoville: a review

Thursday, May 5th, 2011 10:33 pm
miss_s_b: (Default)
Election? What election? Not that I'm in denial, but tonight was the first episode of series two of Psychoville, and the first series was so brilliant, and so self-contained, I was somewhat worried about the possibility of shark-jumping. I need not have been.

Effortlessly blending the return of much-loved characters with startling new ones, and beautifully setting up a new intrigue, this episode of Psychoville was everything a fan could have hoped for. The creativity and dark, twisted humour of the writing was never in doubt, but special mention here needs to go to the actors. Who knew that Dawn French was going to manage to make Joyce even MORE creepy? And Stacy Liu, the actress who plays Jennifer, was just amazing. To convey so much through the very tiniest of movements of just a hand, and the stillness of her face... There's some skill there, especially in a show where most of the characters are so gloriously over the top.

There were several laugh out loud moments too - "perforated..." "no, it's just mellow birds, do you want some?" was my favourite - but they did not detract from the drama or intrigue.

Not NOW, Silent Singer indeed...
miss_s_b: (Who: Six (Ego))
At 6pm on Monday there will be an Eggheads Doctor Who special. The team featured isn't a team of Who geeks, but a team of Who veterans:

Cuddly Colin, Frazer Hines, Louise Jameson, John Leeson, and Katy Manning.

Out of those, my suspicion is that Colin and Louise will do the best (and maybe John Leeson if there's a round on wine). I shall be watching with interest.

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miss_s_b: (Fangirling: not doctor)
The series so far, barring the gender-and-race-fail which is endemic in television (and which has been amply covered elsewhere - for example here and here), has been excellent. And yeah, I know that's a big thing to be barring, but...

The third and final episode wasn't as bad as the first two (especially not the second) for those things. What it was, was:
  • beautifully written by Mark Gatiss, seamlessly slotting in clever references to the source materials with modern twists
  • brilliantly directed, pulling the stylistic cues we had got used to from the first two episodes and swirling them around the story in a glorious work of art
  • stunningly acted by the Martin Freeman and Benedict Frumious Bandersnatch, and indeed, most of the other actors. I particularly liked the blind old lady
  • enjoyable from start to finish
Sure, it wasn't perfect. Nothing ever is. spoilery bits under the cut ) But aside from those minor and picky points, I really loved it. And Mycroft. Oh Mycroft. A character I have had a crush on since I first read his name in print. A character I crushed on even when he was played by a very elderly and rotund Charles Gray. And now played by a writer/horror geek/Who geek/actor I have a crush on anyway, and the guy who wrote this very fine episode...

Mystic SB foresees many fandom icons.

Just, you know, Grand Moff? Mr Gatiss? Sort out the gender-and-race-fail for next time. Please? Because then it would be perfect.

I really wish they had cast the gorgeous girl who plays the sergeant who calls Sherlock "freak" and whose name I forget because her character was clearly a tokenistic bolt-on as LeStrade. That would have been awesome.

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miss_s_b: (TG: Arse)
One of the things about this Time of the Moth is the that I get an urge I never get the rest of the time: to sit and watch kids' telly. Preferably with a big bucket of ice cream and a duvet. And I am watching Richard Hammond's Blast Lab.

In one sense, it's like your traditional kids' TV game show. It has screaming kids in the audience, and the ubiquitous gunk tank. But the quiz element of it is based around the cool things you can do with science, and experiments. It also has Oliver, the Opel Kadett, and Hammond's Ninja Nan and Mini (female) science teacher.

The thing that I really like, though, is Hammond's little asides to camera while the kids are doing the science tasks, giving little titbits of facts or comments on their performance. Oh yes, and the kids who "lose" get to explode all their prizes.

Of course, the best thing about it is that it's very silly indeed. I approve.

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miss_s_b: (Mood: Progtastic!)
... thanks to lovely lovely [personal profile] trav28.

Am I the only person who had a huge crush on Gus?

* tumbleweed rolls past *

* bell tolls in the distance *


I see I am.

Carry on then.

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It's Only a Theory!

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 12:40 am
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Vince Cable)
It's well-known that Mat and I don't watch tv all that much. So it was mere happenstance that tonight we tuned in to the first episode of a new series on BBC4 called It's Only A Theory, which is a sort of panel show devised and hosted by Andy Hamilton. I'm SO glad we did. And I am even more deeply in love with Reginald D Hunter than I was before.

Do try and catch it on the watch again. It has a couple of kinks that will need ironing out, but it's shaping up to be great. And at some point in the future, the celebrity examiner is going to be Vince :D

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About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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