30 July 2008

visions of the future

Reading Good Omens--particularly this bit where Aziraphale speaks through the televangelist, informing everyone listening what the apocalypse is really like:

'"Well, nice try," he said in a completely different voice, "only it won't be like that at all. Not really.
"I mean, you're right about the fire and war, all that. But that Rapture stuff--well, if you could see them all in Heaven--serried ranks of them as far as the mind can follow and beyond, league after league of us, flaming swords, all that, well, what I'm trying to say is who has time to go round picking people out and popping them up in the air to sneer at the people dying of radiation sickness on the parched and burning earth below? If that's your idea of a morally acceptable time, I might add..."'

The notion of the Rapture strikes me as the ultimate schadenfreude delusion. Really.

And then happening upon this in my rounds of catching up on the webcomics ...

Married To The Sea

I'm pretty sure I prefer Mr. Gaiman's and Mr. Pratchett's version of things, but I have a soft spot for Natalie and Drew. And life sucks enough that Republicans would bring about an apocalypse.

It made me think of that magic line from Doctor Who, but I'll mess with it to make it work--

'Don't you think he looks tired?'

And if you can't guess who 'he' is, you're not trying hard enough.

Turn the page ...

29 July 2008


Answering the mandate to "tell all my friends," I now switch over to pimp-mode. Ahem.

Look at this free comic I received:

Do you like random comics? Would you like to receive your very own random comic to tack on your fridge, tape to your monitor, or post on your office door to alienate and bewilder pesky colleagues?

Make your Tuesdays ever more random and fun with
Tuesdays With Turbo! Turbo draws a comic, you respond first with (and this is KEY): "I WANT THAT," and she mails it to you. It's that easy.

Check in every Tuesday for your chance at a new bit of free randomness!

So now you've been told. Go there.

Turn the page ...

26 July 2008

yes, I'm still on this subject

My other pet theory (that I'm sure somebody else has considered, but hey ...), which is limited to the Nolanverse:

The Joker is an unforeseen byproduct of the release of Dr. Crane's fear toxin in the Narrows.

Probably not, I know, but it has the possibilities for a fun origin ficlet [that I'll never ever write]. When so much is left untold, I could speculate forever.

Turn the page ...

arguing online is like competing in the special Olympics

Please to remember.


There is a heads on both sides, right?

This is Nolanverse. I was reading a fanfic on the Batman Begins portion of fanfiction.net, which basically covers Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The author decided to introduce Dent's lucky coin (pre-explosion), and had it land on TAILS. Right. About that ...

I thought Harvey's coin was heads on both sides, which is why he can make his own luck, because he always calls heads for the thing he wants. Well, I mean, until after the explosion scorches one side--but then it's a scorched heads.

Author's response: "Hmm, I don't think so...after all, he didn't shoot EVERYONE in the movie as he would've liked, because sometimes the coin ended on tails. I guess it's possible though, right? :-P"

... I doubt it was worth responding to after the ":-P" thing. But I did anyway. I went back to check other comments/reviews; but nobody else had mentioned the coin discrepancy, which made me start to wonder if I'd imagined the sequence. So I checked that. And responded with a cite as evidence, because the degree in English leads me to do that when I'm trying to make points.

"'Harvey, this is your life. You don't leave something like this to chance ...'
Dent tossed the coin to her. Rachel caught it and looked: Heads.
'I'm not leaving anything to chance,' Dent said.
Rachel turned the coin over. The reverse side was heads, too." (202)

I might get an equally dismissive response for my efforts, and I know I'd deserve it, but there it is. Did the double-headed coin detail really slip past this many people?

Turn the page ...

25 July 2008

long wait

When I went back to re-read the email that Amazon.com sent me, I noticed the "shipping estimate" for my graphic novels ... September 4, 2008 - September 12, 2008?!

I get that they're low on their stock, but the new stock is coming in (according to the site) during the first week of August. Why the month-long delay? Did the order surge really take them by surprise?

