Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Doctor Who: "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" - Every episode this season I've felt let down a little. I'm not sure why. This one bothered me a bit too, and again, I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's just trying too hard to be too much, instead of concentrating on telling a good story. It's not that it's bad, I would watch Doctor Who over just about any other show, still. Anyway, a decent episode with more elements of the overall plot. But it's just missing... something.

  • Downton Abbey: Season 1, Episode 1, UK version - I figured it was about time to take advantage of the Amazon Prime I bought, and so I watched this first episode to see what all the fuss is about. It was ok, well acted with a tight script. I was annoyed at the streaming from Amazon, lots of delays and a tendency for the sound and picture to get out of sync. The show itself seems like a standard soap opera/drama, but I suppose I'll probably watch more of it.
  • Downton Abbey: Season 1, Episode 2, UK version - Until I figure out how to get rid of the lag, it's going to be very annoying watching anything on Amazon streaming. However, despite the frequent interruptions to get the video and audio back in sync, the story was lovely. Particularly Carson's revelation, but also the Not-"Harriet Jones, Prime Minister," showing her steel against Dame Maggie Smith. Yes, everything is a Doctor Who reference to me, deal with it.

  • Young Justice: "Complications" - Revenge certainly came in handy for Megan. As for Nightwing, I wonder what he's going to do with his knowledge. He really needs a little help.
  • Young Justice: "The Hunt" - Um, yay? That doesn't seem like much of a victory. I'm beginning to wonder if the series will end on a status quo, or if all the many plot threads will get resolved.
  • Young Justice: "Intervention" - Ah, this was another good one. I love when the history of a character gets explored, and this one does a little exploring. Now, if only I knew what was happening with Kaldur.

The Hunger Games. I read the books some time ago, and found them a fascinating dystopian vision. I figured the movie would be horrible compared to the books, or at least far more difficult to endure. And I was right. Very very difficult to watch. And surprisingly good. I don't know if I could tolerate the sequels. I still haven't forgiven the third book for... a particular plot element that essentially made the whole point of Katniss' efforts moot, in a way. There was, in the movie, a lot of the essential bits left out. The reason for Haymitch's determination to drink himself into oblivion, for instance, is implied but never quite spelled out like in the book. Still, I'm afraid I really got into it. I'm not sure I wanted to get into it, but I did, and I mostly enjoyed the viewing experience although it left me disturbed, again, by both the premise and what I know will be coming in the future for the main characters.

Fortean Times #293
Fortean Times #293 (November 2012). Hate hate hate the cover. I didn't know the case the cover story is referring to (thus exposing some of the gaps in my Fortean knowledge) but the story got me up to speed. The case inspired a movie, and the cover of the magazine is basically the movie promo poster. Yuck.

Because the case was a poltergeist (aka a noisy ghost), the other main articles in this issue are about poltergeists. Most of them are better than the cover story, which isn't exactly a promo for the movie but comes a little too close for my comfort. The Science section is about the science of poltergeists. The Ghostwatch section is about, yup, poltergeists. You could certainly say this is a poltergeist issue.

Strangedays has a report of a lion sighting in Essex and some good pictures of more crop "glyphs" (because they aren't just circles anymore!). There's also a bit about a black fox and a (I'm not making this up) meter-long creature dubbed a 'Trouser Snake' found in the Amazonian rainforest. The Illustrated Police News is about a Welsh hermit with a menagerie of animals. Fortean Traveller is about Cambodian monks.

The 2012 Watch is about a nearly incomprehensible doomsday prophet and religious 'new agers' who also predict doom. Alien Zoo has a recreation of the famous "Thunderbird photo" and also talks about snakes that spit rocks and a supposed stuffed Thunderbird in a Canadian town. Archaeology has bits on mediaeval underwear, a woman buried with a cow, ancient importation of olives and stone warriors that pre-date the terra cotta warriors of China. Classical Corner is about Roman newspapers, or the equivalent thereof. Konspiracy Korner is about the "one world government" conspiracy. The UFO files has a story about a video game promotion during the Olympics that suggested an alien invasion was taking place... silly season indeed.

The Fortean Dictionary is about levitation. The Forum starts with the tale of the Satori deer and moves on to the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea in Devon. The reviews are a fun read, as usual and the letters help to answer some mysteries from previous issues as well as give chills with references to Lovecraft. The stories in "it happened to me..." were excellent as well.

Yet another good issue of the best magazine available. As long as you don't take it too seriously. And I'll note, I'm kind of summarizing the magazine, but I'm barely touching the surface of what actually in each issue. By the way, I order my copy through IMS, although I love digital, I like reading magazines in paper form still. I'm also still very far behind in my reviewing, but if I can keep up the pace (no promises) I should be caught up and going back to monthly reviews of this magazine in late June or early July.