Monday, November 09, 2009

A Sunday Monday Review

TV this week:

  • Dinner Impossible: "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: Rock the Chef" - Yay, Seattle Grunge! Boo, coffee was the first thing he thought of. C'mon, why not seafood? Yuck. That's a Seattle course I wouldn't want any part of. Destroying perfectly good chocolate by adding coffee (BLEAH) to it should be a crime. Utter waste of good chocolate. Anyway, the rest of the challenge was suitably difficult. It was typical Robert to see him yell at that poor chef that volunteered his efforts but couldn't handle the workload, and very uncomfortable viewing. The food went over well, as usual. They were lucky the weather didn't mess 'em up. Except for the awful coffee crap, a good episode.
  • Numb3rs: "Hydra" - Kidnapping case. Always makes me feel squicky. The dad didn't seem very likable in the first scene. The direction of this episode is very different from the usual feel of this show. The gratuitous car chase scene was frenetic. And the subject matter... well, not entirely out there, but close. I liked the resolution.
  • Ghost Lab: "Murky Water" - Fifth episode. First location is Nottoway Plantation in Louisiana. The hypothesis is that the Mississippi river is generating electromagnetic fields that are "feeding" the ghosts in the plantation house. To test the theory, they compared the conductivity of the river water versus bottled water. Then they checked to see if there was any movement of EMF from the river to the house. Then they noted that only areas of the house in the direct path of the EMF from the river were reported to be haunted. I don't think they proved it, but at least there was a semblance of science there. The second location was the Metro Club in Chicago. They found a source of running water under the building to link it to the first location, but otherwise it was a pretty standard investigation.
  • Heroes: "Strange Attractors" - I like Matt, I hate Sylar's nastiness. I'm not fond of the situation with Claire and Gretchen, because I really hate invisible girl. But Jeremy's story is a good piece of tragic fiction. A surprisingly strong episode.
  • Dinner Impossible: "Double Jeopardy" - Nice theme, and nasty helpers! I'd like the desserts. Raspberry and chocolate rock. I like the notion of Robert being his own Evil Twin. I don't think I'd ever want to work with Robert. My self-esteem is low enough, thank you. Nice how the weather again gets in the way. Another good episode.
  • Destination Truth: "Bhutan Yeti" - I absolutely ADORE the cultural bits in this one. The monk's cellphone ringing was a highlight, but the roadside fire ceremony was just cool, especially how they practically ran them over.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: "Inside the Outsiders" - Fun opening with Green Lantern being grossed out. And the Outsiders are an interesting little team in this cartoon. Needs more Aquaman, of course.
  • Numb3rs: "Dreamland" - UFO hunters witness a woman being killed by unexplained lights from the sky. I was thinking this would be a farce, but except for a single character who claims to be from the Pentagon, it was a fairly serious story. It was nice to have a fairly light story, even if it involved four deaths.
  • Ghost Hunters: "Ghost of Buffalo Bill" - Another celebrity guest ghost hunter in this one. The Buffalo Bill Museum looks kind of fun. The discovery of high EMF fields makes TAPS say, "there may be nothing here" but would make the Ghost Lab people say, "Oh, fuel for hunting!" That's one of the differences between the two groups. I'd be interested to hear if the activity slows or ceases when those towers are taken out. The second place, in Georgia, was a nicely spooky house. But it's old and therefore very creaky. The TV problem sounds like you need an electrician, not Ghost Hunters... amusingly, they agreed with me.
  • Heroes: "Once Upon a Time in Texas" - Poor Hiro. Even when he succeeds he fails. I really really hate the circus guy. Even more now. I'm not sure what to make of Bennett's little rendezvous.
  • Numb3rs: "Shadow Markets" - What an incredibly idiotic hacker dude. I mean, I know some of them aren't exactly saavy about the world, but that is a little beyond the pale. Wow. This one never felt resolved because enough of the action happened off-screen while we focused on nerd-boy. Alan's new boss is a hoot.
  • Sarah Jane Adventures: "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith" - Not feeling it. Sorry. No chemistry at all between Sarah Jane and Peter. If I'd felt a little chemistry, I would've bought the story as a whole, but there was nothing there on screen. Nice to see the Doctor, and nice to see Rani and Clyde's response to him. But the story fell flat for me because of that utter lack of on-screen chemistry.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic book shipment that arrived this week, of books originally released October 21st and 28th:
  • Blackest Night: Superman #3 - Zombies. As my hubby pointed out, regular and Marvel Zombies go for the brain. DC Zombies go for the heart. Will Image or Dark Horse Zombies go after courage? And I wonder, do some zombies just want to go home?
  • Justice League of America #38 - Detroit League rejects and DC Zombies. *sigh*
  • JSA vs Kobra #5 - Not really sure what is going on in this one, but it's not too bad.
  • DCU Halloween Special 2009 - Standard mixed quality anthology. I'm actually less impressed overall in this one. Still, it was nice to see Aquagirl named as one of the most powerful Titans by Wonder Woman. Needs more Aquaman.
  • Tiny Titans #21 - Yay! Mera! Soapy sudsy ocean! Yay!