It's not that I don't have other things to read. In fact, I can easily while away more than a month on the amassed unread books around the house. But sometimes you want what you want RIGHT NOW.

Eating wasabi peas is not one of those wants that you should satisfy whenever it springs. Especially not in the morning on an empty stomach.



I'm already all out of fanfiction this morning. There have been decent ones. There have been pretty awful ones where my suspension of disbelief has threatened to shatter and shred the authors with shrapnel (that's not quite alliteration, but it pleases me).

In regards to recently read Batman fanfic:

Complaints about just one: Clubbing a suspect on the head when he's already apprehended is what is known as police brutality, and the victim of said brutality would probably walk on account. ... It's not up to detectives to determine why or if people are crazy. Change your character's motives, or change her profession. Or stop. Just full-stop. ... And nobody survives being a cop or a detective when they throw a temper tantrum every time a suspects says something unkind. Really.

Also, a general observation--there were apparently a lot of Mary-Sues at Bruce Wayne's benefit for Harvey Dent. Dozens, maybe. I don't know how Chris Nolan managed to dodge all of them, really.

In reading the fanfiction, I definitely get a better grasp of what others perceive about these characters. But, more than that, my own perceptions become a bit clearer to me--what works and what doesn't. What works in the illustrated universe of Batman is not necessarily what works in the animated series, Burtonverse, [then that odd gray period of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin that we like to ignore, though I thought Jim and Tommy did well with what they had], or Nolanverse.

For example, reading fanfiction based on the animated series and using Mark Hamill's Joker--if you try to read it and envision Jack or Heath, it might work. And it might not. Similarly, if you read the recent Nolanverse fanfiction, having Mark or Jack in mind can work some of the time. But if it's fangirl mooning of the PWP variety? Well, you get squicked. Or I do, anyway.

That said, I still can't take Bruce/Joker slash seriously at all. Even with the "you complete me" (which, even the first time around, made me think inappropriately, "I wish I knew how to quit you.") and the "I don't wanna kill you--what would I do without you?" lines. I get it. They're a yin yang, immovable object and unstoppable force, blah blah blah. But I can't see Bruce touching Joker unless it's to clock him silly. Joker/Scarecrow, I've read; and I think it sits better with me because they're both cold-crazy.

But, actually, nothing that paints the Nolanverse Joker as being sexually driven really works for me. The drama/romance/non-con/PWP just doesn't fly, and the writing always goes quickly out of character. Anarchy, the biggest shock, turning stuff on its head--that works, that's believable. And, reading people cite the Joker/Rachel interaction as proof of sexual motives? No. First, he goes after the old man in the scene because the old man sets himself apart by speaking out. He turns his attention to Rachel only because she too chooses to set herself apart by speaking out. The sexual innuendo is merely the sure-fire way to cause the most shock and horror; and he may recognise her as Harvey Dent's girlfriend, so it's also the quickest way to drag the DA out of hiding--which is why they're there, after all.

Tragic and abused? Some writers have taken the story that the Joker tells the mob boss (right before gutting him), as gospel truth about the character, using it to create a more understandable and wounded version of the character (that an OFC will obviously comfort, kiss, and make all better). Except--clearly he's telling stories, as we get an entirely different account of scar-origin during the benefit party. I'm with Michelle in thinking that he probably did this to himself, and just enjoys telling the most effectively horrifying story per whatever audience he has at the time.

OK, enough criticism for now ...


I recognise people on my commute. And they recognise me. It's a complacently good-natured community.

Turn the page ...

22 July 2008

because it's eerier

"The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning" > "The End Is The Beginning Is The End"

I particularly like the effect of the lightly tinkling piano keys at the intro.

Also downloaded the Chumbawamba soundtrack to Revengers Tradedy (using that much-neglected iTunes balance from Christmas). It includes sound bites from the film. Love it.

My iTunes list is built on a foundation of soundtracks.

Turn the page ...

