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Princess Bride - Inigo

Shallow Thoughts

The Sporadic Spewings of InigoMontoya

Wednesday Night Telly: UK vs. US
Princess Bride - Inigo
So nobody watched this week's Chuck or Heroes?

Tuesday night’s are (currently) Lost marathon nights with my neighbour, largely because there’s generally nothing else on in either country. Wednesdays are a different story, at least as far as the US is concerned:

BBC2 Trouble in Amish ParadiseCollapse )
Channel 4 Grand DesignsCollapse )

ABC LostCollapse )
NBC LifeCollapse )

Tonight’s winner: Life
Score to date: UK 1, US 1.

Monday Night Telly: UK vs. US
Princess Bride - Inigo
I make this resolution. I will strive to avoid compound sentences. Each sentence will be short and pertinent. Will this resolution last the duration of this post?

I watch more American telly than British. Most of my favourite shows have come from across the pond. Yet, British television has the superior reputation. Is it deserved? I thought I might experiment with a diary of comparison.

ITV: WhitechapelCollapse )
BBC2: Moses JonesCollapse )

NBC: ChuckCollapse )
NBC: HeroesCollapse )

Tonight’s winner: Moses Jones.
Score to date: UK 1, US 0.

Project Equilibrium: More Boggle
Princess Bride - Inigo
Gaby, I cannot work out a way to do Jenga. It's a shame as I love playing it but you just can't get round needing to feel the bars. There are some online versions but they're weak imitations.

So, I give you a new Boggle, this time, with picture to make it easier:

Apparently, there are 464 words to find. Good luck!

A Polite Furore: Irish Carbomb Cupcakes
Princess Bride - Inigo
I am a big fan of the blog Smitten Kitchen. It’s written by a talented cook who writes about the food she makes for her self and her site-photographer husband in her small New York kitchen. Her most recent entry bore the title “Irish Carbomb cupcakes,” a delicious concoction of chocolate, Guinness and Bailey’s. I’m notoriously insensitive to sensitive issues and frequently need explained to me why something said may be considered offensive by others, so I was delighted to find an example where I was actually ahead of the game.

The use of the title, which is the name of the well-known American cocktail from which the inspiration for the recipe is derived, stood unchallenged for quite some time as poster after poster cooed at that lusciousness of the sweet treats. Finally, this question arose in a post from “a Belfast baker” who asked what desserts celebrated the events in Gaza or the destruction of the World Trade Centre. Another poster made the point from the British perspective that the fact that much of the IRA’s funding came from America makes popular use of the name there even bitterer.

The joy of Smitten Kitchen was that the post did not lead to the sort of internet slanging match that is the usual result of this type of debate. Sure, a few people suggested that the posters calling foul needed to chill out, but the debate was mild and it was polite. To the site’s credit, it took a very short time for the title to be changed to “Chocolate, whiskey and beer cupcakes.”

Smitten Kitchen: civilised and tasty.

Irish Carbombs: offensive or over-sensitive?

Mainlining Lost
Princess Bride - Inigo
I and my Thursday night TV mate gave up on Lost midway through Season 2. We watched the episode where Michael shot two people and mutually decided that we had just lost interest. The years go by and I start hearing good things about the show again from people whose opinions I value. Being an all or nothing sort, I decided to catch-up in time for the start of Season 5 and yet, I still couldn't really work up the enthusiasm. I left it late and then watched the rest of Season 2 over the course of a couple of weeks. As time was really starting to press, I barrelled through Season 3 at some point during which, it suddenly occurred to me that my doing so was no longer a chore but a rising interest in the show to the extent that I've watched Seasons 3 and 4 in less than a week. Go me!

So, anyone else going to be watching?

Thanks to Gaby for playing Boogle. Your output was stupendous! I am working on how I can provide you with an internet version of another favourite game - Jenga. There are some kinks to work out.

Edited to correct italics blooper.