  • Blackest Night #4 - Yay Mera! Kick butt and take names! Yay! And AquaZombie appears as well, *yawn*. I liked the appearance of Scarecrow.
  • Blackest Night: Titans #3 - TulaZombie and GarthZombie double-teaming Victor? I lost track of TulaZombie in the fight, but I see GarthZombie escaped to fight another day. I'm amused by the redesign of GarthZombie's scar and uniform.
  • Green Lantern #47 - More cosmic zombie adventures. Trying to care. Failing.
  • Justice Society of America #32 - Stretching out the Mr Terrific tale for another issue? I like the bounty listing showing the members of the JSA.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold #10 - This is such a fun book. I love the reaction of Green Arrow to Batman's, er, problem. Good thing Atom was there.
  • Astro City: Astra Special #2 - Aw man. Not what I expected to happen. And it was odd, but I was sitting there reading it and thinking, "Astra can't leave Earth! She's a superhero!" And then I realized that she's part of a universe that can change at any moment because it's not set. YAY!
  • Northlanders #21 - Brutal start to a promising story. I like the character we've been introduced to here, and I hope her story is more happy than I expect it to be based on the start.

Agatha Christie this week was Three Blind Mice and Other Stories, also published as The Mousetrap, a 1950 Collection.
  • Three Blind Mice - A murder leads police to a guest house to investigate possible future murders. This is the short story that was based on a radio play that later became The Mousetrap, the long-running play that is still going in the West End. I was surprised by the solution, which made me extremely happy. The potential for having had this story spoiled on me in all these years was high. I'm amazed I never heard it before.
  • Strange Jest - The heirs of a bachelor cannot find his fortune. I love Miss Marple. I'm not sure what more to say. There were idioms in this that I didn't stand a chance of understanding, so I could not have solved it.
  • Tape-Measure Murder - A woman is murdered and her husband is accused, but the facts don't add up. More Miss Marple, and I was impressed at seeing her actually get angry, showing it by her interference and her almost-rant at the end.
  • The Case of the Perfect Maid - A maid is fired after being accused of stealing a brooch, and the new maid is too perfect. Miss Marple again uses her observation skills to protect the reputation of the fired maid.
  • The Case of the Caretaker - A boy returns to his hometown with his rich bride. I love the framing for this one, with Miss Marple recovering from a flu and being given a "puzzle" by her doctor. Again, she observes what I didn't see, even though it was there.
  • The Third-Floor Flat - A murder is discovered by men trying to get into a flat they are locked out of. This is a Poirot adventure, and I was very happy to see him appear. I love the short stories when we get a mix of Marple and Poirot. The stories complement each other.
  • The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly - The case of a kidnapped child is child's play for Poirot. The motive behind this is just... wow. Impressive.
  • Four and Twenty Blackbirds - Poirot becomes interested when a reliable pattern is broken. I had a feeling of what was happening, but I didn't figure out the exact motive and method before the reveal.
  • The Love Detectives - On the way to a murder scene, Satterthwaite runs into Mr Quin. Any time you start a story with Satterthwaite you can expect a touch of the supernatural to appear. Mr Quin is a supernatural being, after all. And Quin's snark made the results of this one obvious even to me. And so we finish the book with a story that I figured out before the reveal... Ah, this was a great book!
Put all together, this is a great collection. I wish I could see the play itself, but I'll settle for this version of the tale. While I love the longer novels, I think the short stories are fantastic as well. I sure hope that I can find and read every story eventually.