Milk and Cigarettes

Rambles about stuff I like.

A rambly ramble – House MD and Sherlock should do a crossover

Welp, it’s Monday. Time for another ramble.

Although I stayed up late last night, I still managed to get a bunch done. Got up, did my notes for class – then did this crazy new workout that I’ll be doing for the summer. It’s a full-body barbell routine that I’ll do on MWF so that it’ll better fit my schedule. But since I didn’t exercise since last Wednesday, I’ve got a feeling I’m gonna be hella-sore tomorrow! Also did my piano – and man am I ever getting good at piano.

Anyhoo – on Friday I went to that BDSM thing with J3. It was… different. I suppose it’s just a place where people can gather and enjoy their fetishes and chat with other people who enjoy these fetishes. But the fetishes that people enjoy are so weird and varied… There was a lot of sorta strange stuff going on, and basically everyone stuck together in their little cliques. I ‘unno if I’d go back to another one – I think I’d rather enjoy my sexual fetishes in private. (Although, here I am blabbing about them on the internet. Go figure.)

What else? Had a good Mother’s day yesterday – went to brunch, ate a lot of bacon, it was good. But then I had pizza for dinner – and lemme tell ya, I’m super happy I was able to make it through my workout, because my tummy was not feelin’ all that great before hand.

Game of Thrones Season 5 continues. I think I missed an episode recap last week – so tomorrow and Weds. I’ll try and do a recap for the past two episodes. There’s plenty of stuff going on in the show – but naturally, they’ve had to cut out a lot of stuff that happened in the books. As well, due to the show wanting to keep the number of characters manageable, a bunch of subplots from the books have been either eliminated, or changed to accommodate certain story-lines in the show. But it seems that Season 5 will roughly end where Book 5 ends – but how they’ll get all the characters there is anyone’s guess at this point.

I’ve also been binge-watching House MD. (Though not while I did my notes this morning – hooray for self-discipline.) Man is that ever a good show! I mean, it’s basically a medical Sherlock Holmes – and in fact, they make various references to his throughout the show’s run. (House lives in apartment 221B, House and “Holmes” are phonetically equivalent to mean a dwelling, House uses his superior powers of deductive reasoning to make guesses about people’s lives.) It’s awesome – I’m currently on Season 4, where he’s choosing a new team (featuring the smokin’ hot Olivia Wilde.) But Seasons 1 and 2 each featured a “villain” which House had to outsmart – a medical Moriarty, if you will.

Wow – fandom alert. I would love for Hugh Laurie (the guy who plays House) to show up on BBC’s Sherlock (starring Benedict Cumberbatch) and have him be a doctor or Sherlock’s enemy or something like that. I’m sure there’s plenty of fan scripts out there with even better ideas than I’ve just had.

Hmm… anything else? Nothing that I can think of. My days basically consist of – wake up, goals, math, workout, piano, writing, reading, math, video games and tv, bed. Unless it’s a weekend, in which I’ll see a buddy or J3 or something. Tough to blog about that repeatedly for days on end and have it be interesting.

Anything going on with goals? I changed my calendars yesterday – so that instead of monthly goals, I’ll have 5-week goals to accomplish. (Also, happy to report that I weighed in at 15.0% body fat today – despite my disaster of a diet yesteday. Looks like regular exercise is paying off.)

Anyhoo – i’ll probably write down my 5 week goals tomorrow, since I thought of it just now and my time’s running out. I’ll set goals for health, love, math, fortune and fame – and I’ll try and make them a bit more ambitious than the May goals (in the categories in which I achieved my goals for May) and then something more manageable for those categories in which I missed a monthly goal.

Finally, the second week of my class is this week. I’m super excited to teach the kids about limits and continuity – and we’ll see if I can get a better reaction that the first week of boring review.

That’s 15 – onto the thesis!

May 11, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Game of Thrones recap; Season 5, episode 3

Well, I look to be in line to meet a majority of my April goals. I’ll hit my Health, and Fortune goals – get about 90% of that Math goal done – but not so well for Love and Fame. For love, I had plenty of dates, but they were all with J3 – so I’ll have to tailor those goals for May to better reflect my reticence towards dating more than one person at a time. For Fame, I did go to amateur night once – so I only met about 25% of my goal, but that’s still better than nothing. In fact, it’s infinitely better. So, all in all, a pretty good April. I feel better about my goals knowing I had targets to aim for, and in general I feel like I had a productive month. Now onto the May flowers!

Now then – what to write about. My weekdays are pretty routine nowadays – get up, do my goals, do math, do my workout, do piano, do my writing and reading, then do a bit more math until about 8 or 9 at which point it’s time to relax. So I don’t really want to ramble about all the stuff I’ve rambled about already. Ooh, I know – I can do a Game of Thrones recap.

