Sunday, June 26, 2016

Day 1673 - Summer television

I have a lot of paper lying (laying?) around the house, with half-finished thoughts scrawled on them.  I would write on here more often if I actually started those thoughts on the computer versus actual paper.  And even now I have a number of unfinished thoughts.  I want to write about books and TV shows.  Not movies, though, because I haven't really watched a bunch recently.  And there's nothing that I am jonesing to see.  I want to see Finding Dory, Independence Day, and Now You See Me 2, but I'm having a hard time motivating myself to go to the theater.  I'm sure they'll all be fine, and maybe even better than that, but I want something that's going to transport me and fill me with awe that sometimes only a summer blockbuster can do.  And, amazingly, Tarzan seems like it might do that.  Each new trailer makes it look better than the previous one.  But until that comes out, there's TV.

I've been watching BrainDead on Monday nights starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Tony Shalhoub.  It's such a breath of fresh air (for me) to watch a show that's as canny about politics as it is about alien ants taking over all of Washington infecting people by crawling into their brains.  Sometimes it doesn't work out and a head might explode.  CBS was promoting it more as a comedy than anything else, and while it does make me smile, I find it more of a sly science fiction series that's instilling the right amount of dread and hopelessness that a show like this needs in order to remain compelling.  I have no idea how (or if) the good guys are going to win, but I can't wait to see what they're going to do next.

I also finished Friday Night Lights Season One.  Yeah, yeah - for all those of you who have already watched it, you know how good it is.  I'm finally jumping on the bandwagon.  For those of you who haven't watched it, you probably should.  It's pretty great.  I've got season two sitting here from the library, and I feel that once I start, then I might be incommunicado for the following week.  It's both intimidating and exciting.

Finally, there was the ScyFy show The Expanse that came out last year.  The first season was 10 episodes long, and that seems like the perfect length.  Apparently it's based off a series of books and season one is based off book one.  It's a compelling story because it follows three different factions (Earth, Mars, and the Belt) and people from each of them as they get tangled in a conspiracy and end up on a collision course.  The season finale is a great episode that gives us all the pieces that we need in order to know what the conspiracy actually is, as well bringing the main characters together.  Space opera at it's finest, because it has some great spaceships, but its real strengths are its characters.  Flawed and broken people who are just trying to do the right thing.

As for books, I've been on a tear recently.  I'm in the two books at a time mode that I haven't been in a while.  It feels great.  Currently I'm reading Transparent by Natalie Whipple (a dollar store buy) and Neil Gaiman's American Gods.  And comics - so many comics.  It feels great.

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