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Weekend TV post, version: unenthusiastic.

Merlin 2.05 I was rather underwhelmed with, (also, ICK!) & there really isn't lot to say, except that I'm already feeling rather sorry for Uther. (Anti-magic crusade & lack of actual chemistry between him and Lady Catrina notwithstanding.) Or that I can't bring myself to even care about the potentially slashy moments when there isn't enough genuine emotion to support them.

Dollhouse 2.04... *sigh* The beginning was fantastic, even with that completely sick premise. And frankly, at this point, any episode with less Echo is an improvement from where I'm standing. But during the last third or so it kind of... just fell apart, a bit like last episode.

spoilers )

I'm not sure how long I can continue to care about a show that only ever says the worst things about human relationships. I'm sick of those outright (as opposed to the iffy Dollhouse premise) rape and abuse plots, especially when it's always the women who are shown as victims, even if the men do have a tendency to wind up dead. As far as I remember the only time we've seen the genders reversed it was with Adelle and Victor, and it was Adelle who came out as the vulnerable one at the end of the episode.

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Oh, Arthur. *tinysob* And I've been starting to think I'd never like you again. Oh, Gwen.

Merlin 2.04 Lancelot and Guinevere (& 2.03 The Nightmare Begins) )

And every time I think I'm bored & done with Dollhouse they come up with an episode that at least fascinates me enough to keep watching. 2.03 wasn't perfect, but intriguing enough, although to be perfectly honest, like with Annie's story in Being Human at this point I could do without all the rampart misogyny even if it's used to make a point about misogyny... )

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Maybe it's because I can never seem to really connect to these maternity-instinct story-lines, but I found Dollhouse 2.02 rather drearily boring and kinda... trite, maybe. 'Feeling nothing would be worse', 'I don't want to go back to sleep', yaddayadda. Not exactly original.

Is my brain broken, or why is it so hard to find a TV show that doesn't either depress the hell out of me, or frustrate and/or bore me?

OTOH, Stephen Fry and Mark Carwardine covered in mud all over... *g*

ETA: OMG baby turtles!

* * *

Completely adorable Russian Winnie Pooh (with even more adorable depressed Russian Eeyore).

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Thursday was lovely with a bit of a hiking tour up & around the Hohe Wand, eating lots of late blackberries (violet fingers and scratched legs) and feeling completely decadent doing all this on a work day.

Friday & today it was back to work, and it never feels as completely mind- & soul-draining as when you've just done something you really enjoyed.

Watched Epitaph One and Dollhouse 2.01, and while I've been sitting on the fence (& hopping back & forth across the fence, repeatedly) during S1, I think I've finally lost interest completely. Even the supposedly brilliant Epitaph One didn't do a lot for me and 2.01 was plain boring and repetitive.

The problem is, I'm still not emotionally attached to any of the characters. There were interesting and occasionally even moving moments in S1, but I'm not feeling any warmth, any fondness. The longer I watch Echo/Caroline/Eliza Dushku the less I can stand her. As in, increasingly, fingernails on blackboard. I have zero interest in the Echo-Caroline/Ballard relationship. And Amy Acker I only liked on AtS when she became Illyria and don't care for at all in DH. Right now the only characters I'm still (potentially) interested in are Adelle DeWitt, and possibly Langdon.

The pretty, pretty, plastic people bore me. The straight, straight, painfully straight bores me even more. Even with dead Ianto Torchwood has completely spoiled me - in both respects.

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Still feeling very much like crap. It started with a sore throat last Saturday, and now I'm at the coughing & sneezing (& drinking disgusting herbal tea) stage. And to make my life complete, right in the middle of all that I got my period. Thank you, body.

I vaguely considered a trip to IKEA for today, since I need a new book shelf as well as some minor stuff, but I really don't feel up to it, not without a car, and not on a Saturday, not with an insane crowd of happy shoppers. I've got ten days off in a couple of weeks anyway, so it'll have to wait until then. It's not as if I even have the energy to clean up the residual mess from the move right now.