Persuasion, the Golden Globes and Boggle!
Princess Bride - Inigo
Before I do anything, I want to say "God bless you" to sqaringkarma, wee_warrior, chantarelle, and apriljoiex for their stirling efforts since my last post in helping me with Project Equilibrium. I hadn't appreciated quite how frustrating it would be to watch others play hangman. I wanted to join in! On the lyrics, I managed the Gloria Gaynor without Google but sadly cannot say the same about Natasha Bedingfield. In kind thanks for your efforts, posters, I have what I hope you'll find a treat at the end of today's post.

spectralbovine posted about the Golden Globes the other day, mentioning that he did not know Globe winner Sally Hawkins. Watching the Globes live, reading the Cow's post, and seeing the terrible The Lake House all within 24 hours, caused me to review my long and storied past with Jane Austen's Persuasion. When I was 15, Persuasion was one of my O-level books for English Lit and so I was forced to read it. I was a voracious reader of trash at that age, so Austen's delicate observation was dry and dull, coupled with an impatience for the protagonists to just get on with it. In short, I hated it.

Years later, I watched the adaptation with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hands. It was enjoyable and I was bemused. All I could remember was that I hated the book. I got a copy of the video and watched again, becoming more and more impressed. This sent me back to the book wherein I discovered not just the joys of of it, but that I actually, shockingly, preferred it over Pride and Prejudice. There was something about Anne Elliot's quiet pain and fortitude that made her more endearing to me than Elizabeth Bennet. So I was excited in 2007 when I learned of a new adaptation, starring Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry-Jones. Sally Hawkins was a very different but nonetheless wonderful Anne Elliot. She has a soft humour behind her eyes that shone and that star quality effect of making it hard to look away whenever she's on screen. I heartily recommend it. I do not recommend the rather silly The Lake House even if Sandra Bullock's character has the good taste to call Persuasion her favourite book.

The point of all this is to tell Polter-Cow that he should get himself to Netflix.

Can anyone help apriljoiex? She's desperate for some BSG icons but being only halfway through Season 2, she's reluctant to look for fear of spoilers. She's at the point where I more or less stopped watching although I'm aware of what's happened since so I'm a poor candidate for being able to help her, not being sure when anything was revealed. Her post is here if there are any BSG fans in the building.

Finally, as promised, an alternative to Hangman. I love Boggle although I haven't played in years. That lack of practice plus encroaching senility made me useless playing online recently. You all can do so much better. I present a grid for you to see how many of the 332 words of three letters or more you can get. Remember that each letter must touch the next vertically, horizontally or diagonally.


Ambition 2009: Equilibrium
Princess Bride - Inigo
I rarely make New Year resolutions. When I do, I never stick with them and thus start the year feeling like an abject failure. So what's this about?

It's about LJ posts. I was rejected from a community that I would very much like to be a part of because of the disparity between the number of comments I make and the number of comments I receive. The bugger of it is is that the thing I need to change, I can't control. Frankly stated, guys, I need more comments. Lots and lots more comments. (If there are two of you out there who want to play hangman in my comments, have at it.) And I need to stop commenting in other journals. What a way to be friendly!

Anyway, as I don't want to be a complete selfish cow in my endeavour to improve my statistics, I will be responding to comments and friends' posts by way of journal entries in the main. So first, thanks to squaringkarma, lea724, and filmtx for the Leverage recommendations. I would like to watch but so far, I've no means to do so. I have to hope it makes its way to the UK.

For my fellow witches at we_3_witches, a Lost update: I'm up to Season 3, Episode 4. I just might make it to the end of Season 4 in time. Anybody watching 24? Sky actually had the first two-episode S7 starter on last night, the day after its showing in the States, but sadly we won't get 3-4 until next week. That said, I could keep up if there's an interest on the community journal.

gymble has been catching up on shows, including True Blood. I'm just about to finish my second full watch-through, this time with a neighbour who is really hooked on it. It's funny because I would never have imagined that her Daily Mail reading self would turn out to love it so. I've a third complete rewatch coming up with my friend Kate. If I survive that, I'm set for the second season. Oh, heck, I'll be there anyway. I love trashy fun.

Everyone needs to see wee_warrior's puddy cat with the fashionable pink legging. Tailing? A definite trend.

Tomorrow, I need to talk about Persuasion and its connection in my head with the Golden Globes. No doubt we'll make up the deficit of 2,500 comments in no time.

Princess Bride - Inigo
It's been suggested that I might like this show but my efforts to find a means of watching that doesn't involve Chinese buffering or being cut off after 72 minutes a day have proved futile. My search continues. In the meantime, would you recommend it?

Try This: Wallander
Princess Bride - Inigo
Viewers expecting Kenneth Branagh to shine as Kurt Wallander, the Swedish detective of the books of award-winning author Henning Mankell, will be scurrying to find new words. Shiny is not an adjective that can be applied to Wallander. The colours are bleak and clear, almost transparent; all grey and white and brown and washed out where even blood is carmine rather than crimson. Only yellow pierces the muted tones, used to spectacular effect as the field of rapeseed in the opening scene gives way to the show's black on yellow credits and a vocal of eerie sparseness.

Branagh does an impeccable job of introducing the character to a new audience. Within the first five minutes, you know that he is a man who drowns in his emotions and for whom each experience adds to the already unbearable burden on his shoulders. He's unkempt, raw and achingly tired. That this is the status quo is clear from the actions of his team who know when he needs to be left alone. Every word he utters is reluctant. Branagh's delivery and demeanour lets you see the effect of each blow. The supporting cast is excellent too but this is Branagh's to hold or lose.

The mysteries of the first two of three episodes are complex. This is one of those shows where you have to pay attention, even though the pace is fairly slow. I found some of the key elements in the second episode a little unbelievable but it's a minor quibble because the real power was in the effect those events had on Wallander himself. I must also hope that the final episode, and the ones to come next year (Branagh's schedule permitting), don't all follow the same formula of disparate deaths mysteriously connected as we've had twice now.

This is a co-production with PBS and I believe that the series will be shown in America in March next year. I haven't crossposted this to we_3_witches because I don't think this would appeal to my fellow witches but there are those of you on my flist who may be interested in seeing this. I do recommend it with feeling.

Does the world need another middle-aged, world-weary policeman? Yes, I think so. It's been a poorer place since the passing of Inspector Endeavour Morse. Existing cosy who-dun-its like Midsomer Murders lack the substance that Inspector Morse had. There hasn't really been anything else since Prime Suspect to fill that void. Wallander has yet to prove that it is a worthy successor, but it's a damn good effort and the first such attempt by the BBC in a long time.

Try This: The Devil's Whore
Princess Bride - Inigo
I am here, once again, to sing the praises of another British drama which those of you with the skill to obtain may enjoy. This time the offering is from Channel 4 and it's a historic romp that is sexier than the BBC's output and 58 times better (so far) than The Tudors. It's a four part serial and the first part was shown this last Wednesday night.

Written by Peter Flannery, who gave the world Our Friends in the North, The Devil's Whore follows the life in turbulent times of Angelica Fanshawe (Andrea Riseborough). In 1638, as she prays on her wedding day in the company of King Charles I who counts her a favourite, her mind wanders to her birth. A comet appeared in the sky and bells rang out that night, but it's clear from the disappointed look on her father's face on checking her gender that the bells did not sound out for her; they heralded the burning alive of her mother's Catholic priest outside. Angelica's strained relationship with religion was set from the start and at important junctures of her life, she sees the devil, a long-limbed, long-tongued being observing and laughing at her from convenient high points. Angelica is strong, sensuous, and independent, qualities that do not suit her to the life she was born to lead. The English civil war rips apart her life but also gives her opportunity to be what she is.

John Simm, Harry Lloyd, Michael Fassbender, and more...Collapse )

Crossposted to we_3_witches.