December 27, 2021

From Gerald R. Lucas

Holiday Entertainment covid-19: day 640 | US: GA | info | act

Well, instead of getting work done this holiday season, I have been watching TV, primarily. Here’s what I’ve been consuming in no particular order.

After finishing Breakfast of Champions, I considered rereading Dune and keeping a journal. The more I thought about this, the more it sounded like real work—not that I’m opposed to that, but I really needed a break. (I do intend to get back to the Dune project.) So, I picked up Gideon the Ninth. This fantasy novel is fairly well reviewed, and it sounded fun. However, I’m though about 20% of the book, and I can only say one thing or sure: I’m not quite sure what’s happening. OK, I can follow the plot, but I don’t understand the world-building, I guess. What’s with all the necromancers? No, I don’t want a bunch of exposition, but a little would be nice. I’ll probably keep going, but I’m not sure for how long.

I’m really enjoying Yellowjackets. It’s a mixed-genre show that takes place in two narratives: one in the ’90s and one in 2021. The premise is almost trite: a high-school girls’ soccer team is on their way to national competition when their plane crashes somewhere in the Canadian Rockies. The show even begins with a Lord-of-the-Flies-like opening where it seems a group of girls discussed as animals butcher and devour another girl. The performances are good and the mystery is intriguing. The season is almost complete: three more episodes.

I went though the second season of The Witcher in a couple of days. It’s like a more spastic Game of Thrones. I think if they slowed down a bit, it would be a better show. Apparently, there is a pretty rich source material, but unlike with GoT, this show does not inspire me to read the novels. Meh. I’d rather watch.

Speaking of watching, I’m really enjoying the current (and final) season of The Expanse. This show is so well done: why in the hell are they ending the show? Seriously, and with a 6-episode final season. What is Amazon thinking? I read the first novel in the series, but since they did such a great job with the TV adaptation, I have not picked up any more. Walter says I should, and he may e right. That said, it is a rich world and maybe the best sf on TV right now. Yeah, time to end the series.

Autumn and I are picking up Doctor Who again. We started with last year’s special “Revolution of the Daleks” which set up the current season. We also watched the latest The Grand Tour special “Carnage A Trois” about French automobiles. It was fun, though I do miss the old format for the show.

I watched Hawkeye finally, and enjoyed it. As it takes place the couple of days leading up to Xmas, it was a good holiday show for me. Like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier it is a passing-the-torch series, but still a lot of fun. There’s a bit of Marvel silliness, to be expected, but a satisfying conclusion to the Clint Barton / Hawkeye narrative that had a what-makes-a-hero theme dominating.

Finally, I’ve been watching the current season of Star Trek: Discovery and it’s pretty good. The effects are amazing, though I’m having a hard time distinguishing characters this season. The whole crew seems to walk on eggshells, and they’re all a bit too touchy-feely. So sensitive. Patient. Broken. All of them. I want to more badass Burnham back. Since she became captain, she’s become a bit didactic and emotional. I know: that’s fine, but a departure from the Burnham of previous seasons. Again, that’s fine for character growth and all, but the characters all seem so alien. Maybe that’s the point. We even have the ship, AKA Zora, as another Data-like figure learning to deal with its nascent emotions, and the reembodied Gray Tal trying to find their niche. Oh, and there’s a planet-eater from outside the galaxy on the loose. There’s a lot going on.

Since The Matrix Resurrections has been released, I’m thinking about going through that series again, though I remember not liking the sequels very much. I also have a couple of more tv series to watch, Station Eleven is a post-apocalyptic series about recovering from a pandemic (maybe too timely?), and Landscapers—a true-crime series about a British couple turned murderers. Going into the last true week of the holiday, at least I have entertainment.

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