Sunday, November 01, 2009

A Sunday Review

Didn't get much TV watched this week, but we'll get to it eventually. We really do most of our TV watching on Friday and Saturday nights, and this week Eric was gone both nights, and well, you know what happened on Hallowe'en!

TV this week:
  • Ghost Lab: "Under the Skin" - A correlation between tattoos and paranormal activity? Oh-kay. That is one incredible Tattoo parlour, though. I can see why Richie was so attached to it. Now, getting a tattoo just to draw out a ghost seems a little extreme to me, but I have to admit that's a pretty cool logo to have tattooed on your arm. And then an EVP that swears at them, so they can't actually play it on TV. That's pretty amusing. Then they go to a haunted brothel in Texas, and leave the one female member of the team alone in the building, taking a bath. No, I'm not kidding. These folks try everything to bring out the ghosts.
  • Destination Truth: "Werewolf/Africa Monster" - This is the "trip and fall" episode. They start in Romania looking for a werewolf, and the cameraman takes an impressive tumble. All they find are regular wolves, possibly large ones. Then they wander to a hostile desert in Chile and find dinosaur tracks and possibly find a dino descendent. This time Josh slips down a mountainside on a loose piece of rock. This show has one very impressive moment when Josh actually refuses to get into an old plane with engine problems. Remember, this is the guy who had the windshield of a cockpit fall off in mid-flight. If he doesn't want to fly in that plane, I think it's time to junk it.
  • Ghost Hunters: "Rocky Mountain Hauntings" - This investigation was in Manitou Springs, CO at Briarhurst Manor, picked as part of the Great American Ghost Hunt. It was suitably creepy, but again, not much of substance was found. There's a part of me that really wants to believe that ghosts are external, but the more I see on various ghostie shows, the more I think that ghosts are an internal expression of something common to human nature.

This week's comic book review is Beasts of Burden from Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson. I was introduced to this from a Hallowe'en mini-comic, and enjoyed the first story, Stray (the complete story is available on the Dark Horse website at that link). Eventually I heard about the ongoing series, and Evan Dorkin linked to all three shorts available free online from his Livejournal. I read The Unfamiliar and Let Sleeping Dogs Lie and suddenly realized that I really like this series and I wanted to read the mini that's coming out. Problem is, I hadn't ordered it, and without a local comic shop, getting my hands on it was going to be difficult. Luckily, a trip to civilization meant I was able to catch the first two issues, and except for the fourth short story (A Dog and His Boy) I'm all caught up.

The stories concern a group of six animals living on Burden Hill that stumble onto the supernatural and slowly become experts. The animals are: Pugsley, a skeptical and obnoxious pug; Rex the cowardly Doberman pinscher; Whitey, a hyperactive Jack Russell terrier; Jack, a beagle whose haunted doghouse started the group's involvement in the supernatural; Ace, the sensible and compassionate Husky, and Orphan the homeless marmalade cat. They are supported by the Wise Dog, a bearded collie who has knowledge of the mystic and Apprentice Wise Dog Miranda, a black lab. Another local dog is Red the Irish Setter. The first short story involves Jack's haunted doghouse, then the group faces off against a coven of witches. Then there are zombies (sigh) and the fourth short story apparently involves a werewolf. The first issue of the new series involves a rain of frogs (yay, Fortean!). The second issue is about lost puppies. And, of course, these one-line summaries don't do any justice at all to the stories. They are funny, touching, beautiful, grim, brutal, and just generally awesome. I highly recommend this series to any animal lovers (and a few animal haters as well) and plan on getting the collection when it comes out.

Agatha Christie this week was Crooked House from 1949. A woman will not consent to marry her love until the murder of her beloved grandfather has been solved. Again, do not rule ANYONE out as the murderer in a Christie mystery. I briefly had the right person, but quickly dismissed it despite the stuff staring me in the face. *sigh* I'll get one of these eventually. Maybe. I've still got a great many years of her stuff to read. Maybe I'll get one that isn't a short story before I'm done. Maybe.