Episode 3 recap – bullet point style, in no particular order.

  • In King’s Landing, a fanatical religious order calling themselves “The Sparrows” have seen fit to judge all the wicked sinners in town. This includes the high priest of the town, who’s shamed after he’s been caught visiting a brothel. Cersei goes and seeks out the leader of the Sparrows (played by Jonathan Pryce!) in order to find out what he wants. A bit of a stalemate ensues, and there’s more to be seen from this encounter.
  • In the house of Black and White, Arya isn’t doing much more besides sweeping the floor, and not really knowing why she’s there. She sees a guy come into the temple only to drink from a cup given to him by J’aqen Hagar, and then die. In order to become a faceless man, Arya must give up all her worldly possessions. She goes down to the docks and dumps everything in the water, except for Needle, which she stores under some rocks. Gradually, she learns more about this weird place, and helps a girl in the temple prepare bodies for burial.
  • Meanwhile, at Moat Cailin, Littlefinger promises Sansa’s hand in marriage to Ramsey Bolton. It would appear that Ramsey Bolton and Petyr Baelish have made an alliance against the Lannisters – although it’s an uneasy alliance, as neither man trusts the other. Sansa, for her part, is doing her best to play the dutiful wife – but in the back of her mind she knows that Roose Bolton killed her brother at the red wedding, so I’m sure she’s got some vengeful plans of her own. (It’s interesting to note that Roose Bolton has several daughters, but only one son… and the death of an heir would make for some damn good vengeance. Not sure if that’s what happens… but just saying.)
  • Brienne and Pod are skulking around outside Moat Cailin. And inside Moat Cailin is Theon – he definitely remembers Sansa, and from his brief episode of acting as Theon in order to win the castle, it’s likely that he and Sansa will cross paths eventually.
  • At the wall, Jon Snow has been elected Lord Commander, and is looking to assert his authority. Janos Slynt, the coward that hid with Gilly during the fight with the wildlings, defiantly disobeys an order given by Snow. Jon gives Janos a chance to follow the order, but Janos remains defiant. With a sad look on his face (the usual Jon Snow look), Snow takes Slynt out into the courtyard and executes him. The man who passes the sentence swings the sword.
  • Finally, Tyrion and Varys take a break from travelling cross country to stretch their legs in a local town. While there, Tyrion gets capture by Jorah “Friendzone” Mormont. Surely this will win the Queen’s heart! Eh Jorah?

And that’s about all I remember. Gonna be a hell of an episode come Sunday!

April 30, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GoT Season 5 episode 1 quick recap – but first, a little ramble about my stuff

Playoff hockey baby! Woo! The mighty Ottawa Senators play game 1 of the eastern conference quarter-finals tonight against the Montreal Canadiens. We didn’t get playoff hockey last year, so I’m gonna make the most of it this year! Woo!

Anyhoo – much more energy today. Instead of trying to get right into action, I started slow, made sure I took my time, drank a bunch of coffee, and generally had a relaxed morning. I like the idea of getting up and getting going – but a slow start is fine too. I got my math done, did my workout, done my piano and I’m well on my way to getting all my goals accomplished tonight before the game. So things are looking good.

On the dating front, J3 and I seem to be on the same page about things, so that’s good. I still want to take things slow – but we’ll spend Saturday night together, alone… and naked for most of that time. So that’ll be fun. One thing concerns me so far is that I’ve been paying for everything – well, we’ve only been out twice, so we’ll see how things go. But generally it’s a red flag to me if the girl doesn’t feel the need to pay her share. Again, this is early days so nothing major yet – but I’m proud of myself for paying attention this time to red flags, rather than trying to put her immediately in the ‘girlfriend’ category. Also, I’ve got a date tomorrow – so I’d say I’m doing better with J3 than I did with J2, in terms of managing feelings and anxiety and all that. Funnily enough, the girl I’m going with tomorrow will get the codename of J4. I gotta say it, girls who have names with letters that start with “J” absolutely love me.

And I don’t blame them – I’m smart, funny, sexy and OH so adorable.

Anyhoo – on to more important matters. Like last Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones. I’ll try and recall what happened, but not in chronological order. It’s basically the first 3 or 4 chapters of Book 5 – and clearly there’s massive spoilers.

