Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: "Real Deal Fast Food" - We should've seen this last week, but thanks to Comcast's stupid digital cable box that hates our TiVo, we missed it. As with all the episodes of this show, I tried to decide which place I wanted to visit most. Unlike most episodes, I couldn't decide between the first and third spots.
  • Classic Doctor Who: "Invasion of Time" Parts 3 & 4 - I really like Leela in this story. Confident, strong, cunning, and intelligent. And her faith in the Doctor is good to see.
  • American Gladiator - I hope I wasn't the only person creeped out by the woman who was competing "for her husband" while he looked on in apparent disapproval. Very creepy. I really liked Brick... he made Toa take a dunk. I hope Brick goes all the way.
  • Have I Got News For You: "Lee Mack, Shami Chakrabarti, and John O'Farrell" - Celery and Moobs! Still not as great as the Brian Blessed episode, but this one had lots of laughs. The "artist impressions" were a lovely touch, particularly "Ian hunting Methodists".
  • Iron Chef America: "Flay vs Iacovone" - This is a good one to play the drinking game with. As usual with Flay, I rooted for the challenger. As is often the case, I wasn't much interested in trying any of the dishes.
  • Ghost Hunters: "House of Spirits" - Well, the first location was goofy, but the second had some good solid debunking happening. The "eat that dead moth" bet was predictably silly, and I'm really glad he didn't do it.
  • Dinner: Impossible: "Firehouse Fiasco" - That was a nightmare meal. I'm surprised he was able to pull the food/equipment in as quickly as he did. It was a miracle that meal turned out at all.
  • Supernanny: "Doyle Family" - Not a bad episode. The reinforcement of the "naughty chair" technique is important in this one. It seems like most parents are inclined to give up too quickly. Again, I wish I could see follow-ups that are years later instead of weeks or months.
  • Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: "The Memphis Barbecue Tour" - I'm really not into barbecue, so this was just mildly interesting to me instead of hunger-inducing.
  • Doctor Who: "Silence in the Library" - Um. Wow? Creepy, and yet touching in parts. Appropriate that this follows the Agatha Christie episode. I'm waiting to see how the girl fits into the whole thing. And I like River Song.
Comics this week:
  • Final Crisis #1 - I can hear the complaints already. With my lack of interest in the new gods, this is going to be a boring mini for me.
  • Batman #677 - Still not sure what's going on, still don't care. Bruce Wayne examines his inner soul. Yawn.
  • Action Comics #865 - Nice little side story on the Toyman. Not great, but not bad either.
  • Green Lantern #31 - More origin. I really don't like galactic DCU, so this did nothing for me.
  • JSA: Classified #38 - And more Wildcat. Nice detective work there, and a decent cliffhanger.
  • Northlanders #6 - Ah, what a lovely twist at the end! I'm liking this book more and more.
  • Rogue Angel #4 - Hmm. I'm getting into this one again. I like the main hero, and the plotline with Mark Twain is very nice.
  • Usagi Yojimbo #112 - Every once in awhile I feel like going back and re-reading all of Usagi Yojimbo for clues to what's happening in the current story. This is one of those times.
  • Heroes - Very nice collection of the on-line comics. I've read most of them, but I'll be re-reading as soon as I have a chance to sit down with it.
  • DC Super Friends Young Readers Volume 1: "Heroes United/Attack of the Robot" - Glee!!!! This is a really cute book. It's for young readers, but the punch out heroes in the center are very nice, and the story is surprisingly solid. "Heroes United" is just an introduction to the characters, the five male members of the Super Friends (no Wonder Woman). "Attack of the Robot" puts them up against Lex Luthor. The only problem I have with the book is the lack of Wonder Woman, otherwise it's very cute and sweet.
  • DC Super Friends Young Readers Volume 2: "Flying High" - Again, no Wonder Woman. Aquaman doesn't appear on the cover, but is in the book. This one is at the youngest reading level, while the other book was at a slightly older level. The story involves the Penguin, but naturally hasn't got much detail. Still, it's fun. Just not as fun as the first one.
This week's library movie was Stardust. I've read the original, and I must admit it was slightly better than the movie. Of course. But the real fun was seeing where the movie veers away from the book, and what bits are different completely. The scenes from the book are wonderfully realized. The changes were mostly for the best and worked very well. Overall, this is just a great movie to see for a light evening's entertainment. But read the book first. It's even more fun that way.

My library book this week was Orphans of Chaos by John C. Wright. It was recommended by an Androgum at our last Doctor Who party, so I figured I'd give it a chance. It is very strange. The orphans live in a school in which they are outnumbered by the staff, and each of the children seems to have abilities beyond normal humans. Not to mention a great deal of intelligence. The story veered off into high concepts at times, which made for an odd read. Overall, though, it was an enjoyable read and a nice contrast to my usual fare.

Another Agatha Christie book this week, The Secret Adversary, her second published novel. This one features Tommy and Tuppence, a young couple seeking money and adventure who get caught up in a mystery involving a missing girl. I was cursing myself at the end of the book, when I realized that I'd half-missed the vital clue. Yeah, I caught the clue itself, but missed the full meaning. Argh! So... I liked this one a lot.