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

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Series discoveries

I haven’t posted about my television viewing since the fall. At that time, I wrote of my disappointments with various television series in the past.

I had some fairly high hopes for some of the new series. That’s what I’m going to spend a little time on today.

First, I’ll remind you that I do watch television and movies with a writer’s eye. That is, I look at the plot lines and the story overall, the character development, and I try to analyze why I like watching it, and not simply accept that I do and blank out on the couch for an hour.

I’m a critical thinker. What can I say?

So the new shows I’ve watched and liked this season are:

Almost Human

When I saw this one listed and read the preview, I thought that it would be a take on I, Robot, the novel by Asimov, not the Will Smith interpretation, which I must say was entertaining, but had as much to do with the text upon which it was based as Blade Runner had with Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Plus, there was the added attraction of Karl Urban. Hey, I don’t always have to be deep and thought-y, do I?

I’m enjoying AH, though it has been basically police procedural with a small twist for the most part. I’m waiting for the pay off of the Detective Kennex’s inciting incident: the failed assault which resulted in the deaths of his squad, the loss of his leg, and a 17 month coma.

Kennex bears the responsibility for the failure of the assault and the loss of his squad. He is teamed with a DRN android whose line has a history for going crazy. So two pariahs in arms. A buddy drama.

Bitten

This one is a mid-season offering from Space based on the Kelly Armstrong novel of the same name. It’s about werewolves, in the broad sense.

I’ve only seen a few episodes so far, and while the main plot continues through each episode, the cast is still in the character development stage. After establishing the crisis (murders of humans by renegade werewolves, or mutts), the series has gone into backstory mode.

The jury’s out on this one.

Dracula

I’m enjoying Dracula far less than I thought I would.

I appreciate the reengineering of the story and the tie in with Tesla (Greyson, Dracula’s American Industrialist cover is developing a new energy source that threatens the oil and coal interests of the wealthy in Britain). I like the strong(ish) women characters.

It’s too easy to dislike Harker, though, and the highlight of the show (for me) is Renfield, the voice of reason in a howling vortex of loose plot threads.

It’s hard to admit I like Renfield better than Jonathan Rhys-Meyers’s Dracula.

The concept isn’t strong enough to breathe life into the undead. Eye-candy aside, if I miss a week, I find I don’t really mind.

Intelligence

This is another mid-season offering and I like the premise, but I’m not certain about it yet.

An agent named Gabriel, with a special genetic affinity, has a computer chip installed in his brain. He can access the internet anytime he wants. The project is called “Clockwork.”

He’s not only a kick-ass spy, but he is also an asset, and so must be protected. They bring in a secret service operative to do this, and though Riley does prove herself, I was left wondering at the choice.

There seems to be a lot of potential in the series, but there is also a lot of potential for bad science and plot holes.

In the first episode, another person has the chip implanted. This, of course, becomes Gabriel’s nemesis. His wife ends up being a terrorist and she kills herself in a suicide bombing. Almost immediately, sparks seem to be flying between Gabriel and Riley, and I was disappointed in how they handled the whole situation. Gabriel was initially so devastated by his wife’s defection and death that he tried to hide in a bottle.

In any case. We’ll have to wait and see on this one, too.

Once upon a time in Wonderland

Like its parent show, Once Upon a Time, OUaTiW turns the Disney standard on its head and does a bizarre bit of a mash-up with the main character.

In this version, Alice is a young woman, having survived both her adventures in Wonderland, and the battle in the “real” world against those who believe her to be insane, including her family.

The mash-up comes from her love interest, a genie named Cyrus, and the two antagonists battling for control of him, the Queen of Hearts, and Jafar (from Aladdin).

Alice is helped by the Knave of Hearts (the Queen’s former love), and the unreliable White Rabbit, voiced by John Lithgow.

I haven’t seen any cross-over action yet, and don’t anticipate it, given the disparate settings (Victorian England vs. modern day North America).

While I enjoy the quirkiness of the story and the visual oddities of Wonderland, I’m wondering where the plot will go. As of the last episode, the Knave, having helped Alice and Cyrus reunite, is now the new genie in the bottle.

It’s a bit of a ramble, but I’m willing to indulge the writers a while yet. Sometimes an interesting concept will trump a good plot (for a while).

Sleepy Hollow

Another reboot, this time of the Washington Irving story. It’s a favourite of mine, so on the strength of that alone, I’m willing to indulge the series for a while.

In this incarnation, Ichabod Crane is not a school teacher, but an Oxford professor who enlisted in the British Army against his father’s wishes. Fighting against the Americans in the War of Independence, Crane defects and ends up serving as an agent for General Washington himself.

In his final battle, he faces a soldier known only as “The Hessian” and decapitates his foe even as he is dealt a killing blow. The two die and their blood mingles. Crane’s wife Katrina, a witch, casts a spell which will awaken Crane if ever the Hessian comes back from the dead.

In modern times, Crane wakes, and has to adjust to life in the 21st century while trying to defeat the Hessian, who, it is revealed, is Death of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

With him are Detective Abbie Mills, her sister Jenny, and Chief of Police Irving, played by Orlando Jones.

The writing for SH has been a lot tighter than for some of the other series and the plot is far more intricate.

Death, it is revealed, is Crane’s old friend, turned competitor for the woman they both love, Katrina.

In the last episode I saw, War is a man Crane and Mills thought of as a friend, but who is, in fact, Crane’s son and in a jaw-dropping final scene, Death rides off with Katrina, recently released from limbo.

Crane is devastated.

There’s a lot more to the story than what I’ve written here. Every character has a stake in the plot beyond the obvious (save the world). So far, I find it very well done.

Then again, I like intricate plots that engage my brain.

A note on reboots/mash-ups

Phil has lamented the state of television (and movies) for some time now, declaring that Hollywood doesn’t have an original thought in its collective head.

I tend to agree, but I also find that if I can set aside the obvious complaint (could they not have written an original story with these elements and have done equally well, or better?), I can enjoy the story and series.

He also dislikes the tendency of North American studios to copy British or French shows of better quality. The British version of Being Human is far superior to the North American, in my opinion. And both are shown, sometimes on the same network. Why show up one series as a shoddy copy of the other?

Bonus: Homeland

I’ve watched season one of Homeland on Netflix and am now catching up on season two courtesy of Bravo.

This is an original series, and I really like it. It’s clever, and gives its characters a lot to deal with.

Carrie Mathison is manic depressive, a disease she’s hidden from her employer and coworkers. She’s an intelligence analyst for the CIA and she is obsessed with the terrorist Abu Nasir. She discovers that Nasir has “turned” an American soldier, though she doesn’t know who.

When US marine Nick Brody is rescued after eight years as a prisoner of al-Qaeda, Carrie immediately suspects him.

It’s very well-written, and extremely well-acted. I love Clair Danes, Damian Lewis, and Mandy Patinkin.

The plot is so complex, with so many unexpected turns, I can’t even attempt to give you a summary that will do it justice, and the characters are so well-drawn that their actions are always logical in context.

I know that they’re already into the fourth season, but we don’t receive Showtime here, so I have to wait for Netflix, or put out for the DVDs.

So that’s what I’m watching these days.

Series discoveries

How about you? Have you seen a new series that gives you the frissons (shivers)? One that makes you sigh and give up hope for originality or quality programming? Have you learned anything from these series that you could apply to your writing?

It’s all good.

Series Disappointments

As a writer, I look to many different sources for inspiration and for learning about my craft.  Most professional writers will tell you that screen writing informs fiction writing, whether it’s episodic television to short stories or chapters, or full length movies to novellas and novels.

I love television.  I know that there are some writers out there that vilify the medium as a time-waster and brain killer, but I try to look at the quality of the story, the plausibility of scientific elements in sci-fi, the depiction and development of character, and so forth.

I’ve told you how I read as a writer in the past.  I’ve also reviewed a few movies on here and the lessons I’ve taken away from them, well, now I’m going to talk about television series.

Phil and I are fairly critical in our television watching.  If something doesn’t make sense, one of us will be the first to lambaste it 😛

This year, we’ve unsubscribed from the movie network cable package.  It was the one that allowed us to watch Game of Thrones and True Blood.  But now, we’re just not interested in what’s on offer.

The past

Phil holds up Babylon 5 as his favourite series.  I agree that J. Michael Straczynski is a masterful storyteller and B5 is one of the best series I’ve seen, but I’m also a little more critical about B5 than Phil is.

I know that JMS planned the entire 5 year arc of the show before he started working on it, but it’s fairly obvious where real life events required accommodation and revision.  Still, until the rights struggle, of which I shall not speak, started to affect things, the show was fabulous.

The fifth season was less than stellar, though, because of the afore-mentioned struggle, I think, Excalibur, the series that was intended to fill in some of the detail pre-B5 only lasted one season, and the hoped for Tales of the Rangers never got off the ground.

In the end, I was disappointed, but not because of JMS—he’s brilliant—but because of the creative differences that prevented the world he created from being explored further.

One of my favourite series of all time is Buffy the Vampire SlayerJoss Whedon took a slightly different tack, creating seasonal arcs, because of the fickle nature of network television.  Buffy changed networks, mid-run, but managed to revive.

The title character’s death at the end of season 5 was to have been the end of the story, but somehow, two more seasons were wrangled.

There are inconsistencies in Buffy.  I’ve watched the series enough to know, but they make the overall story no less enjoyable.  The way in which details from earlier seasons eventually led to lovely pay-offs in later seasons spoke to how well Whedon understood his creation.

When Angel got his spin-off after the third season of Buffy, I also watched it.  Phil is a little fonder of Angel than of Buffy, but both series were made of similar stuff.  Whedon is a very different kind of storyteller than JMS, but no less compelling.

Again, Whedon seems to have had poor luck with the networks after Buffy and Angel.  Firefly did not even have a full season aired (except on Space and Syfy) and Dollhouse was dropped after a second season.

A more long-standing love for both of us is Doctor Who.  We’ve both been fans for years and although Phil has, on principle, a problem with time-travel stories, the writing behind Doctor Who allows him to suspend even his hefty disbelief and enjoy the story.

Other than those few series, many of the shows Phil and I hopefully latched onto over the years seem to have lost their storytelling ways.

Phil and I loved the first season of Heroes.  We were avid fans and shared our DVD’s with everyone we could think of.

Then the second season aired with plot holes big enough to consume the entire cast.  Even George Takei couldn’t save the show.

We were sceptical about the remake of Battlestar Galactica, but once we started watching the series, we were taken in.

Which is why we were also severely disappointed by the last 2 seasons and though we watched Caprica, we couldn’t regret its demise either.  The “ending” answered fewer questions than BSG’s.

Lost lost me as a viewer before the second season ended.  I could see the ridiculous factor increasing, and the writers withheld information when they should have revealed it, and revealed information that had no importance to the plot in the long term.

Phil never watched Lost at all.

Supernatural turned out to be mostly monster-of-the-week and Sam and Dean never really evolved as characters.

There was the short-lived Dresden Files series, which we both loved, but then it went out of production.

I was enjoying the adaptation of Tanya Huff’s Blood Books, Blood Ties, but it, too, was dropped.

The present

I’ve continued to follow the adventures of Buffy and Angel through Joss Whedon’s graphic

Trade paperback cover of Buffy: Season Eight V...

Trade paperback cover of Buffy: Season Eight Volume One, written by Joss Whedon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

novel continuations of both stories.

Phil and I are both happy enough with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and hope that it breaks the television curse for Whedon.  We’d like to see more of his wit and style on television.

Phil and I continue to watch and enjoy Doctor Who.

True Blood was okay to begin with, but after the first season again, we found the story wandering and not necessarily in a good direction.  Unlike some other books turned into series, TB departs fairly distinctly from the Sookie Stackhouse novels on which it is based.

We have, so far, come back for the next season and each season seems to begin well enough, but then certain events are just drawn out for far too long only to end precipitously and in many cases, in a dissatisfying manner.

Consistency isn’t the best, either.

We knew, when Russell Edgington was encased in cement rather than shown the true death, that he’d be back, but we couldn’t stand it when he did.

The ending of this season left us completely cold.  Sookie’s waffling and bemoaning of her fate got old very quickly.  And Eric sunbathing instead of trying to stop the distribution of the Hep-V tainted True Blood?  It made so little sense.  If he did burn, he deserved to.

Mind you, not having seen the ashes, I’ll assume that he and Pam will be back, if not next season, then at some point thereafter.

Being Human.  My advice: watch the British version.  It was always better.

We are quite happy with Game of Thrones.  Now this is a different bit of storytelling, because the novels have already been written by George R. R. Martin.  The artistry of GoT is that the show runners have to pick and choose what bits to show and how to show them in a way that is truthful to GRRM.

And he’s consulting to keep them as much on script as possible 😉

Phil was enjoying The Walking Dead, but found that it too, was getting a little lack-lustre in its plot by the end of the last season.  He’ll be happy to watch it in reruns when we re-subscribe to the movie package in the spring.

We watched the Netflix series Hemlock Grove and were impressed, though admittedly, the denouement  seemed a little rushed.  We are hopeful that future seasons will be at least as good.

Once Upon a Time.  Not Phil’s bag, but I like retellings of fairy tales.  So far, so good for me, but they are in danger of losing me if they get to far off track.

Grimm.  More fairy tale-related shenanigans.  I like the German take, but was so not impressed with how long it took Julia to deal with her recovered memories last season.  Seriously?  Plus, I wanted to see more of Nick’s mom.  She kicked ass.

Lost Girl.  Again, this is something that Phil doesn’t go in for, but I’ve been enjoying.  I’m glad that it continues to be in production.

Arrow was another surprise for me.  Though I enjoyed Smallville, I watched most of the episodes in rerun.  Plus, Smallville started to draw out the origin story of Superman far too long.  I was irritated with that.

Arrow is not taking the Green Arrow from Smallville, but focusing on the character independent of Superman.  It’s a bit grittier and darker.  I like it.

Orphan Black.  This one was a surprise for me, but I definitely like it.  Don’t have any other clone/genetic engineering conspiracy stories out there at the moment.  Phil wasn’t so impressed, but I’m willing to give it a go again next year.

Defiance was a show that Phil got hold of by virtue of his interests in gaming.  The concept was unique: a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG, or MMO) and a television series developed concurrently in the same world.

The game would start up earlier, feed into the hype, but when the series started, the developers promised weekly game upgrades based on story developments in the series.  It sounded interesting, so we both tuned in.

Phil quickly tired of the game, in which the promised content was not made available.  He gave up some time in the summer when none of the series-based content had yet been added.

The depiction of the alien people were different between the game and the series as well.

The Irathients were analogous to indigenous peoples in terms of spirituality in the series, but good warriors and tactical thinkers in the game.  Not that they couldn’t be both, but both were not clearly options in the game and the series.

The Indogenes in the game were similar to Vulcans, dominantly logical and emotionally repressed, while in the series, they turned out to be political schemers and shape-shifters.

The last straw for Phil was that for two episodes in a row, they played the “s/he’s an Indogene” card.  He cited it as derivative of the equally irritating “s/he’s a cylon” ploy in BSG.

Story-wise, it’s about as satisfying as “it was all a dream,” or an ending where the big bad, after waging war, and having the subjects of his rage in his sights, commits suicide instead (another BSG disappointment).

Sleepy Hollow.  I’m liking the angle the writers have chosen and tying it all in with the four horsemen of the apocalypse and the end of days.  We’ll see if it lasts more than a season.

The future

Right now, the only thing we’re both looking forward to is JMS’s Sense8, his Netflix series.

I’m going to check out Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, just ‘cause, but I’ve learned not to pin too many hopes on new network series.

I’m also going to check out the Tomorrow People and Almost Human.  We’ll see if either of those series live up to my expectations.

What series have you loved?  Which have you hated?  What are you looking forward to?  And what shows have you learned from as a writer?

Continuous learning 🙂  That’s what it’s all about.

“What if” Fairy Tale Madness Blogfest, Part 2

Now, it isn’t really a fairy tale, so I don’t even know if it will be accepted on that basis alone, but Washington Irving‘s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a wonderful American short story, and one of my favourites.  It has the feel of a fairy tale to me, so to heck with it.  Caution, meet wind 🙂

Team Plot Twist

What if Katrina turned out to be totally vapid, and Ichabod couldn’t stand her family?  What if the only way he could extricate himself from this sticky mess was to fake his own death?  What if his perfect partner in crime was also his rival?

Please enjoy.

The heartless to the headless

An apparently headless Brom bent to extend his hand from horseback.

After clearing away broken bits of pumpkin and discarding his now-broken spectacles, Ichabod accepted the proffered assistance.

“You’re certain you won’t change your mind?” Brom asked.

“No, no,” said Ichabod, considering the book he’d clung to during the attack. “Katrina’s yours.  I only had to experience her family tonight to know I couldn’t countenance their relation.  It confirmed my suspicions.  Though her beauty affects me, a fickle-hearted girl like that could never make me happy.”

“You’re speaking of my bride-to-be!” Brom shrugged his head up through his cloak, his hair so awry it revealed a bald patch.  Ichabod stifled a laugh. “Watch it Ichy, or I might have to use this.”

“Put the sword away, Brom.  You’ve won.  I’ll be out of town before dawn.  You’ve nothing to fear.  You and Katrina shall be deliriously happy I should think.  I wish you nothing but the best, and several strapping, young boys such as yourself.”

Brom’s considerable brow furrowed for a moment as if trying to decide whether Ichabod was waxing sincere or sarcastic, then with a shake of his head he gave over, pulled his cloak back up over his head, and said, “You’re a strange man, and a fool to think you’d be suited to a place like Sleepy Hollow.  We’ll be as well-rid of you as you are of us.”

“Just so,” said Ichabod. “Thank you, Brom.”

“Fare well.”

“Be sure you’re well-seen tonight.”

As an answer, Brom pulled another pie-pumpkin from his saddlebag and threw at Ichabod’s feet.  Ichabod didn’t move.  The man knew his business right enough.

As he turned to fetch his donkey, Ichabod threw the book, unfinished, but not worth the effort, into the road to complete the picture.

“Rest in peace, Ichabod.”

300 words

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