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Mnemosyne
07 November 2010 @ 10:48 pm
 

I'm really liking Nigella's current TV series Nigella Kitchen. So far it has already inspired me to make two of its recipes, and there are a few more I'd like to try out. Tonight I did spaghetti alla puttanesca a.k.a. slut's spaghetti. It was very tasty. I'm quite fond of pasta with tomato sauce and it's nice to have several variations to choose from.


This afternoon I went to the library, for the first time in almost a year. Something had gone wrong with the automatic renewal of my membership and had to be sorted out, and five books I want to read urgently were *all* available. A very successful visit.

But first I want to finish Thumbelina. I'm afraid it looks like it will end in a vale of tears.


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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Editions of you - Roxy Music
 
 
Mnemosyne
01 November 2010 @ 09:18 pm

As I continued to be in a reading mood, I didn't watch any films from my provisional list after all. Instead, while browsing my bookshelves, I picked up this book by Richard Brautigan and discovered the title (The Hawkline Monster: a Gothic Western) was surprisingly apt for this time of year, if not for the Challenge.

But even though this quick read (many short chapters, each starting on a new page) was funny and frequently made me giggle, enough eerily strange things happened in it to make it appropriate after all. This quote from page 46 displays the nice mixture of wacky humour and foreboding:

The road stopped like a dying man's signature on a last-minute will.

It is difficult not to give too much of the plot away, so I'll just quote the back cover:

In the dead centre of the Dead Hills of Eastern Oregon stands Hawkline Manor, an elaborate Victorian mansion, festooned with chandeliers and valuable paintings, and looked after by a giant butler. It is the home of the two Miss Hawklines [Misses Hawkline?], beautiful, generous with their favours — and identical. But it also houses a very unwelcome guest... whom Greer and Cameron, professional killers, are required to dispose of.

I've had a soft spot for Brautigan ever since reading his short story "The Weather in San Francisco", and have read several more of his short stories since. When I came across this novel at the book market a few years ago, I snapped it up immediately. I sort of regretted this impulse buy later on, but now I'm glad I bought it. Brautigan is not to everyone's taste, but I really enjoyed myself.

4/5


To wrap up: although I had chosen to do Peril the Third (one book), I have read all four books on my provisional list (abandoning one of them), plus two more.

I have watched none of the films on my list, but I did see several things on TV that qualify:

Belgian TV showed El laberinto del fauno (Pan's Labyrinth). I would call this a grim fairytale, but boston.com placed it on #17 in their Top 50 scariest movies of all time, so I figure it counts. Good film, beautiful art direction, and what I particularly liked about it was that the faun was such an ambiguous character: I wasn't sure until the end whether his intentions were good or evil. 3/5

Belgian TV has also started broadcasting True Blood, but after seeing the first two episodes I decided I didn't like it enough to continue watching.

Dutch TV is broadcasting Sherlock at the moment. I had missed this when it was shown on the BBC and so was taken by surprise by the massive amount of fangirly squee that suddenly erupted around LJ. Now that I know it consists of only three episodes, I'm even more surprised by the level of fandom it has generated so quickly. Anyway, I have seen two episodes so far and it's good, mysterious fun. 3.5/5

And last night I watched the Psychoville Halloween special, by two members of the League of Gentlemen. I had watched and enjoyed last year's series, so made sure not to miss this. It was deliciously creepy.

trick or treat!Collapse )

These two little trick-or-treaters showing up on the misanthropist clown's doorstep were the scariest in my opinion. They didn't do or say anything, just stood and stared, and stared, and stared, unnerving not only the clown, but me as well. 4/5, and I was pleased to learn there is going to be a second series.

As always, many thanks to Carl for hosting the R.I.P. Challenge! I had a great time.


 
 
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: The passenger - Iggy Pop
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
26 August 2010 @ 04:10 pm

Day 30 - Saddest character death

Here be minor(?) spoilers for the Ashes to Ashes finale...Collapse )

... and major spoilers for Being Human, series 2Collapse )


 
 
Current Mood: solemn
Current Music: Smooth criminal - Michael Jackson
 
 
Mnemosyne
25 August 2010 @ 07:24 pm

One post for yesterday's and today's related questions.

