Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness - Musings on New TV + an Excellent SF Novel

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October 27th, 2013


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09:49 pm - Musings on New TV + an Excellent SF Novel
So, I thought about doing more with my LJ.  I've been deeply amused by my preferences for the new TV shows this season – I looked forward greatly to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and while it's no longer exceptionally dull and (episode 3 was considerably better than episode 1 or 2, and the only bright spot in episode 1 was J. August Richards), but at best it manages mildly entertaining. Witches of East End is coming up on episode 3, and it may also jump from dull and terrible to OK, but I'm certain it won't get better than that.

I had also greatly looked forward to The Tomorrow People, which may someday go from being unwatchably bad, to being watchably bad, but for now it's episodes are lurking on our Tivo, waiting for us to just bored enough to see if it continues to suck as the pilot did (20 minutes of episode 2 was almost as bad).  One bright spot was Ironside, which I was dubious about, but teaotter suggested we try, and it was quite good and looked to be getting even better – except that it was cancelled after episode 4 - I'm guessing have a protagonist who was both black and in a wheelchair was a bridge too far for most US audiences.  Unlike most modern TV, the premier of The Blacklist was actually quite good, but it feel down very swiftly after that, both by being morally repellent and also by having the male lead be far too smug one to many times.

So, the only new show I'm consistently looking forward to is of all things Sleepy Hollow - yes, the highlight of the first episode was the headless horseman chasing our protagonists through a graveyard while firing a submachine gun, but while episode 2 was pretty bad (albeit a bit better than the 2nd episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), it went rapidly up from there.  The last couple of episodes have reminded of some of the more fun bits of Supernatural, except instead of being a show where two white guys go around investigating the supernatural murders of women and people of color and every woman who appears in more than one episode is either swiftly dead or completely evil, Sleepy Hollow isn't a piece of racist misogyny. It's fluff, but it continues to be fun fluff.  Such is new TV.

OTOH, if you're looking for an excellent SF novel, you're very much in luck. New SF author Ann Leckie's first novel Ancillary Justice was a gem – it was well written, thoughtful, and with a fascinating protagonist.  It also had interesting bits about slavery and colonialism (colonialism has been a major theme in SF since the end of WWII), and the use of pronouns was very cool and unexpected.  Rather than say more, I recommend teaotter's excellent review of the novel.  As a potentially useful side-note, on the Amazon site, the brief blurb has a Read More to click for more of the blurb - don't do that if you wish to avoid a major spoiler.

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:mlerules
Date:October 28th, 2013 03:23 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for reminding me why I've not watched first-run TV in years. Once you find something you love, 'specially if other people I know concur, mebbe I'll give something a try. Otherwise I'll stick to tried 'n' true...at least until I'm sick and stay in devouring NetFlix/AmazonPrime insta-view stuff (that's how I found Downton Abbey a couple years ago ;-)
[User Picture]
From:anomali
Date:October 28th, 2013 03:50 pm (UTC)
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Have you tried American Horror Story: Coven? It is quite dark and twisted and certainly not a positive portrayal of witchcraft but definitely more compelling than Witches of East End (which I am also watching).
[User Picture]
From:kiarrith
Date:October 28th, 2013 04:02 pm (UTC)
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i am shocked at how much we enjoy sleepy hollow :)
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From:xuenay
Date:October 28th, 2013 06:23 pm (UTC)
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You're now the second intelligent writer-type person whose blog I follow and who I end up seeing recommend Ancillary Justice. Purchased.

Edited at 2013-10-28 06:23 pm (UTC)
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From:kitten_goddess
Date:November 2nd, 2013 02:36 pm (UTC)
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I saw the previews for Witches of East End and started howling with laughter. Don't bother unless you're a huge fan of the movie The Craft.

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