Just a vaguely random moment.

Did you ever have something so firmly in your memory that nobody else you knew had seen or remembered, and then, oddly, you finally come across evidence that it was a real thing?

Patty Duke, many a long year ago, was in a made-for-TV film called "Before and After" in which she uttered the immortal line quoted in the title. Weirdly, that, and how that scene turned out, were all I remembered of the film.

And then, today, I happened to stumble across that very film while searching for something else. Alas, it's not set to allow embedding, but if you click on the link below, it should take you to the very point in the scene where she says those deathless words. If you go through the next minute or so of the film, including the brief tiff with her mother and the concern about her friend who developed anorexia, you'll see the waiter's response.

Before and After, the party scene.

I also remembered the waiter in the scene, in part because he'd been in a few other things around that time, none of which have made it to IMDB, not surprisingly, and I had a certain fondness for his ... eyebrows. (Seriously, those are some mighty mighty eyebrows, those are. He also had a very hairy chest. Seems he's aged rather well ... though, oddly, the eyebrows kind of haven't, if the photos are to be believed.)

You will need to see the beginning of part 7 to see how the party scene turns out. (SPOILER: She totally Does It with the waiter on a baby grand, after he listens to her go on a bit. I'd forgotten how totally toasted she gets.)
So I got this email from a vendor that I have done business with, advertising a huge font package for a low price, and I open the email and take a look because I am a typeface junkie. (NOTE: junkie, not nerd. This means that I don't actually know all the history or proper and improper usages and all that stuff that the typeface nerds know -- which, honestly, I find kind of fascinating from time to time. "Junkie" means that I have admitted that I am powerless in the Face of Fonts, but having admitted my powerlessness, I now am occasionally able to resist. Also, once you get beyond a certain point, it slows your system so much and so massively inflates the RAM it uses that it's just not worth it. But I digress.)

Anyway, I'm looking through the list of fonts, and one of them is ... Falkencrest. And I am immediately taken back to an earlier day and time. A simpler time. A time when evening soaps ruled the televisual landscape. A time when people actually watched television on Fridays, and you could get a top ten rated show anchoring your Friday lineup. A time of over-the-top excess, bitchiness triumphant, and shoulder pads that could decapitate a roomful of people. A time when a two-minute long (or longer, in some cases) credit sequence was not at all unusual, and wind instruments ruled the credits auditory landscape.

(And, in case you were wondering, "Falkencrest" the font kinda sorta vaguely looks like it might have been in the same family with the type used in the "Falcon Crest" credits, but then they decided that they weren't speaking any more and went their own separate ways. You can see it in the second section of fonts, under "PLUS, 25 new font families added..." on this page)

I didn't even know I remembered this show at all, let alone the credits, until that weird earworm got triggered.

Interesting to see how people cycle in and out of prominence, if that's the right word. I mean, Jane Wyman has every reason not to be working these days, what with having been dead for a few years. Everyone else in that cast is still around, I think, and still relatively hale and hearty, but I haven't heard of most of them in years. Susan Sullivan is playing Nathan Fillion's mother on "Castle" (I still can't quite wrap my mind around the concept that she's old enough for that -- then again, according to IMDB, she's easily old enough to be MY mother, so she looks very good for her age). Lorenzo Lamas is doing ... stuff. (Seriously, I have no idea what most of the things on his IMDB page are, with the exception of the voice of Meap on "Phineas and Ferb". This also means that he spends about two thirds of his time on that show saying "Meap!" in a very high pitched voice that I wouldn't think he could manage without someone doing something very unkind to his nethers.) William (formerly "Billy") Moses has been doing a lot of one-off guest shots, and a few longer term things here and there. David Selby has also done a lot of one-offs and guest shots since Falcon Crest. Jamie Rose, the same, apart from a brief one-season stint on "In2ition" (series canceled after 9 episodes). And so on.

When I went to IMDB to check out the cast and see who's doing what now, this popped up, fresh out of the TV news today:

'Falcon Crest' reboot in the works, according to former stars

As bob is my witless, I swear that I had no idea about that before today, until after I started this entry.