Day 28 - First t.v. show obsession

My first obsession was with Twin Peaks, I suppose (in 1990), although it was not nearly as bad as last year's obsession with the first series of Being Human and this year's with Life on Mars.

Day 29 - Current t.v. show obsession

Current obsession with a t.v. show: Life on Mars; obsession with a current t.v. show: none.


And now the end is near: last question tomorrow!


 
 
Current Mood: contentcontent
Current Music: De bom - Doe Maar
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
23 August 2010 @ 04:45 pm

Day 27 - Best pilot episode

I take this to mean a real pilot, not just a first episode. I only know of a few, and of these I love the Due South and Twin Peaks ones. As I didn't see the Due South pilot until I'd watched some of the series, I'm choosing Twin Peaks. It did what a good pilot is supposed to do: it drew me in and had me hooked in no time.


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Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Current Music: Bigmouth strikes again - The Smiths
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
22 August 2010 @ 02:38 pm

Day 26 - OMG WTF? Season finale

It had been my understanding that Philip Glenister didn't want to do a third series of Ashes to Ashes, so the cliffhanger ending of 2.08 took me completely by surprise at the time. Only later did I learn that a third series had been commissioned.

Something similar happened with Nurse Jackie. I thoroughly enjoyed this show, but the final episode (or so I thought) ended in chaos. It all but killed my love for the series, until I read on IMDb that there was going to be a second season. (And, as I now see, a third one as well. How silly of me to think they would quit so soon!) Anyway, looking forward to it.


 
 
Current Mood: soresore
Current Music: Spain - Tom Robinson
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
21 August 2010 @ 04:20 pm

Day 25 - A show you plan on watching (old or new)

The Devil's Whore is the last title in my John Simm project (for the time being);

I've also bought Blackpool, because this gif made me curious:



Only the first series of Slings & Arrows was shown here at the time, but I have all three and I plan on watching the whole thing this coming autumn;

and I don't think I've ever seen the complete Black Books, only random episodes. I should probably remedy that. Fortunately they have both series at my library. [ETA: apparently there were three series made, oh well.]


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Current Mood: goodall right
Current Music: Take this waltz - Leonard Cohen live
 
 
Mnemosyne
20 August 2010 @ 01:00 pm

Day 24 - Best quote

My love for language-based comedy means I have many, many favourite quotes, but most of them aren't as funny when read out of context or if the characters are unfamiliar. Therefore I'm picking only one today, Basil talking to himself in the Fawlty Towers episode "Communication Problems" (1979).

Several variations can be found online, but Belgian TV conveniently repeated the episode last Monday, so I sat poised, pen in hand, to check whether I had the quote word-perfect. I hadn't, but I do now.

"ZOOM!"
"What was that?"
"That was your life, mate."
"Oh, that was quick. Do I get another?"
"Sorry mate, that's your lot!"


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Current Mood: philosophical
Current Music: New Amsterdam - Elvis Costello
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
19 August 2010 @ 06:55 pm

Day 23 - Most annoying character

I am pretty sure we are meant to agree with Blackadder that Lord Flashheart is an arrogant git, but my dislike was such at first that I could barely watch him whenever he was on screen. (Nothing to do with Rik Mayall, it was purely the character.) It took some rewatching before I understood, and cracked up at, a rather crude joke of his and after that I couldn't not like him any more.

Other characters I have found annoying include: Daisy in Dead Like Me; Buster in Arrested Development; Lucy in Being Human; Alex in series 1 of Ashes to Ashes; and also somewhat in series 3, because she seems so taken with Jim Keats, whom any person in their right mind can see is an utter creep.

But the start of the third series of Mistresses has reminded me how much I want to slap Katie. She must certainly win first prize here, with Trudi from the same series coming in a close second.


 
 
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: Won't lie - Tom McRae
 
 
Mnemosyne
18 August 2010 @ 08:38 pm

Day 22 - Favorite series finale

The first time I saw "Goodbyeee" (the Blackadder Goes Forth finale) I hated it with a vengeance. I actually shouted at the TV that "this is supposed to be a comedy, for god's sake!" Other series of Blackadder had ended in death, but they were still funny. This one was just bleak and depressing.

Over time it has steadily grown on me though, and nowadays it's not only my favourite Blackadder Goes Forth episode, but also one of the best series endings I have ever seen.


