Series discoveries: Highlights

Last week I said I’d do a series discoveries post, and here, as promised, it is 🙂

I watch entirely too much television. It’s true. But I enjoy it. I also get a lot of writerly goodness out of watching television series because I never just watch passively. I discuss what I watch with Phil, try to predict what might happen, plot-wise, and think about the story structure of the episodes and the seasons or series overall.

If I tried to say even a few words about all the shows I’ve watched since I last posted a series discoveries … I’d be writing a book (!) I’d rather save all those words for my novels.

Here are some of the year’s highlights.

Stranger Things

Of course this would be on my list. Isn’t it on everyone’s?

A lovely cast of young geeks and social misfits, Dungeons & Dragons, a mysterious series of disappearances, enough 80’s nostalgia to make me feel warm and fuzzy, Winona Ryder in her first solid role in … like forever, Mathew Modine as the villain, the awesome Eleven, and The Upside Down.

Assholes saw the error of their ways. Friendship triumphed over fear. The crazy lady was proven right (and not crazy).

And the storytelling was top notch. ST was a master class in foreshadowing and revelation. It wasn’t backstory heavy. The pacing was just right.

Travelers

Of the three new time travel series, I enjoyed this Showcase/Netflix collaboration the most. Both Timeless and Time After Time got tangled up in paradox (in my opinion). And not in a good way.

The means of time travel in Travelers was the transference of consciousness of the members of a future team of specialists into people in the past at the moments of their deaths. It’s a little hand-wavy, but it’s a clever way of trying to circumvent paradox.

Like many of the more enjoyable time travel tales, it doesn’t attempt to explain how the transfer of consciousness works. It’s not the story. It’s simply the vehicle for the story.

In the future, the world is in terrible shape. Teams of specialists, known as travelers, volunteer to have their consciousnesses transferred into people of the past in order to complete a series of missions in an attempt to avoid the catastrophic future. There are many teams, but no one knows any other travelers outside their team. They can’t. That’s half of the attraction of the show. The audience learns about the story world as the characters do.

Everything is organized by The Director and nobody knows who that is, either.

I found it fascinating because the travelers had to infiltrate the lives of the people they take over. These “normal” lives were the main complication for each of the travelers.

It was very well done.

The Crown

This was another well done series. It looks at the life of the young Elizabeth from before her marriage to Phillip and the death of her father through the first year of her reign as Queen Elizabeth II.

The acting was fabulous—John Lithgow as Winston Churchill was a-MA-zing! And Matt Smith isn’t half bad either 😉

Though I know the events of Elizabeth’s life have been dramatized for the series, it felt true. The characters were all human, all flawed, and all struggling.

It was a great character study.

Vikings

SPOILER ALERT!

Ragnar died. I have no idea where things are headed next season.

I still love the show. And Lagertha.

That is all 🙂

The Last Kingdom

This adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories continues to be compelling, despite a short second season.

It’s set a generation after Vikings when Alfred is king of Wessex (he’s a child in Vikings). Uhtred, the main character, was captured by the Vikings as a child and his uncle usurped his father’s lands. While it shares several of the same themes as Vikings, it’s a very different take on the historical era and its political intrigues.

It’s all about Uhtred’s survival and eventual rise. His ultimate goal is to retake Bebbanburg castle in Northumbia from his uncle.

I, Zombie

When Shomi closed up shop last year, Phil and I were disappointed. It was the only place we could watch I, Zombie.

Admittedly, the show struggled a bit this year with several characters switching sides, and then switching back, turning into zombies, getting cured, and then becoming zombies again. It was all very make-up-your-minds-already!

It retained its light feeling and comic book inspiration. It was still clever, but now that the zombie cat is out of the bag, I’m not sure about the future of the series.

13 Reasons Why

I am loving this series based on Jay Asher’s book. I think suicide is an important, if uncomfortable, topic to address, and I think the series has done it brilliantly.

The tapes are an effective (and analog) MacGuffin, and I wanted to hear the next one (or not) as much as Clay.

It’s a revealing look at the hell that is high school.

I honestly don’t know if I’d have survived high school if social media had been such a powerful force back then.

Sense8

Phil and I LURVED season 1 and were distressed when there was talk of not renewing the Straczinski-Wachowski series. We rejoiced when the Christmas special promised season 2 in May.

If anything, season 2 was even better than the first.

And then Netflix cancelled it.

It’s a beautiful show about difference and bonding, and how we can all bring the best out in one another, if we choose to. And, yes, psychics.

Like the time travel in Travelers, the sensorium (the bonded group of psychics) is merely the vehicle for a wonderful and uplifting story.

I really hope Netflix reconsiders.

Game of Thrones

GoT redeemed itself last season with some of the best episodes I’ve seen in years.

I can’t wait for tomorrow night’s season premiere.

Outlander

I’ve been a fan of Gabaldon’s novels for ages and what Stars has done with the series is excellent. I know a novel has to be reconceived for television. It’s a different medium and requires different writing. Unlike GoT, which has been hit or miss over the life of the series, the Outlander cast and crew have consistently made all the right decisions.

As I said to a friend after I saw the first season, it’s like Gabaldon had the chance to rewrite the novel given her current level of craft and experience. The series has been that true to the spirit of the books.

I’m eagerly awaiting the next season.

And that’s all I’m going to write for tonight.

Next week will be my last weekend post before I’m off on my grand adventure 🙂

Series Discoveries

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Series discoveries: Midseason follies, part deux

Hey, gang!

This is going to be a short post to catch up on the few midseason series I watched after my last post of this nature in April.

Beware. Spoilers ahead.

Game of Thrones

After last season’s heap of misogyny, I was hoping for better in this season. I was (thankfully) not disappointed.

Yeah. Jon Snow died, but Melisandre brought him back and now claims that he is the one who was prophesied. Having died, however, Jon was free of his oath to the Nightswatch and moved south to retake Winterfell.

Sansa and Theon survived their leap from the walls. Sansa met up with Jon and together they retook Winterfell (not without great cost or the help of the young puppet of the Vale) and the bastard of Bolton got his just desserts.

Theon has reunited with his sister and they’ve taken (actually stolen) the ironborn fleet and offered it to Dani. Uncle Euron may still kill them, but I’m kind of liking the alliance.

Arya is finally a faceless one (yay!), but her story suffered the most from implausibility of any in the series this season. I have great hopes for her, and a theory that I won’t share in case I’m wrong. It would be so cool if I’m right, though 🙂

Bran has become the new three eyed raven, and we now know Hodor’s heart-wrenching backstory. I have no idea what’s going to happen now as most of the children of the forest appear to be dead. Even with his new powers, what can Bran do on his own?

Dani’s finally in control of her dragons and should be retaking the seven kingdoms with her fearsome brood, Dothraki hoard, Unsullied, and I’m kind of excited to see what happens with her. Also interesting, another red priestess has appeared and is saying that Dani is the one who was prophesied.

Does this mean Dani and Jon are destined to kill each other or share the throne after they’ve driven back the White Walkers?

Cersei is certifiably insane. I think her number will be up shortly.

So aside from some glaring plot holes, I was pleased. Even though the body count continued to rise, sometimes sensationally rather than for legitimate plot reasons, I could deal. With the new, compressed schedule, I’m thinking they had to eliminate a lot of secondary plot lines and subplots post-hasty.

Two short and delayed seasons until the end of all.

Stranger Things

OMG. Loved this series so much, I don’t know if I can properly express it without babbling.

80’s nostalgia. A truly kick-ass young female protagonist. Great, geeky supporting roles. Tonnes of Easter eggs and homage. Heaven!

The story was fast-paced and compelling. The end of the season was satisfying and I’m so happy they’re working on season two.

No spoilers here. I want you all to watch it. Go on. Binge!

The only movie/show I’m looking forward to more is the adaptation of Ready Player One.

Outcast

This was a recommendation from a work friend. Phil and I were looking for something to watch and decided to give it a try.

Though the story is about a man who has been surrounded by possessed people all his life (mother, wife) and discovers that he has the ability to drive out the possessing spirits, there was something off about the season, more than what you’d expect from a story about possession.

I wasn’t watching so much because I enjoyed it, but because I wanted to see if the writers would answer any of the story questions in a satisfying way. There were answers, and they were surprising, but not satisfying.

Lucky Man

This series is interesting. It’s billed as Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with any Marvel property.

In fact, it had the feel of a gritty police procedural with paranormal influences like River, which Phil and I also watched and enjoyed.

A London Police detective and addicted gambler inherits a mystical bracelet that endows him with incredible luck.

I’m not sure if I would have watched it if there was anything else on, but I have and don’t regret it.

Outlander season two was fabulous. Loved it. Too much of a fangirl to offer critique.

Orphan Black was awesomesauce and I’m so pleased Tatiana Maslany got her Emmy. So well-deserved.

My main guilty pleasure and only reality television I watch, So You Think You Can Dance, did a next generation version, and it was amazing and adorable.

I’ll probably do a Fall 2016 series discoveries toward the end of October when I’ve had the chance to see most of the new offerings. I can tell you, I’m not terribly optimistic with all of the retreads, but we’ll see.

Series Discoveries

Muse-Inks: Honouring my reality and mid-season follies

This week’s DIYMFA question has to do with honouring your reality. The prompt is this: Tell a story about a time when you had to honour your reality. Rather than focus on one time, I’ll address the topic generally, with specific examples.

There are times when you simply have too much going on in your life or are too worn down by circumstances to stick to your writing practice.

