tv

Apr. 29th, 2017 01:50 am
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
I tried a couple of shows out and rejected them:

Hap and Leonard (on Netflix)
I wanted to like this because the guy who plays Omar on the Wire (Michael K. Williams) plays a gay Vietnam vet. But after a couple of episodes, I didn't like any of the characters. Williams' character, Leonard, was OK, but everyone else was mean and horrible.

Limitless (on Netflix)

A movie spin-off. Brian thinks of himself as a loser and a disappointment to his dad, even though his dad is supportive. He takes a drug called NZT, which temporarily turns him into a super-genious. I enjoyed the pilot because he used his genious for a bunch of things, like diagnosing his father's illness, solving a murder, playing music really well in a park, and talking to people about their problems (social intelligence!). But in the 2nd episode, it's clear that this is just another procedural about a white guy who is a rule-breaking genious for the FBI. He gets away with his rule-breaking because he produces results (and also b/c privilege). The science in the 2nd episode was also pretty bad: an engineered flu strain that was supposedly used for assasinations. Riiiiight. I stopped watching.

I settled on an addictive, violent, perhaps overly dramatic, gripping show on Hulu: BLACK SAILS. This has lots of queerness and is very pretty.
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
My battery cord came in the mail today! After about a week offline, I'm not planning on catching up with the internet.

I read:
The Inexplicable Logic of my Life, by Benjamin Alire Saenz (disappointing)
The Halcyon Bird by Kat Beyer -- fun and fast read
Thor, goddess of Thunder -- super fun, irreverent, great art
(logging these on goodreads if you want to read more of my thoughts)
some fanfics

I watched some mediocre movies from the library, and watched the Oscars. I am, naturally, very proud on Moonlight.

The best thing I watched was "Legion" on Hulu, which I'm excited about. It's a beautifully shot, stylish superhero show. The first episode is like a short movie. There are some scary scenes (psychological horror), but not much gore. David has been in and out of mental institutions for most of his life, told that he is schizophrenic. Later he's told that all of his strange experiences are due to his powers as a mutant who has pschic powers. But he's not sure: just because you have powers doesn't mean you're sane.

It's a fascinating premise, very suspenseful, and I can't wait for the next episode!!
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
The original La Cage aux folles (the birdcage) (1978), in French with English subtitles. A little slow to start, but delightful, warm, and hilarious.

Renato owns a nightclub, mostly featuring drag queens. He lives above it with his long-time partner Albin. Renato's son Laurent comes to visit, announcing his engagement to Andrea, whose family are stuffy conservatives in the government. Andrea lies to her parents and says that Renato is a cultural attache. Laurent (who should feel BAD about himself) talks his father into making the appartment look like a hetero den and having them over for a fancy dinner, continuing the lie. Farce ensues. I notice this has an R rating because GAY but it really doesn't deserve it.

Elementary Season 4

Joan Watson!!!!

The Good Place

This was just OK, and some things about it bothered me a little, but I really liked the characters and the diverse cast. I especially liked Chidi, a black nerdy philosophy professor who clearly has an anxiety disorder. He tries so hard.
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
Films:
MOONLIGHT omg sublime
Arrival
Ghostbusters 2016
Rogue One
Zootopia

TV:
Luke Cage
Stranger Things
Brooklyn 99
Elementary
@midnight
Yuri!! on Ice

Books:
Saga by Vaughn and Staples
TJ and Amal by E.K. Weaver
O Human Star! by Blue Dellaquanti
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
March book 3 by John Lewis et al

Games:
Stardew Valley
Gone Home
Children of Ur
Candy Crush
Hexels http://benhardy.github.io/hexels/

Personal/social:
Walking at the dog park
[personal profile] were_duck's baby, the bleb
Visiting and having lunch with [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Visiting my parents on the farm; seeing family members over Labor Day weekend
My dog park friend got a kidney from his daughter
Making up with and walking with my friend R.
I had a sort of emotional fling (as opposed to a physical fling); which fizzled out but was fun while it lasted, this happened last winter.
I saw [personal profile] anna_bird for the first time in years!
Visited with many friends at WisCon
Gardening and hanging out with my roommate
Comics Club!
Socializing with old friends, and making new twitter friends
2 of my friends got their surgeries funded using social media!

Work and creative:
Volunteering at the humane society
Starting a fan vid! And perhaps more importantly, starting a fan vid club!
I posted one fic on the Ao3 this year (nsfw), and I think it's probably my best fic, idk.
As always, I enjoyed taking pictures and posting them to Flickr!
Meeting with the Anti-Abuse sub-committee for WisCon
Lots of health work, most of which is tedious, except for water bending class which is fun.

ETA:
I also read a lot of fanfic. The standout ones are:
Stuck on the Puzzle by the spectaclesofthor

Known Associates by thingswithwings

Ain't No Grave by spitandvinegar
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Been away for a week! Not planning to catch up on social media.

I saw Rogue One and enjoyed it. I did start to get a headache (due to driving too long, probably) while watching it, which definitely reduced my enjoyment. The last act was excellent and reminded me of

possible spoilers )

My parents and I have picked up the American Jewish tradition of going to a film on Christmas day. A lot of other people seem to be doing this; we've run into neighbors at the theater and there was a decent crowd. It's a great tradition, but I wish the studios would release more happy, upbeat films to coincide with the holiday. Last year we saw Concussion, this year we saw Fences. Neither of these were particularly happy films. We would have loved to see Hidden Figures, but it doesn't come out for another week.

I don't know what I thought of "Fences." It was very much a play put on film. As a story about a family with problems, it wasn't really my kind of thing. But the cast and performances were excellent.

My dad and I watched a couple of episodes of "Vikings" on cable, but found it to be too violent for our tastes.

TV shows

Oct. 10th, 2016 10:18 pm
sasha_feather: Daredevil in a suit (Daredevil)
Inspired by kuwdora, here is some of what I'm watching lately:

@midnight
A quiz-style comedy show with guests and internet prompts. There is the occasional offensive joke (based on joking about diabetes or something else tasteless); but overall it's well done if a bit on the rude side. Sometimes I laugh my butt off which is what I need. I watch this on Hulu.

Pitch
I've watched the first three eps on Hulu, and I'm in love. Ginny Baker is the first woman to play in the major leagues. She's a pitcher for the San Diego Padres. All the characters are nuanced and each episode has a theme that is explored. The pilot focuses on Ginny's first games and her relationship with her father. The second ep focuses on Ginny being in the spotlight of celebrity, and her relationship with her agent. The third ep focuses on how she wants to be treated as a ballplayer first, and how she's had to fight for that.

Luke Cage
was AMAZING. So refreshing. I don't have a lot to say about it just yet.

Supergirl
This was cheesy and had bad writing at times, but there were some things I just loved. I loved the relationships between women, and how every episode passed the Bechdel test. Cat Grant is a terrific, hilarious character. Kara's earnest desire to do good, and her belief in other people's goodness, is wonderful to watch. The show improved over the course of season one.

Nurse Jackie
I got to mid-season 3 and stopped watching because it was giving me bad dreams. :/
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Stranger Things is an 8-episode show on Netflix. It's a fun horror show that takes place in 1983 and is reminiscent of movies such as E.T., the Goonies, and Gremlins.

In the first episode, we see a group of four boys, around age 12, playing D&D in a basement. On their way home, one of the boys, Will, takes a shortcut home and in a scary scene, is nabbed by a mysterious monster. The remaining three boys decide to help search for him in the woods and run into a girl with a buzzed hair who barely speaks. The show follows this crew of kids, the police chief, and some towns people and they investigate the disappearance of the missing boy and try to track down the monster.

Content notes: child endangerment; flashing lights; scenes of bullying

What I liked and didn't like, with spoilers )

Overall this is a clever, suspenseful, and well-done SF/horror show. Recommended.
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
Feel free to add more in comments

--It's based on a true story
--It's more believable / realistic / serious / true to the narrative
--It has more artistic merit if it's tragic
--The actor was leaving the show
--It's a French story
"It's dangerous to tell the showrunner how to tell a story." --http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/bury-your-gays-trope-stumps-891596

--"Anyone can die in this show"

--"we didn't anticipate this sort of level of pain over this fictional death," --Jason Rothberg, the 100

--""It’s a really important thing to note that it wasn’t in any way an attempt to aggravate a social situation," Alycia Debnam-Carey, the 100

--"This was the ultimate compliment for her character to have a higher purpose. " --random commenter on Root (Person of Interest)
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
I'm tired. Really tired and not breathing great.

I'm watching the Fosters on Netflix, playing computer games, and chilling. The dog park is not great right now because it's super icy. And the last few days have been brutally cold. Today was warmer, so we went briefly, but it's tough walking over rough slush that's been frozen. This time of year, I wish for an indoor dog park. Abbie does too. I'm thinking of buying her an expensive coat. It's tough to spend money, but she could really use something to help cover her hairless thighs. The Greyhound people like this brand:
http://www.k9apparel.com/Greyhound-s/138.htm

I liked this Teen Wolf story which also has some great art!
Tide Pulls from the Moon by paintedrecs
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5438072
sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
I will keep watching this, but I have mixed feelings about the pilot episode.

Read more... )
sasha_feather: neat looking overcoat (coat)
A while back [personal profile] longwhitecoats asked on Twitter about movies that influenced our queer identities.

I was thinking about this last night; and it's possible I've written about all or most of this before in 2009-ish. Queer identity is not static, but shifts over time. However, for me, my queer identity was most in focus when I was coming out, and the TV, movies, and other media I consumed mattered a lot.

Firefly-- specifically, Simon Tam. It's not just that the actor is gay, though that is part of it. It's that he's uncomfortable and feels unsafe, so he retreats into what he knows, which is medicine and manners. He acts differently around men vs. women-- women he treats as friends and confidants; with men there is something else going on-- the charge of attraction. He does like Kaylee, but I think what he feels is envy. Kaylee is comfortable in her skin, in touch with her desires, and free to act upon them. His opposite. (Also, it's nice when someone has a crush on you; but his supposed flirting is beyond awkward and into painful.)

About a Boy-- not a gay movie at all. But what I related to here was Will Freeman's solitude, the aspect that feelings and connections with other people are messy and scary, and it's better to avoid them and just be alone. The plot of the film involves Marcus and his mother disrupting Will's patterns and forcing Will to form connections, to be more honest and vulnerable, to have feelings. These might seem like small risks to some people but they are big risks for others, for those with anxiety for instance. For me, a big part of coming out was admitting that I am sensitive and anxious, and really dealing with having lots of feelings.

But I'm a Cheerleader-- So much love for this film. What strikes me now is Megan's concept of herself as a normal, good person, and how it's difficult for her mesh that concept with being gay. In many ways she's conformist, obedient, wants to please others; coming out means she really can't do so anymore. News flash: gay is normal; but it means you are going to be an outcast. I wish I'd seen this film sooner.

Queer as Folk-- I watched this really fast and doubt I'd enjoy it as much now; but at the time it was like an oasis in the desert. I was working a terrible, exhausting job, and I latched onto QaF and Buffy like my life depended on it. Gay people and sex and culture-- just, stuff I really hadn't had much exposure to, and needed to see. (Curiously, I later tried to watch the L word and hated it; idk.)

The Crying Game-- it's sad that this movie became a punch line to hundreds of jokes, because it's a beautiful film. I should watch it again; my memory of it is fuzzy but I remember having an understanding of what the characters were going through.
sasha_feather: Max from Dark Angel (Max from Dark Angel)
Season 1 of Hemlock Grove: I liked it! With some reservations. I find the characters and world very compelling and will keep watching. There are a couple of BSG alum actors; also Famke Janssen from X-men.

If you decide to watch, be aware that at the end of episode 7 there is a disturbing rape scene.

other content notes )

chatter about the show with some spoilers )
sasha_feather: Max from Dark Angel (Max from Dark Angel)
I am enjoying watching "Longmire" on Netflix. I started watching for Katee Sackoff and Lou Diamond Phillips, who are great; they play a Deputy and a bar tender, respectively. The main character is Walt Longmire, the sheriff, and he's grown on me. He's portrayed as a man who has a lot of integrity and a deep respect for other people.

I like the beautiful Wyoming landscapes. I'm seeing more portrayal of Native American culture in this show than I have in a while. Some other cultures are also given representation-- Basque immigrants, Amish people, etc.

The man pain is a bit ridiculous at times. Walt's wife died, and he has issues with his daughter. There are times when Walt's daughter, Cady, seems like a plot device or an item for the men to bicker over.

In contrast, Vic (Katee Sackoff) gets to be her own person and is portrayed as a complex and normal person. She's married, and her husband is only occasionally around. Her love life isn't really at issue. It's just so refreshing.

I'm having my usual reservations about watching a show that is centered on murder. Not just crime, but a murder every episode. You'd think these people would start to get concerned considering they live in a rural county with, presumably, a fairly low population! One episode in season 2 seemed like it was going to be about preventing a murder--yay--but then someone got killed anyway. Sigh.

We, the audience, don't really see the ripples that such violence creates. It seems like the story is done once the killer is caught, which is the structure of murder mysteries. The story is most definitely not finished.

