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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Reading/Watching Log #8

It's been a slow month thanks to attempts to catch up on my second Polytechnic assignment AND get over the flu (I had almost reached the end of winter without getting sick!) but I managed to revisit my early adolescence with some Bruce Coville books – think of him as a writer of Harry Potter-esque books long before there was a Harry Potter to compare them to – and continue my interest with Audrey Niffenegger's work – though with mixed results.
I also got started on Foyle's War, and put the first seasons of Jessica Jones and Supergirl under my belt. Watching those two latter shows in tandem was a lesson in contrast, even as both starred a preternaturally strong and sympathetic female super-hero. Jessica Jones in particular was riveting, and is a quintessential example of how a show can explore themes of rape and abuse without explicitly depicting it, and without diminishing the trauma a victim goes through. It's tough going at times, but I'd definitely recommend.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Musketeers: Fool's Gold

So this episode picked things up at a point I wasn't really expecting it to: with the boys actively chasing down Grimauld only to get waylaid in a secret village of women, where they discover his tragic backstory but not the man himself.
And not before a quick game of good cop/bad cop with one of Grimauld's men, who eventually spills his guts over what direction Grimauld took, and a visit from Sylvie to give them some intel about where Grimauld was born (which he told her a few episodes ago for absolutely no reason save that the writers knew it would come in handy at this precise moment).

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Musketeers: The Death of a Hero

This episode certainly had an ominous title, and I spent most of it terrified for Treville, who seems the most likely to become the show's Sacrificial Lion. But nope, turns out the dead hero was someone quite unexpected.
The opening montage tries to up the suspense with a voiceover by Feron outlining the stalker-like qualities of death, set over a montage of our heroes in what looks like mortal danger. Nope, instead the scenes turn out to be depictions of the Musketeers' various sexual kinks. Or maybe the director's. Seriously.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Musketeers: To Play the King

I know, it's been so long since my last Musketeers review that the season finale has aired and you probably thought I had given up on the show. Nope, I'm seeing this through to the end – just a bit more slowly than originally expected.
This episode was a whopping fifty-five minutes long, starting with a jail break that focuses on two particular men: an obvious madman who thinks he's the king, and a terrified man who stays crouched in his cell. For future reference, the former is called Boral and the latter Joubert.
Naturally the escape is all part of a nefarious plot involving distractions and chaos and kidnapping. With the Musketeers preoccupied with rounding up the prisoners and holding them in the garrison, Grimauld threatens Joubert with the life of his wife if he doesn't unlock the door he designed to protect the king's treasury.
Okay, some questions. What is this money actually for? Was so Feron could pay off the Dutch financier? If so, where did all the Dutch money go? If not, why didn't he just steal the king's gold in the first place (especially since he has to pay Van Larr a ton of interest)? And what did the original Dutch money get spent on?
Also, why didn't Joubert flee the prison with the rest of the men? And if he had, how would Grimauld have ever found him? And what was he doing in prison in the first place? This is not a particularly well thought-out episode.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Reading/Watching Log #7

I managed to get a lot of reading in during the month of July, making a (reasonably) significant dent in my giant TBR pile. There was no general theme to my reading material, with a bunch of fairly obscure stuff I picked up at the latest school book sale. I finally got The Time Traveller's Wife under my belt, and I ended up watching a trio of anime films thanks to a themed display at my library. And if you've never heard of The Children Who Chase Lost Voices before – well, you can thank me after you've seen it.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Woman of the Month: Patty Tolan

Patty Tolan from Ghostbusters
There was some justified concern at the first trailer of Ghostbusters, which revealed that the three white members of the team were scientists, while the sole black member was an MTA worker. I'm sure for many viewers that still grates, and I don't want to be the one to pish-posh their concern or frustration, but I also think Leslie Jones's character ended up being much more nuanced and three-dimensional than first appeared.
Whereas the other three ghostbusters are in it for science and necessity (having just lost their jobs), Patty joins because she a) knows she can contribute something important to the dynamic and b) is a decent person who recognizes a serious problem that needs fixing. In fact, the entire plot hinges on the fact she leaves her booth after realizing one of the commuters has left the platform and gone onto the subway tracks.
It's there she sees her first ghost, and has the initiative to call it in.
She knows her own worth when she sells the others her education in municipal history, and throughout the investigation she constantly provides important information on various New York landmarks. She saves Holtzmann's life with one hand while fending off a possessed Abby with the other. She provides the team with transport and jumpsuits and encouragement. She even comes up with the idea to drive the car into the vortex in order to close it.
Patty is brave and enthusiastic and altruistic and intelligent and wears fabulous earrings. I'm so profoundly relieved that she ended up being so much more than the trailer portrayed her as that I just had to make her Woman of the Month.