I must admit, I'm kind of astonished. First, Falcon Crest was generally fourth among equals, shall we say. Dynasty and Dallas duked it out for the top (sometimes with actual duking and actual dukage), the Dallas spinoff "Knots Landing" generally seemed to be third, and then Falcon Crest was fourth. Mind, still a top-ten or top-fifteen rated show kind of fourth, but still fourth. And it never had the sort of over-the-top characters that grabbed the imagination or attention like Joan Collins' Alexis Carrington from Dynasty or Larry Hagman's JR from Dallas. Jane Wyman's Angela was properly conniving and somewhat self-serving, true, but she really did generally tend to do things she thought were for the good of her family, as opposed to herself. They just happened to be sort of ... incidentally evil, maybe? Not necessarily done with malice aforethought -- although if malice came into it, that was a nice little lagniappe.

Susan Sullivan says that if her character is involved, it would be as a ghost in the minds of others, since her character was killed off during the series. The problem with that, one would think, is that she's now 30 years older. People who are ghosts in your mind don't age; they stay as they were when you last saw them, for better or worse. So I'm by way of thinking that unless they get archive footage and stick new soundtracks on it, her participation might be deeply problematic.

It is truly weird that these quintessential 80s soaps are experiencing a revival these days. At the time, they were all about the celebration (and occasional bringing-down) of wretched excess -- with roughly equal emphasis on both the "wretched" and the "excess". Most of the people had tons of money, but weren't at all happy. And the people without money were usually involved in revenge schemes against the wealthy people they thought had kept them from being wealthy. Nobody got to be happy for more than an episode or two. And now we're in the lingering aftermath of the Great Recession (and toying with a Greater Recession, thanks to politics), and ... well, it seems like the sort of thing that would go over like a lead balloon. Particularly tone-deaf, in a way. And yet, the revival of "Dallas" seems to be popular.

Strange. Really, very strange.
Wake Up 2012

I love that poster/wallpaper. Seriously.

I also wish he'd write more graphic novels; it's been, what, three years since B.P.M.? (Reviewed here.)

But still. Love that image.

(Yes, there is a forthcoming entry, mostly written. I hope and pray. But not before late tonight at the earliest.)
On the weird side: tried Hazer-Baba Turkish Apple Tea today. Pretty much very unexpected all the way around.

See, I ordered it off Amazon, which, much to my surprise, has a startlingly decent if annoyingly peripatetic selection of loose teas.
I love Eden Grove Estate's "Dragon Tears White Tea Essence of Pear" with a love that is pure, despite the fact that [1] the first time I got it, it was very much on sale, and ever since then, the price is on the border of "You expect me to pay HOW MUCH for eight ounces of tea leaves?" range, [2]it's actually a white/green tea blend, [3] the very faint scent of pear that you get when you first open the package is as close to pear flavor as you'll ever get with it, and [4] it's the only white OR green tea I've ever seen that explicitly tells you to boil the water. Most white or green teas explicitly tell you NOT to boil the water. Even more strangely ... Eden Grove Estate means it when they tell you to do so. I had one of those moments of "I know better than you do, people who actually make this stuff" and didn't boil the water one time. The tea pearls didn't really loosen properly, and the taste was very very very very very mild. (I know that green and white teas aren't supposed to be that strong, but this was like drinking hot water that had had something to do with tea, sometime several years ago, but neither of them remembered quite what it was, and it was only a fleeting acquaintance anyway.) When you use boiling water and let it steep for 3-4 minutes, you really do wind up with something like a perfect cup of tea. Odd, that. But I digress from my digression's digression.

Back to the Hazer-Baba. I'd been specifically looking for loose teas -- it was in the search, even -- and everything around it said that it was loose tea. The Hazer-Baba said at the time it was loose tea (the ad copy has been significantly corrected recently by someone), apple flavored, and I figured, what the heck, worth a shot, right. Now, if I'd been paying attention to the shipping weight, I'd have realized something was just a bit off -- unless the cannisters are Extremely Large, four cans of loose leaf tea should not weigh a total of 36 ounces (by comparison, two cannisters of the Eden Grove are eight ounces total, and each cannister is about the same size as one of the Hazer-baba) -- but I didn't check that detail until after they'd arrived, and I took them out of the box, and though, "These are really heavy for tea." And then I looked at the cannister and realized that it said "Turkish Apple Tea - an instant granulated Apple flavour drink". Which is to say, instant tea ... for certain values of "tea". (I will just note that the ad copy for that product on Amazon has changed considerably since I got it. It's much clearer what it actually is now.) And, well, I wasn't in the mood to deal with instant tea, so I put them all away. Although I did take one in to work, because I'm much more likely to decide, "What the hell," there. (Or, more precisely, I'm more likely to think, "I NEED MORE CAFFEINE! NOW! DON'T CARE IF IT'S HOT OR COLD AS LONG AS IT'S CAFFEINE-FLAVORED!"