21 July 2008

no surprise

So there's a massive explosion of TDK fanfiction out there, but it's where it is that's sort of surprising.

Very little over at adultfanfiction.net so far--well, plenty of Scarecrow, but nothing much to do with The Joker yet. Fanfiction.net, on the other hand, has been fueled to constant activity in the Batman Begins archive (which handles everything in the Nolanverse of Batman). LJ communities seem loath to include OCs (original characters--or, Mary-Sues, if you prefer), but fanfiction.net is Mary-Sue-Central. From what I've been reading in the LJ communities, it's mainly Bruce/Joker, Harvey/Joker slash time--and some of them include fanart.

You know, I can really get into the many possibilities of Harry Potter-slash and Angel/Spike and Doctor/Jack and Jack/Ianto ... But I don't know how I feel about Batman-slash yet. I can almost happily read the Mary-Sues instead, but then I'm not as vehemently against Mary-Sues as some of my fellow readers.

And I'm quite entertained, but, like most fanfiction, find myself needing to be incredibly forbearing. Because some of it--the majority of it, if I'm being totally honest--is terrible.

I loved the nurse scene. I was so happy when I found somebody had done some animated icons thereof.

Still better--if I can find an icon of the faux-guilty "Hiiiiiiii ..." moment.

Turn the page ...

20 July 2008

makes you stranger

Encore. No, really, I need to see The Dark Knight again.

And maybe I'll be doing that today at CinemaSalem. I know it probably won't compare to yesterday's IMAX experience, but still ... NEED. Or, rather, very much want.

The first show is at 1145. I wonder if they're sold out for the day already. It's worth a shot, and it only takes me five minutes to walk over there and find out.

Picked up books 9 and 10 of Fables at Harrison's yesterday evening. My original idea was to look for a copy of Watchmen to flip through and decide whether or not to read. And then I came to a spinning rack of the Fables books first, which kind of doomed anything else's chances.

Things that are far too convenient at present: the gelati and coffee at Jaho, the incredible wealth of comics and other fandom paraphernalia (yes, they have Whoverse) at Harrison, CinemaSalem (which may only have three screens, but knows how to pick 'em), and the Derby book store. These are practically all of my favourite vices contained within a half-mile radius of home.

In relation to a previous entry, the cold-brew turned out quite well. I may mess with the ratios in future attempts, but this was not disappointing.

Turn the page ...

16 July 2008

from the New York Times: Iced Coffee? No Sweat

Because I know I'm not the only one who ridiculously pours hot coffee over ice in order to have my coveted iced coffee.

For the original article:

Published: June 27, 2007

BEFORE I go telling everybody that the secret to great iced coffee is already in the kitchen, my friend Keller wants me to confess: I didn't know from iced coffee until he showed me the light.

It's important to cop to this now, because not a summer goes by that he does not painstakingly remind me, a rabid iced-coffee drinker, that he's the one who introduced me to the wonders of cold-brewed iced coffee. The funny thing is, when the subject came up we were holed up in a summer rental with three friends off the coast of Puerto Rico, on a tiny island not exactly swimming in upmarket coffee houses.

Our first morning there I brewed a blend from the local grocery in the coffeepot, laced it with a little half-and-half and sugar, then let it cool. Classy, I thought, carrying the pitcher to the table. ''I'll just take it hot,'' he mumbled, while I blinked in disbelief.

Clearly, this boy didn't know any better. A drink has a time and place. Surely he didn't subscribe to drinking hot coffee in summer?

''No, I only drink iced coffee if it's cold-brewed,'' he said.

For five days we watched him sullenly sip his hot coffee on a broiling Caribbean island in the dead of summer. We chided him for his pretensions, ridiculed him, tried valiantly to break him, but he patiently waited us out. Once we tried it we would understand, he explained. Like friends disputing a baseball stat in a bar with no access to Google, we had no way to settle the argument.