(But at least I'm going to have warm water next Tuesday! (Could have been yesterday if I hadn't had to close the shop and my mother hadn't been in Salzburg.) Threatening to involve the Mieterschutz apparently really does wonders - much thanks to the people from my belly-dancing class who suggested it when I had a bit of a break-down last Tuesday.)

Things I did last week beside feel like shit, drag myself to work for a few hours every day, and sleep a lot - Watch C'est la vie with R. last Sunday, which wasn't bad at all, although the latter episodes weren't as good as the first two, it started to drag just a little bit around the middle and the end was ridiculously, almost offensively, predictable. Well acted, though, and great cinematography & soundtrack. Like R. put it - it failed on a high level.

Read [ profile] alex_beecroft's new book False Colors, which kept me up until 3:30 in the morning because I literally couldn't put it down. (Also there's that tingly feeling when you already knew and loved an author back when...*g*) Also started rereading Ricardo Pinto's The Chosen, because randomly browsing amazon I found out that the last volume of the trilogy has finally come out after I'd already pretty much given up hope. I've found that rereading fantasy novels can be a bit hit-or-miss experience, but this one stands the test well enough so far, and the word building remains absolutely stunning.

(And speaking of follow-up volumes, has Clive Barker disappeared off the face of the Earth? Amazon doesn't even list the third Abarat book any more. *long suffering sigh*)

Also I finally watched the last two Dollhouse episodes a couple of days ago, and maybe it was because my brain was a bit addled with the cold, but I was very underwhelmed with the resolution, such as it was. Perhaps it's going to make more sense once I've rewatched the whole season (which I'll probably do - eventually), but the whole Alpha storyline seemed so very... random? Out of left field? And somehow hijacked the end of the season at the expense of the established characters, IMO. I'd still like to see a second season, though, so I'm pleased to hear it looks like there's going to be one.

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Emptied my wardrobe & packed up all my clothes, threw away stacks of print-outs, reading lists and whatnot from university that I haven't looked at in eight years (and don't remind me of the two big boxes full of ph.d. material still lurking looming standing on top of the wardrobe) and the chaos is finally starting to clear up a little, but not enough, or fast enough. The last few days have been so hectic, while at the same time with all the delays it never felt quite real that I would actually move, the new flat itself suddenly seemed like something I'd only imagined. I still can't quite believe that today was the last but one time I'll be coming home from work to this place...

(Also made a complete back-up, just in case, which I've been too lazy to do since I bought the external HD in, wait, what was it? November-ish? Oops.)

I'm so hyper right now I'm not even tired, but suspect I'll crash pretty hard when this is all over.

And speaking of over, not that it's going to be very noticeable considering how little I've updated lately, but I'll be offline starting tomorrow until next Friday morning, when hopefully I'll be restored to the internetz, er, my internet access will be restored.

What else? Liked last week's Dollhouse (more about that maybe later, when I have the time to rewatch and get my thoughts in better order), but still think that Eliza Dushku is miscast. Especially after that episode. She's all right as long as she's playing a version of Faith, but IMO not so very good at the rest of it.

Linkspam, because I was browsing YouTube when not panicking and/or packing... Maybe my favourite Stephane Lambiel moment, from 2006. I don't actually remember the programs, but I still remember the exhibition. (A bit pixel-y occasionally, but well worth watching.)

And what with all the talk about Dreamwidth lately... It just doesn't feel like the kind place I'd fit in. I lurk my way around fandom, and occasionally post long-winded meta for a fandom where few enough people are interested in that, but that's the extent of my fanish activities. I actually quite like lj as it is, complete with its lack of coolness, and I find the fact that it has such a large Russian user-base rather fabulous, because a wide range of fascinating photos aside - pick up Russian while fangirling (*cough* [ profile] lambiel_ru *cough*)? It's a win-win situation. *g* Except, I suppose, when my teacher will be starting to roll her eyes once I'm starting to talk or write in fangirlish netspeak Russian...

Bed, I think. As in, now.

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Holy shit, this week's Dollhouse was brilliant.

And here I was already more or less convinced that the show had finally lost me after the last three episodes did very little for me, but I'm back on the cheering squad again. Also the please-show-don't-get-cancelled squad.

Dollhouse 1.05 - 1.08 )

Dollhouse 1.09 )

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I haven't really been following the reaction to Dollhouse, but I read this review linked from then [ profile] whedonesque feed yesterday, before I watched ep.4, and I thought what she said about the show's concept overburdening the narrative and and the difficulty of establishing an emotional connection to the characters - [...] but if he can make the concept resonate in the heart, it might just be genius. I hope for the time when watching Dollhouse gives me a visceral thrill, an emotional response, and a gut laugh—and not just an intellectual jungle gym. - was essentially true, even if for me personally the intellectual jungle gym was something I really appreciated about the show so far.

After ep. 4, however, I don't think it's true any longer that there's no emotional resonance, or at least it isn't for me. The characters are slowly starting to emerge and and unfold, reality is starting to infiltrate the perfect, controlled dollhouse world. And there were some very good emotional scenes in this episode: spoilers ) And I'm definitely starting to get attached to the characters.

And let's be fair here, that was only the fourth episode. With this specific premise the show needed this slow introduction and build up, it had to establish the impersonal atmosphere first, the (seemingly) perfectly controlled environment and routine, the claustrophobic, creepy wrongness of it all, for the viewer to fully appreciate how this is now falling apart, how things are starting to go wrong - or, maybe more precisely, finally, right. It needed to be shown to be inhuman, because it is inhuman, before it could become human.

It's certainly not Buffy II, or even Firefly II, but that's actually part of what I like about Dollhouse, that it's so radically different. Different is good. Different is interesting. I've just rewatched the whole of Buffy, and a thinly-veiled remake of that is really not what I'm looking for right now. Judging from the complicated premise and the careful, slow build-up and pacing, Dollhouse seems to be a more adult, thoughtful, and thought-through show, and so far I like that.

In conclusion, pretty please, show, don't get cancelled.

But then again I'm watching Torchwood for the plot, and stuck with Andromeda for three seasons because of the interesting philosophical premise, so maybe this should be taken with a couple of grains of salt.

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Long time, no update, round two.

Mostly I've just been very, very tired. Last week my braces finally came out (three hours, one and a half panicky nervous breakdowns), and maybe that's another indication of how wrong my brain's wired, but when everyone expected me to be happy and whatnot... I guess a rational part of me was, but mostly I fell into this deep dark hole of exhaustion and feeling just very blank, which happens to me every time a stressful situation suddenly ceases to exist, or when something I've been looking forward to finally happens. Anyway. My mouth is mostly metal-free again except for two bits of wire behind the front teeth.

Didn't help that this was Monday morning and we had our final communication seminar that evening. Where we also did a short DISC test, and unsurprisingly I fell squarely into the C(onscientious), er, square, by a whole 10 point margin. *facepalm* And looking at the profile for C's, no wonder I'm having the problems at work that I'm having.

Fast forward through the rest of the week, work, belly-dancing class, horse, niece, dentist appointment, another orthodontist appointment, work until 5 pm on Saturday, brief photowalk through the Prater with a (another, that is) guy from the Vienna flickr group, then movie date with R. (Milk, which has its moments, especially where it reflects the whole Proposition 8 issue, but on the whole failed to pull me into the story, partly I suspect due to the incredibly grating German dubbing; it took me half the movie to get used to Sean Penn's 'voice'.)

This week has been a bit less hectic, but I still haven't really recovered. Got my removable braces for the upper jaw this morning, and gah. Still not pleasant. Now I suddenly remember why I stopped wearing them as a child.