  • Tyrion was smuggled across the narrow sea by Varys (AKA: The spider). The Imp is feeling pretty low, what with having killed his father and (what he thought was) his girlfriend. However, Varys convinces Tyrion to seek renewed purpose in supporting Daenerys in her quest to be Queen.
  • Daenerys, on the other hand, is losing control of Mereen. She faces an insurgency (or similar) from a clandestine group called The Sons of the Harpy. Currently, Daenerys is struggling with the decision to open the fighting pits, in order to gain favour with the people of Mereen. Also, she’s taken Daario Naharis as a lover – so all the ladies watching the show get to see his naked ass paraded around.
  • In Westeros, Sansa is learning spycraft from Littlefinger. Not much happening there, other than Peter Baelish trying to promote Robert of Arryn as the Lord of the Vale or something. I can never suss out Littlefinger’s plans, but I’m almost certain he’s trying to kill off Robert so he can sire an heir.
  • At the wall, Jon Snow isn’t Lord Commander… yet. It has the air of inevitability about it when Stannis asks Jon Snow what to do about Mance Rayder. In the end, Mance Rayder is burned alive for refusing to kneel to Stannis – and in a display of mercy, Jon Snow shoots him with an arrow in order to end his pain.
  • Finally, with Tywin Lannister dead, Cersei looks to be in control of the realm. However, she’s losing control of her son Tommen, as he’s being won over by the be-smirked Margaery Tyrell. Cersei didn’t make any governmental decisions while her father was being buried, but she’s haunted by a prediction given to her when she was very young, which foretold that all of her children would die before her.

And that’s about it. Super stoked for the Sens tonight! And for the upcoming episodes of GoT! The sun is shining, is nice and warm out – what a wonderful time of year!

April 15, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Parks & Rec. God I love that Leslie Knope! PLUCKY!!!

Oh! Em! Gee! I just can’t get enough of Parks and Recreation!

I’m noticing it take various comedy elements from other shows. There’s one of the cast members – who’s not one of the main cast – who’s this perfectly nice guy called Jerry. But each and every person in the show sees fit to dump on Jerry whenever possible. I think this borrows some elements from the Meg character on Family Guy. The key difference being that Jerry is a very likable, inwardly sensitive and talented person – whereas Meg is pretty disgusting and messed up.

I’m only on Season 2 still, but my favourite character so far has gotta be Leslie. It’s the combination of wide-eyed enthusiasm versus the non-stop government oppression. Leslie is naive and believes in the system, so at about every turn, she’s shut down by bureaucratic nonsense. Not to mention it’s standard sitcom fare to get involved in wacky situations due to lack of communication – and this happens to Leslie quite a lot.

The show is actually very smart about it’s gender politics. It’s clear that Leslie is a gal trying to make it in a man’s world, but instead of having everything she do wonderful, and everything men do harmful, the show manages to bring subtlety and nuance to the discussion.

For example, there was a recent episode wherein Ron Swanson (Leslie’s boss) wins a “Woman of the Year” award from a woman’s political group. This crushes Leslie, who desperately yearns to be recognized for her tireless efforts on behalf of the city of Pawnee. Ron, being the bureaucratic master that his is, recognizes the award is political and tries to refuse it. This sets up an amusing dialogue between Ron, Leslie and the chairwoman of the women’s group. Both Ron and Leslie have argued that Leslie should get the award, but the chairwoman answer’s with

No. Leslie doesn’t get the award. We’re giving it to Ron, a man. Frankly, when the award goes to a woman, no one gives a rats ass. But if we award it to a masculine, mustachioed man like Ron, then the press will pay attention.

That is an undeniably hilarious thing for a leader of a woman’s group to say.

I was supposed to really focus in and write my thesis this morning, but the lure of P&R kept calling back to me!

Not to mention it’s an interpersonal comedy, so there’s lots of relationship drama, and people having crushes on other people, heartbreak, emotion, that part of the show where the music goes soft and a man talks about his feelings to a woman. Yeah, some of it is a bit ridiculous – but all the characters are supremely likable, which goes a long way towards making the formulaic parts of the show tolerable.

I suppose because this is Amy Poehler’s show, I will eventually have to compare and contrast it with Tina Fey’s 30 Rock. When I watched 30 rock, I found it really smart. Not terrifically laugh-out-loud funny, but very very clever. I’m sure the majority of writer’s were from Harvard and Yale.

However, with Poehler’s show, I find myself laughing out loud a lot more! Because it’s a formulaic show, it can never be as smart as 30 rock – as they were all about turning the formula on its head. But I would argue that so far, P&R has the funnier jokes.

Anyhoo, this has been another blog entry about Parks and Rec’s! I’m sorta deliriously happy that I’ve got this new comedy to watch with at least 5 more 20+ episode seasons ahead of me! I’ll never graduate!!!

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parks and Recreation: funny stuff

Oh man! Parks and Recreation is HYSTERICAL!!

I was a little skeptical at first – since it was a “The Office” style comedy (i.e., fake documentary), and I was a little worried it would be cringe humour. But so far, it has been gut-bustingly funny.

I tried watching the show earlier. I started, like I normally do with series, with the first episode of the first season. But it was very meehhhh. However, due to regular internet surfing, I came across various Imgur links with P&R gags on ’em.

After consistently reading about how great the show was, I was ready to try it again. The other thing, is that I also read online about how one can ignore the very short first season, start with season 2, and not miss much. Hence, I did that – and combined with a vague rememberance of the first episode, I was able to quickly figure out what was going on plot-wise. (I mean, it’s not Shakespeare – the show lays itself out for you.)

Anyhoo, now I’ve downloaded the 1st season, and am going to binge watch that at somepoint later on.

I’ll talk about some jokes I remember, but first let me give you a brief overview of the show.

Parks & Recreation is a show primarily about Leslie Knope, the deputy director of the parks department in the little town of Pawnee, Indiana. She’s joined by a cast of wacky characters; the tough but heart of gold boss, Ron Swanson; the brash but sensitive aide, Tom Haverford; the slackjawed, bored intern, April Ludgate; and many more!

There’s actually a terrific cast, and featuring a slew of awesome guest stars (including H. Jon Benjamin and Louie C.K, so far here in Season 2).

One of the best jokes so far comes when Leslie is meeting with volunteer teachers at a community center, because the budget for the center has been slashed. Leslie calls them into a meeting to discuss how each teacher can keep their class.

Leslie: “Attendance!”

Teacher: But my class is only once a week!

Leslie: “And popularity! Popularity is another way we’ll decide who gets to keep their class.”

Old Teacher: My class isn’t popular. My class is called “Coping with terminal illness.”

Leslie: (beat) Better hope the attendance is good!

I’m not even doing the joke justice. It was hysterical. There’s been so many funny moments already. And there’s 7 seasons?! Phenomenal! I am stoked – I so rarely find a new show nowadays. This means I’ll be binge-watching the show for the next couple-a days. It’s a bit of a shame, as I’ve got a big doctoral thesis to write. But whatevs… comedy is more important.

February 16, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Ramble about TV and gettin’r going

Hey – what’s goin’ on?

Missed a couple days last week. Thursday was one of those days where I just couldn’t get’r going. It was infuriating at the time – I had a solid sleep the night before, didn’t eat anything outrageous or do nuthin’ to be so tired. But there I was, 8:00 am and outta gas for the day. Frustrating. Had a nap and that didn’t solve much. As a result, I didn’t do my writing – nor much else that day.

I assume these fits and spurts of energy are related to my kidney. For those who don’t know, I had a kidney transplant in 97, and am on some pretty serious pills as a result. It could be that one of the side effects is unforseen lack of energy at certain times. I know that occasionally, I get into a state where I just can’t keep my eyes open. Only once can I remember that this happened during a day where I did very strenuous physical activity – the other times, it just sorta hit me and that was that. My body was all like, “Ok bud. Fuck all this nonsense, we’re on strike!” and my body just refused to work for the rest of the day. Weird.

Anyhoo, I’m back and rarin’ to go. Well, not rarin’ – I don’t really have anything to write about.

Or do I? I could write about how absolutely stoked I am for tonight’s episode of Gotham. The TV trailers showed the character of “Jack Gruber” making another appearance. I think he’s going to turn out to be the Joker – and so tonight will either hint towards that tantalizing future, or demolish it by killing Gruber or something similar. Tell ya what I’m not looking forward to is Jim Gordon’s drama-addicted girlfriend. Yeesh!

As well, I’m hoping that there’ll be a new episode of American Dad tonight. … Nope. Google tells me that American Dad won’t return until February! Shenanigans!!

This weekend was pretty poor for TV. No new Simpsons, no new Bobs Burgers – no new Family Guy (although I watch them out of a sense of duty now instead of looking forward to them.) Rick and Morty won’t be back for a long time – same for Game of Thrones. Nothing new on HBO that looks terribly thrilling – meh. These are the dog days of January, when there’s no new tv – and it’s -30 outside with the wind chill, which is perfect tv-binge-watching weather! Oh well… Champagne problems…

I suppose I could rewatch Firefly. I should really make it a “thing” that I watch Firefly at least once a year. But then I’ll have to end with the movie Serenity, and Wash will die and break my heart all over again. Oh Firefly! You could’ve been so good!

I have a theory that the only reason Castle is still going is because people loved Firefly SO MUCH, that they’ll watch Nathan Fillion no matter what formulaic nonsense-show he’s on – as long as there’s sly references to Firefly along the way.

As far as goals for the day – I only have one thing left to do and that’s read Moby Dick for 30 minutes. I forget where I am in the book – the last chapter I remember reading that was good was about Steelskilt or whoever – and then I think there was a chapter about why albatrosses are good luck, or some painfully boring nonsense. They should really think about making an abridged version – there’s whole chapters that can be cut out without losing any of the plot.

Anyhoodles, that’s 15 minutes. It’s been a slice! Tomorrow will almost certainly be a recap of tonight’s Gotham episode!

January 19, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Current tv ramble

I’m reading Moby Dick at the moment, and for the most part, it’s a slog. Every good chapter that Melville has is followed by one or two dreary ones – often about the taxonomy of the whale, or more yammering on about why Moby Dick inspires such terror. Today’s chapter was all about how certain artists of the time failed to paint whales correctly in their paintings. Yeesh!

Most of the chapters could be summed up in one or two sentences. It’s really annoying.

I only bring this up because yesterday I was reading it, and that chapter was awesome! It was about this mutineer named Steelkilt, and his adventures aboard the high seas one day. But in retrospect, it was probably the best chapter I’ve read because it was a tight, concise story. Previously, each chapter has been meandering with no real point. I suppose Melville did this to dramatically paint the picture of 1800’s New England – but the language is so old-timey that I keep having to turn to the dictionary, which takes me out of the moment.

Nevertheless, I will press on – because eventually there’s going to be a fight between Ahab and the whale, and Ishmael and Queequeg will be along for the ride.

Meanwhile, there’s no new Gotham episode this week – nor a new American Dad. Which is a bummer. I thought all the shows were back from winter break, and it’d be one new episode a week from now until about mid-April (AKA: the return of Game of Thrones!)

Man am I excited for the upcoming season of GoT. I finally finished the books a couple months back, so now I know which parts of the tv show are made up, and which are lifted from the book. (Although, there’s so many characters in the book I could easily misremember some people and forget who others are.) Most importantly, Arya (everyone’s favorite or at least second-favorite character) will be training at the house of many faces – which is really an assassin school. That’s gonna be awesome.

As well, Tyrion will show up again – as in the show, the last we saw of him was when he killed his father. I think it might be a couple episodes before Tyrion actually shows up (for dramatic pacing reasons) but who knows.

As for ongoing shows – aside from my beloved cartoons and Gotham, there’s not much I’m watching. There’s (I think) 2 seasons of Boardwalk Empire I have yet to watch – I ‘unno if I’m going to though. I reeeally don’t care for Margaret Thompson (nee Schroeder) and her whining about how she married a gangster. You knew what you were getting into, honey!

I’m sure there’s new HBO series that are coming down the pipe – or have been released that I just haven’t had the time to watch. I heard okay things about Netflix’s Marco Polo – and I could watch that in one shot, so we’ll see. It’s winter, so there’ll be plenty of opportunity to curl up on a Friday or Saturday night watchin’ muh stories.

Recently I haven’t been as big on movies – I think probably because I like a long drawn out story. Movies seem so hurried, and it’s easy for me to dismiss the expository dialogue in any run-of-the-mill Hollywood picture. Some movies are amazing and aren’t so hackneyed, but I sort of think that most movies nowadays are cranked out with little thought or feeling. As a result, every movie seems to hit the same note – oh, she’s the love interest, oh, there’s the crisis precipitating the 2nd act, etc…

I will say that Interstellar was a fun movie – but it monkeyed around with space and time. And it’s Deus Ex Machina at the end involved 5th-dimensional beings and a time-traveling tesseract. Definitely not a run-to-the-airport-to-save-the-girl type of movie.

Finally, yesterday’s Family Guy and Simpsons were pretty awful. Simpsons was better by a lot, but I can’t remember the story at the moment – so it certainly couldn’t have been that great.

Stay tuned for more ramblings about television tomorrow!

January 14, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Game Of Thrones: Season 1 Episode 1 – Episode Recap.

We cold open to…

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3 badass looking dudes from the Night’s Watch. (Of course, we don’t know they’re part of the Night’s Watch yet, so they’re just 3 badass looking dudes.) This is a great way to open the epicest epics to ever epic – we’re drawn immediately into a world of mystery. Who are these guys? Why are they walking through this big-ass tunnel? Why are they so dour looking?

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Dour is right. They sure don’t look like a happy bunch.

Anyhoo, they go North of the wall and start poking around. That bug-eyed looking fellow manages to stumble upon a camp full of slaughtered wildlings.

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Correction: Brutally slaughtered!

He freaks out and runs back to tell beard-o and the caesar haircut guy. We widen to reveal…

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One hell of a massacre.

So bug-eye goes and tells his friends and brings them back to the site of the slaughter. Only, when he gets back, all the bodies are missing. Then, we hear ominous noises around our 3 intrepid heroes and some spooky music kicks up its volume.

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Ah! Midwich cuckoos!

All of a sudden, our heroes are being stalked by White Walkers! Bug-eye and beard-o run for their lives while caesar-haircut, being the snobbiest of them all, throwing out such sentences as, “What, are you afraid of the dead?” gets summarily executed by the White Walkers.

Meanwhile, bug-eye and beard-o, after running for quite awhile, stop for breath. Surely they’ve outrun these White Walkers?

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Nope.

Boom! Kick it to the 1:30 long intro.

We open somewhere in the North, where that bug-eyed fella is chased down by men on horses. (We soon learn these are Ned Stark’s bannermen.)

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The fate of this fellow remains to be seen.

Anyhoo, we don’t care about him – because it’s star-wipe to one of those, “Happy Bustling Laughing Family” type of intros. You know the ones, all the kids are playing and getting along and the parents are laughing. It happens in absolutely every movie that contains a family.

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Here we see the Stark boys, enjoying a traditionally manly activity. (Even Rickon is in the background.)

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Sansa, being praised for her traditionally female skills.

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Arya, not so much…

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Ned and Catelyn, looking proudly down upon their brood. Oh, isn’t life just perfect Ned? I hope nothing ever changes and we live here in Winterfell safe forever.

After the establishing shots, Ned and Catelyn get the news that his men have captured a deserter: bug-eye. Of course, the punishment for desertion in the Night’s Watch is death.

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What was that you were saying, Cat?

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M’Lord, even though I have this ridiculous haircut, no one saw fit to give me a name in this first episode. Also, Theon is with me.

It falls to Ned, as the Warden of the North, to carry out the execution of the deserted. Just before he’s about to be put onto the block, Bug-eye says something like, “I know I deserted my post, but fuck me if I’m going to deal with White Walkers.” (I’m paraphrasing.)

Though Ned is sympathetic about being terrorized by fictional monsters, he still has a job to do.

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Hi-

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YAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

As Ned and his boys go back to Winterfell, they happen upon a dead DireWolf, who just happens to have a bunch of puppies. As it happens, there’s one DireWolf for each Stark child, so Ned sees it as an omen and spares the lives of the wolves. Even Jon Snow gets one.

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He seems so pumped!

This being the first episode, we’ve got a lot of characters to introduce ourselves to, and a story to get started. So we’ve met all the Starks, learned about the Night’s Watch, now it’s time to get this feudal intrigue a-rollin’.

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Note the throne in the background.

In King’s Landing, we learn that Jon Arryn, the previous King of the Hand, is dead. The current King, Robert Baratheon, is marching North to visit Winterfell.

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Catelyn, don’t interrupt me while I’m stroking my sword.

We learn that Catelyn is anxious about the King’s visit – as the King and Ned are old friends, and she’s sure the King will take Ned back with him. However, it is a royal visit, so all the Stark children need to be cleaned up. Great excuse for all our handsome leads to take their shirts off.

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And a lil’ something for the ladies…

In a clever bit of foreshadowing (or not so clever, depending on who you ask), Brann climbs up the castle walls to see the King and his retinue in the distance. As he’s climbing down, he’s caught by his mom, who says, 

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I don’t ever want to see you climbing again!

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Ok, I’ll climb maybe one more time and that’s it.

Finally, the King rides in with all the pomp and circumstance he can muster. We get a cool shot of the Hound in full armour.

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I don’t think he ever wears that cool helmet ever again.

We finally get to meet the King, Robert Baratheon, who basically looks like a bearded, British, John Goodman.

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We get a glimpse of some of the other Lannisters as well:

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Only moments later will we all start to hate that little kid with everything we’ve got.

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I don’t remember Tyrion being so blonde.

These introductory stories are brief, as we’re still establishing how Robert and Ned know each other. In fact, Robert invites Ned to be the King of the Hand, as there’s some upstart young Tagaryen across the sea who has visions of dethroning the King.

Star wipe to…

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One of the two seasons where we get to see her breasts: enjoy!

Meet Daenerys Stormborn – of course, she’s not the Targaryen we’re worried about, because there’s this jerk kicking around:

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If I didn’t die so early, it’d be a toss up between me and Joffrey as to who’s the most hated.

This is Viserys – Daenerys’ older brother. He’s arranged for Daenerys to be wed to Khal Drogo, the leader of the Dothraki, a horse-people. Viserys has done so in exchange for access to Drogo’s army. Viserys, being a son of the previous King, has claims on the current throne. Only, he needs a big-ass army with which to fight Robert, the current king.

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Getting Khal Drogo on your side is a good start.

With Daenerys introduced and married, we star-wipe back to Winterfell

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“Do you think Joffrey will like me?” Sansa asks, not having met Joffrey and knowing what a right cunt he is.

It’s nighttime at Winterfell, and since the King’s here, we’re having a feast!

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Raucous.

Shenanigans are going on at dinner. But we’re still setting up the story here – for as the feast goes on inside, outside Jon Snow is talking to Ned’s brother Benjen, who’s a recruiter for the Night’s Watch.

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Nice to meet you, Jon Snow. I’ll be dead in 3 episodes!

Jon Snow discusses joining the Night’s Watch with Benjen. After all, Jon Snow is Ned Stark’s bastard – and Catelyn is not a big fan of ol’ Jon Snow. 

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Then Tyrion comes by, says something wise, something snarky, and is off again.

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Meanwhile, at the feast, Cersei and Catelyn give each other passive-aggressive compliments. “Oh Catelyn, I love how you just wear anything.”

That night, as Ned and Catelyn are enjoying a post-coital snuggle, Maester Llyewen (seriously George R. R. Martin, use some normal spelling on names) comes in and gives them a letter.

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Hey, when you said a threesome, you didn’t say what kind.

It’s a letter from Catelyn’s sister Lysa, who tells them that the Lannisters murdered Jon Arryn. Suddenly, all those snipes that Cersei made at the dinner table seem a little more ominous.

Back across the water, Daenerys is marrying Khal Drogo.

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A Dothraki wedding without at least 3 deaths is considered a dull affair.

We get our first glimpse of Jorah “Friendzone” Mormont, who almost immediately (and without being asked) becomes Daenerys’ translator and advisor.

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Here’s a good wedding present for a horse-lord, books!

However, a much more foreshadow-y gift is given to Daenerys: 3 dragon eggs.

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My preciousssssss

Also, Jorah gives Daenerys a brand new, golden-white horse. (Because chicks love it when you fall all over yourself to give them gifts! That newly married bride will surely love you, Jorah!)

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Thanks Jorah – wait until I show my husband!

Finally, Khal Drogo and Daenerys consummate their marriage. This being Daenerys’ first time, and Khal Drogo being a bit rough around the edges, it doesn’t go smoothly for Dany.

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A lapdance is always better when the stripper is crying.

Star-wipe to Bran, taking his last climb.

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Boy, do I ever love to climb and use my legs! I sure wouldn’t ever want to not be able to walk again!

However, Bran happens to stumble upon Cersei and her Brother Jamie – gettin’ it oooon!

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Crap, I was almost there!!

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I have the weirdest boner right now…

Jamie then does the only sensible thing one can do when a 10-year old boy walks in on you fucking your own sister…

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*shove*

That’s a well thought out, measured response. And the triumphant first episode of Game of Thrones ends with a thump.

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July 8, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wowtopia

Today I’m going to spend my 15 minutes gushing about how great the show “Utopia” is. I spend yesterday binge-watching the 1st season – which wasn’t terribly difficult, as it’s only 6 episodes long. But man O’ man, what a show.

The first thing I want to point out is just how beautiful the cinematography is. The show is very striking, with lots of highly contrasting and bright colours. Lots of wide open spaces and moody atmospheric shots. Just to watch the show itself is visually stimulating. Here’s a bunch of pics – look at all these colours!

Utopia00001 Utopia00002 Utopia00003 Utopia00004 Utopia00005 Utopia00006 Utopia00007 Utopia00008 Utopia00009 Utopia00010 Utopia00011 Utopia00012 Utopia00013 Utopia00014 Utopia00015 Utopia00016 Utopia00017 Utopia00018 Utopia00019 Utopia00020 Utopia00021 Utopia00022 Utopia00023 Utopia00024

 

And I haven’t even begun with the plot yet!

Ok, so the plot is unbelievably convoluted, and it goes something like this. A bunch of nerds share a love of a graphic novel called, “Utopia.” They agree to meet to discuss “Utopia 2”, but find that the guy who had the manuscript for Utopia 2 was killed. They quickly become embroiled in scandal and danger and, before they know it, they’re on the run for their lives.

Very slowly, we’re filled in on the back story. But the back story is crazy convoluted – short version: there’s a bunch of different warring factions who want to get their hands on “Utopia 2”, because hidden within its pages is the molecular blueprint for a certain type of protein which can sterilize 95% of the population and is hereditary.

