Sunday, September 7, 2014

Because Holodecks Don't Exist: The Russia Shift

Just so you know, I'm working on that next Bechdel-related post. I've been watching other episodes of TNG and DS9 and I should have the next couple of posts up this week! Hooray!

In other news, I've FINALLY just about beat this sinus/respiratory infection. After a double course of antibiotics, a new allergy medicine, and a bottle of ibuprofen, I think I'm mostly free of this beast. No fever for a few days and I actually managed to get back in the gym yesterday and only overdid it a little bit.

(Quick shout out/thank you to my mom and Kate who sent me care packages! And everyone else who emailed to ask how I was! I feel so loved!)

Alright, so what have I been watching/reading this week?

The Fuse from Image Comics
Story by Antony Johnston, Art by Justin Greenwood
Alright so this is basically a gritty, police procedural, which all takes place in a hugenormous space station floating in Earth's orbit. There's a lot of standard police procedural stuff going on here. A gripping, victim-focused teaser, a new, awkward partnership, a rookie and old hand, a cranky guy in charge. But, in just about every way, Johnson and Greenwood find ways surprise and subvert our expectations. I got the first issue free (and you can too!) and immediately bought the entire Digital Trade Paperback and read it in one sitting.

The dialogue is snappy, the pacing is quick, and the plotting is tight.  You can tell immediately how much Sherlock Holmes, Miami Vice, and modern cop dramas Johnson has read/watched. You also get the sense, in the way Klem communicates with others in The Fuse and the way her background gradually surfaces, that this is a story that's been brewing in Johnston's head for a long time. The world inside The Fuse feels complete and he knows his way around it. Additionally, the flat, not-too-detailed art, with its cool, clean color scheme is perfect here and totally helps sell the whole cops on a big-ass space station idea.

 Anyway, the first issue is free so go get it. And read it. And come back and tell me what you thought.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Guys, I am WAY into this book. I didn't even know this thing existed. I read Pride and Prejudice last year and thought maybe I'd try Emma or Mansfield Park next. But, I ran across a thing (probably a Wikipedia entry? Who even knows) that mentioned this book and I went right over to Amazon and got it on kindle (for free because it's literally 200 years old) and I'm ALMOST done. When I finish this post, that's what I'm doing--finishing Northanger Abbey.
So, basically, this is Jane Austen's satirical take on the Gothic Novel. I spent the first part of the year reading old, Gothic novels and I actually stopped because I just couldn't handle anymore creepy reflections in the window or maybe-haunted-cabinets/castles/moors or guys who just seriously hate every single thing ever and can't even handle it. Apparently Jane Austen went through a similar phase and wrote Northanger Abbey. All I'm doing is complaining about it in the middle of this blog entry so I feel pretty inferior right now. Anyway, she tackles spooky tropes the same way she tackled the novels of society--with a perfect balance between unflinching satire of the culture and real affection for her characters. If you're into Gothic fiction and Level 99 sarcasm, why not blend them into a delightful, hilarious literary adventure and devour it as I have.
A book about a girl reading a book? What could be more exciting?

Torchwood (Available on Netflix)
One morning when I was hacking up all of my inside parts and Scott had gone off to the gym or a meeting or something (I wasn't paying attention because I was so gross and feverish) I had this weird desire to just watch some old Torchwood episodes. So, I started at the beginning and watched three (was it four?) straight through. Man, I missed this show. I wasn't really fond of the last season on Starz but, when this show was in its prime, when it was the core group, it had the ability to be amazing. Taking the world/mythos of Doctor Who, the consequences of dealing with alien species etc, into the cop world is a great idea and watching Gwen learn to be a part of Torchwood and then end up being what they all needed to bring them together is such fun.
It also comes with the nostalgia factor. You think, "Oh, Torchwood wasn't that long ago...not much has changed since then..." But, no, it premiered in 2005. That's almost ten years ago. I found myself feeling much the same way I feel when I re-watch Buffy. A lot of, "Aww. I remember when everyone had that shirt/haircut/jacket."

Bonus Points: I could listen to Eve Myles perform alveolar trills all day long.

Bonus Bonus Points: This show is sexy. Super sexy. Basically, everyone is omni-sexual and everyone kisses everyone else all the time including that time James Marsters showed up and it was just a ridiculous, sexy kiss-fest.

A Year Ago-ish: DS9 Season Seven Essentials

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