Sunday, August 01, 2010

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • History Detectives: "Andrew Jackson’s Mouth, Barton Letter, Spybook" - The fact that they were able to confirm the origin of the mouth is cool, the fact that it's going to be reunited with the head is cooler. I was a little disappointed that Clara Barton herself didn't sign the letter, but the stories around it were powerful. The Spy booklet had some amazing history related to it. I have chatted with grandparents about the war, and they say that it was such a different time that we wouldn't understand. Artifacts like this tell that story.
  • History Detectives: "Cromwell Dixon, Bartlett Sketchbook, Duke Ellington Plates" - I can't imagine being a pilot in those times. I have enough trouble with heights as it is, that plane she sat on that was completely open would scare me too much to endure. Ok, finding that sketchbook is something like a fantasy. I'd love to run across something like that. That is a find of a lifetime, and priceless to boot. The last one was a repeat, so we didn't rewatch it.
  • History Detectives: "Korean War Letter, Diana, Lookout Mt. Painting" - The war letter is a surprising look at the forgotten war. My generation knows the war entirely from MASH. This little moment of the war is a powerful reminder of what we lost in those years. The Diana book is one that I suddenly want to read. All about being a complete outsider, to the point that you might even be illegal, it sounds right up my alley. And the painting takes us back to the Civil War yet again. The reaction of the great-granddaughter to seeing one of her ancestor's paintings in person made the whole segment. The next episode appears to be all repeats, so we may skip that.

  • Battlestar Galactica: "The Eye of Jupiter" - Another intense episode that ends just when everything gets really exciting. I actually wanted to watch the next episode immediately. After all, with Starbuck down and Cylons right there... wow.
  • Battlestar Galactica: "Rapture" - So, that's it for Lucy Lawless, eh? She's been "boxed" because she found out something she wasn't supposed to know. At least, that's how I interpret Dean Stockwell's performance. I really wonder who she saw. The fact that she knew the person means it's a main character, right?
  • Battlestar Galactica: "Taking a Break from All Your Worries" - A pretty grim episode for such a light-hearted title. Torture. Not good. And driving Baltar even further over the edge is scary. If they even had a notion of the soup inside his mind, they wouldn't have dared try that trick.

  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: "Beware The Beast from Below" - I started to watch this based entirely on this review. The in-jokes in this made hubby-Eric and I giggle throughout, when we weren't wincing from the sheer silliness. I loved that the work crew stated outright that they were being stupid by investigating the barrels, but did it anyway. I'm not sure the show is improved by adding the parents, the locale, and lowering the age of our heroes to high school (I always figured they were just out of high school and on a road trip before college). And the love thing between Shaggy and Velma is pretty annoying. But it's got a cheeky sense of humor that makes it worth watching.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: "The Creeping Creatures" - In this second episode, the crew are sent to investigate a mystery in Gatorsburg, a ghost town that died off when the gators did. Again, the self-aware humor makes this whole thing work. I find myself enjoying it despite all the cringe-worthy moments.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: "Secret of the Ghost Rig" - Wow, Fred is utterly clueless in this one. Moreso than he ever was in the original. I guess I miss the tag-team of a smart Fred and Velma with their hanger-ons. Still, the way this show fails to take itself too seriously allows it to work.

  • Stephen Fry in America: "New World" - Stephen visits the Northeastern United States and tells about almost being born American. This is a pretty cool look at the US from the outside. I particulary like the visit with an Englishman in New York.
  • Stephen Fry in America: "Deep South" - Stephen finds the Mason-Dixon line then travels south, heading down a coal mine and visiting a distillery. Then he gets a haircut at a genuine barbershop. I think the body farm visit was the most strange locale. His horse ride was great.

  • Being Human: "Series 2, Episode 1" - The chopped up version that BBC America shows is a little irritating, particular in their odd choices of what to blur out and silence. I am really tempted to go find an uncut version to watch and hope it makes more sense.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic book shipment that arrived this week, of books originally released July 8th and 14th:
  • Girl Genius Volume 9 Hardcover - The fact that I've already read everything in the book online didn't make rereading it any less fun. In fact, I caught quite a few things I'd missed on the first read. Now I want to read the entire series from the beginning... again.
  • Brightest Day #5 - Aquaman and Mera take on BP? I already mused that deep water oil drilling wouldn't be allowed by Atlanteans in the DC Universe, I guess I was only partly right.
  • JSA All-Stars #8 - Cyclone... the Oz character is in a bit of a jam. Her love life and her life both messed up at the same time. The back-up story continues to confuse me, but it's oddly good.
  • Demo Vol 2 #6 - Last issue, and a doozy. Hit this one out of the park with a story of two people who can't live together but can't live apart. Wow. Intense stuff!
  • Astro City: Silver Agent #1 - Nice look into the origins of what used to be the most mysterious hero of all of Astro City. I'm glad to see this story come out, because it means I'm a longtime fan who is getting what she demanded. heh.

  • Birds of Prey #3 - Wait, who's the villain?
  • Super Friends #29 - NOOOO!!!!! NOOOO!!! DC NOOO!!! YOU CAN'T CANCEL THIS BOOK!!!!! NO!!!!! WAH!!!!!! *ahem* Fun little issue, especially the bits with Aquaman. But DC, why did you cancel it? WAH!
  • DMZ #55 - I'm not sure what to make of this book any more. Part of me thinks it's about time it ends, but then an issue like this one comes along that highlights a deeper truth, and I just want it to keep going.
  • Doctor Who Annual 2010 - I liked the first three stories, but the last one was related to the current storyline in the book and did nothing at all for me. Pity.

My library book this week was Mennyms Alive by Sylvia Waugh. I had to wait on this last volume as the local library system no longer has a copy. This is the final Mennyms book, taking them from the unexpected events of the last book into an uncertain but certainly promising future. As with all the others, the problems seem minor, yet are still exciting to work out. Figuring out what will happen next is the joy of this series, and Waugh manages to twist and turn it enough that you're never quite sure. And so the series ends, but I'd still love to see some final visit to the family. In any case, it was a fun ride, and a good read.

Agatha Christie this week was Cat Among the Pigeons from 1959. Teachers are being murdered at an exclusive girls' school, and Poirot is the only one who can solve it. This one has so many twists and turns, most of them before Poirot even shows up, that it's almost difficult to follow. But it all works out eventually, as these books always do. I didn't get the murderer. I follow a red herring, and realized that I was being fed the herring and couldn't figure out who it was even though I knew I was wrong. I'm going to have to wait on interlibrary loan for the next books, so it may be awhile.


Jay said...

On "Being Human," did they cut out the bit where Daisy says, "Oh, that's sweet, you might tear someone's throat out, but God forbid anyone should see your winky!"

Signed - a Being Human fan who has the first two series on R2 DVD.

Tegan said...

That line was there, but there was a lot of unneeded blurring all around it. Like we've never seen a guy's butt before.