Two weeks later, back in Brooklyn, I saw a sign: ''Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee Served Here.'' Fine, then. I threw down two bucks and took a sip. Though it pains me to admit, the difference was considerable. Without the bitterness produced by hot water, the cold-brewed coffee had hints of chocolate, even caramel. I dropped my sugar packet -- no need for it. The best brews hardly need cream. It really is the kind of thing a gentleman might spend five days in hot-coffee solitary confinement for.

Most days I'm too lazy to hunt down the elusive cold-brewed cup. But recently I discovered an interesting little fact. Cold-brewed coffee is actually dirt simple to make at home. Online, you'll find a wealth of forums arguing for this bean or that, bottled water over tap, the 24-hour versus the 12-hour soak. You can even buy the Toddy cold-brew coffee system for about $30.

But you can also bang it out with a Mason jar and a sieve. You just add water to coffee, stir, cover it and leave it out on the counter overnight. A quick two-step filtering the next day (strain the grounds through a sieve, and use a coffee filter to pick up silt), a dilution of the brew one-to-one with water, and you're done. Except for the time it sits on the kitchen counter, the whole process takes about five minutes.

I was curious to see how it would taste without all the trappings. The answer is, Fantastic. My friend Carter, something of a cold-brewing savant, turned me onto another homegrown trick: freeze some of the concentrate into cubes. Matched with regular ice cubes, they melt into the same ratio as the final blend.

Very fancy. Can't wait to tell Keller.

Recipe: Cold-Brewed ICED COFFEE Time: 5 minutes, plus 12 hours' resting

Time: 5 minutes, plus 12 hours' resting

1/3 cup ground coffee (medium-coarse grind is best) Milk (optional).

1. In a jar, stir together coffee and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight or 12 hours.

2. Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

Yield: Two drinks.

NOTE: To make hot coffee, dilute concentrate one-to-one with water and heat in the microwave.

Turn the page ...

15 July 2008

useless productivity

"And why aren't you well-rested?"

Because I wanted to see the end of the Star Trek: TNG two-parter on Sci-Fi (in spite of the fact that I've seen the Spock-defects-to-Romulus episodes before). And because I was on the internets until midnight. And then messing around with my iPod for another half-hour for no good reason.

So I'm a walking wreck today.

On the other hand, I finally had a Lush day on Sunday, which was awesome. I put the sound-dock just inside the bathroom door, turned the volume up, and lounged and sang along to Coldplay for a good hour. Also kept thinking of Ford Prefect, shouting, "You're a load of useless bloody loonies!" Not a particularly kind bubble-bath reference, but it made me giggle.

Speaking of Coldplay, "Violet Hill" is getting an awful lot of play-time on my iPod lately. Considering breaking down and outright buying the entire Viva la Vida album, since I do like what I've heard of the rest of it ...

Movie things--The Quiet American and The Air I Breathe arrived on Friday, and I took my time watching them. I might be on a Brendan Fraser kick right now. They were both good, but I liked The Air I Breathe more than I had expected (more than Netflix expected I would, certainly--if you're unfamiliar with this feature, based on your reviews of films, Netflix guesses how much you will or will not enjoy films you haven't seen). Air is similar to Crash in that it examines how several lives intertwine, looked at separately and where they cross--except that here they really do cross, whereas I felt a few of the "crashes" in Crash were more like gazes across a crowded room. Which is more realistic? Well, neither is particularly realistic to me, but they are movies; is realism the point?

I'm expecting Gotham Knight in today's mail--veering away from the Brendan Fraser bout of films, and prepping for The Dark Knight, which I'm seeing with and co. on Saturday. I keep seeing trailers every time I turn on the television, and wishing it were out already. Soon. Very soon.

Books--Revenger's Tragedy. Still. Nearly done. Promise.

Next on the list? I should probably turn back to Anna Karenina. You can tell how excited I am about that, I suppose. Oh, well. I'll at least feel accomplished when it's over. Maybe.

Turn the page ...

14 July 2008

top 5's

Sob-fests and children's books ...

Today, from thewhyfive ...

Top 5 Sad Movies:

1. The Joy Luck Club - It's all about relationships, the generation gap, hopes and dreams fulfilled and dashed. The ending with the sisters' uniting always makes me cry.
2. Moulin Rouge - Not a "sad" movie, per se, but the ending is MISERABLE. Again with the crying.
3. Finding Neverland - The mother is dying from the moment the audience sees her. You know she's going to die, but the ending is still a bawl-fest when she "sees" Barrie's imaginary world come to life.
4. Pan's Labyrinth - Again, not exactly a sad movie, but Javier Navarrete's score pulls at the heart-strings.
5. The Last Samurai - Beautiful and sad, it's about the destruction of a terribly graceful way of life.

Honourable mention: The Fox and the Hound. This made me cry as a child. It probably still would.

Dishonourable mention: Atonement - Because it's sad, and did make me cry, but definitely went above and beyond the call of duty to wrench out the viewer's heart and stomp on it for good measure. Definitely a bitter "oh, fuck you, movie-makers" kind of cry.

Top 5 Favorite Children's Books:

1. Where the Sidewalk Ends and other Shel Silverstein books -- gently grim poetry for youngsters.
2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak -- You have to love monsters you can play with.
3. Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola -- because who doesn't want a Magic Pasta Pot?
4. The Woodland Folk in Dragonland by Tony Wolf -- I would spend hours looking at the illustrations in this book--beautiful and riddled with short episodes about the woodland folk's interactions with dragons (good and bad but mostly bad).
5. Anything by Dr. Seuss -- fun pictures and [usually] good messages (Hop On Pop was probably not a good message).

Honourable mention: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, as I was not a child when it was published.

Turn the page ...

10 July 2008

can't wait

Time's praises

I just wish it were coming out this week.

On a semi-related note, I watched The Man Who Laughs (1928) last night. It wasn't an arbitrary push to the head of the queue--

Conrad Veidt's performance as Gwynplaine--the man who was mutilated as a child, a permanent grin carved on his face as punishment for his father's rebellion against James II--served as inspiration for the original character design of Batman's Joker. It's all about physical appearance, mind you. Gwynplaine's psychology is nothing like The Joker's; in spite of the fact that Gwynplaine really has more reasons to be insane and vengeful (his disfigurement, his father's murder, the loss of his inheritance, and the fact that everyone considers him a sideshow), he's a very good person. Whereas, by Tim Burton's telling, Jack was a rather dull monster before his accident; the results of the surgeon's efforts just emphasise what we already know about him, and turn him into a more obvious monster.

In terms of genre, beyond the initial scenes of the Iron Lady and Conrad Veidt's grotesque expression, I'm not sure why this is classified as horror. Macabre, yes. Horror, no.

Turn the page ...

09 July 2008

lulling minds

Netflix sent me The Man Who Laughs, Persepolis, and disc two of Season One of Hustle (which was cracked along its radius, alas).

Within fifteen minutes of getting home, the Peapod truck arrived with my groceries, and then I spent the next hour and a half talking on the phone with the parents while making dinner.

The sweet potato rice idea came from a book of bento recipes (though I didn't use the prescribed sake and replaced the salt with a little soy). Asparagus came in the delivery, and the beef cubes were left around from the Market Basket shopping spree. I now have an abundance of sweet potato rice. It's good; but there's a lot of it.

On the food note, I think I might visit Super 88 during tomorrow's lunch break and see what I can find in dried mushrooms (or even their fresh mushrooms, since they might have a decent selection) and other dried food stuffs that would be easy to carry home.

Anyway, I didn't actually sit down to dinner-and-a-movie until eight o'clock. Movie choice? Persepolis. I really, really, really like this movie. It's funny and sad and amazing.

I think my favourite part might be when a young Marjane Satrapi is wandering through the purveyors of contraband goods (Western music, cosmetics, alcohol), and the dealers are muttering their wares as she passes by: "Bee Gees" - "ABBA" - "Pink Floyd" - "nail polish" - "Jichael Mackson" (yes, just like that).

After it was over, I was browsing through the special features and realised there was an English audio function. I'd been watching it in its original French audio with English subtitles. Oh, well. Nothing against Iggy (because I love Iggy), but the French Uncle Anoosh was probably better. Originals usually are.

Seeing the movie makes me want to read the graphic novels more than ever.

Turn the page ...

07 July 2008

G.I. Joe, resurrected

OK, due to a brief glance at an icon, I had to check up on this (because it could have been like the journal layout for the supposed Outlander movie that doesn't actually exist--though, whereas G.I. Joe has been done to death and is more inappropriate than ever, I could do with an actual Outlander movie).


So ... is Christopher Eccleston going to be bald (and shiny)? No? That's sad.

Also on the list--

Heroes: Brendan Fraser (is Gung Ho?), Dennis Quaid, Ray Park, Marlon Wayans, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost's Mr. Eko)

Heels: Christopher Eccleston (is supposed to look like this), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (remember the love-sick kid from 10 Things I Hate About You? no? well, he's Cobra Commander)

Jonathan Pryce is the President, which is great, him being Welsh and everything--and an interesting contrast to whomever may be holding the office at the time.

But, I have to say, while I enjoyed the 80's cartoon--because I was 4 or 5 and it didn't mean anything to me on more than an entertainment level, like Teddy Ruxpin or The Gummi Bears, one of many in a long line-up of cartoon distractions--and still think of it with fond nostalgic feelings, it seems incredibly inappropriate for the age.

"Real American Hero" ... uh, yeah, about that. Nobody likes us anymore. The America-to-the-rescue theme just doesn't fly. At all. And that makes me especially curious about the plot for this movie and how they will or won't reconcile that reality. Maybe they'll all go somewhere and do something that nobody actually wants them to do.

Or they could play up the classic kitsch and ignore reality. But what with Destro having a receding hairline and no shininess, I'm guessing they're avoiding the kitsch.

On the other hand, it's G.I.-freaking-Joe; there MUST be kitsch--like the Palindrome Twins. OK, that's not what they're called, but still. Kitsch. Character disappointment is inevitable with things like this--like the absence of Gambit in X-Men. Still disappointed.

Turn the page ...

06 July 2008

quiet time

Friday included cleaning, bank-visiting, mail-box-hunting, Essex-outdoor-stalls-perusing, and Batman-and-fireworks-watching (because, I was right, you can see the fireworks from the deck).

Saturday morning, I waited for my furniture to arrive.

The Jordan's delivery guys were a lot better at their job than my movers (and with a far more difficult piece of furniture).

The sofa felt a bit tall, so I unscrewed the 5" legs from the corners and stood back for another look. It's better this way, really. With the legs, my feet can't touch the floor, and I don't think that's good for circulation.

The counter stools in the kitchen ... I think it's the upholstery, but it smells odd. In a "eating here makes me feel queasy" kind of way. I'm hoping it just needs to air out; otherwise, I ought to get some fabric deodorant.

After lunch, I went to the Peabody Essex Museum, the ticket and special exhibits of which are free for Salem residents. Fine by me.

I had an absurd epiphany while I was there. It's been many a time that I've been walking down the street between Derby and Essex and wondered, What the hell were they thinking when they decided to imitate Chinese architecture for just that one building? And what is that? Somebody's house? A business? What? So yesterday I was excited to visit because the PEM has the Yin Yu Tang exhibit--a Chinese house. I thought this might be similar to the Japanese house exhibit at the Children's Museum by South Station, a life-size model of the real thing, but still just a model.

No. They moved a Chinese house from China to Salem, bit by bit over the past seven years, and reconstructed it in its original form and with original decorations from between 300 and 50 years ago. And now I know what I should have known before. Hooray for disconnect.

Also very cool there right now--the Maori ta moko exhibit, a gallery of photos and quotes from tribe members who have received these tattoos since the government ban was lifted in the 1960s. And it was pretty awesome to read the anecdotes and see the variety of designs ... Except for the stupid people walking around and commenting (or mining for earwax and examining your findings in public--ARGH). I was furiously texting Rodney while I was in there, because it kept me from snapping at somebody. "What kind of jobs can they get?! Teeheehee!!" (And this, after passing directly by the photograph of the young businessman with facial ta moko.)


I also went to the gift shop (of course), and found an addition for my rice bowl collection:

Which inspired me to go home and make sticky rice for dinner (with broccoli, mushroom, and onion mixed in, to be healthy and stuff). And because I'm trying to use up the milk I have before it goes bad (because there were two gallons from the previous week), I also made clam chowder--which was poured over the rice in a very rice-casserole kind of deal. Surprisingly good, though veering from the original inspiration.

And then there was Doctor Who's finale. I enjoyed it, even though I didn't really enjoy the ending. I'm trying to think of it in a positive light though, like--"it's the journey that matters, not the destination," or something to that effect.

Blah. Time for a shower.

Turn the page ...

01 July 2008



I enjoy this site immensely--especially the YouTube videos.

And Lamar is more than welcome to move in next door to me. He has a great voice.

I would also love to know what they're spending to create this kind of platform. That's not a criticism, as I think it's pretty cool that they're busy creating this alternate realty that the show and books reside in (the "vampires exist and everyone knows" versus "vampires exist but it's a big Scoobie-gang secret").

But really, this is extra material that will probably never see HBO--and why would it?--and will be lucky if it ends up being extras on a DVD release. So what does all this stuff cost?

Turn the page ...

True Blood - The Pilot

Due to BitTorrent's initial slowness, I tried to watch the pilot episode of True Blood on tudou.com yesterday evening.

For clarification, Tudou is one of the many Asian video-sharing sites out there. It one-ups YouTube by going mostly unnoticed by the lawyers responsible for pulling various materials from YouTube and GoogleVideo. The downside is that many of the videos you will find on Tudou or MegaVideo or Veoh will be titled with Chinese characters.

So the second part of the True Blood pilot was there and labeled 'B', but there was no part 'A' to be found. Thus, I watched the last half hour of the 90-minute pilot.

By the time I woke up this morning, BitTorrent was finished with the transfer. So I watched the first fifteen minutes with breakfast before I had to brush my teeth and leave to catch my train.

So I've seen forty-five minutes of the pilot--forty-five broken minutes with a major gap in between.

And, happily, I'm excited to see the rest of it when I get home.

Much like the books, I get the feeling I'm going to feel split between the guys and whom I want Sookie to end up with. The actors playing Bill and Sam are mostly spot-on. Sam's hair is meant to be a bit more ... well, more, but the rest of him seems right. The actor's name is Sam too--and I seem to recall him as one of Dexter's trophy serial killers. The actress playing Sookie's friend Tara was Whitney on Passions. Tara is much less polite, but, strangely, I get the idea that the character is a better person.

The theme music (well, it might be the theme music; occasionally what you hear in the pilot is cut or changed by the time the show actually airs) is fitting for the setting and the plot. If there could be a Dark-Country genre (ala Dark Wave and/or Death Metal), that's how I'd describe the sound and lyrics. Better similarity--Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand."

So far as pacing goes, it looks like they might be going two to three chapters per episode, but my memory of Dead Until Dark might be a fuzzy (it's been at least five years since I read it). Whatever the case, I think they could get a good cable-season out of each book, the events of which are fairly episodic anyway. Granted, the Writers Strike could land the show on the chopping block before it's had its day, since it was meant to be out in early Spring this year, and it was pushed back to September. Still, it suits the Fall season. They might be better off.

Likely to follow this up once I've actually finished watching the full episode.

Turn the page ...