Being Human eps.5 & 6 )

OTOH, I'm increasingly fascinated with Dollhouse. It's hard to be sure yet, but the show has the potential to be very, very interesting, and address a lot of questions about identity, humanity and relationships. I just hope JW is going somewhere with that in the sense that there'll be the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel, instead of the all-encompassing bleakness of the AtS finale, because as it is the show is already incredibly pessimistic about the state of human relationships, particularly male/female relationships (cf. ep.2 especially). But other than with the first episodes of BH so far I never had the feeling that even for a moment he does not know how completely creepy and wrong the whole scenario is. (Or at least I hope I'm not wrong about that, because otherwise, ouch.) Buffy, Angel, even Firefly, they all were about the importance of friendship (much more than romantic love), but here so far none of the relationships (in the loosest sense of the word) are even real, even the ones that are something beside using/abusive.

Six hours of work, then weekend, thank god.

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# Long time, no update. Mostly due to being tired and inarticulate and really boring, and did I mention tired? Slept until 11 on Sunday, and then again three or four hours in the afternoon. Didn't even manage to do my Russian homework.

# New layout, because I needed something a bit more colourful in this dreary weather, and liked this one when I saw it on someone else's journal. I only kind of wish I'd known it'd also involve hours of inapt chasing after and trying to eliminate all the underlines and bottom-borders that the usual A {text-decoration: none} typed into the custom CSS box wouldn't take care of, and then changing the link colour for the entries since the links were barely visible without the (pseudo-)underline, and giving them a mouse-over colour. However, mission accomplished. Stop laughing now, [ profile] nacktmull70. ;)

Alternatively, I wish I were less obsessive about underlined links. But I really do dislike them.

# Dollhouse ep.1 )

# Being Human ep.4 )

# There's some kind of huge TW S3 spoiler that I'll now have to avoid until, what, June? For months? Oh, *sigh*. Not that I actually hang out in TW or DW related communities, but I do remember where I found out about Snape killing Dumbledore, and it wasn't anywhere HP related...

# I got the DVD from our belly-dance show yesterday, but haven't dared watch it yet, because what if it makes me want to give up dancing out of complete embarrassment? Which would be a pity, because we're working with a veil this semester, and I do enjoy that...

# Read Robert Menasse's Die Vertreibung aus der Hölle over the weekend, the first book in a long while that I actually read from start to finish in three days and couldn't put down. Now if I only were able to say something appropriately clever about it... Part of the problem is that it's an intelligent and complex novel that I'd probably have to reread to really discuss, because I think I missed a lot, and my brain still doesn't seem to be completely online, but more importantly it struck me as a very personal book. I've read a few reviews, and most of them dwell on the the historic elements and insist that it's actually two novels, but IMO that is wrong, at least insofar as what the book is getting at and actually discussing is something beyond the sum of the two story-lines, something for which the historic elements and the whole structure of the book serves as a vehicle, a parable, a rhetoric figure, so to speak. Essentially, IMO, it's a book about identity, specifically Jewish identity, and it seems disrespectful to analyse and make assumptions from an outsider perspective.

I guess this is where people who embrace the whole 'Death of the Author' thing have it easier. I felt uncomfortable enough talking about TM's Doktor Faustus because it's such a personal novel, even if TM himself wrote a The Making Of novella emphasising how personal a book it is, and then handed over the missing pieces with the diaries, and maybe I should dig up, finish and post that entry one of these days. Not to mention he's been dead for quite a while.

# Every time I fall in love with a new show I have the tendency to friend all kinds of communities that I barely skim anymore a few weeks later mostly because of the ratio of stuff that's worth reading vs. stuff that isn't, but sometimes keeping them around is actually useful. [ profile] bbc_merlin_news linked an interesting essay by [ profile] lilithilien about Tarot symbolism in Merlin. What especially struck me in view of my own lengthy ramble about The Labyrinth of Gedref was how the image of Merlin and Arthur facing each other across the table and the two cups mirrors the Two Of Cups card in a way that I don't think can be coincidental. I'm not familiar with Tarot beyond the reading [ profile] soavezefiretto did for me once so I wasn't aware of the symbolism of the card (which essentially seems to be in keeping with the dragon's 'two halves of the same thing', and the process of getting there), or, in fact its existence, because as far as I remember it didn't turn up then, but it neatly falls into place with my own interpretation of the episode...


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March 2013

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