It can happen when you’re overloaded at the day job and have nothing left when you return home. Exhaustion can leave you empty. This happened to me last year when I was training out of town for two and a half weeks. Previously, and since, I’ve been able to write while travelling, but, on this occasion, I was flat out of juice.

Burnout, creative or otherwise, can leave you in the same situation. Doing too much can drain your creative well and leave you ‘blocked.’

It can happen when you or a loved one feels ill. Wellness comes first. Still, I have been known to write even when I’m sick.

When my dad was struck with the illness that landed him first in the hospital, and from there into an alternate level of care facility, and then a nursing home, I have to say that my writing practice wasn’t consistent, but I did write.

Even when I was sitting vigil, when Dad suffered the attack of acute congestive heart failure that would eventually take his life, I brought my lap top and notebook with me.

It may sound callous, or selfish, but writing is how I process the events of my life.

It’s not like I sat there writing obsessively while my father died, either. Though he was unconscious for most of his final journey, there was a lot of hand holding, many quiet, one-way conversations, visitors to comfort, and support measures to attend to.

But when I had a moment, I pulled out my journal and committed a few of my swirling thoughts to paper, or opened up the lap top and typed a few lines.

The only time I’ve not written for extended periods was when I’d lost touch with my passion for writing, following my MA. It was something I had to learn to understand before I could overcome it. It involved depression and therapy and meds and a lot of what I call ‘self-work.’

I tried, and failed, to achieve a consistent writing practice for years before I finally found my way to it. Since then, though, writing has been my companion.

The take-away from all this is that dry spells happen, for whatever reason. Every writer, without exception, has them, whether they admit to it or not. Be kind to yourself. This, too, shall pass.

If you’ve been away from your practice for a few days, or a few weeks, or even for a few years, start slow and build slowly on your successes. Forgive yourself for the times you falter. And always, approach the blank page with love in your heart and fire in your soul.

Muse-inks

Mid-season follies

First, a quick and ecstatic anime/animation note: Netflix has added Legend of Korra to its Canadian service. Just the first two seasons, but I’m all a-squee 🙂 Watching now. Giddy.

The mid-season isn’t quite over at this point, with Game of Thrones about to resume this weekend, but I probably won’t have a chance to share my further thoughts until later in the year.

The Expanse

This adaptation of the James S.A. Corey series of novels was gritty and realistic. It had a real noir feel to it and enough twists and turns to keep viewers tuned in week after week.

It was good storytelling, though dark.

I’ll leave it there, because this is a series I think y’all should really watch.

Childhood’s End

I wouldn’t recommend this adaptation. It was okay. I know decisions have to be made to present a written work on television, but I didn’t appreciate the decisions made in this mini-series.

‘Nuff said.

The Magicians

Love, love, lurved this series. C.S. Lewis, grown up, turned on its head, and painted black.

I know there were significant variances from Lev Grossman’s novels, from which this series was adapted, but these choices are, well, choice.

Another one I want everyone to watch.

Very well done.

Magical, even 😉

Bitten

This was the final season of Bitten, and warnings were issued that the writers were going ‘off-book’ with this one.

It was ok. They got back to centring the story on the pack and wolf dynamics.

The Russian pack have made themselves comfortable and so Jeremy, fearing a hostile takeover of the worst kind, sends Elena, Clay, and Nick to gather the lone werewolves and bring them into the pack.

A strange wolf and his family shows up and turns out to be Elena’s father.

There’s a lot of what I saw as unnecessary killing in this season, and the pack is decimated, even after Elena becomes Alpha.

The red-eyed wolf was truly terrifying, but when push came to shove, his take-down was unspectacular.

So like I say, ok. I wasn’t even too concerned about getting spoilery.

Marvel’s Agent Carter

I enjoyed it, though I hear that it wasn’t as well-received as the first season. The relocation to LA was a bit contrived, but the story arc was interesting and tied into Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and some of the other Marvel properties.

I appreciated Peggy’s relationships with the various men in her life, particularly Jarvis, and I liked that there were women characters who could hold their own beside our hero.

I wasn’t as taken with Whitney, though I believe the writers did the best they could to create a complex villain in as few brush strokes as possible.

We’re supposed to hear in May whether the series will be back for a third season or not.

You, Me, and the Apocalypse

This was funny! And quirky (and I loves me some good quirk)! Rob Lowe as a Cardinal? That made it for me, right there. The evil twin schtick didn’t feel tired in this series, either.

This is another story told, like How to get away with murder and Quantico, from two ends. One story line follows the lives of several people as they learn that an asteroid is heading on a collision course with Earth, and the other frames the chronological narrative from the perspective of the protagonist (we think—spoiler!) as he sits in a bunker, waiting for the impact.

As the episodes progress, viewer learns how all of the apparently disparate characters are connected. It was very well done.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

Rory Pond gets to be a time master 😉 Yup. This one is another positive-ish DC show that features a number of the supporting characters from The Flash and Arrow, teaming up with time master Michael “Rip” Hunter to defeat Vandal Savage before he destroys the future.

It’s a bit repetitive as Rip and his team travel from time to time hunting Savage, or run from time to time trying to evade the other time masters Rip defied when he went on this crazy quest, but there have been some entertaining episodes.

The series may have a limited time (pun intended).

Vikings

I’m not as happy with this season as I have been with past ones. Ragnar is pretty pathetic this season, but other characters, like his son, Bjorn, and ex-wife Lagertha, are coming into their own.

Rollo has become a Frankish Duke and is actually defending the French against his brother Ragnar.

The intrigues of the courts of Wessex, Mercea, and Northumbria are interesting, but something is definitely lacking since Floki murdered Athelstan last year.

Can I just come back to Ragnar for a moment? Thought to be mortally wounded after the last attack on Paris, he recovers (somewhat), befriends a Chinese slave, becomes addicted, and essentially loses it. He redeems himself by coming up with a crazy idea to portage the Viking fleet past Rollo’s defences, but I’m thinking this may be it for the clever Ragnar I admired.

The season’s not over yet, though.

Orphan Black

This series has only just returned. I’m enjoying the ride, so far, though. Going back to the beginning and delving into the original mysteries around Neolution is a good way to reorient the show.

I’m not so sure I’m keen on Felix’s one-eighty, though. Searching for one’s birth family doesn’t mean you turn your back on the family that you have and get all broody. I suspect there’s more to it than what’s been confessed at first blush, though.

Outlander

We’re only a couple of episodes in, so I don’t have much to report. If the cast, crew, writers, and costume designers keep up with last season, however, I’ll be well-pleased.

The Good Witch

This sweet Harlequin production just returned this past Thursday.

Despite featuring a protagonist who is a witch, this series is really a Christian romance in pagan trappings.

I can’t explain it. My tastes generally run darker and more twisted, but I kind of like The Good Witch.

And . . . just so you know, I don’t watch all of the television that comes out. I can only watch so much without cutting into my writing time. I have to be picky. And there are some shows I just don’t get into. Or they don’t hook me at all.

So there you have it.

The only series I didn’t get to were the Netflix/Shomi series we watch. I may have to recap those in the fall before I dive into the new fall season shows.

As I mentioned before, I’ll be at Ad Astra next weekend. Unless a miracle occurs, I won’t be blogging. The weekend of May 7, I’ll be serving up my April next chapter update, and then I’ll be getting on with the convention reportage, such as it is.

I’ll be back with more Tipsday and Thoughty Thursday for you in the meantime.

Smiles, everyone, smiles! (Don’t ask me where that came from. Seriously, don’t.)

An origin story and series discoveries, anime edition

As I mentioned last week, I’m on Gabriela Pereira’s DIYMFA launch team (yes, the book is coming out shortly). In preparation for the launch, Gabriela has been asking us weekly questions related to DIYMFA (the site, the newsletter, the course, and the book).

This week’s question is: What is your origin story?

How this ties into DIYMFA: Gabriela has recently asked what our writerly superpower was. For the record, mine is character, which I consider to be the well-spring of all things story. In keeping with that theme, all superheroes have origin stories.

Here’s mine.

Author origins

Even pre-origin, I was a creative wee bug. Read, I was a big fibber. The other kids were more honest. They called me a liar.

It wasn’t anything big or flashy. When I was a kid, in grade one (five years old), I really wanted a pet. I was obsessed with cats and took those books out of the library to read, well, gaze at longingly. I was just learning to read.

In show and tell every day (practically) I’d tell the tale of the latest stray cat I’d found and taken in. When the other kids (and teacher) asked me about the last cat, it invariably, and conveniently, had run away.

By the time I was in grade three, I wrote a little essay (well, I was seven), on my puppy, Friskey. I named her and misspelled her name. I’d like to say it was purposeful, but I rather think I just didn’t know how to spell.

Also in grade three, there was a special presentation by the grade five students. They’d all written and illustrated story books.

The moment I saw Siobhan Riddell’s version of St. George and the Dragon, I was hooked. Hard. I made my first submission, to the CBC’s “Pencil Box,” later that year.

And that was it. I’ve been writing—and in love with writing—ever since.

Series discoveries: Anime update

Series Discoveries

Phil and I have eased off on the anime, but we still watch Fairy Tail, and now World Trigger, as they are released (weekly). Actually, they are both now in hiatus as the animators work on the next seasons.

Fairy Tail went through some backstory in this season with Fairy Tail: Zer0. It is the tale of how a young Mavis met with some intrepid treasure hunters and through a series of adventures founded the wizard guild, Fairy Tail. Zeref even makes an appearance.

Next season promises to be about the rebuilding of the guild, which, after the Tartaros arc, had disbanded and all of its members departed for parts unknown.

The storytelling is decent, but, as with most anime, there are gaps in logic or plot that irritate. It’s still all about the power of friendship, though.

World Trigger focused mostly on rank wars, which is where the manga dwells these days as well. Osamu, Kuga, and Chika are trying to make it to A-rank so they can go on away missions to the neighbour worlds in the hope of rescuing Chika’s brother and friend, who disappeared and are assumed abducted. They’re also in search of Kuga’s companion, Replica, an autonomous trion soldier, who’d sacrificed himself to save Osamu and Chika when Aftokrator, a neighbour world, attacked.

As the season ended, not one, but two other neighbour worlds would be coming into contact with Mideen, where World Trigger takes place. Rank wars were to continue, but the A-rank Border teams  would have to defend against the neighbours.

Osamu and his team of three are in a bit of a crisis as well. Osamu, though a good strategist, has very little trion, the energy that allows Border agents to use the neighbour triggers. He also has very little experience and has come up against a wall. He is struggling, and holding his team back.

Chika, though she has an amazing amount of trion, is young and kind enough that she can’t bear to target people.

Kuga, a neighbour himself, has lots of trion and lots of experience and so the team’s success has rested largely on his shoulders.

Osamu has tried to recruit a fourth member for their team, but has so far been unsuccessful.

Log Horizon has still not returned.

We watched the second season of RWBY and the story is getting darker. The huntresses in training have watched their academy, and their world, come tumbling down around them.

At the end, Yang had her hand cut off and she and Ruby were recovering at home with their father after the attack that destroyed their academy. Blake had run away after her confrontation with her former boyfriend and his terrorist faction ended disastrously. Weiss had been recalled to her family’s estate in the city.

The enemy, still a little too amorphous and mysterious for my liking, controls the beasts of Grimm and has stolen the powers of one of the four maidens, Spring.

Ruby, unwilling to let the enemy’s apparent victory go unanswered, takes off with two other former students from the academy to try to set things right.

We’ll see if the third season appears and if it answers any of the outstanding questions the series has so far left viewers with.

A new addition to our viewing line-up has been God Eater.

Post-apocalyptic Japan has been overrun by the Aragami, fearsome beasts that seem to revel in mindless destruction. With the exception of a few huge, very powerful Aragami, they don’t exhibit much intelligence.

To combat these fearsome beasts, scientists isolated the genetic material that mutated animals into Aragami in the first place. Though early experiments were disastrous, they eventually figured out that there were certain humans who would be enhanced by this genetic material rather than be taken over by it.

Lenka Utsugi is one of these humans, a God Eater. He is trained and given a weapon called a God Arc, which bonds with the wielder.

When an Aragami is killed, its ‘core’ is harvested. These cores can be used to power God Arcs, but are more important in the construction of Aegis, a domed settlement in which the remnants of the human race are to shelter.

There’s a lot more to it than that. Suffice it to say that Phil and I are enjoying it and watching the show while we wait for the others to return. We’re getting a little deeper into backstory, but the conspiracies in this series are still a little hazy for my liking.

And that’s it for this week.

I’ll see what the next DIYMFA question of the week is, but I may tackle that and midseason follies (to date). The week following is Ad Astra, and so I probably won’t blog that weekend. I’ll be too busy taking notes of the sessions I attend so that I’ll have lots of reportage ready to go after April’s next chapter update.

Muse-Inks: Do you need an MA/MFA?

(And a couple series discoveries)

Yeah, so I kind of fibbed again on Thursday because I wasn’t aware of some of my deadlines and involvements.

Today, I’m going to be doing double duty. I’m posting my first DIYMFA launch team post and covering the two series that hadn’t debuted/returned before I went to CanCon last October and then plunged into the lost month that is NaNoWriMo (binge writing).

I’m also reading the ARC of Jane Ann McLachlan’s new YA SF, The Salarian Desert Game, as part of her launch team. That review is due up on the interwebz on Monday, and it will be, but I’ll be holding off on putting it up on my blog until next Saturday.

So. Let’s get to it, shall we?

I’ve written about my MA experience as part of the My history as a so-called writer category, which has been a bit of a confessional/lessons-learned-from-the-writing-life kind of thing.

 The story of my MA

I was in my last year of my BA in English, Rhetoric emphasis, and I was rocking it. I’d gone into university this time (I’d started, dithered, and left to learn some life lessons) with the focused intention of becoming a better writer. I’d been writing for years, since I was in grade three, but had only recently come up with my first idea for an epic fantasy novel.

That intention had provided me with the fuel to really begin my writing life in a more serious way. I’d placed in a local writing contest with a science fiction short story, excelled in my academic writing, and been asked to write an editorial piece for one local magazine and a science fiction short story for the debut issue of another.

Through the creative writing course I’d taken, I would have another fantasy story published in an anthology. I’d written poetry and read my work at various open mic nights and reading series.

In retrospect, I should simply have continued to write. I was developing a kind of momentum that further schooling would only disrupt, but I had no idea about that then.

My friends had all departed for further schooling, teachers’ college and literature MAs, and I was still at that tender stage in the process where I had no confidence in myself. I thought I needed further validation. I thought that attaining my MA would make me a more attractive property.

I was wrong.

In Canada, at the time, there were only four universities offering MFAs: the University of New Brunswick, Concordia University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria. Two others, Windsor and Saskatchewan, offered the option of doing a creative thesis along with your degree in English literature.

Initially, I just thought I’d apply, see if anyone would accept me, and then make my decision whether to go or not. I’d just gotten married the year before and my husband wasn’t finished his undergraduate degree yet. I wasn’t so keen on being separated from him for so long.

All the MFA programs rejected me out of hand (I should have seen that as a sign). Only one of them, UNB, threw me a bone: we’ll take you in the English Literature program, but not creative writing. Windsor was the only university that accepted me. It was the closest, too, though it was still a nine hour drive away.

I thought at the time that it was doable. I’d be back for breaks and summers. Phil was supportive. We could do this, if it was what I really wanted.

I went for it without giving serious consideration to my chosen genre. I write science fiction and fantasy. Even my more literary efforts contain the element of the otherworldly, ghosts, dreams, visions. I thought that, just like my BA, my MA would yield to my passion and desire.

Then, I attended my first critiquing class. My fellow hopefuls were all of a more mainstream, if not literary, mind. One eventually defended her thesis which was a collection of poetry, all sonnets. I never learned what the other students had chosen to work on.

No one was particularly keen on what I wrote. Well, there was this one guy, but he wrote genre as well. I got stubborn and dug in. My advisor looked at my submitted stories in dismay. What is this? What is real about this story? We weren’t on the same page. We couldn’t relate to each other. He couldn’t help me become a better writer. He just wanted me to be a different kind of writer.

I did my graduate assistantship, which was essentially teaching the first year composition course (without supervision), took my classes in methodology, pedagogy, and English literature of various eras, and tried to write.

I didn’t get a lot of fiction written in those years. I basically revised already existing material and scribbled poetry, the only form of writing I could manage in the time I had between other obligations.

I eventually had a blow out with my advisor, who told me to stop wasting his time (and mine). I withdrew from the program, worked contract jobs, and collected employment insurance in between.

A year later, one of my former students emailed me, telling me that my advisor was going on sabbatical. A Canadian poet, a woman, would be taking his place. I reenrolled, and, over the next year, emailing, and flying down at intervals to meet in person, I wrote my creative thesis, defended it, and fulfilled my final requirement to achieve my MA in English Literature and Creative Writing.

Even so, I’d compromised. I chose the more literary of my stories and, framing the collection in the context of shamanism and shamanic awakening (anthropology and religious studies), I cast an academic light on my fantastic tales.

In the wake of that experience, though, I went into creative withdrawal. I’d internalized the criticisms of my first advisor and was, essentially, blocked.

Throughout the years of my MA and afterward, I continued to win writing contests, in both fiction and poetry, and continued to get published. I tried my hand at publishing a poetry journal with another writer friend of mine, but, after a couple of years, the effort folded.

I continued to work contract jobs until I was invited to apply for my current job by my sister-in-law. Once I worked full time, the writing went underground altogether.

It took me six years and a bout of depression to begin to come back to writing as something I loved, something I needed in my life, rather than an unrealistic dream. I began with a few workshops, and graduated to conferences and conventions. I took online courses. I started to build my platform (such as it is). I tried online critiquing. I tried beta readers. I tried freelance editors.

I pretty much try anything that I think might help me improve.

I’m a writing craft book junkie and I’ve learned over the years that my process is my own. I never take anything at face value. Like a writerly scientist, I experiment. I try a new technique and see if it has value for me. If it does, I incorporate it into my process. If it’s only partly useful, I’ll adapt those pieces to my process (note, my process does not change to accommodate a particular technique, the technique is adapted to fit my process). If it doesn’t work at all, I discard the technique and chalk up the time and effort to a learning experience. We have to fail—many times—before we succeed.

Two of my science fiction short stories were published in paying markets in 2014. I’ve participated three times in NaNoWriMo, “winning” twice. I now have six novels drafted, one of which I’m actively querying. The rest are in revision.

The bottom line is that writing is a way of life for me. It’s not a get rich quick scheme. It’s not my grab for fame and fortune. I’m going to do this for the rest of my life regardless of whether I get the publishing deal I want or not. I’m doing the work and spending the time to make it happen, though. The two short stories weren’t a fluke.

I’ve been published quite a lot over the years. It’s just that most of those were not paying markets. I just haven’t connect with the agent or publisher who thinks my novel is the bee’s knees yet. Yet. It will happen. And if it doesn’t happen with the novel I’m querying now, it will happen with one of the others.

I persist in hope and continue to revise.

And, I continue to learn. I’m a bit of a learning mutt that way 😉

Muse-inks

Bonus content: Series discoveries Fall 2015 con’t

There were only two series that I didn’t get around to reviewing before CanCon and NaNoWriMo monopolized my time in the fall. I’ll try not to be spoilery.

Supergirl

This is another entry in the DC Comics universe, or should I say universes.

Supergirl started out sunny and entered some darker territory toward the end of the season. On the spectrum, it’s between The Flash and Arrow, but, as The Flash has also started treading dark waters, I guess Kara Danvers is closer to Barry Allan than Oliver Queen.

There’s an almost cloying sense of hope in the series, though, that keeps it from being compelling for me. If I miss an episode, I’m not distressed.

I like the character of Cat Grant, who can be surprisingly inspirational. I also appreciate Kara’s adoptive sister, Alex (so nice to see Lexie Grey back on screen), who works for the DEO, a government agency dedicated to defending earth from alien threats. Kick ass, but real, women characters are something I like in a show.

Bringing Dean Cain (the Superman of Lois & Clark) in as Alex’s father was a fun and smart bit of homage.

Sadly, some of the other elements of the show are lacking. The love triangle (no, quadrangle, no, sorry quintangle) is a bit trite and while I believe Kara’s crush on James Olsen, I never quite bought into James and Lucy Lane, Winn and either Kara or Siobhan. Oh, and I forgot the brief flirtation between Kara and Cat Grant’s son, Adam. Man, it’s a soap opera (!)

Hank Henshaw/J’onn J’onzz is underwhelming. My Martian Manhunter is so much more awesome.

Astra/Non have been weak sauce as Kara’s enemies. Maxwell is a bit better, but still one dimensional.

So it’s a solid meh. My apologies.

Grimm

Things took a left turn last season. Sure, Nick and Juliette’s relationship wasn’t going anywhere, so they had to do something. Her transformation into a Hexenbeist was actually a good thing.

Until it wasn’t.

Juliette’s abrupt departure from sanity and eventual (and apparent) death at the hands of Trubel (the other Grimm) felt more of a convenience than true plot development.

The big question for Nick last season was how he, a Grimm sworn to protect humanity from the evil wessen that roam the world, could live with and love a Hexenbeist, the wessen that is the basis of all wicked witches, ever.

So what do they do this season? They pair Nick with Adalind Schade, a Hexenbeist whose wessen aspect has been temporarily suppressed by Rosalee’s folk cure (herb craft).

Yes, Adalind is the mother of Nick’s child (conceived in a convoluted magical plot that resulted in Juliette’s transformation into a Hexenbeist in the first place), but things progressed quickly from “I have to protect my child and therefore the woman who gave birth to him,” to “I’m having sex with the mother of my child while he cries in the other room.”

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Worse, Juliette returns, somehow deprogrammed, as Eve, who is more Terminator than either human or Hexenbeist.

While the Black Claw plot line holds promise, things aren’t happening fast enough as the writers insist on offering a monster of the week for Nick and his fellow detective, Hank, to fight. Even a trip to the Black Forest and the recovery of an ancient Grimm artefact haven’t saved the show for me.

There are too many moving parts, too many players, to discern the true core story arc.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Grimm doesn’t return next year.

So that’s what I thought of the final two shows I chose to watch in the fall 2015 television season.

Series discoveries: The fall 2015 season, so far

Since I’m at Can-con next weekend, and doing NaNo after that, I’m doing the fall season series discoveries today, even though not all of the fall offerings have debuted, or resumed.

I’ll have to follow up with another post later in the season . . .

The plan for today is just to go, day by day, starting with Sunday, and run through the shows I’ve watched, offering impressions so far.

‘S’all right?

This is going to be a long one. You have been warned.

Sunday

Once Upon a Time

I’m sticking with OUaT. The Emma as the Dark One story line is interesting, but I find that, as in past seasons, things are taking a while to get going. Also interested to see how the Merida (of Brave) and the King Arthur threads are heading.

In the pre-season special, the actors all praised the show as one in which anyone can have a happy ending. All the characters have both good and bad within them. Everyone has the potential to become a hero or a villain and, I have to admit, it’s interesting to see how that plays out. The message of OUaT is hope.

Sometimes that can come off as saccharine, but there’s nothing else, right now, that I want to watch in the same time slot.

Lost Girl

I mentioned this in my mid-season follies post, not realizing that the final season had already started (September 6). I caught up and am watching things through to their conclusion.

My main complaint is that events seem so scattered. Plot lines are ended because they are inconvenient or not popular. At least that’s the way I read things.

Gods are very powerful fae. Okay. I can live with that. The goddess Iris becoming the Nix (destroyer)? Not so much. It was really a nothing story line because Hades ends up dispatching her. Rather anti-climactically. A classic painting is the key to defeating the gods? Okay. Interesting. But the apparent defeat is not really a defeat at all and Zeus and Hera first reappear, and then choose docile retreat in the face of Hades and his plan of ultimate evil? Weaksauce. Doctor Lauren tests a serum (intended to restore the Morrigan, whom she turned into a human) on herself and becomes a fae mimic? Cool. But then, it proves to be too much for her human physiology and she creates an anti-serum to cure herself before she loses her mind and memory. Again, anti-climactic and weak.

Kenzie’s back. Good. Eric Roberts as Hades, A.K.A. protagonist Bo’s big bad daddy, is also good.

I can see the ultimate outcome, however.

Hades has murdered Bo’s mother and her grandfather, A.K.A. the Blood King, who literally rewrote relations between the fae with his blood, which, when used as ink, has the power to compel any fae. That bit? Also cool.

But, as he dies, Grandpa tells Bo that his blood also flows in her veins.

I’m so confident, I’m willing to write this here and risk embarrassment when things don’t play out as I predict 😛

Currently, Bo appears to have joined Hades and is actively pursuing the end of the world. She’s killing her friends (apparently) and preparing herself for world domination.

My prediction? Bo realizes that her blood has granddaddy’s power to compel and she uses it to defeat Hades, reconcile the dark and light fae, and becomes the new Blood King/Ash.

I’ll let you know if my prediction is accurate. It will be, in part, satisfying if I’m right, but it will also be disappointing. I prefer to be surprised.

Quantico

The writers of Quantico have taken a page from the How to Get Away with Murder book and are telling the story of the first season from two time frames.

Currently, a new FBI agent, Alex Parrish, wakes up in the rubble of Grand Central Station after a terrorist attack has levelled it and killed hundreds. She is accused of the crime and proceeds to seek the truth and the real perpetrator.

In the past, our protagonist and a number of other new recruits struggle through their training at the titular institution.

The story is interesting with a lot of surprising twists and red herrings. All of the main characters have secrets. The cast is diverse, featuring non-white, non-male, non-straight characters.

I’ll continue to watch.

Monday

Blindspot

I’m a little wary of this series because it’s based on a gimmick.

A woman with no memory, but covered in tattoos, is found in a duffel bag in Times Square, and is taken in by the FBI because the name of one of their agents, Kurt Weller, is featured prominently, in ink, on her back.

The FBI decide to call her Jane Doe, but eventually find proof that she’s Taylor Shaw, a childhood friend of Weller’s who disappeared when they were both children. Even that is uncertain as another forensic test indicates that Jane was also born and spent several years in sub-Saharan Africa. Both things cannot be true.

The tattoos all have some kind of significance with terrorist attacks and government corruption. The goal of whoever did this seems to be to trick the FBI into uncovering the corruption in the government. Why not release this information to the press, or to multiple security forces at the same time, or even on the internet? Surely the evil government conspiracy doesn’t have the power to shut down the internet, press, and state and national police forces at the same time?

I’m sure we’ll find out the tortured logic of this very complicated tactic somewhere along the line.

Because none of the tattoos are straightforward. They’re all puzzles that take genius-level intelligence to solve. Conveniently, the FBI have a genius on staff.

The other thing that bugs me is that, while the writers have attempted to maintain some kind of consistency (beyond episode one) in revealing Jane’s backstory, they were very ham-handed in the first episode.

Basically, the reason Jane remembers nothing is that she has been given a mega dose of a drug that causes amnesia. From what they’ve been able to tell, she may never remember who she was or what happened to her.

We generally get unclear snippets as Jane’s fractured memories start to resurface, but at the end of the first episode, there is a final cut scene showing the night that she took the drug. Having voluntarily been tattooed over nearly every inch of her body, she also volunteers to eradicate her memory with this drug.

The man with her resurfaces in episode two, only to be killed in episode three without having yielded any useful information.

I’m willing to see where it goes for a while yet.

Minority Report

The series picks up years after the movie, with no mention of Tom Cruise’s character and some rewriting of the events that led to Pre-Crime’s dissolution.

The three precogs were living on their isolated island, but while Agatha has chosen to stay on the island, Arthur, the older of the twins, has returned to the city and uses his precog talents to make himself a very wealthy man.

Dash, the younger twin, is the one that sees the murders (Agatha experiences them from the perspective of the victim, and Arthur receives names and other factual details). Dash can’t stand to let people do horrible things to each other anymore.

He wants to stop the murders from happening if he can, but, working alone, he can’t seem to figure everything out in time.

So he finds Vega, a police detective, who helps him to solve the crimes he foresees.

Enter Hawkeye, a system that, somewhat like the machine on Person of Interest, but without the AI, gathers information from the wired society and uses it to predict the likelihood of violent action. Dash becomes Vega’s Hawkeye analyst as a kind of cover, and has to continually convince his brother Arthur to help them.

Add to this Agatha’s vision that Vega will somehow be involved in putting all three precogs back in the milk bath in subservience to the police, and we have another futuristic, crime-of-the-week, conspiracy thriller.

Even though Agatha and Arthur seem perfectly accustomed to life in the world, Dash is awkward and naive. I’m not really liking that vibe.

I’m willing to give it a few more episodes.

Castle

I’m sticking with Castle mainly for Nathan Fillion.

They’re trying another stunt to keep viewers’ interest after last year’s near-ending. *rolls eyes*

A few seasons ago, Beckett went to work for the Justice Department. In short order, the writers figured out that the distance relationship would never work for the character or with the fans and reworked the story to get Beckett back to the NYPD. Clumsily done, people.

Then, Castle disappeared for three months on the day he was to marry Beckett. There was some resolution, but it wasn’t satisfactory. He knows he was involved in some big, world-threatening conspiracy, and that he saved and old friend, but it seems that he, too, was given a dose of the amnesia drug (mentioned in Blindspot, above) and he’ll never know, and nor will we, how awesome he was.

Castle and Beckett finally got married and seemed to be negotiating married life fairly well. Things were going too well, I guess. Time to introduce a Shamalanian TWIST!

But first, they gave Beckett some resolution with regard to her mother’s murder, allowing her to finally put away the man responsible, Senator Bracken.

Though he was personna non grata at the police station, Castle started his own detective agency and reinserted himself into investigations, and eventually the precinct.

So now Beckett, having eschewed running for governor, is Captain of the precinct, but three of her former colleagues at the Department of Justice have been killed and a fourth comes to her for assistance.

This opens up the Bracken conspiracy again (greater evil, higher up, even MOAR untouchable), and she leaves Castle because she doesn’t want to put him in danger (wha?). She knows he’ll put himself into danger regardless. It’s a ridiculous excuse for drama.

Castle continues to use the detective agency—and now his daughter, Alexis, is working with him—to interfere with Beckett’s cases in some attempt to “win her back.” He knows full-well she loves him and she’s told him point blank that while she’s working on this conspiracy theory, she’d going to stay away from him for his own safety.

It’s a whole bundle of stupid. Contrived stupid at that.

But, like I say: Nathan Fillion.

Tuesday

The Flash

I have two words for you: Earth Two.

Yup, they’ve gone and done it, introduced Jay Garrick, the Flash from Earth Two. The resolution to last year’s finale seems to be that the fabric between the realities has been torn.

And we’ve already been shown that Harrison Wells is somehow living in Earth Two and ready to cross back over to torment Barry Allen further.

Meh.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Daisy (I liked Skye so much better) is trying to save the inhumans cropping up all over the place because the catalyst was released into the ocean.

A new government agency is trying to capture them for study.

The monolith transported Simmons to another world, far across the galaxy, and when the team retrieves her, she says she has to go back, but, of course, won’t say why.

Hunter wants Ward dead crazy-bad.

May is initially MIA, but then joins Hunter.

It’s still early days.

Limitless

Another new show featuring our favourite police organization, the FBI.

A listless slacker, Brian Finch, is introduced to the drug NZT, which allows him to take full advantage of his intelligence and memories. He comes to the attention of the FBI who decide to take him on as a consultant.

Once he starts using NZT, Senator Eddie Morra (from the movie, reprised by Bradley Cooper), shows up and offers him a deal. See, NZT has this nasty habit of killing the people who use it in a terrible and painful way. Morra has an injection, though, that will allow Finch to use NZT indefinitely, so long as he gets a periodic booster.

Finch agrees to the devil’s deal without reading the fine print. Morra’s people (not Morra himself, of course) threaten Finch’s father, and if Finch tells anyone about his deal with Morra, everyone he loves will be killed.

Finch tries to reconnect with an old flame, but Morra’s people again put an end to that, and Finch is told to steal FBI files, which he tries to fake, then ends up delivering.

He’s in a tough place. I guess the series is about how he at first survives, and then how he gets out of that place.

It’s another gimmick-based series, but I’m entertained enough for now.

Wednesday

Arrow

At the end of last season, Oliver Queen leaves Starling City with Felicity Smoak. This season picks up with them living in domestic bliss, but it’s not sitting well—with Felicity, not Oliver. Olie’s actually happy, exchanging recipes with neighbours and dreaming of kidlets and contentment.

Felicity, meanwhile, has been stepping out on him with the rest of the Arrow Corps: Diggle, his sister, Thea, and his former girlfriend and current D.A., Laurel.

When this comes to light, Felicity drags Olie, not kicking and screaming, but stoically sighing, back to the renamed Star City, where the people still clearly need some help.

In the first episode, Damian Darhk murders what’s left of Star City’s leadership while the Hive descends on the rest of the hapless population.

Diggle has a hate on for Olie because to get out of his situation with the League of Assassins in last season, Olie kidnapped Diggle’s wife. Thea, resurrected last season in “the pit” is now becoming a blood-thirsty killer. Laurel, having taken up her dead sister’s mantle as The Canary, is still at odds with her father, and lost without her sister.

So, Laurel convinces Thea to return to Nanda Parbat, where her father, Malcom Merlin, is now R’as al Ghul, to see if anything can be done for her. Of course, she brings her sister’s months-old corpse to drop in the pit.

I think we can all see where this is going. I’m curious to see if Constantine makes an appearance and what role he plays in the continuing cray-cray that is Oliver Queen’s life.

Criminal Minds

This series is an old faithful for me. I still enjoy the human monster-of-the-week stories they come up with.

They can’t seem to keep the team stable, though.

They’ve brought in a new member every season, and then they leave.

Code Black

I watched the first episode and wasn’t impressed.

Thursday

Heroes Reborn

I liked the first season of the original Heroes enough to give this one a chance.

After a terrorist attack on a conference in Odessa, Texas, during which hundreds of evos (evolved humans) and humans lose their lives, including Claire from the original series, evos are blamed and subsequently hunted down.

Renautas, the tech company that bought out Primatech, is using evo powers to enact a plan that will save the world. I’m thinking they want to save the world for humans. They’ve been using Molly Walker’s locater powers to create evo detector glasses for law enforcement. They’re using Hiro Nakamura’s powers to send equipment and supplies into the future.

They’re dallying a bit, but if the payoff is good, I’m willing to wait. I like some of the new evos and their powers.

I liked Miko/Katana girl and am a little sad that she might have been a computer program and her purpose served in releasing Hiro Nakamura from his virtual prison. Teleporter Tommy is cool and fortunately, he’s just gotten past his “refusal of the call” stage of his hero’s journey. We should see some good things developing from his storyline.

Malina, the elemental mistress (as I think of her), seems to be the pivotal figure.

It was Hiro’s powers that ended up causing the story problems that sent the original series off kilter, though. I hope the writers have a solid plan for dealing with them this time.

Unfortunately Hiro has already taken Noah into the past to try to stop the terrorist attack at Odessa from happening.

We’ll see what develops. I’m intrigued for now.

Grey’s Anatomy

This series is another old dependable, and kind of a guilty pleasure.

It’s basically a soap opera set against the backdrop of a hospital.

I was shocked at Dereck’s death, and they usually have some big event or crisis to mark each season, but I wasn’t expecting that.

So this year, they had to bring in the doctor that, as Grey gracelessly said, killed Dereck, to stir things up.

I’m actually watching Heroes Reborn in preference to Grey’s, but catching up by watching the episodes online. I’m doing the same with Minority Report, which is on at the same time as Blindspot, which, for now, grabs my attention more.

How to Get Away with Murder

They’re keeping the same storytelling strategy they used last year, but this year, they’re giving more away much earlier in the season.

This show is full of spoilage. I still want to watch to find out how all the dots are connected, though.

It makes me think and surprises me, even though I know part of the outcome.

It’s tasty.

Friday

Nothing so far for me. So this is my catch up day for Grey’s and Minority Report.

Saturday

Doctor Who

I’m slowly warming up to Capaldi as the new Doctor. He’s loosening up a bit. Though he still has the stylish coat, he’s now wearing it with plaid pants and a hoodie. He plays the electric guitar and has turned in his sonic screwdriver for “wearable” tech in the form of classic Ray-Ban sunglasses.

This season, or series, as they dub it in the UK, seems to be about “old friends.”

Clara’s still hanging on, but I was quite happy to see Missy/The Master’s return. She’s a good character. Psychotic, but goooood.

Davros showed up for an interesting two-parter, and I just finished watching the second of two episodes featuring Maisy Williams. In the first, she was a Viking girl. The Doctor saved her life by giving her nano-technology. She’s technically immortal, though she could be killed. In the second episode, he meets up with her again 800 years later.

Though he left her with another nano-tech cube for her eventual partner, she hasn’t used it yet. She blames the Doctor for making her immortal and then stranding her in the world, alone. He won’t take her with him, though. She blames him for that, too.

At the end of the episode, the Doctor asks her if they’re enemies. She says, no, but as his friend, she’ll be watching out for him. Creepily, she shows up at the school where Clara teaches.

Might be good.

Other stuff

iZombie

We don’t get CW on our cable, so Phil and I are watching season two as is comes out on Shomi.

At the end of the first season, Liv used the only two doses of a potential zombie cure, one to make Blain’s zombie gourmet ambitions more difficult to achieve, and the second to cure her ex-fiancé, Major, after she infected him to keep him from permanently dying when Blain stabbed him.

Then, Liv had to refuse a blood transfusion to her brother, who was caught in the gas explosion that took out Blain’s operation, the Meat Cute.

Oh, and the new potential zombie love of Liv’s life was murdered by Blain just a couple episodes earlier. Her best friend and room mate learned she was a zombie and disappeared.

So, Liv’s family isn’t speaking to her. Major isn’t speaking to her and though she has a new room mate, the woman is a spy (more on that in a bit). Ravi is trying to make up another batch of the cure, but to do that, they have to track down some of the tainted drug that caused the transformation. Liv has to find Blain and convince him to find the stuff for her.

Meanwhile, Major has been recruited by the CEO of Max Rager, the energy drink that is the other critical ingredient in the zombie infection agent and therefore Ravi’s cure.

Because he’s had Liv under surveillance (new roomie), Vaughn du Clark (the CEO) learns that a side effect of Major’s being cured is that he can now sense zombies. Du Clark wants Major to rid Seattle of the zombie menace. Of course, he uses Liv as leverage.

This series is fun. Word play and homage abound. It’s based on a comic, and they use comics in the opening credits as well as to introduce every scene.

It’s all kinds of awesome.

Hemlock Grove

This just came out yesterday on Netflix. It’s the third and final season.

It’s all kinds of messed up.

And Phil and I have only watched two episodes so far.

So that’s your fall television review. Like I said up front, I’ll have to offer up a (much shorter) part two when I’ve seen the rest of the new and returning series.

Now, it’s time for bed (!)

See you on Tipsday 🙂

Series Discoveries

Series discoveries: anime edition

This weekend, I’m going to talk about the anime series Phil and I have been watching. Next weekend, I’m going to finally put forward my fall series review, even though some of them won’t have premiered yet (Supergirl) or returned (Grimm) yet.

The reason for this is that over the Hallowe’en weekend, Phil and I will be travelling to Ottawa for Can-con, so I won’t be blogging that weekend, and then, for the month of November, weekend blogging will be deferred in favour of NaNoWriMo (!)

Since I will be once more be working, and travelling for work, during the month of November, I don’t anticipate “winning,” but I certainly hope to improve upon last year’s word count.

So the next two weekends are a countdown to November’s reduced posting schedule. I’ll keep up with curation, but that’s it.

Onto the anime!

Last time, I’d mentioned that Phil and I were enjoying Log Horizon. We were, and then the show suddenly stopped production. With in a week, we learned the reason. The creator of the show was charged with tax evasion.

LH was, at the time, the most popular anime in Japan. Fans were demanding that the show’s creator be allowed to continue producing the show while he waited for his trial date. The creator announced publicly that if there was a way to continue to do so, that he would.

We haven’t seen an episode since.

It was getting to a crisis point in the current story arc. We are disappointed.

We watched the full run of Deadman Wonderland.

Interesting premise. In a society that incarcerates its citizens for the smallest infraction, a young boy finds himself in prison. Before long, he learns that by entering a deadly competition (televised for an elite, high-paying clientele), he can earn a pardon.

Very Hunger Games.

Then, joy of joys, Netflix picked up the licence for Inu Yasha. Just the first two seasons, but we watched it all. Yum.

Phil continues to watch Gintama, and started watching the live action version of Death Note. The live action DN diverged a bit from the anime storyline, but it was popular enough that the second season is in production.

We watched another new show, RWBY. It’s American, and animated a little differently, cell style, but done by computer. RWBY stands for both the colours red, white, blue, and yellow, and for the characters’ names: Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang.

They’re huntresses in an academy and they are training to hunt the Creatures of Grimm, with which the human race is fighting a pitched battle. Huntresses use dust to fuel their magic and fight the Grimm.

There’s a bit of a story around this series, as well. Marty Oum, the creator, died, but someone on the project committed to seeing the work through and the next season will be released next week. After that, who knows?

We’ve continued watching Fairy Tail, which continues to be entertaining. I find it a bit frustrating that we have to wait a whole week for the next episode, though.

We also started watching World Trigger. A world receives extra-dimensional visitors, called Neighbors, who seem bent on conquest. To defend themselves, they adapt the Neighbors’ weapons, called triggers, which can only be used by people who have large stores of a substance called trion, and create an agency called Border. Border agents train to defeat the Neighbors.

The anime focuses on Osamu and his team. Osamu does not have a lot of trion, but he is an amazing strategist. His friend, Yuma, is a Neighbor (if you want the back story, watch the series) and has a lot of combat experience. Chika’s brother (also Osamu’s friend) and best friend were abducted by the Neighbors. She has a lot of trion.

Trion and trigger use also endow some users with side effects. Yuma can tall when someone is lying. Chika can sense the presence of Neighbors. Osamu doesn’t have enough trion to have a side effect.

The threesome is a team and currently in a competition to see who will be chosen to go on away missions into the Neighbor dimensions to rescue their friends and family.

This show is also still in production, but is on hiatus now.

We tried watching Fate Zero, but weren’t keen.

And that’s all I have for you with regard to anime. See, I told you we’d dialled back 😉

Have a great week, and I’ll be back to review the fall season of TV for you. The stuff I watch, anyway 🙂

Series Discoveries

Series discoveries: mid-season follies

As a lead up to my fall 2015 series discoveries post, I thought I’d talk about the series I’ve been watching in the mid-season and what happened to the few I was watching that dropped off my radar.

From fall 2014:

I stopped watching Gotham (I know, people love it, but not me) and Stalker (just couldn’t get into it) after a couple of episodes each.

Followed Forever to the end of the season, but it doesn’t look like it will be back (at this point).

Watched Sleepy Hollow through to the end of its season, as well, but the writers kind of lost their way toward the end with the whole dark Katrina/time travel thing. When they resume, I hope they get their collective shit together.

Sad that Constantine wasn’t renewed, but I have to admit the series had its issues. The season story arc never really solidified.

Stuck with Once Upon a Time, Castle, The Flash, Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Grimm, and Doctor Who. I found, though, with the exception of AoS and HtGAwM, I could really take or leave any series. If I missed an episode, I wasn’t sad.

I’m still getting used to the new Doctor (more on that when I get to fall 2015). I love Nathan Fillion enough that I can’t abandon Castle altogether, The Flash was a little cotton candy, but I’m good with that, and the last few eps of Grey’s were gripping.

Arrow’s a little dark and convoluted. OUaT and Criminal Minds were okay, but just that.

I liked the AoS plot, moving forward (Inhumans—yay) and as the HtGAwM mystery unfolded, I really had to watch every episode.

Telling the tale in two directions (inciting incident forward and climax backward) was an interesting technique that I hadn’t seen done well in TV. It can work really well in books (The Dispossessed, anyone?) but it’s imperfect in a television series. A lot of shows start at the climax and then rewind to tell the story leading up to it, but HtGAwM was the first show that I’ve seen that stretches the technique over a whole season.

It was tasty television. Emmy-winning, even. Viola Davis rawks.

Mid-season:

I liked Agent Peggy Carter enough to give it another view if/when it returns.

I loved, loved, LOVED the conclusion of Outlander and am so sad that I have to wait until 2016 for the second season. It was so well written and so well acted. Kudos to the entire cast and crew for making one of my favourite novel series in to my absolute favourite television series ever. Evar.

Game of Thrones, while still well-acted (as evidenced by the large numbers of Emmy wins), diverged from the novels in what I can only call a cluster of epic fails. I’ve written about these briefly in my Tipsday curations as the controversies hit the interwebz. My reaction was profound disappointment. Too much rapey, misogynistic shit. We’ll see if the show runners can pull their collective ass out of the fire this year.

I have been watching Vikings since its beginning. I love this show. The characters are compelling, the history is fairly accurate, and the writing is superb. This show surprises me. There are plot twists that I didn’t see coming.

The acting is great, too.

I stopped watching The Following when season two dropped. It just wasn’t my thing. I do watch thrillers and cops dramas, but something about The Following turned me off. I checked out a few episodes in season three, but it was more of the same. Really. Although they were different characters, the baddies of each season were all the same underneath. It was like one guy trying on different human skin suits. Blah.

Orphan Black was phenomenal from the moment it started. Tatiana Maslany is amazeballs as an actor playing multiple Leda clones. Ari Millen hasn’t done too badly playing a cast of Castors, either. Great characters, dark storylines with awesome, light fun, and incredible, technical wizardry.

Side note: Leda is a figure from Greek myth, impregnated by Zeus in the form of a swan (awkweird) who bore four children: Helen (yes, that Helen) and Polydeuces by Zeus, and Castor and Clytemnestra by her human husband. So the female clones would more properly be Helens (yawn) or Clytemnestras (ick), or the male clones Polydeuces (double ick), so I forgive the writers for messing the mythology up. Leda and Castor work just fine, thank you.

Bitten. I didn’t mention this series last year, but I should have. Enjoyed it quite a bit. Differences from the books aside, the second season didn’t disappoint. The only male witch fights the only female werewolf. Wackiness ensues.

Killjoys was fun. It’s one of those SF series that doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. Bounty Hunters in space? I’m in. Intrigue me with a solid season story arc? Done and done.

Dark Matter wasn’t as good. The series is built around a gimmick. Six people wake up from hypersleep (or whatever) and have no memory of who they are or what they’re doing on the ship. The first season is all about discovering bits and pieces of the puzzle, but by the time something really interesting started to happen, I was yawning.

The Good Witch movies have now become a series. This one’s a guilty pleasure. Not heavy on the magic, it’s a sweet, romantic drama. Come on, it’s from Hallmark (!)

Side note: one of the actors in Dark Matter, Anthony Lemke, who plays an asshole (Three) on that show, also plays a character on The Good Witch. He’s a real estate agent and the hapless love interest of the title character, Cassie Nightingale. It’s interesting to see the two back to back. They are really different characters.

iZombie was great. Phil and I just finished watching the first season a week or so ago. Interesting take on zombies. Also, the comic book frame is really suitable. The main character, a med student turned coroner, named Liv, by virtue of being able to take on the memories and abilities of the people whose brains she eats, helps to solve crimes. She’s kind of like a zombie superhero.

Also, the series is full of word play and homage (like one of my other favourite zombie movies, Shaun of the Dead). There isn’t an episode that doesn’t make a clever pop culture reference. Easter eggs galore. Full on zombie? Oh, yeah. I’m there.

Phil and I picked up on Hemlock Grove, which we’d abandoned in favour of anime last year, and it was okay. I wasn’t blown away with either the first or the second seasons, though I did think some of the different takes on vampires and werewolves were interesting, and a number of the plot twists were actually cool.

Speaking of Netflix series . . . We thought Daredevil’s first season was pretty good. It was definitely dark, but well done. Tortured hero, check. Doubly tortured villain, check. Murphy’s law applied liberally, check. Matt Murdock is like a Timex. Takes a licking . . .

Sens8. Loved. It may have been a “slow burn,” but we felt that something pivotal happened in each episode and we watched the first season in short order. Excellent writing. The character development was fabulous. Everything came together really well. You’ll have to watch it to see the intended pun in that last sentence 😀

Phil and I are on tenterhooks waiting to see if the second season will get the green light. Due to the sexual and cultural diversity of the characters, a lot of people didn’t like Sens8. Really? We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

And my true guilty pleasure (and the only reality TV I watch), So You Think You Can Dance, just finished. I like how the judges aren’t mean and everyone is really trying to help the competitors become the best dancers they can be. No manufactured drama.

Yeah, so that’s what I’ve been doing with myself for the last few months, TV-wise.

I’ve getting into the new and returning fall season shows and I’ll have something for you in October, probably. I’ll do an anime update as well, though we’ve eased back on watching it a bit. There’s a story of intrigue that goes with the anime post, so I’ll leave you with that teaser 🙂

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

Series Discoveries

Series discoveries: Anime

I’ve been thinking about writing this for a while. I’ve basically become an anime junkie.

The backstory part

A number of years ago, I can’t actually remember exactly how many, I’m that old, now (not), I used to stay up late on the weekends, Friday and Saturday nights. Not terribly late, but 1 or 2 in the morning.

As Mr. Science used to say, sleep is the enemy (he’s since reassessed that particular opinion, stopped drinking coffee in the evenings, naps on weekends, and is generally more pleasant for it).

It was my way of trying to make the most of my weekends, but I’d sleep in the following mornings, so I really didn’t gain any time. I’ve since just decided to use the time that I have more efficiently 😉

But one of the things I used to do at the end of those late nights was to watch YTV. At the time, they were playing Inu Yasha, and though it was cheesy in spots, I thought it was great storytelling.

After that series ran its course, they played Fullmetal Alchemist, Bleach, and then Death Note. I loved Fullmetal and Bleach even more than Inu Yasha, but Death Note not as much.

Even earlier, I’d watched anime movies like Vampire Hunter D, 3 X 3 Eyes, Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed, Akira, and others. A friend of mine owned (and still does) the local comic store, and would order the videos, video discs, and finally DVDs, and brought them gaming nights, parties, and so forth.

So anime was nothing new. Loving it was, though.

New toys, new obsessions

Last year, Mr. Science purchased a Roku stick. For those of you who don’t know, a Roku stick will allow you to access all sorts of free and by-subscription content. You can access BBC World News, Canada Film Board shorts, and other nifty stuff for free. You can set up Netflix on the Roku.

You can also set up anime channels like CrunchyRoll and Funimation. Now these require a subscription fee, but it’s quite reasonable.

We wanted to watch something together. I chose Bleach, largely because the run on YTV had stopped in the middle of the second season. We started from the beginning and burned through the entire series somewhere in June or July.

We kind of went into withdrawal and Phil resorted to a Shonen Jump subscription and buying the continuing manga. I’ve read up to date on the manga as well, but it’s not the same as the anime. There’s something about the form that draws me in more so than the manga.

From there, Phil’s watched Attack on Titan, Death Note, and he’s currently addicted to Gintama. There are a few others that he enjoys as well.

We tried Claymore, Souleater, and Spice and Wolf, and didn’t enjoy them. Claymore and Spice and Wolf didn’t hook us in the first couple of eps, and Souleater was aimed at a younger audience. Though we gave it several eps, it just didn’t appeal.

I wanted to watch the newer version of Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Phil joined in part way through and we both found that we enjoyed Brotherhood more than the original.

We wanted to continue watching other series together, though. So we selected Fairy Tail, which we burned through and are now waiting for the weekly instalments (getting our fix tonight). Next, it was the short-lived enjoyment of Blue Exorcist, which was only one season, and then Log Horizon, which again, we are now watching weekly after having watched all the existing eps.

We’re now watching Akame ga Kill in between waiting for new eps of Fairy Tail and Log Horizon. It’s quite graphic in its violence and main characters get themselves killed all the time.

I don’t want to get all spoilery on you and there are so many anime reviews out there on the web that I’ll let you look into all of these series yourself and you can decide if you want to partake. What I will do is let you know what I’ve learned from watching anime.

The takeaways

  1. The power of friendship trumps everything else.

Though we’re not opposed to dark storylines (the protagonist of Death Note is a right bastard who perpetrates all kinds of evil), Phil and I find we don’t enjoy them as much as the ones like Bleach, in which Ichigo Kurosaki continually learns and grows because he wants to protect the people he loves.

Not that Bleach doesn’t have its dark moments (the revelation about Unohana in the manga blew us away), but Ichigo always manages to make the noble choice. Everyone likes him without things getting too saccharine because he’s a flawed and relatable character.

Other series, like Fairy Tail and Log Horizon focus on the power of friendship in a more obvious fashion. The only thing that bothers me a bit about those two series is that the power of friendship often takes precedence over all other considerations.

Mind you, most of the series we watch are intended for tween and teen boys, and so romantic overtures are often set aside (despite the ample breast size of most of the female characters), even when they (the overtures and the ample breasts) are boldly thrust at the protagonist, as they are in Akame ga Kill.

  1. Story arcs predominate.

They could be as short as two or three episodes, or as long as two seasons, but the writers of anime have their plot shit wired tight. There’s always a payoff and it’s satisfying even if there are aspects of the story arc that I don’t enjoy.

Redemption is a big theme. Heroes become villains, and villains become heroes. Sometimes you’re not sure which is which.

  1. Humour abounds.

There’s always a ridiculous argument or reaction to something. Erza, in Fairy Tail, for example, though she’s an awesome wizard and warrior, is socially inept and often obsesses over silly ideas to extremes that her friends find embarrassing. Even so, they support Erza in her obsession not only because they’re her friends, but also because they all have a healthy respect for her power.

Though I don’t watch it, Gintama is constantly parodying other anime (the protagonist reads Shonen Jump and wants his own Bankai – Bleach), and goes to great extremes with scatological humour. If a weapon can find its way into someone’s ass, it does, people are hit so hard their balls fly off, and shit flinging monkeys often foment chaos.

It’s a bit much for me, but Phil laughs himself silly.

  1. It’s good to be surprised.

Just when you think that the story can’t go anywhere else, it does, and it goes to a completely unexpected place.

The concept behind Bleach is that an otherwise normal boy who can see the spirits of the departed has to assume the powers of a soul reaper. In order to save his friends, he is constantly breaking the rules, achieves greater and greater power, and then, because his enemies are so much more powerful than he is, new dimensions and risks open to him in his quest.

In Fairy Tail, the celestial wizard Lucy, though not very powerful on her own, is the key to a greater adventure that everyone in her guild becomes involved in.

It’s all about the creativity in the storytelling.

For better or worse, I’m addicted to anime now, and happily so. I enjoy it more than most of the television I watch.

I watch it like I watch anything, as a writer looking for lessons that I can take to the page.

Next week: Ima write about my literary mothers 🙂

Be well until then!

Series Discoveries

Series discoveries, fall 2014

So I think I’ve seen all I want to of the new and returning series this fall and I’m ready to give my report.

I’m going to start with the earliest premieres and then progress by day of the week.

Please remember, these are my opinions only. Just because I’ve not been impressed doesn’t mean that the show is crap, nor does my approval carry with it any kind of magical power.

I just calls ‘em and I sees ‘em.

Saturday night – Doctor Who and Intruders

I was eagerly awaiting the new series and new Doctor, perhaps too much so. I’m sorry to say that I’m not enjoying Doctor Who this year.

Yes, I know, HERESY you shout, but let me ‘splain.

I get the thinking behind the whole gestalt. With a new set of regenerations, the writers are returning to the original Doctor for inspiration.

William Hartnell’s Doctor was clearly an alien. He was a bit imperious and his downfalls often resulted from his inability to relate to his human companions.

So I really tried to like the nod to the original. Unlike previous incarnations, including Hurt’s War Doctor, I haven’t been able to warm up to Twelve.

Maybe it’s that Nine’s “fantastic!” Ten’s “allons y!” Eleven’s “geronimo” and even the War Doctor’s “no more!” have been exchanged for Twelve’s “shut up, shut up, shut up (you stupid humans)!”

Perhaps it was his childish argument with Robin Hood about who would save the day, and Clara, while Clara went off and did it for them. Yay, Clara, but . . . really?

It could be all these hints of an overarching plot that aren’t going anywhere.

And maybe it’s the Doctor’s apparent cruelty in making Clara choose the fate of the moon/egg, and of humanity, Clara’s enraged, though justified, response, his inadequate apology, and her sudden 180, which not incidentally involves her becoming a big, fat liar to Danny. This is not going to end well.

BTW, I missed last night’s episode, so if any of these concerns have been addressed therein, I may yet recant.

So far, however, DW has been a bust for me. I hold out hope, but it’s a dwindling one.

Intruders turned me off in the first episode when, without context or explanation, a child drowned her cat rather than committing suicide as it appeared she was going to do. This was pure sensationalism for me and not even John Simm and Mira Sorvino could get me back after that.

Sunday night – Once Upon a Time and Outlander

OUaT continues to throw new Disney characters into increasingly bizarre situations. Now Will Scarlet (The Knave of OUaTiWonderland) has joined the cast as well as Anna and Elsa of Frozen. I keep wondering why Regina wants her ‘happily ever after’ when she sees in front of her that the happily ever afters that have occurred in Storybrook aren’t that happy.

Snow White is trying unsuccessfully to be mayor at the same time as she’s clinging desperately to her second child for fear of losing him (or otherwise screwing up colossally as she did with Emma). Emma, having lost everyone she’s loved so far in one way or another, can’t let herself be loved by Killian (Captain Hook) and Killian’s old piratical evil is surfacing ala Idol Hands. Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin), may be married, but he’s deceiving his wife and up to his old tricks. Even Robin Hood, though back with his wife, Marion, no longer loves her and his wife has been struck with a freezing curse.

All these happy endings are pretty miserable, but that’s what keeps me watching 🙂

I have loved the first half of Outlander so far. It’s been lush and evocative, and the acting has been excellent.

There have been some deviations from the novel, but they’ve been, in my opinion, well-chosen for the television adaptation, and necessary to tell the story in that form.

The only thing I’m unhappy with is having to wait until next year for the rest of the dear thing 😦

Monday night – Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, and Castle

Gotham’s okay, but since I know the eventual fate of the main characters, finding out how they got there hasn’t been enough of a hook to keep me watching. And the mob bosses? Meh.

Sleepy Hollow is still good, in my opinion. I like the supernatural retelling and the creative pulling in of various odd historical facts around some of the historical figures with whom Crane was acquainted. The writers of this show know how to torture their protagonists. They’ve clearly studied how to construct a story that holds interest. It is supposed to be about the apocalypse, you know 😉

I’m still hanging in with Castle. I was getting a little weary with it for a while. Kate’s getting a job with the FBI was clearly not a fan favourite and they killed that story line quickly and awkwardly. Since then, though plans for the wedding were progressing, Castle’s character hasn’t been. They went too far back to the days where Castle was a thorn, albeit an entertaining one, in Kate’s side.

With the new season and the new overarching mystery of where Castle was for two months, things have revived a bit, though I must say, I’m still waiting for Castle to develop a few skills. He’s only been assisting the police with investigations for, what, five, six years? His dad is a black ops specialist. I’m thinking something has to come of all this, and soon, or it might go the way of Bones in my books.

Tuesday night – The Flash, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Forever

The Flash isn’t promising for me. Characters seem to change their behaviour on a dime. Even if it’s for a good reason, it’s not realistic.

Yay for Canadian actors, though. It’s nice to see Tom Kavanaugh on the screen again.

MAoS is another series I’m hanging in with. Just when a mystery gets to the irritating point, or a character’s behaviour becomes too bizarre, the saving reveal happens.

I’m impressed with Forever. It’s a medical drama/police procedural like so many others out there, but the introduction of an immortal character and the quirkiness with which his particular affliction manifests is fascinating. His relationship with adopted child (now apparent father), Abe, is lovely, and the mystery behind the other immortal is compelling. Good job, so far.

Wednesday night – Arrow, Criminal Minds, Stalker, and Dominion

Arrow, like The Flash, is okay. I stick with it despite the soap opera like regularity with which the characters fall in and out of love (and with whom) and the bizarre family secrets the just seem to keep on popping up. I like the dual plotline that seems to carry Oliver Queen’s time on the island (and elsewhere) apace with current events in Starling City. That’s about it, though.

Criminal Minds is a kind of guilty pleasure for me. Even though I know profiling has not been proven to solve a case on its own, I just can’t help but tune in to find out what depraved psychopath the BAU is tackling this week. The addition of Jennifer Love Hewitt is an interesting choice as well, and I’m happy to keep watching for my favourite eye candy, Shemar Moore.

Stalker isn’t my favourite of the new season (that place has to go to Outlander), but I like Maggie Q’s damaged character. I’m not so fond of Dylan McDermott’s character, though. I don’t think it was a wise choice to make the man a stalker himself. Even though his concern is his son, I can’t help but think ‘sleazebag’ every time I see him trying to wriggle his way out of the tight corners he repeatedly gets himself into.

Plus, he’s really convincing as a sleazebag. His character is not meant to be sympathetic, and no matter how much he helps the stalker unit bag the other baddies, I think his character is not intended to be a series regular and that Maggie Q will put him away when the truth emerges.

We’ll see.

Dominion didn’t capture me at all. In the opening scene of the first episode, we see a lone man take on a whole bar full of fallen angels. He’s snuck out of his walled city without permission and battles one of the enemy all the way home, his driving a jeep and the fallen angel flying in to smash windows and nearly kill him.

Once he’s revealed to be the “chosen one,” lost his love to an arranged marriage, and the true strength of the enemy is understood, he becomes this uncertain sniveller. Even seeing Tony Head on screen again wasn’t enough to save the series for me. Then again, I was never enamoured of Merlin, either.

Thursday night – Bones, Grey’s Anatomy, Gracepoint, and How to Get Away with Murder

Bones has gone the way of the dodo for me. It was suffering too much from the same kind of character stagnation as Castle, but moreso.

It’s been on for nine slogging seasons and still, Temperance Brennan hasn’t learned the nuances of human behaviour, colloquialism, and though she started the series as a true kick-ass character with wicked martial arts skills, she’s taken a back seat, becoming the brilliant but alien squint/baby momma.

They keep on killing off characters or putting them through hell, but I can’t care anymore.

Grey’s Anatomy, post-Christina Yang, is still decent drama. Like, Criminal Minds, it continues to be a guilty pleasure of mine.

Gracepoint. I’m watching it, but really, I’m wondering the whole time why they just didn’t show Broadchurch instead. Why do North American producers feel compelled to recreate BBC shows for the NA audience? And David Tennant with an American accent . . . I’m sorry, but no.

How to get away with murder is interesting. It’s also a departure for creator Shonda Rhimes. We have another dual storyline, each being told from a different end of a single university semester. While the chronologically earlier storyline progresses at a galloping pace toward its already revealed climax (this was a savvy risk to take), the other storyline repeats the events of a single night, revealing new and intriguing details each time. All of this awesome storytelling is wrapped in the case of the week as Analise Keating puts her students to work for her law firm.

There’s all kinds of unethical going on here, but I don’t care one bit. Unlike Gotham, I need to find out the how of the what, what, what the hell?!??! that lends the series its name.

Friday night – Grimm, Constantine, and Z Nation

Grimm continues to hold my interest (surprise, surprise). Another creative re-imagining of how fairy tales might be “real.” It’s just started, so I don’t have a lot to say about this season yet.

Constantine is another DC comic brought to Network TV. So far, so good. Constantine is another damaged character who is unapologetic about it. He’s also well aware of what an asshole he is, but he’s determined to save the soul of a girl that he lost to hell, even if it means he’ll be damned in the process.

Technically, he’s already damned, but he’s trying, and that’s what’s hooked me.

Z Nation was another series that lost me in the first episode. A Walking Dead wannabe, the story is one of a world that has fallen to the predations of a zombie plague, but there’s one man who’s survived an experimental vaccine for the disease. He’s the only man who’s immune and he must somehow get across the country to a research facility that could use his immunity to manufacture a cure.

What lost me? When they stop off at a town, they rescue a baby from a car crash. There’s no evidence it’s been bitten, and yet, it turns, and when it turns, it somehow starts running around like a speed demon and develops a malevolent intelligence.

That was it for me . . .

I had to be picky. I’m not into comedies or dramas much, so there are a lot of new offerings I haven’t sampled.

For what it’s worth, that’s my opinion of the new television season.

Have any shows struck your fancy this year? I know, some of you are good, and you don’t watch television, but let me know what you think anyway.

TTFN!

Series Discoveries