So, not surprisingly, Today Was THAT Day!

And it's ... interesting.

The list of ingredients is ... well. Let's just say that having had a few sips of this tea, I shall ever more be very very SWEET, and my acidity will be well regulated. Seriously, the only natural[ish] ingredient in the list is sugar -- which is the very first thing on the list. Which explains why, when I opened it, it reminded me of nothing so much as slightly dry light brown sugar. That's essentially what it is. Sugar, acidity regulator, "nature identical apple flavour" (I cannot tell you how much I love that phrase), anticaking agent, antioxidant ascorbic acid E 300 (whatever that may be -- I mean, I know that ascorbic acid is vitamin C; I just don't know what the E 300 has to do with anything), and colouring Caramel E 150, and possibly nut traces.

Now, go back and look at that list of ingredients. Look at it very carefully. Notice, say, something that maybe you'd expect to see that isn't there? Anything?

Yep. No tea whatsoever. Not even the veriest smidgeon. Not even the herbal infusion variety. Not even any "nature identical tea flavouring". Frankly, I'm kind of astonished that they're allowed to sell it in this country in its current packaging. I mean, the FDA and FTC probably wouldn't have any objection to the ingredients, per se (although these days, I think any number of departments would have issues with selling something that was essentially liquid sugar when it was reconstituted), but I didn't think you were allowed to sell something under the name "tea" when it doesn't have anything remotely resembling a leaf anywhere near it.

Anyway, before I realized what was, or wasn't, in it, I took a couple of sips. The flavor is ... well, let's put it this way: whatever "nature identical apple flavour" is, it's very strong. Despite it being, I would guess, easily 80-90% sugar by weight, the apple-like flavor dominates, and it's not actually as sweet as you would expect. That said, there is an entirely unnatural taste in the mouth afterward. Or, well ... honestly, the aftertaste reminds me of nothing so much as the chewable vitamins I used to have to take when I was a kid. Sweet and somewhat medicinal.

Reading the reviews is ... odd. Nobody seems to have noticed that there's no tea in this tea. Everyone remarks on how much it's like the tea they had in Turkey.

Anyway, I don't believe I shall be trying that one again.
But thanks to a certain someone (and You Know Who You Are) (No, not the usual person, someone else), I've had this going through my head all freakin' day. No, it's not the same phrase, but it's the same sentiment, believe me.

In fact, let's see if maybe we can run with a theme here. Granted, perhaps a theme sort of north by northwest, but a theme anyway...

The below are audio only. The first one may make people want to dab a touch of gravy or possibly chocolate behind the ears; the second may make you want to visit the dentist;

I include the one below (audio only again, and audio is very very Not Work Safe) purely as an experiment. Because, frankly, cute as he may be, if someone said to me what he says in the way that he says it, my reaction 99 times out of 100 would be to say, "Um. No. No, you're not," and walk away. (The 100th time, one might be in the mood described in the first video, and he wouldn't get past the first line, so one wouldn't have to laugh in his face because he'd be ... you know, busy.) I mean, it's clear from context that this is someone he's either just met or barely knows, and he says that! Who does that? And does that approach work for anyone? (...well, OK, it probably would work for him, at least every once in a while, but that's because he's famous, charming and cute and has groupies. For your average man, probably not so much.) And I'm just wondering if that would be anyone else's reaction.

I wonder if the song below might be interpreted in a ... somewhat different way today than it was back when it was first released. For that matter, I wonder what on earth they thought he was singing about back then. And what the Dixie cup has to do with anything. (And after 24 hours of that -- whatever it was, making no assumptions -- I should think you'd know what he means!)

