Medicis: Masters of Florence

This is self’s first television series review in, like, forever.

She actually forgot she had a tag marked “television.”

She used to be quite religious about certain shows. Then her schedule blew up. Then America blew up. No, that’s not right. America is still here. Whatever.

Today, she binge-watched a Netflix series called Medicis: Masters of Florence. She must admit, she wasn’t really paying attention to the first episode, especially since Dustin Hoffman was playing a Florentine in an American accent. Then, he died. Which was excellent. Because that meant more screen time with Richard Madden.

There was some angst about Madden’s character (a Medici, of course) marrying a virginal looking woman who nevertheless tells her new husband: Your mother told me all about this other woman, blah blah. And then the nasty mother dies (She was the only person in the series whose death did not come at all as a shock. She had pustules on her face which meant either the Black Death or the Red Death, take your pick)

And self doesn’t know why, but she started paying attention from then on, because she really really wanted to know if Medici was going to leave his wife.

Not to mention, the name Brunelleschi kept recurring, and self really liked that Medici’s mistress flirts with him while he is looking at some architectural drawings, and the mistress’s hair is a kind of red that is set off perfectly by her green gown and green dangling earrings.

SPOILER ALERT!

Anyhoo, she watched all the way until the end (8 episodes) and felt so cheated when it all ends with a grand procession in which Medici is shown looking soulful and torn, and his wife is way back in the procession, self means waaaaay back, and the mistress is shown standing primly to one side with her hands calling attention to a belly that after three months is still as flat as a board, and self ardently wished for more of the series so she could watch more of this triangulation, and actually surmised that the wife might take religious vows and retreat to a convent, while the mistress remains in Medici’s arms and supervises the glory of the Medici name (while giving birth to many children).

She was quite surprised to see that she’d watched eight episodes, back to back (Woo! It helps that it is so cold outside!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Spin, Spin, Spin

Kellyanne Conway, speaking to reporters following the first Presidential debate, on 26 September 2016:

“I love the fact that he restrained himself tonight and he was a gentleman toward her. He definitely could’ve gone where a lot of America was thinking he should or could go, which is to talk about her husband and women, and he did not. He restrained himself, and you know what? Restraint is a virtue, and it is certainly a Presidential virtue, and I think many voters today, particularly women, probably saw that and respected that a great deal.” — from the article “Taming Trump,” by Ryan Lizza

Woman, what planet are you on?

Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Kellyanne Conway: the new triumvirate of ridiculous

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Other Tiny Stuff

Happy Monday!

To start the week off right, a look at other blogs from around WordPress:

Enjoy!

 

 

Conversation of the Day: “The Vampire Diaries,” Season 3

“I feel like I’m going crazy. Everything’s making me paranoid.”

“You have a right to be. Klaus is still out there, trying to kill you.”

Elena (Interior monologue): Oh thank God. I thought for a minute there, I was going crazy.

Stay tuned.

ATTN: Arya/Gendry Shippers!

Self has been all GOT, ever since Season 2, which she caught in a hotel in Bacolod years ago.

The last two years she’s been traveling a lot, but she makes it a point to get caught up when she lands in a place with a TV.

Which is just a roundabout way of saying: she’s all caught up.

Amazing! Awesome!

She used to ship Brienne/Jaime like crazy, but the fan fiction for this pair hasn’t been great.

Because she ships Everlark, she follows Everlark fan fiction writers on tumblr, and that’s led her to a new favorite: Stranger Things.

Today, one of the tumblrs she follows revealed that Joe Dempsie, who plays Gendry, was just sighted on a Game of Thrones set.

!!!!##@@!!!

She hasn’t seen Gendry in sooo long! She thinks it was the scene where Ser Davos and he were sitting in a boat and Ser Davos asked him, Do you know how to swim? And Gendry said no, so Ser Davos said, with his usual deadpan sarcasm: “Don’t fall out.”

Self used to ship Aray/Gendry like mad.

Poor Arya lately has become rather — strange. Self hates it whenever she goes into one of her trance-like states.

But if Gendry is back on Game of Thrones, maybe there’s still hope for an Arya/Gendry pairing. Self certainly hopes so. Because it would be too sad to imagine Arya ending up alone, after all she’s been through.

Stay tuned.

GHOST SOLDIERS: Almost Done

Her next book after Ghost Soldiers is a biography of Jesse James by T. J. Stiles. Then, she’ll move back into fiction with Kate Walbert’s A Short History of Women. With any luck, she’ll get to Walbert’s book just in time for the elections.

She watched all three debates. This last one was potent: there was one certifiable meltdown. When a man says live, on camera, to an audience of millions, that his opponent is “a nasty woman,” you can forget everything he said earlier about respecting women. He could have said “a nasty person.” But he said: nasty woman. As if her gender made it even more nasty (And you, sir, are a nasty man!)

Someone tweeted that he thought it would be a good idea to re-name all public restrooms to read: BAD HOMBRES and NASTY WOMEN.

All those in favor, say “Aye!”

Anyhoo, Back to Ghost Soldiers. The raid to free the American POWs in Cabanatuan has a very surreal quality. First of all, the POWs do not seem impressed by the American Rangers who’ve just arrived to rescue them, and are reluctant to leave the camp. Quite a few of them have to be actually kicked in the rear end because the Rangers are on a very tight program.

After the camp is completely emptied, the leader of the raid does a last check of each and every barrack. He’s all alone. Satisfied that the Americans haven’t missed a single POW, he fires a flare into the sky, visible for miles, to signal the end of the mission.

But they do leave one man behind. A British POW who’d gone deaf, who was using a latrine, who didn’t come out until everyone — Rangers AND POWs had left. The operation had to have taken at least an hour, so — the man was constipated?

There is also an American Ranger who is shot by one of his own men (by accident), from point-blank range. And this Ranger can’t stop saying, to his last breath, “By my own men. By my own men.” The men around him try to comfort him by assuring him that he was shot by a Japanese, but he refuses to believe it and just keeps repeating, in absolute horror, “By my own men.” Until he dies.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Elevator Scenes: Black-ish

Self watched The Emmys this year. Surely anyone watching would have heard about Black-ish.

She just stumbled on it tonight. There are two scenes in tonight’s episode that were so on-point, and both of them take place in an elevator.

Elevator Scene # 1:

There’s Anthony Anderson (She’ll insert his character name here as soon as she googles) about to step into an elevator. The elevator doors part, and here is a moment: there’s a little white kid in there, all alone. The kid has blonde ringlets. She looks like Shirley Temple. Her eyes are swollen from crying.

Anthony Anderson looks at her. He just looks at her. And in that moment, self knew exactly what he was thinking: He cannot, simply cannot, be laying his hands on a white child he doesn’t know.

While he stands there completely immobilized, the elevator doors close on the weeping child.

Elevator Scene No. 2:

Anthony Anderson and two colleagues stand in an elevator. The lone woman with them in the elevator car is white. She’s on her cell. She says, into her phone: My Visa Number is: xxxx-xxxx-xxxx, not giving a hoot about anyone else in the elevator. Anderson and his friends exchange looks behind her back.

White woman goes on to say: I’m single. And I live alone. Oh, don’t worry. The security cams don’t work. That’s just for show.

And by this time, the three men in the elevator are exchanging serious freak-out looks? Cause all three are African American.

Self was so LMAO! ROFL! LOL!

So good.

Stay tuned.

American Horror Story: Evan Peters

When self was in London, this past summer, she walked all the way from Russell Square to the Odeon on Shaftesbury just to see X-Men: Apocalypse. And about halfway through, Quicksilver appeared. And then self remembered his scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

A week later, she was in Oxford. And her hotel was right across the street from a movie theatre. She had time to see the Bodleian but not the Ashmolean. And she even got to see X-Men: Apocalypse again. And all because of Evan Peters.

By now self knows he’s a regular on American Horror Story. But she is such a fraidy cat, she never risked watching a single episode. Until today.

What else to do on a beautiful Saturday afternoon? She decided to watch American Horror Story. She scanned, episode by episode, until she got to one called “Coven,” which she thinks was either in Season 2 or Season 3.

The opening credits were a compendium of scary sights. But self was able to endure.

TRIGGER WARNING: Some Not-So-Nice Things, i.e. Horror, Depravity, Sexual Deviation and — need self say more?

Jessica Lange appeared, all floozy and wrecked. Then Emma Roberts appeared, in trashy faux-fur and miniskirt, side-eyeing a shirtless next-door neighbor. Then Evan Peters appeared, blonde. In flannel shirt. On a bed. Next to a blonde who looked significantly older.

Then it appeared that his head had at one time been separated from his torso. Not only his head, but also his arms. Everything was still healing, but there were a lot of sutures.

Then, a younger blonde appeared, rescued Evan Peters, and returned him to his mama, an awfully decrepit-looking Mare Winningham (She had a stud on her chin. Way to go, Big Mare Mama!). Then Evan’s Mama began to kiss him on the mouth. It took some time before self realized that the writers of this show were indeed going to go there — Holy Cow! This is one crazy show! So depraved (by American TV standards, that is)! She loved it, just loved it!

Apparently, every single oddball character actress in America is in this show. Aside from the aforementioned Jessica Lange, Mare Winningham, and Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates is in it.

Characters are all kinds of deviants. Huh!

It was getting dark and self was getting major creepy vibes, so she stopped watching after just two episodes. But, kudos to the writers and producers for putting such wickedly anarchic stuff on American television. And for keeping it up for six seasons.

Stay tuned.

Jill Lepore on the State of Debate: The New Yorker, 19 September 2016

How to argue is something people are taught. You learn it by watching other people, at the breakfast table, or in school, or on TV, or, lately, online. It’s something you can get better at, with practice, or worse at, by imitating people who do it badly.

— Jill Lepore, “The State of Debate,” in The New Yorker, 19 September 2016

Self begs to differ. She actually doesn’t think people can improve their debating skills by watching other people.

She also thinks that the rules of debate are rendered bizarrely unimportant when the debate is being televised. Because, whether consciously or subconsciously, the debaters will start to “perform.” Of course they are not their true selves. Hello! It’s like Judge Lance Ito in the OJ trial — he was a judge but he was sort of being a certain kind of judge. You cannot tell self that television did not influence his behavior: it could have gone two ways: Ito could have been a little more spontaneous, perhaps to get more of an emotional rise out of the crowd. Or he could have become more “judge-y” — projected more of what television viewers might expect to see from a judge. Self thinks Ito took the second route, and the one who paid was Marcia Clark.

The ones who get better at debate are the ones who see some sort of advantage accruing to themselves as a result of being better (more argumentative) people. The people who see absolutely no point to debate will continue to do their own thing in their peaceful little corners of the world.

When a committed debater meets another committed debater, the debate ceases being about words. It becomes a power grab.

It’s such an empty enterprise, really. All bells and whistles and see-who’s-paying-attention. Especially when it’s conducted for television.

Just self’s two cents.

(Self, when did you get so cynical? Dunno. Mebbe from watching/observing from the sidelines for so long?)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Ripper Street: Love

Trigger Warning: Gore. Lots and lots of gore.

Wounds don’t just bleed, they suppurate. Blood comes out in great gouts from cheeks, throats, everywhere.

And there is also one terrific love story.

It may be the final season, but there are five seasons to binge-watch.

YAY!

Stay tuned.

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