I would like to see more mysteries not involving murder or extreme violence. I would also like to see stories that explore the consequences of violence in communities, and how it ripples outwards.

One of the only portrayals I've seen of restorative justice is in a movie called "The Angels' Share", which is available on Netflix. The movie is an enjoyable tale about petty criminals trying to steal some valuable whiskey, earn some money, and start new lives for themselves.

Robbie, the main character, did some time for assault. He is trying to get his life on track and has a supportive girlfriend and new child. In the scene I'm thinking of, he is required to go to something called "talk back after serious crime".

In this scene we see Robbie's victim and the victim's parents confront Robbie. It is an emotional and complex scene, and I wish there were more models of this in media and life.
sasha_feather: neat looking overcoat (coat)
Painful cough all day, chest congestion, sore back.

Spoke out loud very little today. Not good for me to not talk like this so I'm going to try and update my journal a little more frequently.

I watched all of "Legit" on Netflix streaming this weekend (13 half hour eps). I liked the disability content; it will give me something to talk about on my WisCon panel re disability and TV. One of the three main characters is a Billy, a guy who has MD, is a wheelchair user, and needs a lot of assistance. In the beginning of the show he's in a nursing home, but comes to live with his brother Steve and their good friend Jim. These guys are all kind of irresponsible 30-somethings who like to have a good time; they drink, use drugs, and Jim sleeps around. They show really lets Billy have a social and sex life, explores themes of autonomy, mortality, and even possible parenthood for Billy. He has friends from his old nursing home, including a recurring character named Rodney, a guy with a developmental disability. In one episode Billy tries internet dating.

The humor on "Legit" is sometimes offensive and won't be for everyone. Jim Jefferies categorizes himself as an offensive, trashy comic and sometimes goes for that joke with the shock value and seeks to make people uncomfortable. (One episode, "Misunderstanding", deals with the fall out of a rape joke gone wrong.) But his show has real heart, and real representation for disabled people. In episode 10, tons of disabled actors are featured when Jim attempts to volunteer at Billy's old nursing home for a day of games. An episode deals with Billy and Steve's mom, who is a hoarder, as the guys confront her and try to get her to clean out her house. This episode didn't seem funny to me, but it did seem real, painful, and it seemed like all the characters were dealing with the crap in their lives in ways that mattered.

I really enjoyed this show. Don't know if they will get a second season but I hope so!
sasha_feather: Steam punk goggles (Steam punk goggles)
Europa Report. 2013, 90 minutes.

This tense SF film is done in documentary style, about a troubled mission to Jupiter's moon Europa. I liked it quite a lot! It moves back and forth in time, contains "interviews" with mission planners and astronauts, and keeps you wondering until the end. It's one of these movies that has a fairly simple idea and does it well. A bit scary at times. Recommended.

The Bletchley Circle

I highly recommend this mini-series even though is about tracking down a serial killer. The heroine of the tale is a housewife who was a code-breaker / analyst during WWII, and now after the war she solves puzzles as a hobby. When she starts to investigate a spate of killings, she gets the band back together (3 more women) to help her. They use math and complex data analysis to try and catch the killer; one of them has a photographic memory. They do all this without the police's help, and their partners/husbands don't support them either. It's a brilliant show.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
I am watching "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries" on Netflix --as many people are-- and I mostly love it. I am nearly done with Season 1. Phryne Fisher is amazing in so many ways. I think it was on [personal profile] meganbmoore's journal that I read her described as a James-Bond like character-- wealthy, always well-dressed, super-competent, etc-- a female fantasy role. She sleeps with many different men, helps educate young women, is open-minded, and delivers some great lines. She handles herself well in complex social situations as well as bloody, dangerous ones. I like the developing backstory and the arcs for the various characters.

The show itself does a nice job balancing serious situations with an overall lightness in tone. I appreciate that it takes on issues such as abortion, worker's rights, the lives of immigrants, and gay people living under the radar.

What I mainly dislike is that every episode is a murder mystery, as it says in the title. In some episodes, multiple people are killed, and one starts to wonder about the murder rate in Melbourne in the 1920s. As a private detective, Phryne would be much more likely to take cases that weren't murder, so I'm not sure why the show needs to be about murder (I do realize it's based upon books, so perhaps my real criticism lies there). (This is one issue where I agree with my mother: there is too much murder on TV, and I'm simply getting tired of it; perhaps I need to watch other types of shows.)