And now to end on a slightly lighter, sportier but still lusty note. Sadly, I couldn't find video or streaming audio for the censored version of the song below. Believe me, WAY funnier when you've got a line like "We [BEEP] and [BEEP] and [BEEP] and [BEEP] and then we [BEEP] a lot of [BEEP]" and yet it's still perfectly obvious what each and every [BEEP] says. But it'll do. Oh, and as the [BEEP] might suggest, NOT SAFE FOR WORK, CHILDREN, TENNIS BALLS OR PEOPLES OF DELICATE SENSIBILITIES! NOT EVEN A LITTLE! (NOTE: you can get a properly censored "clean version" at the band's website. Worth it, really.)

Not that they've ever shied away from controversial topics or the odd moment or 20 of sarcasm ... but this is unusually acid, even for them. Funny, in an extremely dark way, but ... acid.

Then again, maybe it's just that they don't do it that often...

To end on a lighter note ... for certain quite odd definitions of "lighter", of course (WARNING: CONTAINS LANGUAGE! REALLY! ACTUAL LANGUAGE! Oh, and a four letter word or two.):

You know, it's never going to make it over here. But this does look like fun.

YouTube - BBC Sherlock Trailer:

Also, given that it's Mark Gatiss cowriting, plus Rupert Graves as a secondary character, I would expect the HoYay to be WAY over the top. No doubt there will be threesome fanfics everywhere once this is out. (Rupert's going gray, I see. Unless that's makeup, which I kind of doubt. Still very very nice looking, though. Age seems to suit him, to the extent that it even shows.)

Also, would someone tell me why that Muse song is suddenly being used as the background for everything? It isn't charting, as far as I can tell, Muse isn't hugely popular either here or there, and yet the song is everywhere. (I think it's the killer teddybearzillas, myself.)

iainpj: (Default)
( Jun. 24th, 2010 04:12 am)
This is in my head today. Somehow, I just can't imagine why....

Granting that this was six years ago, but the preceding thirty had been VERY kind to her, hadn't they? (Yes, that song is from 1976-77.)
I link to the first ones instead of embedding because two of these are are slightly smutty, the third is a contender for The Most Annoying Song Ever Recorded No Really Unspeakably Annoying, and the fourth ... well, actually will be embedded, but we'll get to that.

Christina Aguilera: Not Myself Tonight (Official Clean Version) vs Not Myself Tonight (Official Unedited Version): Apparently the difference between "Clean" and "Unedited" (by which they mean "uncensored" -- confused the heck out of me the first time I saw that) is the "no actual humping on screen ... well, OK, a little humping at the end, because what else does one do with a hot shirtless man in bed?" rule. Though, interestingly enough, girl-on-girl brief making out, a really astonishing amount of latex fetish wear and sparkly ball gags are considered "clean". Who knew?

Seriously, though, can you imagine the conversation between Xtina and her fellow video creators on the one side, and the company suits on the other, once the video was delivered?
SUITS: So, Xtina, we really like your new video. Showing how you're not yourself tonight by referencing other videos from Madonna, Beyonce, Shakira, Lady Gaga, a few others, really, very nice.
XTINA: Thank you.
SUITS: The only thing is, it may be a little ... racy for some outlets.
XTINA: It's meant to be pretty racy.
SUITS: Well, yes, but ... do you think you can deliver a "clean" version that we can give to some more PG-type outlets?
XTINA: There's ... really nothing in that video that would work for a "PG-type outlet". We'd have to shoot an entirely new video, and I'm not paying for that. Are you going to pay for it, AND not take the costs from my advance and/or royalties?
SUITS: Well ... no.
XTINA: Well, then.
SUITS: Look, maybe we can meet halfway. Can you cut out maybe the girl-on-girl stuff?
XTINA: No. Tongue kissing another girl is an integral part of the video, and it's part of the video I'm referencing. I won't cut that out.
SUITS: Well, how about the sparkly ball gag?
XTINA: Nope. That's also part of the Madonna video that I'm parodying; people won't recognize it if I don't have that.
SUITS: Well, what about all those places where you're feeling yourself up? Surely once or twice will make the point.
XTINA: That's part of those videos I'm referencing. I have to keep all of that.
SUITS: Maybe you could replace some of the latex with a thong bikini? That would be socially acceptable yet excessively revealing, too!
XTINA: EW! No, I'm not doing that. I'm more covered up in the latex than I ever would be in a bikini. Besides, that's also part of the video I'm referencing.
SUITS: (very desperate now) Well, could you at least lose all of the humping? Some of the humping? Please?
XTINA: Well ...
XTINA: (grudgingly) ... OK, maybe most of the humping. But I have to keep the part at the end!
SUITS: (with relief) Sure, OK, that's fine. A little humping at the end won't bother anyone. I'm glad we could come to an agreement about this.
XTINA: It offends my artistic integrity to remove any of the humping, but if it will make you happy...

And in a totally unrelated, nonvideo moment ... I'm speechless. My, how the English language has changed in such a short time.

And now, we have: The Most Annoying Song In The World Ever Recorded No Really It Truly IS. Here's the thing: I was poking around the iTunes music store one night, looking for the free stuff. And it turned out that "I feel better" was the week's free music video. And the comments, they were ... vicious. I mean, even for comments on the iTunes music store. People were truly and sincerely not amused. This, of course, meant that I had to see what it was all about. After all, it would only cost me disk space, bandwidth and time, and not that much of any of the above. What could go wrong?

The song itself is by Hot Chip, which is a British electropop group. And on this particular song, they have autotuned and/or vocoded the lead singer until he has achieved that wondrous sound that manages to combine whine AND drone in a way that you had not known was possible. And then they wrap that around a video that's just ... well. Let me describe for you the action of the video. First, we start out with the introduction of a pretty boy band. (None of which, by the by, are members of Hot Chip, who do not remotely resemble a single member of that group on stage. And then they start singing and dancing, and the tweenyboppers in the audience, they go mad. (Incidentally, I think that the men that they show in the audience ARE the members of Hot Chip.) And then suddenly, there's an entrance from the back of the room. A skinny bald guy in a glowing hospital gown sails in over the audience and lands on the stage with the faux boybanders. And then ... they start aggressively singing and dancing at him! Which, you know ...sounds so effective, doesn't it? And then he decides to kill them with his electrically bad breath! (Hey, he opens his mouth, breathes out, electricity comes out and fries someone. Like I said, electrically bad breath.) One boy bander after another and another! Oh, the humanity! The final boybander not only aggressively sings and dances at the alien, but he also tears off his t-shirt so that he can aggressively flash his (admittedly impressive) abs at the audience! This works about as well as you'd think it would and he gets zapped for his troubles. But then! the alien resurrects the band, all wearing white suits with no shirts (including him, for some reason), and they're laughing and singing, and all is well. But then! From the back of the auditorium (yes, again) comes ... A Giant Floating Head! His eyes are closed, he's kind of bopping along to the music (as much as one can bop without a body), and it seems that all will be well. But no! He opens his eyes! Red rays lance out and fry two of the boy banders! The rest scream and run off the stage! (Hey, it only took getting killed once to learn their lesson about floating things coming from the back of the room.) Giant Floating Head then zaps the audience! Now they're screaming for real (except for the dead ones, of course). And then he zaps the Hot Chip logo on the stage. And then ... he smiles. The end.

And now that I've told you what happens and warned you about what the song sounds like, you don't need to see it. But just remember, if you follow this link (embedding disabled) and press that play button ... you wuz warnd.

...You followed the link, didn't you? And you pressed play. Well, I TOLD you! And now you need something else to make you forget about it.

So below ... well, more about this in the next week or so. (Someone should remind me if I forget.)

Seriously, how can you NOT like a song that builds the beginning over the tune from the "One-two-three-FOUR-five-six-seven-eight-NINE-ten-eleven-twelve" counting song from Sesame Street?
iainpj: two men (duet2)
( Apr. 7th, 2010 01:03 am)
So ... I was in the mood to watch one o' them there gayboyvids tonight. (No, no, no, not one of THOSE gayboyvids. There was no nekkid cavorting ... which, come to think of it, is really unusual. Oh, there was nekkid buttage here and there, and one -- and only one -- very brief full frontal, and that actually served a story purpose. So did the nekkid buttage, for that matter. Apparently, gayboy film has grown beyond gratuitous nudity. Whoda thunk? But I digress, already.)

Anyway. The one I rented was Boycrazy, a series of shorts from Wolfe Video. The collection is bracketed by two very different musicals: "Fairies", which became the feature Were the World Mine, and the titular "Boycrazy". Structurally, they're very different; "Fairies" is a bit more traditionally structured, while "Boycrazy" is very nearly through-sung. But this isn't a comment on those.

There are two other films in the middle besides the ones below: "Dish" and "Teddy". "Dish" involves some Hispanic teens in Los Angeles; everyone seems to be very very out and clear about their sexuality, which makes me wonder what high school in LA is like these days. Israel, one of the teens, is figuring out what he does and doesn't like -- at his age, sex sounds both terribly fascinating and thoroughly icky ("I'm not sticking it up someone's butt!"). "Teddy" is about leaving old things behind, shall we say. Despite the fact that "Teddy" is the best reviewed film of the ones in the collection, it honestly made almost no impression on me.

"Frequent traveler" is the tale of an airport security agent and a frequent traveler, as the title implies. And all I can say is, by the end of this very short (8 minutes) video, you're hoping that one of them gets the courage to talk to the other and ask for a more regular date. Not just because people like romances, but because this, as a method of not-getting-acquainted is truly kind of icky. This, by the by, is the film with the moment of frontal nudity. Apparently, when confronted with unexpected screening beeps, airport security agents will take you to another room and strip and cavity search you. Other security agents will stand behind one-way glass and ogle wistfully. So ... see what I mean about an icky way of not-dating?

"The Back Room" is not at all about what the title would imply to your average gay guy. It takes place in the back room at a used book store. That guy comes in, asking for a book on a particular artist. The clerk helps him with his request, and is clearly very attracted to the customer, who may or may not be somewhat oblivious -- it's a bit hard to tell. They're very different; the clerk is long and lean and clearly more educated than the customer, who is beefy and burly and has a hard time martialling the vocabulary to describe what he's looking for. It turns out that they've been to the same town in Italy, where the customer came across the work of this artist. They bond over the rembrances of this place, and you can see them growing closer, and it's really a lovely, very emotional scene. The clerk finally tells the customer the correct name of the artist he's looking for, and gets him the a book of the artist's work. (At which point, it should be blindingly obvious to the customer that the clerk has been deliberately keeping information from him for some reason -- the only way the clerk could have laid hands on that book when and how he does is if he'd known what to look for the whole time -- but it's not at all clear whether that guy gets it or not.)

And then ... things happen.

And honestly, I wish that film had been about 10, 15 minutes longer. It didn't need that, you understand; I just wanted it. I wanted to see the rest. To be sure, given where it ends up, what we see would have been followed by a bit more romance, which would have been followed by sex, which hopefully would have been followed by more romance. (What? ... What? Hey, I'm a sap, OK? I freely admit this! One of these days, I will write about my excursions through the land of Ravenous Romance. Some of which has gone well, and some of which ... really really hasn't. Stay away from some of the movie remakes is all I'm saying. But I digress. Again.)

Any road, said film may be viewed in its entirety at Logo, should you so desire.

Anyway. For no reason that I can explain, I wound up looking up the principal actors from the film. The lead actor, Greg Ivan Smith, the clerk, was also the director and not very hard to find at all. (My inner geek and former web designer wants to tell him to change the title attribute on that page, and to get rid of the scrolling text at the bottom that is very 90s, but is at least also relatively unobtrusive, as those things go. But I shall resist manfully, because to do otherwise would be kind of assholish. But I digress. AGAIN.) And it turns out that "The Back Room" is also a very personal story for him. (I now find myself intensely curious as to what his partner looks like, for no apparent reason.)

And then I looked up the other actor, Dan Sturges, whose character is actually credited as "That Guy". And ... well, you absolutely never know what you're going to find, do you? Seriously, that could not have been more unexpected. (No, it's not porn. Alas. Yes, it's entirely worksafe.)

Anyway, it was, as they say, an interesting way to spend an evening.
I ... have no words.

I think my mind broke at the "Adam Lambert, still too subtle" comment.

You know, I'd actually watch this, if only to see how the ... thing between the groundskeeper and whoever that's supposed to be turns out. (I'm guessing it's his long lost previously unknown twin brother.)
Bear-Y Curious Kevin Inaction Figure - SIGNED or UNSIGNED

Is it terribly weird of me that I kind of want one of these? Also kind of impressed that Smith is offering this on his very own website.

Seriously, kind of want one. Kind of.
So I found out today that Hulu has the original miniseries once called "Tales from a Parallel Universe", which later developed into a regular four-year series called LEXX. About the semi-fugitive crew of an interstellar ship shaped like, and more or less being, a giant dragonfly. (A really REALLY giant dragonfly.)
lexx in space

The series involves a cowardly fugitive gate guard, a woman who was forcibly shapeshifted against her will from being a very large woman into a semi-traditional looking sexpot (with a small if accidental dose of carnivorous cluster lizard mixed in), Jiggurrata the cannibal woman, Kai the last of the Vroonen-ji who happens to be a reanimated dead man, 790 the robot head, and Barry Bostwick wearing surprisingly little (he doesn't actually live all that long, which is clearly due to the sparkly skirt). In fact, one of the incidental pleasures of this series is that, with the exception of Stanley Tweedle (the coward) and Kai the undead, several of the men in the initial miniseries are considerably more scantily clad than the women. Many of the men wear this really really strange top that does this chest squishing thing that makes it look like the outfit is meant to, as Playtex once said, "lift and separate", only the designer kind of forgot how the "separate" part is supposed to work. (Kai, on the other hand, is dressed head to toe in black lace and leatherette and has a fabulous uplift 'do! ... Sorry. Couldn't resist. He's very very uplifty. Also, the bit where he winds up having to pick up and reassemble his head is kind of priceless. And the updo stays intact!) Thing being the sort of series it is, Kai, being undead, can't get it up, and has no desire to do so even if he could. This being the sort of series it is, Zev the not-quite-loveslave falls truly madly deeply in love and lust with him. Stanley, being alive and able to get it up, falls madly in lust with Zev ... who, being properly repulsed at some of Stanley's past traitorous acts, won't let him touch her. And so on.

It was originally a German/Canadian co-production that got shown on Showtime back in 1998 or thereabouts. The idea seems to be more or less as follows: How many B-movie concepts can we put into one miniseries, but since it is a miniseries, actually do it with something resembling a script and actual production values? Let's see, we got space dragonflies, undead warriors, vaguely heroic cowards, sexbombs, cannibals, gruesome stuff ... what else can we include? The series contains not only Barry Bostwick, but also Rutger Hauer and Tim Curry, so scenery WAS chewed with great relish. Which was more or less the intent.

It's also really wonderfully gruesome and anatomically inaccurate. There's one point where a person's brain gets removed, and he's clearly human, so it shouldn't work the way it does -- the brain isn't attached to anything internal at all. Also, apparently it's possible to talk when your brain has been removed from your head. And brains without bodies can sing wonderfully martial songs and scream in pain. And other fun stuff like that.

(Back when it was first telecast, I may have, every once in a while, wound up randomly saying things like "I worship your divine shadow," or "Gigashadow, gigashadow, rah! rah! rah!" or something like that at random intervals. As one does. Because at a certain point, it becomes impossible for any right-thinking person to do anything but cheer for the Gigashadow, even though you know it can't win. This was, of course, before the Gigashadow was revealed in all its immense gigashadowiness, at which point I pretty much laughed myself sick.)

It did get turned into a regular series. And at some point the actor who played the original Zev the sexpot left the role, but had been so identified with it that instead of recasting, they created a new role that did more or less the same thing. And then somehow they crossed universes and wound up in ours or something like that. I don't remember, actually.

But still.

The intro below, strangely enough, does cover most of the high points, if that's quite the right word, of the miniseries:

In any event, it turns out to be more or less the perfect sort of thing to have on in the background when you've got a bunch of mindless tasks to do. And if you do it quietly enough, nobody needs to hear you cheering on the Gigashadow. (EDIT: It's also acceptable to cheer, "Go, Squish, go!" In fact, technically even more acceptable.)
All's I have to say is, the next to last paragraph is awesome. I have never seen quite that comparison before, never mind quite so ... detailed.
Note that all items below are audio only, so that there are no strange yet wondrous visuals to interfere with the strange yet wondrous sounds.

First, there's ... this. Which may be, on the one hand, possibly a bit too self aware. On the other hand ... well.

And after that, something genuinely lovely yet melancholy.

For some strange reason, during the odd idle moment, I've been perusing the odd music mashups. No idea why. Just because.

Below is one where the songs, strangely enough, really do work together, and the videos ... really really don't. Seriously, they almost appear not to have been made on the same planet. (Oh, and this actually manages not to earworm you with either song. Weird.)

Two songs that go really well together, and two people/groups that between them seem to have made a total of at least five videos for two songs. And they all kind of fit together, in small bits.

You have to go to the Hype Machine page to hear this one -- there's a "Play this track" button near the top of the page, well above the song title, which is just poor layout design if you ask me (which you didn't, but whatever). My own opinion is that the mashup makes the more recent song much much better. (Though one wonders what Jimi Hendrix would have to say about it. Also, truly hate that video.)
Most ... distinctive singing advice EVER.

And, just because I feel like it.

Did you ever run across one teeny tiny small thing in an episode or something that just bugged you so much you wanted to smack the people responsible? And you know it's tiny, and you know it's not meant the way they said it, and you still want to smack them?

In last night's episode of Glee, they made the students pair up with each other to sing ballads to each other, as it would be required at sectionals. Fine and dandy. And the students were paired randomly by picking names out of a hat, which allowed for people to be paired in hi-larious ways. The club has an interesting yet very Hollywood mix of apparent ethnicities -- a black boy and girl, Matt and Mercedes, and an Asian boy and girl, Tina and .... They have, interestingly enough, resisted the temptation to pair everyone up romantically along ethnic lines. So far, so good. For last night's episode, the black guy, Matt, was supposedly out sick, leaving Mr Schuester, the teacher, to pair off with the student who he discovered had a crush on him. Larf riot! And then Tina pulled a piece of paper out of the hat, and said: "Other Asian."




Here's the thing: Glee club only has 12 students. They've been going for several weeks in the show's time. Mr Schu is practically neurotic about trying to be a good mentor to his students. You're telling me that after all this time, he wouldn't know the student's name? Moreover, he wouldn't know how humiliating it would be for that student to have it stated in public that the teacher couldn't remember the guy's name? Mind, it's also possible -- perhaps even probable -- that Tina said that on her own, as an insult to someone who might well have been one of her persecutors. Which ... OK, but in that case, the teacher should have said something. It shouldn't have passed unnoticed. And in either case, quite honestly, it feels vaguely like the powers that be were trying to avoid giving him a name because once he has a name, he'd actually maybe get lines, and the speaking cast is quite crowded already.

I suppose I shouldn't be terribly surprised. They screwed the pooch rather badly the last time they brought up anything like ethnic issues played for comedy, in the episode "Throwdown", but that was easier to get past, since they were trying to make a point -- albeit badly, and the point was actually quite quite wrong -- and the good intentions were practically glittering on their sleeves. (And, in fact, in light of later revelations about Sue Sylvester, the episode makes a great deal more sense ... though the point Schu makes is still quite quite wrong.) In "Ballad", this was just a small moment played straight up for comedy ... and they should have known better. Anyone thinking about it for a tenth of a second would have known better. It's not true to the characters as they've built them, it's not true to the situation, and it's wrong on its face. Plus, it's just plain not funny.

To be sure, last night's episode was wildly uneven. One thing they did right was showing other parents, finally, and how they react to the news that their children are going to have an untimely baby, which the entire school including faculty already knew. Finn's mother was hurt, but supportive; Quinn's parents threw her out. There's also the gay kid Kurt with a crush on Finn, and Finn having the brains of a flea (and, to be fair, being a teenager) has not the slightest idea how to handle it. And the actual crush plot with the teacher and student was handled fairly well, and done in one, which is good. And we will not speak of Mercedes' advice to Puck, which was not only wrongheaded, but possibly also wrong for the character as we've seen her built to date. (She seems to have very firm ideas about what's right and wrong, and to tell someone that they should just shut up about what's true in order to make life easier for someone else doesn't seem in character.) It wasn't, overall, a bad episode, and it had some very good moments in it.

But that "Other Asian" crack ... it still nags, for some reason. It's a tiny, small thing. I know this, I absolutely know it. It just ... vexes me.

It vexes me, you hear?
iainpj: (Default)
( Oct. 24th, 2009 09:16 pm)
One should note that Daylight Savings Time doesn't end in the US for another week, on Sunday, November 1 at 2AM(ish). And, just to make life confusing, DST started in South America last week. However, DST ends in Mexico and in Europe this week. That said ... What an interesting way to remind people about the fall clocks change.

Wouldn't work for spring, though.


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