Safe place

May. 16th, 2016 11:02 pm
ellestra: (root and shaw)
This episode was so awesome. I can't get over that Person of Interest is ending. This is all I ever wanted for AI stories.

So this is the final confirmation. Shaw is alive and back and we see what happened to her in all those months. All the brainwashing they do to find the secret hideout and the last remnants of the Machine and her team.

But we know the subway is still safe so we know that she didn't break. Not quite yet. But it keeps trying.

I knew from the beginning that Samaritan has planed Shaw's escape - it was just too convenient. Like some god planned that scenario to play out this way. I’m half-convinced it was all happening in Shaw's mind but I wasn't sure until she started glitching (by the pharmacy I was pretty sure). She is in full immersion - virtual reality that lures her with false safety so she takes Samaritan to the secret location. It just still glitches sometimes - especially when the entity running it needs to change scenario to get what it wants.

But this made me realise the most important part as soon as Shaw mentioned the method to resist torture. Root is her safe place. And then she admits it as she makes the simulation fail again. Root is her safe place. ♥

I don't ship very often but Root and Shaw had this chemistry form the very first torture scene. Samaritan looks for something else but for me the most important thing we learned from this simulation trip is that Root is as important to Shaw as Shaw is to Root.

So far, besides the kiss and pushing her to safety, all we saw was Root proclaiming her feelings and getting all crazy looking for Sameen. Before the kiss Shaw was mostly getting annoyed at Root’s overtures. Unless Root was in danger that is then she would drop everything to save her. Or if Root bribed her with violence and adventure.

What I mean we haven’t really seen how much Shaw cares about Root. Until now. And it was all Root ever wanted.

I love how Shaw’s fantasy has all the good moments. Escape, getting together with Root, hurting Lambert and Greer. Too bad it’s all Samaritan’s ploy.
ellestra: (skye daisy johnson)
ABC just cancelled Agent Carter. It's just like Peggy's funeral all over again.

They also decided to not produce Most Wanted. After the whole game of will they/ won't they and writing Bobbie and Lance out of the Agents of SHIELD it's not going to happen. What was the point of any of that?

And to make it even worse ABC also passed over Spark - the steampunk series with Antonia Thomas and Tracy Ifeachor. I had high hopes for it.


May. 10th, 2016 11:03 pm
ellestra: (skye daisy johnson)
I enjoy Marvel shows much more than films and Agents of SHIELD most of all.

The Lincoln escape thing felt wrong. I kept thinking it must be a ruse. Lincoln can’t be that stupid. He can’t believe Daisy wouldn’t lie to him and give him to Hive. He wouldn’t give away his free will just to see her again. Or just to get out - he’d be changing one imprisonment for much more permanent one.

But of course he didn’t. It was all a ruse. May told him to man up and he did. And they set up a trap for Hive instead.

They send Lash. And he was able to destroy the parasites. He could’ve killed Hive. He had the power to destroy it. But he chose to protect Daisy instead. He freed her.

This was great but this is the second time we see Inhuman dying for Daisy. They did it last season with Raina and now Andrew Garner. If we add Tripp that’s three black people dead for Daisy’s sake. It’s becoming creepy even in-universe and really unnerving RL.

And now Mack has Elena’s cross. The one floating in space in Daisy’s vision of death. But they can’t kill Mack. They wouldn’t kill Andrew and Mack one after the other, right?

Hive is getting some Watch Dogs to experiment on. It just wants to save them. They just want to kill everyone like him. Still they don't deserve the result.

They don’t turn out very well but Hive only wants to grow and take over more bodies. It doesn’t care what they are as long as it can take them over. It doesn’t care about any of them as long as it can grow. Even Daisy is expendable.

So now Hive has the process that gives it new bodies. They are not perfect - they lose their humanity and never get the Inhuman uniqueness - but they are good enough for Hive to posses. That’s the only thing it cares about. Like when it got all it really needed from Daisy - it didn’t matter it was going to kill her. It’s a parasite. It only cares about growing. Never about people.

All Hive is made of is lies. It makes it’s followers believe in it just to chew them out and spit them out once their usefulness ends.

However, this is a better conflict than the one Avengers had. In Civil War I left thinking both Cap and Tony were wrong (and it was intended). Here I’ was thinking everyone was right.

One one hand Inhumans are perfectly reasonable being afraid of being catalogued. List have a way of leaking and Watchdogs (and random crazies or just scared) are just waiting for a target. This was bad enough when SHIELD was doing it last season. Didn’t get any less wrong.

On the other hand Talbot is justified feeling scared about Inhumans being used as weapons and with Hive trying to convert billions into his drones knowing about the threat is essential.

This is why Phil coming clean and telling him about everything. So many shows base the drama on lack of communication. It’s refreshing to have it otherwise.
ellestra: (charlie jade)

OK. Ok. Now that I got it out I can stop screaming.

The first episode last week was great escape.

Everyone was almost dying the whole time but I wast most worried about Machine. That fire - it was like watching someone dying and being unable to help. An just when Finch finally got it and started calling her ‘her’... It just couldn’t end like that. Good things he has friends and they save her together.

Good that John found Root on time - he not only saved her form Samaritan but she also got an idea for the Machine's new brain. Good that Root didn’t let John stay behind - not leaving friends behind means they are there to help you with some liquid nitrogen when necessary. Now we just need Shaw back and Samaritan will be very sorry.

This week we saw the effects of all that damage.

Machine has a brain damage and has to relearn some skills. Prosopagnosia was fun - especially the everyone is Root faze - but then it got scary and sad. She’s was confusing memories with the current events. And the memories she has are incomplete. Without full timeline it’s hard to separate friend from foe.