Also, the specific cases are sometimes a problem:
here be spoilers )
sasha_feather: dog looking over a valley (dog and landscape)
Hi! I was away from the internet for about a week and a half. It was relaxing but I missed all of my internet buddies! I am not planning on catching up on DW.

1. I got a job!! This is a big relief. It starts in October. It is another study coordinator type position.

2. A tree fell down in the back yard of my apartment building. It took out part of the fence and took down a power line. Or maybe a phone line? The line is not fixed yet and is still lying across the parking lot. I am glad that me, my dog, and my car were absent when this happened.

3. I was house sitting for my parents. I took care of the animals and watered plants. Sorcha did well but missed having a crate to crawl into. I watched more TV than I have in a long time, including ridiculous things like the roast of James Franco, Sleepy Hollow, an episode of the US Top Gear, and old DVR episodes of Stephen Colbert and John Stewart. I liked the characters and actors on Sleepy Hollow, but the plots and lack of basic research were not promising.

TV recs

Sep. 1st, 2013 09:16 pm
sasha_feather: Avatar Kyoshi from avatar: the last airbender cartoon (Lady avatar)
Some things I've been watching on Netflix:

Exit Through the Gift Shop: a documentary.

I watched this without knowing much about it, and absolutely loved it! It is about graffiti artists, but mostly it is about a guy named Thierry who films street artists. His cousin is such an artist, and so he starts filming and says that he is making a documentary, when really he just has a compulsion for filming. Thierry begins filming many different street artists for years, and making some street art too. The artists are passionate risk-takers and it's exciting to see them at work. Eventually Thierry meets and befriends Banksy. Banksy, who is in this film (disguised), comes off as very intelligent, reflective, and wry. Thierry is more of an enigma. Banksy eventually encourages Thierry to make the actual film, and from there the movie takes an unexpected and hilarious turn. I don't want to spoil it.

A Gifted Man (TV show, one season).

Michael Holt is a high-powered neurosurgeon in New York. One day he has a chance encounter with his ex-wife, only to learn later than his ex-wife died two weeks previously. His wife's ghost encourages Michael to finish her business: namely, go fix things up at the free clinic where she worked. In the first episode, they seem to be going for "asshole surgeon", but they soon back off of this and Michael is actually a decent guy and an excellent doctor. The narrative goes back and forth between the expensive, world-class neuro facility and the bare-bones walk-in clinic. The conflicts felt real to me and not preachy. I enjoyed the friendships between the various doctors and other characters, including a hippie-healer guy who tries to help Michael with his ghost problem, and Michael's secretary/assistant. This is just a nice medical drama with a side helping of a friendly ghost.
sasha_feather: Leela from the 5th element (multipass)
[personal profile] futuransky: Radical queer agenda panel notes/transcript

Me in access-fandom: Masked vs. Blind

---

I have been watching "Call the Midwife", which is a really lovely show. S1 is on Netflix; Season 2 is streaming on pbs.org. However: episode 2x04 is a Very Special Disability episode, about a baby born with spina bifida. I did try to keep an open mind here, but this ep need content notices for: Discussion of euthanasia of disabled babies, forced institutionalization of disabled babies and children, and lots of processing of abled people concerned PWD, including how difficult their lives will be, etc. There is also a character with anxiety, although I liked and related to her arc. The episode does actually end OK.
sasha_feather: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
Call the Midwife: 1.01 through 1.05

I love this show! It is based on the memoirs of nurse-midwife Jenny Lee Worth, who worked in the East End of London during the early 1950s. She lives in a house with nuns and other young nurses. She is at first shocked by the poverty around her and must get used to it. They serve a lot of women before and after the birth of their children, and also do some standard nursing care. The stories are great: very human, and if there is a message so far it is about compassion, love, and non-judgement.

The most striking thing for me is that this show is about women. There is a variety of roles and stations for the women too: well-respected nurses and nuns, working women, mothers, grandmothers, and prostitutes. Some of the women in the East End are excited by motherhood, but some aren't. Some live in destitution, others in relative security. There are four young nurses and four nuns. Their are three recurring male characters so far: the handyman, the doctor, and a police man, making the ratio 8:3.

There is some emphasis on "true love" and soul mates in the episodes I just watched which I find a little annoying. This is balanced, I think, by having other kinds of love on the show: love of work, service, God, children, animals, etc. The characters are wonderful and I highly recommend this show.

It's on Netflix streaming and there are subtitles.

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