Sunday, December 16, 2012

Media consumption...

  • Bobbi and I have been watching Elementary on the Roku box and caught up to current with a 3-episode marathon last night. It's the first reliable cure for House withdrawal I've found. Whiners complain that it's not a faithful re-imagining of the Sherlock Holmes mythos. Fine, pretend the lead character's name is Reginald Smythe or something and watch it that way; it's good stories and good chemistry and pretty darn smart-ish as TeeWee shows go.

  • Also watched:  A Series of Unfortunate Events. How had I missed this? It was right in my wheelhouse. I guess I wrote it off because it was a Nickelodeon kids' movie featuring Jim Carrey, whom I have loathed in everything but The Truman Show? Wonderful, witty movie with bizarre characters and opium-dream sets. Imagine if Tim Burton directed a Terry Pratchett screenplay of Mary Poppins off a Charles Addams storyboard. Makes me want to read the books.

  • Off the e-shelf: Into the Kill Zone. Off the meat shelf, thanks to a reader: A Revolution in Arms: A History of the First Repeating Rifles, a good book that manages to remain readable while covering a fairly esoteric topic. You can possibly skip the first little bit, which takes us from thrown rocks to firearms, and just start with the early efforts at breechloading and then metallic cartridges, which made repeaters possible.

22 comments:

Matt G said...

I've read the Series Of Unfortunate Events books, because I have girls. Because it is a guilty pleasure to read aloud to them, I've read them out loud. For some reason, the narrator's voice (which is told mostly in third person, but with occasional spates of first person narration) comes to me as coming in phrasing like Daniel Rakoff's, as played here in "Christmas Freud".

Once Free Man said...

I'll take your recommendation for Elementary.
As a member of the Gregory House school of philosophy, I sure miss my regular doses of sarcasm and misanthropy.

Ian said...

You _have_ seen the six BBC episodes of "Sherlock", right?

Tam said...

Ian,

Bobbi has; I've walked through the room when it was on.

Were I actually an Arthur Conan Doyle fan, it might have grabbed me. :o

Professor James Moriarty said...

I also recommend the Sherlock series on BBC. Loved it. I prefer it to Elementary, which also is pretty good,

Loved the Series of Unfortunate Events movie but I loathed the books. I found the faux-British tone nigh unreadable.

Professor James Moriarty said...

LOL! I just remembered my sign in ID.

Tam said...

Prof,

You have just provided the Official Chuckle of the Morning in the office here at Roseholme. :)

Roberta X said...

So! Moriarty! We meet at last!

Tam has not yet adjusted to the tone and pacing of British TV Drama; and not having read the books, she misses many of the sly references to the original in Sherloock. Maybe someday; maybe someday.

Professor James Moriarty said...

Well met, Ms. X, well met.

Those references and the clever way they've updated everything makes it for me.

I was never a fan of Martin Freeman until his turn as Watson. As entertaining as Holmes is, and he is very entertaining, I think Watson makes the show.

Robert Fowler said...

We are both fans of Elementary, the Female Watson gives it something different. I'll probably have to check out the BBC series, even though I was never a ACD fan.

I'm going to have to read the repeating rifle history. I always seem to forget about the Spencer.

planedoc1 said...

Tam, check out the car in Series, A Tatra,VERY rare. Neat stuff.

Balloon Goes Up said...

I watch Elementary, but it is combination of House and the Mentalist. With a completely unnecessary homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Jayson said...

When people bring up Elementary, they mostly compare it to sherlock, but here's the problem: As good as Sherlock is, Elementary passed its episode count in October. I love Sherlock, but in typical English style, it's NEVER on. I don't care how good your show is, having only 3 episodes a season is lame.

Ian said...

The way I see it is that only doing a few episodes helps keep the quality up. I'm happier with 6 really good ones than a couple dozen that go downhill and get repetitive.

JimB said...

Love Elementery and Vegas. Both good shows

Britt said...

There's something to the issue with episode count, but premium cable shows here make excellent seasons of 10-14 episodes. Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy, Justified, etc.

There's no reason we can't have six 90 minute Sherlock episodes per season.

mustanger said...

I wish Vegas was on at 9 or 10 on an evening when NCIS is not on.

My reasoning is that Vegas, while a drama, is historically based on how the Vegas we know came about. I figure in theory it's worth putting on earlier.

Graybeard said...

Have you read, "American Rifle - A Biography"? (lessee... here If so, how do you think it compares to "A Revolution in Arms"?

I thought American Rifle was a pretty fascinating book and the only long book I've read on the subject. Starts with stories of George Washington's favorite rifle and goes through about Y2K or 2005 or so.

Ed Foster said...

My problem with Vegas (I too really like Elementary) is the repeated and staggering firearms boo-boos. Even by "Mainstream" media standards they manage a real choker every other episode.

The hero is suppoosedly an ex-MP sergeant, experienced cop, and life long cowboy, yet he tells people to pay serious attention to his deputy/brother when he's pointing his 94 Winchester at them because "He's State champion with that 30-30".

Mind you, I think the idea of lever carbine matches at a hundred yards or so would be cool, I don't think anybody has ever put one on.

They had a badguy holed up in a motel two or three weeks ago, and they had tracked him there by threatening the evil gunshop owner into telling him who he sold the thirty caliber bullets to for a carbine.

I'm thinking maybe the baddie muzzle loaded those 190 grain Sierra Matchkings into his M-1 one at a time, as they must have been way too long to work through the magazine.

It's a New Yorker's eye view of Vegas, which has at least some validity I suppose. I was sitting in a kosher deli up off the main slot machine floor at Caesar's Palace last July, at 2:30 in the morning, swapping stories with my very worldly teenaged Granddaughter.

She's spent a good part of each year since pigtails in Manhattan, and commented on how much the place felt like New York. Since she was drinking a Jones soda with her corned beef and pastrami fresser and I was sucking a Pabst Blue Ribbon while I tackled the same, all with a good side of amazing Kosher dill pickles and pickled tomatoes, I had to agree.

I think the Mafia won that one.

Ed Foster said...

The review of the "Into The Killzone" book had me thinking. Son One has almost nine years in Narcotics and has killed two men, each a major dirtbag, while shooting others and getting plugged once himself.

We're not counting knife wounds here, and like any experienced street cop, he's quite wary of a knife man at less than 20 feet.

Did you know you're more likely to die from a knife attack than from being shot? The knife does about as much damage as a minor caliber bullet, but knife wielding assailants will usually stick you ten or twenty times.

"Oh look, a squirrel!" Sorry for the digression.

But whenever it's happened, he has been quite mellow, not bothered at all. Same dry old stand-up comedian kind of humor.

They were rightious shoots, in self defense or in defense of other police officers. In the last instance, he was firing over the severely wounded bodies of two officers who had met the business end of a 12 gauge shotgun at less than 20 feet.

Same thing you'll see after action with military types. Some folks really aren't bothered by it. Others, a different story.

One of the best snipers I ever met damn near had a complete breakdown the first time, after he checked out three or four bodies he'd made and discovered the dudes draped over the hot AK's were all of 14 or 15 years old, if that. It took him a week of counselling before he could go back to work, and they told him he could get a medical and go home if he thought he couldn't keep up his part of the unit's job.

He mellowed out and became a scary smooth professional,actually extending so he could stay and finish the counter sniping job he'd set himself.

I don't want to get specific here and get all dumped on, but I've noticed that a disproportionate number of the "Iron Men" tend to come from only a few cultures, rather consistently the ones with a whole bunch of ADD.

I suspect the ability to live in a two hour emotional bubble, with a new universe appearing after a quick nap or walk in the sun, is probably a valuable survival trait in some parts of the world.

And I've seen really good men who didn't have it, and I can't find anything but respect for them in me, that they hanged on as long as they did. God bless them, and give them some peace.

Makes you wonder if we shouldn't do a bit of psychological profiling for jobs out on the pointy end of the stick, rather than throwing bodies at the problem and then using what survives and thrives.

Tam said...

Ed,

The author (an ex-cop who'd been in a shooting himself shortly out of the academy) interviewed hundreds of officers, male and female, some who'd been in one OIS and some who'd been in several. Results were, as you might imagine, all over the map.

Brad K. said...

I found the least annoying Jim Carrey movie appearance to be "Earth Girls are Easy", based on the song of that name by Julie Brown, pairing Carrey with Damon Wayans, starring Gina Davis and Jeff Goldblum, with cameos by Julie singing a couple of the tracks off her "Trapped in the Body of a White Girl" album.

Carrey, Wayans, and Goldblum wear carpets (as the "aliens") in the first part of the film, until Davis ushers them into the beauty parlor for a wax job.

Not an Oscar moment amongst 'em.