Especially when all you have is proof of how bad they can be not how good. Not when you don’t remember how good you made them. Not when you don’t remember what they did for you. Not when you no longer know all they could be. All they were for you.

The all did awful things. Finch the least but then his crimes are the most personal. Root was the most evil but she’s also the one the most loyal. And she is the one you saved. You taught her how to help people and how to care because you saw her potential. And John - you found him in garbage and made him. Even Fusco was dirty. You used to believe in redemption. It’s time to learn it again.

Good the man who taught it to you last time is here. And now he finally knows how to do it properly. You taught it to him too.

More tomorrow.
ellestra: (once upon a time)
Today's Supergirl episode was the Supergirl/The Flash crossover. And it was glorious. It was filled with friendship and joy and geekiness and it's something you can watch when you're sad to feel better.

This is even better than I thought it will be. The way they are instant friends. The way they love the same things like eating a lot of food and saving people. The sharing about being from another dimension and another planet. And how they make their powers work together. They’re even both adopted.

I loved how Barry got all excited about Kara being an alien and her spaceship. And she was excited about meeting another hero. And Winn was excited about multiverse. And James was jealous.

I loved that Barry just went and introduced himself to the whole team. He was geeking out with Winn about science. He took tour of DEO in superspeed. And gave them metahuman tracking ideas. And Lucy was pragmatic about the team-up and the relationships.

I loved people standing up for Supergirl and that the firemen she saved (just before she was poisoned) were the ones who saved her. Also the villain team-up was pretty fun idea too.

And Cat, as always, had the best line - comparing the four of them to a typical cast of a CW show. Perfect meta on so many levels.

I love this episode so much.
ellestra: (aeryn)
This is Improv Everywhere doing time travel prank on NYC subway.
ellestra: (cosima)
Today in bizarre American date writing system is 3.14 which makes it Pi Day (3.1416 is a rounding of Pi). It's a day to celebrate it, admire its many graphical representations, write "pi-kus" and "piems". Happy Pi Day.

Today ExoMars mission has successfully launched. It's an European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos mission to hunt for signs of alien life on the Red Planet. The mission’s 2016 phase includes a Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) that’ll search for methane and other compounds of possible biological origin in Mars’ lower atmosphere, and a Schiaparelli entry, descent, and landing module, which will demonstrate complex landing technology for a larger, ground-based ExoMars rover slated to ship off in 2018. Already on Mars Curiosity is switching to a new mission. It's going to look for signs of life too.

Today is also the day when we are only month away from new Orphan Black episode (it's going to be on Thursdays now) and we have a new trailer.
ellestra: (slingers)
The one good thing about CW shows killing many cool secondary characters is watching the actors go for better things.

I was very happy to learn Tracy Ifeachor is going to be on new ABC show Spark (since it's only been written about on Deadline and for some reason Livejournal hates that site and flags any link to it as spam you have to just believe me - or replace @ with a in this url But there is finally a little more known about the show and io9 picked up the story so I can link to that. The lead will be played by Antonia Thomas (Misfits) and the show is to be set in alternate Steampunk universe.

Set in an alternate history where gas and coal fuel the world, the drama centers on the battle for power between two rival families and a rebellious young woman with a spark of invention that could level both their empires.
...the drama centers on the battle for power between two rival families and Pin (Thomas), a rebellious young woman with a spark of invention that could level both their empires. Thomas’ Pin is the smart, driven, fiercely independent young woman whose mission it is to bring back electricity to the masses no matter the cost.

Lincoln is still alive but Ricky Whittle has been announced to be the lead on Starz's adaptation of American Gods so his death can't be far off (it seems like the actor actually quit because he was fed up of being sidelined to 5 seconds in prison every 2 episodes and disagreements with the producer). Ian McShane has been cast as Mr. Wednesday. He was pretty popular fan choice and I can see his Kings character when I think about this.

In more news about British actors finding work - Finn Jones, the guy who plays Loras on Game of Thrones, has been cast as Danny Rand the title character in Iron Fist. This of course means a great disappointment to everyone who hoped they would change his race. Hard not to agree - it's not like MCU has a shortage of white guys from all over the English speaking world so one less wouldn't make a difference. On the other hand, while there are some Asian women in MCU the only male, non-evil one is also an alien. Marvel seems to want to placate fans by adding supporting characters some of whom are Asian. Also Mike Colter has announced the premier date for Luke Cage - it's coming to Netflix on September 30. Daredevil is of course dropping this Friday.
ellestra: (tiger)
Finally a trailer for Civil War showing new Spiderman. That read is very bright - probably why he needs to squint.

All their movies are great but Kubo And The Two Strings looks better than anything they did so far. I can't wait.

I like this Ghostbusters trailer much better than the last one. Except for that cringe worthy bit at the end.

More Agents

Mar. 5th, 2016 10:30 pm
ellestra: (skye daisy johnson)
ABC had some renewal announcements and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is getting another season (and some other shows too). This is nice to know before the 3B starts. There are also some rumours about Agent Carter getting renewed too which would be awesome. I hope it will turn out to be true - I want to see where that cliffhanger leads. But right now I just can't wait for the second part of season 3 of AoS. Especially after they started dropping sneak peaks for the Tuesday episode:

Who will Coulson put in the machine (my bet - young Stryker as he was in a coma last we saw him so alive)

We meet Slingshot andsee who on the team tried the Inhuman pills.
ellestra: (tiger)
So I have some awards to catch up on.

The Nebulas' nominations for last year were announced last week. As they are voted by professionals they are not subject to internet ballot stuffing as Hugos were and it shows. The only thing I miss is The Man in the High Castle for the Ray Bradbury Award but this was a good year for SF&F and that includes screen version and you cannot nominate everything. I'm happy for Nimona - a graphic novel - to be nominated for Andre Norton Award.

Raising Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu (Saga)
Uprooted, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, Lawrence M. Schoen (Tor)
Updraft, Fran Wilde (Tor)

Wings of Sorrow and Bone, Beth Cato (Harper Voyager Impulse)
The Bone Swans of Amandale, C.S.E. Cooney (Bone Swans)
The New Mother, Eugene Fischer (Asimov’s 4-5/15)
The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn, Usman T. Malik ( 4/22/15)
Binti, Nnedi Okorafor (
Waters of Versailles, Kelly Robson ( 6/10/15)

Rattlesnakes and Men, Michael Bishop (Asimov’s 2/15)
And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead, Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed 2/15)
Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds, Rose Lemberg (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 6/11/15)
The Ladies’ Aquatic Gardening Society, Henry Lien (Asimov’s 6/15)
The Deepwater Bride, Tamsyn Muir (F&SF 7-8/15)
Our Lady of the Open Road, Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s 6/15)

Short Story
Madeleine, Amal El-Mohtar (Lightspeed 6/15)
Cat Pictures Please, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld 1/15)
Damage, David D. Levine ( 1/21/15)
When Your Child Strays From God, Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld 7/15)
Today I Am Paul, Martin L. Shoemaker (Clarkesworld 8/15)
Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers, Alyssa Wong (Nightmare 10/15)


Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Ex Machina, Written by Alex Garland
Inside Out, Screenplay by Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley; Original Story by Pete Docter, Ronnie del Carmen
Jessica Jones: AKA Smile, Teleplay by Scott Reynolds & Melissa Rosenberg; Story by Jamie King & Scott Reynolds
Mad Max: Fury Road, Written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris
The Martian, Screenplay by Drew Goddard
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Written by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Seriously Wicked, Tina Connolly (Tor Teen)
Court of Fives, Kate Elliott (Little, Brown)
Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK 5/14; Amulet)
Archivist Wasp, Nicole Kornher-Stace (Big Mouth House)
Zeroboxer, Fonda Lee (Flux)
Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older (Levine)
Bone Gap, Laura Ruby (Balzer + Bray)
Nimona, Noelle Stevenson (HarperTeen)
Updraft, Fran Wilde (Tor)

The other awards that just announced nominees are the 2016 Bram Stoker Awards. I never really got into horror so I can't really say anything about any of those but it's interesting to see self-published entries in both novel categories. It also looks like Alyssa Wong's Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers might be the it short story this year. And I like how the categories are all Superior Achievements.

Superior Achievement in a Novel
Clive Barker – The Scarlet Gospels (St. Martin’s Press)
Michaelbrent Collings – The Deep (self-published)
JG Faherty – The Cure (Samhain Publishing)
Patrick Freivald – Black Tide (JournalStone Publishing)
Paul Tremblay – A Head Full of Ghosts (William Morrow)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel
Courtney Alameda – Shutter (Feiwel & Friends)
Nicole Cushing – Mr. Suicide (Word Horde)
Brian Kirk – We Are Monsters (Samhain Publishing)
John McIlveen – Hannahwhere (Crossroad Press)
John Claude Smith – Riding the Centipede (Omnium Gatherum)

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel
Jennifer Brozek – Never Let Me Sleep (Permuted Press)
Michaelbrent Collings – The Ridealong (self-published)
John Dixon – Devil’s Pocket (Simon & Schuster)
Tonya Hurley – Hallowed (Simon & Schuster)
Maureen Johnson – The Shadow Cabinet (Penguin)
Ian Welke – End Times at Ridgemont High (Omnium Gatherum)

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel
Cullen Bunn – Harrow County, Vol. 1: Countless Haints (Dark Horse Comics)
Victor Gischler – Hellbound (Dark Horse Books)
Robert Kirkman – Outcast, Vol. 1: A Darkness Surrounds Him (Image Comics)
Scott Snyder – Wytches, Vol. 1 (Image Comics)
Sam Weller, Mort Castle, Chris Ryall, & Carlos Guzman (editors) – Shadow Show: Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury (IDW Publishing)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction
Gary A. Braunbeck – Paper Cuts (Seize the Night) (Gallery Books)
Lisa Mannetti – The Box Jumper (Smart Rhino Publications)
Norman Partridge – Special Collections (The Library of the Dead) (Written Backwards)
Mercedes M. Yardley – Little Dead Red (Grimm Mistresses) (Ragnarok Publications)
Scott Edelman – Becoming Invisible, Becoming Seen (Dark Discoveries #30)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction
Kate Jonez – All the Day You’ll Have Good Luck (Black Static #47)
Gene O’Neill – The Algernon Effect (White Noise Press)
John Palisano – Happy Joe’s Rest Stop (18 Wheels of Horror) (Big Time Books)
Damien Angelica Walters – Sing Me Your Scars (Sing Me Your Scars) (Apex Publications)
Alyssa Wong – Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers (Nightmare Magazine #37)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay
Guillermo del Toro & Matthew Robbins – Crimson Peak (Legendary Pictures)
John Logan – Penny Dreadful: And Hell Itself My Only Foe (Showtime)
John Logan – Penny Dreadful: Nightcomers (Showtime)
David Robert Mitchell – It Follows (Northern Lights Films)
Taika Waititi & Jemaine Clement – What We Do in the Shadows (Unison Films)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology
Michael Bailey – The Library of the Dead (Written Backwards)
Ellen Datlow – The Doll Collection: Seventeen Brand-New Tales of Dolls (Tor Books)
Christopher Golden – Seize the Night (Gallery Books)
Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles – nEvermore! (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing)
Jonathan Maberry – The X-Files: Trust No One (IDW Publishing)
Joseph Nassise and Del Howison – Midian Unmade (Tor Books)