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Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: The Ellen Vannin tragedy - Richard Hawley
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
17 August 2010 @ 07:05 pm

Day 21 - Favorite ship

Runners up: Mitchell/Annie from Being Human.

Whereas Annie's relationship with George is purely sister/brother, with Mitchell we can sense a mutual attraction. They'd make a good couple. Mitchell's being a vampire can be dangerous to his love interests, but since Annie is a ghost, he doesn't have to worry about accidentally killing her.

They sort of half-kiss in episode 1.04 and it is sweet and cute, and although they are both distracted by others in the second series, the final episode shows that they do have a deep connection. It has been hinted that their relationship may develop into something more in the third series.

gifCollapse )

I was quite happy to ship Gene/Alex during Ashes to Ashes, but when I started watching Life on Mars I knew this was the real deal. Sam and Gene belong together.

A lot of credit for that has to go to the actors and the people who cast them. I don't think LoM could have been anywhere near as good without John Simm and/or Philip Glenister. Apart from being great actors, they also have fantastic chemistry together. Their body types complement each other and perfectly match their characters' personalities. I read somewhere that Gene is like a bulldog and Sam like a terrier, which is so apt (and something the US remake got spectacularly wrong).

The Sam/Gene dynamic is definitely the most important aspect of LoM. Even the creators have said that the real love story is between them. Although they often fight they develop a mutual respect and friendship, and they need each other to become better people. Gene, who may seem like a big bully but is protective of his team in general and of Sam in particular, shows remarkable patience whenever Sam has one of his crazy spells. Sam/Gene = my OTP forever.

How much do I love this macro?Collapse )


 
 
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: Save me - Aimee Mann
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
16 August 2010 @ 06:49 pm

Day 20 - Favorite kiss

This one had me stumped for a while, until I remembered my guilty pleasure show. Out of the many Beecher/Keller kisses on YouTube I picked this one, because it is just a sweet kiss with no added Drama:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8Ix-ylfwk4 (do not click if you don't want to see two men kissing)


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Current Mood: giddygiddy
Current Music: Ses baisers me grisaient - Emily Loizeau
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
15 August 2010 @ 03:27 pm

Day 19 - Best t.v. show cast

Of course the usual suspects (Life on Mars, The Singing Detective) have a formidable cast, and no doubt several others do as well, but I decided to give the honours to The League of Gentlemen. Three actors playing most of the characters and managing to give each one a distinctive personality is no mean feat in my book.


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Current Mood: impressedimpressed
Current Music: The lonely one - Dave Mason
 
 
Mnemosyne
14 August 2010 @ 01:40 pm

Day 18 - Favorite title sequence

I had to think really long and hard before I came up with Six Feet Under and Dead Like Me. I guess I don't pay that much attention to title sequences.

Good theme music, on the other hand, I find very important. Sometimes the music is the best part of the series, and therefore I'd like to change this to: Favourite theme music.

4. "Living It Up" by Bert Kaempfert (theme from Kapitein Zeppos). Kapitein Zeppos was not my favourite Belgian series at the time (that would be Axel Nort), but the theme was ace.

3. Theme from The League of Gentlemen, series 1 and 2 (the soundfile is the second one from the top [ETA: the one entitled "Theme tune from Series 2" — it keeps changing places]; I especially love the second half of it). I was heartbroken when they ruined it made a different arrangement for series 3.

2. Twin Peaks theme by Angelo Badalamenti: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oDuGN6K3VQ (sorry, I can't seem to embed YouTube videos any more, due to my browser being too old). Badalamenti's music added so much to the spookiness of Twin Peaks.

1. Theme from The Persuaders by John Barry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAxvfmGUjuQ. The Persuaders was about two playboys who fought crime, I think, although I seem to recall they were pretty shady themselves. Or maybe that was just the playboy bit. Anyway, I quite liked the series, but I adored the music. Still do.


 
 
Current Mood: busybusy
Current Music: Theme from The Persuaders - John Barry
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
13 August 2010 @ 11:22 pm

Day 17 - Favorite mini series

Favourite British: The Singing Detective, and much love also for Casanova.

Favourite American: Angels in America.


 
 
Current Mood: sleepysleepy
Current Music: tv in the background
 
 
Mnemosyne
12 August 2010 @ 07:43 pm

Day 16 - Your guilty pleasure show

Confession time!Collapse )


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Current Mood: embarrassedembarrassed
Current Music: The riddle - Nik Kershaw
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
11 August 2010 @ 07:47 pm

Day 15 - Favorite female character

I may have forgotten a few, but Patsy in Ab Fab, Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development, Diana in Waiting for God, Delores Herbig in Dead Like Me, Phyllis in Life on Mars, Shaz in Ashes to Ashes, Zoey in Nurse Jackie, Pauline in The League of Gentlemen, and Annie from Being Human are the ones I can come up with for now. Of these, Annie is probably my favourite.

Basically a bubbly, fun-loving and caring personality, somewhere along the line Annie has become a shadow of herself. Turning into a ghost after her deadly fall from the stairs has done nothing to help that, and she feels confused, insecure, lonely and trapped in the house she died in.

Then George and Mitchell move in, and she gradually regains her self-confidence with a little help from the boys. Coming to terms with the truth about her death, she steadily becomes more assertive, until towards the end of the first series she discovers she has some rather impressive powers of her own. Go Annie!

A lovely Annie picspam can be found here.


 
 
Current Mood: hungryhungry
Current Music: The ghost who walks - Karen Elson
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
10 August 2010 @ 09:32 pm

Day 14 - Favorite male character

Oh god, where do I begin? The fun thing about this meme is that it makes me think of series that have all but disappeared in the mists of time.

Tom Conti's character in The Glittering Prizes (WHY has this only been released as a region 1 DVD??), Derek Jacobi as Claudius, Sir Humphrey in Yes, (Prime) Minister, Special Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks, Benton Fraser (and Dieffenbaker) in Due South, Michael in Arrested Development, Blackadder from series 2 onward (and let's not forget Percy and Baldrick), David Tennant as Casanova, Gene Hunt in LoM/A2A... no doubt I have overlooked many more.

Bill Nighy is a scene-stealer in most everything he's in, a.o. as Cameron in State of Play. Then there were a few minor characters in Being Human that didn't get nearly enough screen time for my liking: Gilbert the emo '80s ghost who spoke in Smiths songtitles; Mark the sarky hospital chaplain; and the very suave vampire (and Kate Bush fan) Ivan. Which reminds me BTW that Herrick is my favourite baddie.

Sam Tyler is my favouritest character though. Somewhere during the first series I fell in love. I don't know exactly when it happened (that's the problem with watching a whole series in one day, it all becomes a bit blurry); at the very latest it was episode 1x06, but I think it was probably much earlier than that.


 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Is she really going out with him? - Joe Jackson live
 
 
 
Mnemosyne
09 August 2010 @ 08:20 pm

Day 13 - Favorite childhood show

Ja zuster, nee zuster ("yes nurse, no nurse") ran from 1966 to 1968 and was an extremely popular children's/family programme written by Annie M.G. Schmidt, with music by Harry Bannink. I remember always watching it together with my mum on Saturday afternoons, and I still have the LPs with the songs and a book containing four of the stories.

Although some of the songs and outside scenes were shot on film, most of the episodes were recorded on Ampex tapes, which due to their expensiveness were used over and over again. Therefore very little has remained of the series, which no doubt has helped it acquire its legendary status.

In the early '90s, I believe, an appeal was made to viewers to check whether they had any recordings of the original series, and a surprising amount of material showed up. Unfortunately, most of it was in very bad condition, as the atrocious quality of this clip demonstrates: Stekkie van de fuchsiaCollapse )


Another series I loved to bits was Thierry la Fronde. According to Wikipedia it was also broadcast from 1966 to 1968 in the Netherlands. Hmmm, I thought it was a little earlier than Ja zuster, nee zuster. Anyway, I was madly in love with Thierry and oh, how I wanted to be Isabelle!




 
 
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Current Music: Stekkie van de fuchsia
 
 
Mnemosyne
08 August 2010 @ 05:25 pm

Day 12 - An episode you’ve watched more than 5 times

More than five times, hmm, that is quite a lot. I have watched the whole first series of Life on Mars 6 times. The second series only 5 times, so that doesn't count.

You'd think older series would have the advantage, but the only episodes I'm fairly sure can qualify are "Beer" (Blackadder II) and "Goodbyeee" (Blackadder Goes Forth).


 
 
Current Mood: stressedstressed
Current Music: The architect - dEUS