Friday, September 30, 2011

Box Set Blues: Mad Men, Series 1

Mad Men has become a bit of a phenomenon in quality TV circles since it's launch four years ago. It's won "Outstanding Drama Series" at the Emmys every year its been on, which makes you wonder why any other shows bother putting themselves forward. Its become a darling of the critics, and a breakout show for it's network, AMC, allowing it to position itself as a competitor for "quality" television viewers against HBO and Showtime in the US. Thats a lot for one show. And until this month I'd never got around to watching it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thinking: A More Co-operative Future?

I've been playing by myself (quiet at the back there!) a bit more recently since winding down by World of Warcraft time, specifially playing a lot of Deux Ex: Human Revolution,  and I've noticed a marked change in my gaming habits of old. I've lots of fond memories of playing games for hours at a time, lost in some virtual world, but these days after about an hour or so i'm losing my focus. Strangely, with all the co-op gaming i've also been doing - Terraria, Borderlands, Section 8, Sanctum, etc, I've not found that to be the case. Its not a reflection on the game, as DX:HR is fantastic, but I do I really need people to keep me interested. And more the point, isn't that the way it should be?

LFG Hengsha Docks, Needs Hacking, Elbow Swords

Monday, September 19, 2011

TV Review: Torchwood: Miracle Day

I think it's fair to say that that the overall reception for Torchwood: Miracle Day has been mixed. From watching varied strands of social media over the last 10 weeks I've seen a lot of criticism, a bit of vitriol, and some defense, but on the whole it's received a much colder response than Children of Earth, only some of which is down to the increased expectation from it's "big move" to the US. I am mindful of one comment I read though, which wisely pointed out that watching a show just to "hate on it" is pretty dumb, so bearing in mind that I watched the whole thing, and am hopefully not "pretty dumb", it can't have been a total dead loss.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thinking: Head vs Heart

I intend to write up a fuller piece on the current series of Doctor Who once it's all over but its safe to say that "The Girl Who Waited" will be one of the stand out episodes of the season for me. And that got me thinking as to why. Because in many ways it's a pretty slight episode - the premise is basic, the plot perfunctory and there is a lot of timey-wimey hand waving to get it all to work. On the other hand, it's all focused on this huge emotional punch that for me, at least, really delivers. At the same time however, after recording the latest Dissecting Worlds on sunday night, I was reminded that many of the shows and books I look back on from my 20s and earlier don't really connect emotionally in quite the same way. Is that me? Or the genre?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Box Set Blues: Justified, Season 1

Justified opens with our hero, US Deputy Marshall Raylan Givens, gunning down a man across a table he has a shared history with, a man who saved his life, but is now on the wrong side of the law from, after pretty much talking him into drawing first to give him a "justified" shoot. The same episode ends with Raylan gunning down another man across a table, a man he has a shared history with, a man who saved his life but is now on the wrong side of the law from. Justified, like many of its characters, has a laid back, easy-going charm that hides a slick brain underneath.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

State of the Blog: September 2011

Well the autumn is here, the schools are back and the rain is hammering on the window, so I guess I should post up a general update of stuff I've been doing.

August saw us start the new series of Dissecting Worlds in which we cover Leaders and Leadership as our main there, starting with King Arthur. We're recording episode 2, on Star Fleet Captains (the oldest argument on the internet, so that should be fun!) over the weekend, and the sort of subject I've been unconciously researching since I was about 8 years old!

Review-wise I've managed to keep contributing over that main Geek Syndicate Site, who continue to be highly tolerant of my waffle. The Dark Futures series takes up a lot of both my reading time and reviewing time, and I've managed to squeeze out reviews of The Handmaids Tale, Children of the Dust and The Postman, and am currently half-way through The Children of Men. The big moral of all of these is that a) the future could be really grim unless you're a furry mutant hippy, and b) the Kindle is an awesome piece of kit.

Also on the review front I covered Falling Skies - still not entirely sure what I make of the series as a whole, so may have to post something up trying to pull my disperate brain-threads together. I'm increasingly feeling the urge to have a rant about Torchwood, but I'll at least let the series run itself to the end first!

And thats about it for now, I think.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Thinking: What is it you don't 'get', George?

One the stories the seems to be all over the Internet this week is more "tweaks" to the Star Wars Saga once it hits Blu-Ray later this year. Amongst the many things that don't need to be messed with, we are getting a new Yoda for The Phantom Menace, blinking Ewok eyes and most bizzarely of all, new audio for Obi-Wan Kenobi driving off sandpeople and extra "dialogue" for Darth Vader at the end of Return of the Jedi. As you might expect the internet is mostly up in arms about more tinkering to the trilogy but I can't really get angry anymore, just increasingly sad.

New Dialogue: "You know Father, I've always felt you're not expresive enough. The odd outburst at key moments will make you more relatable"