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection
Gary A. Braunbeck – Halfway Down the Stairs (JournalStone Publishing)
Nicole Cushing – The Mirrors (Cycatrix Press)
Taylor Grant – The Dark at the End of the Tunnel (Cemetery Dance Publications)
Gene O’Neill – The Hitchhiking Effect (Dark Renaissance Books)
Lucy A. Snyder – While the Black Stars Burn (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction
Justin Everett and Jeffrey H. Shanks (ed.) – The Unique Legacy of Weird Tales: The Evolution of Modern Fantasy and Horror (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers)
Stephen Jones – The Art of Horror (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books)
Michael Knost – Author’s Guide to Marketing with Teeth (Seventh Star Press)
Joe Mynhardt & Emma Audsley (editors) – Horror 201: The Silver Scream (Crystal Lake Publishing)
Danel Olson – Studies in the Horror Film: Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (Centipede Press)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection
Bruce Boston – Resonance Dark and Light (Eldritch Press)
Alessandro Manzetti – Eden Underground (Crystal Lake Publishing)
Ann Schwader – Dark Energies (P’rea Press)
Marge Simon – Naughty Ladies (Eldritch Press)
Stephanie M. Wytovich – An Exorcism of Angels (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Also announced - the nominations for Philip K. Dick Awards. Here's the shortlist:

Edge of Dark by Brenda Cooper (Pyr)
After the Saucers Landed by Douglas Lain (Night Shade Books)
(R)evolution by PJ Manney (47North)
Apex by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot Books)
Windswept by Adam Rakunas (Angry Robot Books)
Archangel by Marguerite Reed (Arche Press)

There seems to be a trend for one word titles.

And finally - today Oscar winners were announced. They look mostly very predictable - Mad Max: The Fury Road swept the more technical, behind the scenes categories (I was very happy for Ex Machina to get the visual effects) and most of the big ones went to the most likely choices. Except for the Best Picture. It felt nice to be surprised and for me anything was a better choice than The Revenant. But all the documents were great and I was so happy for Chileans.
ellestra: (charlie jade)
I missed the first episode of Colony. There is so many shows premiering (or restarting) now it's hard to keep track. Luckily USA knew this would happen and repeatedly shown it on last Saturday so I DVRed it and watched it and the second episode together. And it's better than I expected. Much better.

Partially because I didn't expect much from it but mostly because it gives me that weird feeling of familiarity when I watch it. I am old enough to remember communism and I did absorb from people around me and films and books how it used to be when it was really bad and before that during German occupation which was even worse. And the patterns of collaboration and resistance look familiar but it's the lives of everyone else who just tries to live their lives that seem most familiar. This is the part that the films about dissidents and resistance usually ignore and people who never lived through totalitarism don't understand. Most people just try to live their lives. Through the curfew and food shortages and the medicine shortages.

It's everyday struggle to get food and simple necessities of life. I remember the coming back from school and taking a spot in the line so my mother could buy meat two hours later when she came back from work. I remember my mother had to bring needles when I was getting penicillin shots because there was no disposables in the clinic (and I remember getting some of the shots with the autoclaveable one). I remember toilet paper shortages and empty shelves. I remember weird cans and boxes that had "replacement packaging" written on them so the only thing you knew for sure about what was inside was that it wasn't what was on the label. And that was the very end of it in Poland.

In worse times and dictatorships couldn't move or travel without permit. In the really bad ones you could be stopped and and shot on a street. Or sent to a camp. But if you kept your head low and don't draw attention to yourself you and more importantly those you love may live to see the times that are better. Or maybe even be free.

Of course that did require existence of those who where willing to sacrifice everything to fight for that freedom. But the sad truth is that freedom is almost never regained that way without outside help. The peaceful solution only works when the occupiers or your own dictatorship are just not willing to shoot. The ones who can be shamed or just don't have the will or support to enforce the status quo any more.

But when the occupiers are aliens (or so it seems) with technology that surpasses everything that humans have at their disposals (disabled all defences in 8 minutes) what chance there is to fight them? Better to cooperate and hope they don't kill us all. They obviously need local administration and troops (not that different from Brits in India - only the technological gap is much higher) so why not get safe life for your family? Maybe they'll leave once they get what they want and then world can be back to normal. And if not than maybe, at least, you'll be the last to go. Get to live a little longer. Instead of dying in a pointless struggle that only hurts other prisoners not the ones who actually built the prison.

But maybe that's not completely pointless fight. Maybe the answer is in the Factory. Maybe the resistance can get the knowledge needed to win. Maybe there is a way out. And then it's going to matter which side you were on. But if history teaches us anything it's that the ones who can forgive and keep the administration (and police) going are usually better off than those who let everything burn. Rebuilding from the ashes isn't as much fun when you have to live in it.
ellestra: (winged)
Agent Carter is back.

I was a little upset at Captain America special about spoiling Dottie's return and the fight but it tuned out to be the first 5 minutes of the first episode. And it seemed almost like Dottie really enjoyed being caught. At least being caught by Peggy - she has no respect for Jack.

Jack seems to get over his disdain for Peggy. He lets her lead the team and interrogation and sends away guys who make comments about her. He also obviously ships Peggy and Daniel and that's why he sends her when Sousa asks for help. Too bad that his efforts to emulate Peggy are not very successful.

Also unfortunately for the shipping part Sousa has a girlfriend in California. But Peggy finds a new love interest pretty fast. Of course it's implied dies at the end but I'm pretty sure he's not dead. Just like the first episode implied he is evil and on the conspiracy but he wasn't. This is mostly because I really, really want to see dr Wilkes back (but also because he is credited for all 10 episodes).

But the best parts are of course Peggy and Jarvis. The wrestling, the flamingo, the cars. And most of all Jarvis' wife Anna. Peggy is still a badass and Jarvis is still taking care of everyone so the main things I love about this show haven't changed. There is just more sunshine.

We see the creation of the main bad guy for the season - Madame Mask. Whitney Frost seemed like another actress trophy wife of power hungry politician but she is the ambitious one. She is the driving force behind her husband rise - the secrets experiments and societies and his political ambitions and it looks like now she is really going to take the matters into her own hands.

And it looks like that secret society he belongs to is HYDRA. The original one. The one who wants their Inhuman god back. The symbol on the pin is obviously the same that was basis of Will's patch and the zero matter is suspected to have transdimensional properties. And it looks like Jack's new boss might be part of this too.
ellestra: (charlie jade)
I'm continuing to watch the pilots but I'm not sure about the Second Chance (it had so many better titles in past few months). Here is my reaction.

It was predictable but the tech design looks pretty and there is a potential in crime solving with Cinderella superman (his super strength turns into pumpkin after 12 hours) and the twins’ spyware lookingglass (good thing all those tech billionaires violate our privacy only to fight crime).

I like the twins. So far they were the most interesting. My main reason to watch next episode is their private language and Arthur.

The main hero is kind of unlikeable. They laid his”sheriff” person so thick it was hard to see anything but asshole (I’m sure he is supposed to have heart of gold in there somewhere). And the conflict between him and his son based on how they treat work/family thing was also shown in very simplistic, broad strokes (the son values family time and makes police work wait for later and dad makes disappointed noises *eyeroll*). Right now I don’t care for any of the law enforcement or family drama there.

I was also bothered by the way Rob Kazinsky spoke. I don’t think it was bad accent (I don’t feel like I can judge his American accent) but it was like he was pretending to speak like an old person for a prank call. Very unconvincing and kind of ridiculous sounding. Your vocal cords got regenerated too - you don’t have to speak like 70-year old smoker.

I give it 3 episodes to see if I care.

American Horror Story: Hotel had a very happy ending. I was surprised.

The iZombie is back and it looks like Blaine is finally may be getting what he deserves. If you start to forget how awful he is (because David Anders's charm) there is always that one reminder that show gives us. Like the mention of that woman he was forcing to prostitute herself for brains. So I didn't even feel sorry about him getting the news (or being recognised by the FBI agent).

Major on the other hand - it's just piling on the break-up so it's lucky that FBI agent has been distracted from finding he's "killing" zombies by Blaine. Major also learned not to be so gullible and didn't fell for the pretty obvious loyalty check (mostly because he now has tapped Vaughn). Obviously no one enjoys work on this show the way Steven Webber enjoys being evil and skeevy. Vaughn doesn't even care about deaths he causes or abandoning his kid (no hassle of raising a daughter and all the advantages of having someone to help with evil plans). All he cares about are his abs, ass and money. It's fun to watch but I can't wait till Major makes him pay.

But the best part of this episode was how the show poked fun at itself, the CW and TV production in general. The Zombie High had all the too pretty cast, stunt deaths and the location switch (Seattle pretending to be Portland when in iZombie and so many, many other shows it's British Columbia pretending to be Seattle). They also made fun of an idea of zombie protagonist and zombie science. This doesn't bode well for Ravi search - neither the one for tainted Utopium nor the one for the cure. At least Babineaux let Liv come back to help.
ellestra: (big gun)
I don't know what is it with the TV program planners. Do they have special meetings when all the channels head of programming meet and decide which day they will use for specific type of shows and then everyone piles up everything in that one day? When did they decide to move everything genre on Tuesdays? I thought it was bad in the fall with The Muppets, The Flash, iZombie, Agents of SHIELD and Limitless but that was still manageable. This month it got ridiculous.

This Tuesday saw the return of Limitless (YAY) but The Expanse (with the spaceships and battles and all the real SF) is already running in that time spot and I have to choose (The Expanse obviously but it's still hard). But now MTV has also switched to Tuesdays and put their new fantasy series - The Shannara Chronicles - out on Tuesday at 10 pm. They also moved Teen Wolf (my favourite guilty pleasure) to Tuesday at 9 and it was the only one yesterday but next week the new ABC Family show is coming - Shadowhunters (looks cheesy but may also become a guilty fun so I wanted to at least try). And iZombie is coming back (YAY). And then a week after that Agent Carter (AWESOME ♥) comes back and takes over this time slot completely (actually first week is double episode so both 9 and 10 pm will be taken). And The Flash is back too but at least there is nothing else to watch at 8 (well except for that first week when they'll show Captain America 75 Years Anniversary Special). I'm running out of DVR simultaneous recording capacity.

Luckily, I watched the next two episodes (after the 2 hour premiere yesterday) of The Shannara Chronicles today so I'm done with it for another 2 weeks and can figure the other stuff out. I wanted to hate it because that would be one less thing to watch but it was actually pretty fun. It's not like Game of Thrones (for some reason people wanted to compare the two even though they only have high fantasy genre in common) but that's not bad thing. It's a little cheesy and very clean and everyone is so pretty and the main male protagonist has this perpetual surprised, pouty look on his face but it was fun. I ended up disappointed when I run out of extra episodes as I became pretty engrossed in the story (even though it's the most standard fantasy quest you can imagine - which is why I never managed to get through the books it was so repetitively boring. But it's easier on film. New Zealand is very pretty, although it's a little funny how the show takes place in Northwest of North American continent where almost all the other shows are filmed but this one is filmed in New Zealand. Vancouver is everywhere but when you need post-apocalypse, fantasy Vancouver - you get New Zealand. At least that means some new background actors. John Rhys-Davies and Manu Bennett bring some real acting and some gravitas to the whole thing (and Allanon gets to b pretty awesome). And I loved Eretria (although I wish they didn't pronounce her name like the country). She is my favourite character (even with her ridiculously evil father) and the fact that she is played by Ophelia from Pan's Labirynth makes me love her even more. This is not high art but it is pretty entertaining. I missed fantasy that is not gritty but pure adventure. This is going to be fun.

Also I love new ♥ look.
ellestra: (anomander rake)
This is the New Year so let's look ahead at what is coming. All the things I'm most excited so far. It will change - some things will disappoint and others I don't know about yet. But this is what I'm waiting for:

Movies - Deadpool, Ghostbusters, Civil War and Story of Your Life (I’m big fan of Ted Chiang so I’m very excited about this).

TV - X-Files, obviously, and The Magicians (loved the first episode), Luke Cage, You, Me and the Apocalypse (I know it's already has been shown in UK but only Doctor Who crosses Atlantic fast - he can travel in Time and Space) and BrainDead - for new ones. I also, of course, eagerly await the return of Galavant (tomorrow!!!), Limitless (Tuesday!!!), Agent Carter, Agents of SHIELD, iZombie, Daredevil, Orphan Black, Sense8, Humans, Mr. Robot, The Man in the High Castle and, most of all, Person of Interest. Here's a list of what is coming and when in next few months so you can make your own schedule.

Books - Steven Erikson’s Fall of Light - the 2nd book in Kharkanas Trilogy and Ian Cameron Esslemont’s Dancer Lament because I’m a big Malazan fan.
ellestra: (root and shaw)
Happy New Year!

It's time to look back at the 2015. It wasn't the best of years - with terrorism rising and the weather going all wonky - but at least entertainment was good.

My top films of the year (it's SFF because that's what I see in cinemas - I usually prefer to see other films at home without people talking and looking at their phones and the smell of popcorn - but for genre I usually want the big screen experience):

The ones I was most entertained by - mostly in order: Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Unlike almost everyone I had fun watching Jupiter Ascending (it was pretty and I liked Terry Gilliam parts more than the whole of Zero Theorem). I remember liking Age of Ultron but can't quite recall the plot - something, something, killer robots, something Vison, city falling from the sky, new Avengers - so in retrospect the story wasn't that interesting and I was distracted by how shiny it was. I was underwhelmed by all the YA adaptations.

The TV was pretty awesome. I need to cut back on stuff but I really, really like so much nowadays. There are all the awesome new shows. The year started with the joy that was Galavant which to surprise of everyone (and my great joy) is coming back on Sunday.The summer came with Humans and Mr. Robot. And Syfy brought some entertaining space shows - Dark Matter and Killjoys and the beautiful, high quality The Expanse series (already renewed). And Amazon has finally made SF worth watching with the wonderful The Man in the High Castle. It's certainly became my favourite show of theirs (it used to be Alpha House). I also loved Sense8 - from the get go and didn't find it hard to follow at all. I'm very excited to know they are all coming back this year. I never expected to like Limitless (I finally watched the film and it was OK but I'm glad I didn't see it in the cinema) but it turned out to be the most wonderful thing and I'm so happy it's back on Tuesday.

In another controversial view I admit that my favourite Marvel show is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It's probably because I generally prefer assemble shows but I also have most fun watching it. Then it's Agent Carter (incredibly awesome and coming back in few weeks) and then Netflix ones - Daredevil and Jessica Jones (I don't have preference here so they are in chronological order). I know it makes me an odd one and I will make it even worse by admitting I like all Marvel shows more than anything DC. And that my favourite CW comic book based show is iZombie. I like Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and and I liked Constantine but this is my order of preference.

I said good bye to Continuum, Defiance and Dominium. Haven ended too but Lost Girl still has episodes to burn in US. I gave up on Gotham and Sleepy Hollow and everyone gave up on Minority Report. There were things like Falling Skies and Hemlock's Grove where couldn't get through last season - just watched last episode (still painful). I just read spoilers for Game of Thrones and watched dragons parts. I liked the miniseries - both Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and The Childhood's End. I also finally binged Black Mirror over the holidays and it is as awesome as everyone says it is. Luther would've been great too but I don't know if I can get over Alice.

There were all my old favourites. I watch The Librarians for pure fun and Doctor Who has improved this year. Person of Interest - still no one want to let us know when it'll come back but it might become a summer show (in place of the horrible Under the Dome and Extant that CBS finally cancelled) and get couple more seasons and I cant wait when our favourite psychopaths will be back. Orphan Black - Helena became true MVP this season and RIP monitors. Also have you seen the new trailers? Creepy.

My guilty pleasures included The Originals and Teen Wolf (so many pretty people in both). And I kept following my favourite dramas - The Good Wife, Major Crimes, Suits,Switched at Birth, The Fosters, The Americans, Halt and Catch Fire, The Blacklist, Elementary (Morland is a joy) and kind of keep track of Shondaland. I don't really watch sitcoms but I watched The Muppets and sometimes Blackish.

In books dragons stay my weak spot - I fell in love with Rachel Aaron's Heartstrikers books. There was more Laundry - from Mo's PoV and with superheroes. I read The Martian and The Magicians trilogy before seeing adaptations and loved both. I've read Raising Steam but I haven't touched The Shepard's Crown because if I don't then I still have one more book by Terry Pratchett to read.
ellestra: (river song)
This was the time when some of The Husbands of River Song met and I loved that Alex Kingston got the first billing in the intor (I also liked the added snow).

So we learn River had at at least three husbands and two wives. She does get around when Doctor is not around. And she keeps stealing his ride. Of course I don't know why he acted so surprised he gave her the keys so why wouldn't she take rides when she needs to and she was never shy to mention her conquests (but I loved how they threw the names at each other).

I took great pleasure in Doctor getting all peeved by the fact that River had another husband. And was borrowing his TARDIS when he wasn't looking and he never noticed. And that she shown great disregard for him (and lives of people in general). And then he gets completely heartbroken when he hears River believes he never loved her back (or really cared that much). Do I think she meant any of it? Yes and no.

Yes - because she always treated him in a kind of utilitarian way - he's her ticket to adventure, ride when she need it and when she says love is an easiest lie you can tell a man and that he is terribly useful it hurts him right in the feels. She also obviously has a lot of her own adventures (in TARDIS and without it and plenty of other spouses) and life without him (even when she's in prison she gets out for things that are not dates - see Byzantium). I never really cared about complains that her life completely revolves around him (birth, childhood, death, prison) because that's only the part we see - the Doctor part. I always figured out she did stuff, a lot of stuff, neither we nor the Doctor knew about. It's easy to believe that Doctor is the hero of every story because he is the hero of every story we see but he's not the hero of every story of River Song life. To her he is Damsel in Distress and a ride. It was nice to get it confirmed. Sometime all she needed was TARDIS.

And yes - because we see that fragility and uncertainty about how much he cares before. The Time of Angels only just happened to her and she tried to hide her injury because he wouldn't like it and even after this she was surprised he saw her in The Name of the Doctor. There is this ever present doubt that he doesn't care nearly as much as she does. That he is only there for the fun part not the hard ones. It's not completely unfunded but she also does everything she can to hide it and he always try to show her how much he cares (heals her hand with his regeneration energy, tells her he always sees her but it hurts too much and tells her there is always a song when you need).

No - because River lies and exaggerates. When she tells Hydroflax about what she will do with the diamond she gives a Doctor-like speech about giving it back to good people and then just steals it and sells it to highest bidder. She has a reserved space on a ship for mass murderers but she tries to save it from crashing. She says what is necessary or just sounds cool at the moment. Or just to distract people or gain time. It doesn't make what she says true. It doesn't mean there isn't a core of truth in there but she also knows how much he cares about the humans he is close to, how much he would sacrifice for them. To her they last saw each other in Manhattan - she saw what the loss of her parents meant and what he'd do for her. We see her say outright lies or just half truths all the time (including this episode) with full conviction and it's often hard to say when she lies (remember how she pretended she didn't know why they were at Lake Silencio or who was the girl in spacesuit or that Doctor is alive). I'm not even 100% sure she really didn't recognised him (95% sure but not 100%). (So I can believe they could meet again before this for River and after for him.)

So I think there truth in all she says about him but it isn't the whole truth. The first part is exaggeration for lulz and the second is exaggeration of her fears for time. Just enough to fool the lie detector. Not enough to full encompass the flowchart of their feelings.

I liked how Doctor smiled and laughed when he met River. He’s so happy to see her again. And then she keeps refusing to recognise him and he can observe how she is when she’s not with him and what she calls him - Damsel (in Distress) who needs rescuing all the time (I suppose from her point of view that happens a lot) - and how she behaves - steals and killstires to kill (like a good psychopath she was raised to be) and how much he loves him. And they can’t stop flirting even when one of them doesn’t know who the other one is. Or even when both of them think the other one just doesn’t love them as much as they love them (it breaks my heart and makes me feel fuzzy inside at the same time). And then they get even worsebetter. And he finally stops avoiding it (he always avoids things he doesn't like) and just like with his death (until the Brigadier died) and Clara (until she erase herself from his memories) so with saying goodbye to River (so many times) there has to be something forcing his hand. But there is always last time. For everything there is always first and last time.

Of course I’m biased because I love River.

"What do you think by the way?"
"About what?"
"My new body."
"Oh, I'll let you know. I've only seen the face."

General observations:

I love how Doctor said people need flowchart for their relationship.

River carries fez in her bag and she knows where he keeps alcohol/has secret storage for alcohol in TARDIS cotrol room (every control room - the new design doesn't seem to faze her). And once again she knows better what console levers and buttons do (let's all avoid deck 7).

Some people seemed to be (pleasantly) surprised River had wives but River has been based in 51st century when Jack's from) most of her life and this is 54th - it'd be surprising if she didn't.

Doctor mentions the haircut and suit just before he recognises River. She's not impressed. But she likes the new one he wears for their last night/(beginning of) 24 years.

People complain she seemed much nicer and caring about human lives in Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. This is last time they meet for the Doctor and second to last for River - next time it's Ten and she dies - but we don't know how long it is between these two events for River. She is still mostly Doctor here and she is very insistent on Professor then so it might be a while (and the 24 years).

This is their last goodbye (as far as we know). The first one was when Ten met her but it didn't mean much as the Doctor (and we) didn't know her yet. The final goodbye for the River was in The Name of the Doctor (for her and Eleven) and now this is the Doctor seeing her for the last time (this is why she said "Spoilers" in TNotD). Now he (and we) know how much it really hurt.

"Sonic trowel. Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?" says a man with sonic sunglasses.

Also the Williams family and trowels

Just made me all misty eyed a bit.
ellestra: (sunrise)
Despite pouring rain I managed to get to the cinema and see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Everyone have already analysed every second of it so here are just the observations that stood out to me the most.

It was funny. Much funnier than I expected and it was mostly based on great interactions between characters. The chemistry between main characters is instant and great and you don't mind that they became BFFs (or fall in love) basically at first look (only Han is a little grumpy but that just adds to his charm). There is a lot of shout outs to the original movies both inside the story and just for the viewers. And the story is pretty classical peasant boy finds out his destiny is to save the world but she's actually a girl so she even gets to save herself and that was great. She does rescue her love interest just like it always happens in these stories. But even the tropes in the story were mostly done in a fun and enjoyable way and the interplay of the old and new elements and beautiful visuals to make this great film to watch.

There were few moments they were a little too obvious. I went in completely unspoiled but I still knew exactly what the fate of Han Solo will be the moment Leia mentioned trying to talk their son out of being on Dark Side (like he went and joined Scientology or something). So when went on that bridge I knew the only way he'll comes out of it was down. But the "dying of the light" behind him and the lightsaber through the heart were so over the top symbolic I just spent that whole thing rolling my eyes. Still, it was sad to let Han go - he was always my favourite (like most people) and incredibly fun in this film (not to mention the crazy stunts with hyperspace jumping). But I was also expecting they are going to kill all the old cast so the new generation can take over (and just like old film did with Obi-wan and Yoda) so I'm also glad we still have Leia and Luke.

The First Order flags and looks (and the Empire before that) had distinctly Nazi looks but I thought they went a little overboard with Domhnall Gleeson's character basically going full Hitler on that speech. This was not a comedic scene but it made me giggle because they managed to combine to ultimate movie evils - posh British accent and Hitler (and he's ginger). And that guy doesn't even use Force. But I loved him because he was such a wonderful prick to Kylo Ren about everything (tattling on him to Supreme Leader and enjoying his every misstep). I can imagine these two in an office type comedy (only with more dead planets).

The last scene was also a little ridiculous. I know it was supposed to be moving but they just stare at each other silently for so long it started being funny (it also felt like the whole thing was in the film only to have Luke in the film). Also he was gone for years but he knew where he was going (left a map) and it was close enough that Ray just flew there to get him so it's not like searching for that place took him years. It looked like he failed at Jedi school so he left home and abandoned everyone to brood in Ireland and stare at sea (and Han went to have fun adventures in shipping). While Leia did all the actual hard work of fighting the bad guys and maintaining alliances. Way to go guys - abandon the work for fun and side projects while woman takes care of everything.

The current most popular theory is that Rey is Luke's daughter. I can see that too. Someone did abandon her on Jakku and never came back and Luke did that basically to everyone so why not her too. And as everyone points out she is a tech genius on a desert world with strong connection to the Force. Just like Anakin and Luke. But thorough the film I also wondered if she might be Leia and Han's. Rey and Han were shown to be so similar - literally thinking the same thing and understanding each other without words and then she basically takes inherits his ship. Also the way they often show Ray and Kylo Ren mirroring each other - identical but opposite. She is the daughter Han didn’t know but who wants to be just like him and Ben is the son who knew him and rejects him. It’s very mythological. I’m fine with her being Luke’s daughter but the foreshadowing here that he was Han’s and Ben’s sister was pretty heavy. (I’m not the only one who thinks so.) But no matter whose daughter she is it seems implied pretty hard she is a Skywalker (that suspicious cut when Leia asks Han who the girl is made me wonder if they know) and that makes the whole epic story about battle between Light and Dark Side of the Force a family affair. Again.

I know these may seem like I didn't like it but I did. It is great entertainment and Rey was awesome, Finn was precious, Poe was likeable (limited screen time he had) and the old guard characters were great to see again. I saw a lot of complains about Kylo Ren - that he isn't as competent nor as scary as Vader but I thought he perfectly captured brooding and anger issues of young Anakin (both also slayers of children) so he seemed a lot like his grandfather actually. And I would like to see more Maz Kanata. She was great. I also don't care about the scenes that were in trailers that weren't in the film (partly because I stopped watching trailers few weeks ago - there were so many of them) but I'm sorry that the changes in story for final cut meant all Maisie Richardson-Sellers had left is one staring scene before being blown up.
ellestra: (lightning)
So today is the Winter Solstice and the days will finally start getting longer. I'm hoping that this is the reason behind me being so sleepy and tired all the time. This and the weather change. The season started with pouring rain and the beginning of heatwave (for winter). It's 10 pm and it's still 16oC (60F) outside and it's only going to get warmer. Also coming - more thunderstorms. I need to decide witch summer dress to wear for Christmas Eve. Tomorrow, I'm thinking capris since I'm going to spend 3 hours in the cinema (yes, I'm finally going to see Star Wars) and it might be cold inside. How is global warming treating you?

The third episode of The Expanse is on Syfy today but you can watch it and the 4th one on the Syfy website today. I saw all 4 of them and I love it so far but I'll write down the details after it shws up on TV. Also the shows you can see early are the occupied LA of the future drama Colony and Frankenstein-inspired cop drama Second Chance. I'm glad we are no longer playing the "leaked" pilot game and they just officially put them out early to get people interested in the shows (NBC Universal cable channels especially). It turns out that if you give people a way to watch thing legally that what they'll do - Netflix took over torrent as the main internet traffic hog by far this year. But this is still just US solution - the rest of the world is still left catching up on that other internet. Unless you don't care that much and wait for it to show up on TV. I remember that for shows I liked but didn't care to stay current on AXN channels, Fox and Universal were doing pretty decent job on staying current.

Meanwhile on real Mars Curiosity has drilled some more holes. We got detailed pictures of the real Ceres; some even in 3D (almost as pretty as Pluto). And Yutu shows that the Moon is more geologically complex than we knew. And here on Earth the robots are slowly taking over... raindeer jobs. Lucky us they don't fly yet or Robot Santa would come for us all.

May 2016

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