The above makes sense if you’ve seen Utopia.

Anyhoo, it’s a crazy thriller – with lots of, “Who’s side are they on?” type mysteries – plenty of goodies and baddies to root for, and nothing is as it seems. Needless to say, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire show. It’s tense, taught and makes one paranoid just by watching.

Moreover, Season 1 ends with a number of cliffhangers and loose ends. I’m hoping Season 2 (which should hopefully be released sometime this year) will answer a bunch of these questions. Of course, it wouldn’t be a successful spy-thriller if it didn’t pose even more questions than it answered.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this is probably the greatest drama I’ve seen since Breaking Bad. Do you remember that tense, constricting feeling you had while watching Breaking Bad? I had that same feeling while watching Utopia – but since there were just so many riddles posed by the show, I felt compelled to keep watching in order to solve those riddles. Though, by the end, I’m left not trusting any of the answers the show has given us. There’s too many twists and turns and double crosses and triple crosses to believe that any of the information that various characters have given us were true.

Anyhoo… yeah. Great show.

Another thought I had while watching the show is that, since the whole journey began because of a comic book, I’m wondering if the highly contrasting visual style was done that way on purpose, as sort of a call back to a comic book’s style. Comics are bright and dramatic – similar to how the show was shot.

I will probably have to watch the show in its entirety again, just to see if there’s any more clues I can pick up. I’m surprised there’s no massive online following yet – I’m sure once the show comes to HBO, there will be.

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Utopia and Big Fat Quiz of the Year: A Channel 4 Ramble

Wow! That show Utopia is amazing. I’ve only seen one episode so far, but man does it ever get its hooks in fast.

The opening scene, we’re in a comic book store, when two unassuming men walk in. “We’re closed!” yells the proprietor. One of the two men, takes a lead pipe from his bag and bashes in some guys skull. That’s the first minute of the show. It gets better (or worse, depending on your point of view) from there.

The basic sort of plot is as follows: There’s a graphic novel called “Utopia”, which was written by a guy in a mental institution. This comic has attracted a cult following, and these followers congregate on an online forum to discuss the book. When one of the forum members claims he has a copy of Utopia 2, he and a few other followers agree to meet in real life. However, the guy who’s got the copy of Utopia 2 gets sidetracked by the previously aforementioned two unassuming men. The main story then becomes how these other forum members get sucked into this Utopia 2 business, which appears to have deadly consequences.

Also going on at the same time is a B-story about a government worker, who got his mistress pregnant. But because his mistress is owned by the Russian mob, this government stooge is going to have to do the Russian mob a favour. And so this B-story is all about how this government worked is being pressured and is having to sneak around and do the mob’s bidding.

Anyhoo, it appears as if these two stories will intersect, as the deadly aspect of the Utopia novel seems to stem from a Russian company – where the writer of Utopia used to work before he went mad.

There’s a bunch of twists and turns, and it’s definitely a drama/thriller type of show. But man is it ever good. And that’s just based on the first episode! I’m looking forward to binge watching the rest of the series today.

It’s not a BBC show though, it’s Channel 4 – which I assume is a big competitor of the government run BBC. Is Channel 4 the one that did the Big Fat Quiz of the Year shows? After Googling, I find that, indeed it is.

Let me ramble a bit about Big Fat Quiz of the Year. If you’ve never seen the show, take a gander at the clip below.

That’s right, it’s 90 minutes long – but worth every second. It’s basically an end-of-the-year trivia show, but featuring 6 comedians. So it’s a non-stop laugh riot! Especially by the end of the show, when the taping has been going for 3 or 4 hours, and everyone’s tired and exasperated and ready to go home, but they’ve still got to put on their best faces and make jokes. That’s my favorite part, when the show starts going haywire and the show runners are too tired to reel it back in. 

Previous years have featured other comedians, notably Russell Brand. And although I’ve never been patient enough to watch one of his stand up shows, Brand is pretty awesome as a panel guest. I’d love to see Brand on QI or Mock the Week, just to see what he can do with it.

Of course, my favorite BFQOTY shows contain either David Mitchell and/or Ricard Ayoade. Both of these guys have nasally, inherently funny voices. Mitchell is unbelievably witty, and Ayoade is a master of the deadpan. There was one year where both these guys were on the same “team”, and I think that year is easily the best episode.

I don’t know what it is about British television – maybe it’s the short series length, or the lack of a Puritanical heritage. But British television always seems to be head and shoulders above American television. Luckily, I’m Canadian, so I get the best of both worlds.

May 28, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment