Life is about choices. Sometimes the choice is between writing a proper blog post and watching entire Series 4 of Sherlock in one go. I’m not sure I made the right one today.
Sherlock is a TV show everybody loves. And not without reason. I had my doubts, but I overcame them, watched Series 1 and it became my favourite piece of modern television. For series 4 we waited 3 years, not counting last year’s special episode. I liked it all.
The latest series… not so much. Episode 1 was ok, two – had brilliant moments, but three… for me, the worst one in the entire show. Considering that it might be the final-final one… sad.
Ola: Stranger Things, the newest Netflix’s darling, is a heady, serialized mix of Alien and E.T. in the 80’s guise. If that sounds weird, well – it should. Stranger Things is pretty messed up, and proud of it. And it should, because no matter how weird it all sounds, watching that series is a ton of fun. Plus a dribble of revolting goo, but we’ll get to that later.
All right. We’ve got a small town somewhere in Indiana, in the middle of nowhere, with its fair share of those living the trivialized version of American Dream and those who just don’t fully fit the norm. Among the latter are four nerdy boys aged 11, who play D&D with the blind devotion of someone very young, and excel at theoretical physics, want the outside world to be a place more mysterious and strange than anybody could dream of, and not much else ;).
The real action starts when one of them, after a 10-hour long D&D campaign at a friend’s house, doesn’t come home. He was last seen on a road called Mirkwood by the geeky boys, a road heading through the local woods, right next to a huge, federal power plant. Yeah, you can already hear the low, ominous sounds of the Jaws soundtrack…
Piotrek: Excuse me, there was plenty of action during the D&D session. They had to fight The Demogorgon! A bit incorrectly according to some experts, I’m a Warhammer guy so I wouldn’t know. But they got me by that point.
Piotrek: Daredevil. “The Man Without Fear”. One of the better known Marvel superheroes, created, no surprise there, by Stan Lee. His MCU cameos are sometimes annoying, but his is an impressive resume.
Back to Daredevil though. Matt Murdock is one of the most inspiring Marvel heroes. The only child of a single, poor father, blinded young, when a radioactive substance got into his eyes, he managed to create a dual persona of ace attorney and protector of New York’s innocents.
His blindness does not make him helpless. Just the opposite, as a result of the accident in which he lost his vision the rest of his senses were supernaturally heightened. This allowed him to become the protector of his neighborhood, New York’s Hell’s Kitchen district.
Ola: Daredevil, a TV series from Netflix, was the first in a planned string of MCU Netflix entries, soon to be followed by Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Punisher and Luke Cage, and leading to the team-up Defenders. I had watched a few MCU TV series, from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. through Agent Carter to Jessica Jones, and I can say with full responsibility that Daredevil is by far the best of the lot.
I’m not a big fan of Star Trek. I have tremendous respect for the idealistic nature of The Original Series. I’ve seen… a couple of episodes, a couple more of The Next Generation, and most of Deep Space Nine. I rather enjoyed J.J. Abrams’ 2009 motion picture, but I had my problems with that. Into Darkness… was no very good, not a Star Trek movie nor in its own rights.
The Original Series, and, to lesser degree, it’s immediate successors, had a spirit that set them apart from (most of) the rest of s/f. With antiquated special effects and often rather silly plot it was not enough to make me enjoy watching it.
And politically… I’ve always been a Babylon V guy. Good guys kicking ass in space for liberal democracy, more or less as we understand it 😉 I’ll have to review that one day, possibly after my next re-watch, the time is coming for that. Also aged in terms of special effects, but, as a whole, makes more sense than Battlestar. The ending is not disappointing.
No, not that:Although I’m very happy that I could binge-watch it now, in Poland, on the day of release, on Netflix, like a normal human being, not one episode a week on… what was it called, television?
Not even that:
Although I believe it’s a superior product. Kevin Spacey is excellent, but Ian Richardson is great. Shakespearean villain, veteran of political system even more ruthless than the one we know from the American version, Francis Urquhart would outmanoeuvre Frank Underwood before breakfast. And then Underwood would remind him that UK is a pygmy next to the world’s biggest superpower. Realpolitik is a tough business.
Actually I’d love to see a series where Urquhart/Underwood had to cooperate, sort of evil version of Roosevelt/Churchill duo. Magnificent bastards both of them…
Ladies and gentlemen, today I give you this:
Michel Dobbs, House of Cards (1989)
the book that wasn’t better
Among all the genre TV coming our way The Magicians might be the show that makes me happy the most. It’s a sign of SyFy’s resurgence I can watch – Expanse is reportedly great, but I still have to read the books. And I might do that soon, because after listening to Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy’s episode 180, I’m pretty fired up for the series. Listen to it, or at least read the summary.
Today’s show’s source material, The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman, published 2009-14, was not an easy read by I enjoyed it immensely. So much that I invested in this beautiful boxed edition:
And it was even reviewed by me in the very first post on this blog. In Polish. So now – international edition followed by a few thought on the series.
2016 is coming… To start it in a good mood and escape from dreary Polish political reality, let’s see what the New Year will bring us :).
Ola: The silver screen looks Marvelous, with Deadpool coming to cinemas in February, Captain America: Civil War in May, X-Men: Apocalypse in May, and Doctor Strange in November.
Deadpool looks promising. I wouldn’t have given one grosz for Ryan Reynolds before (ill-fated Green Lantern!), but if the movie delivers what the trailer promised it can be a really decent movie. Irreverent, disgustingly funny and full of black humor, if they don’t botch the story, it can really be a pleasant surprise. Take a look at this trailer: