Monthly Archives: January 2005

In her satin tights

Got a chance to view the Season 1 DVD of Wonder Woman this weekend. I have vague memories of this first season which was set in the 1940s and basically featured Wonder Woman against various Nazis. I’m more familiar with the successive seasons which brought the characters up to the present.

I have to say the show works a lot better with the period setting. It’s the right blend of camp and straight-arrow storytelling and acting. They’re not so deadly serious, but it’s not a Batman knockoff either.

It is funny though to watch the show with grown-up eyes and a knowledge of lot more of the guest stars. Plus, I picked up far more subtext than I think I ever did as a child.

Also, how can you not love a show where the heroine constantly has to save her leading man?

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Color me thankful

At long last, Jonathan and Victoria are gone! They got Philiminated from The Amazing Race last night. Frankly, I would have preferred that they be kicked off, but this is nearly as good.

I do not consider watching spousal abuse enjoyable entertainment. Thank God, these two are off my TV screen for the foreseeable future.

He Loves Me He Loves Me Not

I took advantage of Starz on Demand and caught a French flick with Audrey Tatou. I love foreign films, but I have to have a lot of free time because with the subtitles, it’s always a commitment to watch something. I can’t knit. Can’t glance through the paper. Can’t write bills. Can’t do anything really but watch the movie.

Audrey Tatou plays a young art student who is desperately in love with a cardiologist. He’s married and from her friends’ point-of-view this seems like a one-sided romance. They are both right and wrong.

It’s a movie that’s all about perspective.

Good flick.

Cheating

Wednesday night’s have turned into must-see TV for me. The show I run home to watch, and set two VCRs to record (just in case the one fails or some idiot decides that 8-9PM EST is a proper time to phone me), is of course, Lost.

Well, color me disappointed. I really don’t care for the Psych/Gotcha! trick. It seems like cheating to me. It wasn’t that I was happy with the plot outcome for Shannon (I’m hesitant to post more but I have no idea who if anyone reads these, and I don’t want to spoil the plot), she’s kind of grown on me. But it was too much like “Whoops! Didn’t you know the entire second season was just a dream?” for me.

Nary an axe in sight

My book club meets tonight. In the nick of time (pun intended), I finished this months read, whch was The Time Traveler’s Wife. To my utter surprise, I loved this.

The surprise has to do with the serious penchant of my fellow book clubbers for those dreary books that seem to feature someone growing up in North Dakota amidst turmoil and possibly axe-wielding serial killers. I have nothing against North Dakota, you understand. My best friend drove through the Dakotas when she moved to the Pacific Northwest and said the scenery was breathtaking. I just am so tired of all the sturm and drang of the darkside of the American Midwest Oprah novel. I just am.

Anyhow, The Time Traveler’s Wife is less a fantasy than it is a love story. Henry, the time traveler, has the ability to travel back and forwards in time. He can’t control it and there are definite side effects with which he must contend. The perspective shifts between him and his wife, Claire. Their love is the thread that runs through the whole novel. It’s beautifully written and was surprisingly gripping.

Rock ‘n’ Roll

Sunday is usually laundry day for me. The worst part of apartment life is having to schlep your laundry to the laundromat and back. It’s always that much more awful in the winter. But I digress. Anyhow, so I was doing massive amounts of ironing and tuned into Bravo so as to have something mindless to watch as I pressed.

They were showing doing another marathon of Project Runway and I caught the latest episode. I don’t mind the marathons really. To be honest, most of their programming isn’t exactly must see TV for me so I often miss these things when they originally air.

The episode in question had a would-be pop singer trying to change her image. The designers needed to come up with a concept, pitch it to her, and then the three designers she picked had to lead design teams and create the outfit. Okay fine. The singer is busy doing her own self-promotion, which is why she’s doing this, whether or not this woman can actually sing–I don’t know. Never heard of her and I have to wonder: had she not done the show, would I have? Then of course, there are the umpteen million ads for Banana Republic. And heck, they even have commercials hawking the furnishings that the designers have in their Project Runway apartments.

Which in a desultory way brings me to my point. Reality TV has nothing to do with reality. I think by now, we all know that. I’ve heard people say that it’s so pervasive because of the audience. Don’t think that’s really true. Otherwise why are they tuning in droves to see traditional fiction-based shows like Desperate Housewives and Lost?

People, it’s so pervasive because of the money. Think about it. It’s not just the savings of salaries for cast. It’s all the product placement opportunities, the tie-ins, the promotions.

And it’s lame. The episode that started me writing about this was fairly blah. The singer had was unintentionally hilarious. Best moment was when she told the designer, “I’m really into French prostitutes.” The chick who has gone back to thinking that a strategy really matters here opted to give her teammates the silent treatment, because hey, nothing says “I am a talented professional” like behaving like a second-grader in front of a national cable TV audience. The singer herself had absolutely no taste. And the judges chose to eliminate someone who did the professional thing, rather than the drama queen who had a temper tantrum and disrupted work flow.

There’s only so much grade-school hijinks I can take.

Like nails on a blackboard

Okay, maybe not that bad. What am I talking about? The public library came through for me and sent me The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, which aside from being a very confusing and well, bad biography, has a wreck of an index.

The structure of the book is odd. Lewis goes backward and forward in time and relates Sellers’ film roles to aspects of his life, which is fine in theory, but makes for a very confusing book, particularly when the reader doesn’t know all that much about the subject of the biography. It also doesn’t help if the reader isn’t conversant with the entire Sellers oeuvre either.

But hey, I’m an intelligent, educated person. Heck, I’m a reference librarian. I’ll just check the index. Ha.

For instance, having just seen the HBO film, and being intrigued about the first Mrs. Sellers, I thought I’d see what I could locate about her. So I start with Sellers, Peter to see if there’s a convenient listing of mention of his marriages. Nothing. I do spot a Sellers, Elizabeth and about two page notations, which strikes me as odd because she was married to him for a good junk of time and was mother of two of his kids. Then I find a notation for her under her maiden name. Again one or two page notations–different pages mind you.

Finally after adopting the research technique of the desperate–paging through the book hoping to find what I’m looking for–I came across a few paragraphs. Lewis mentions the woman’s stage and married name. So I check the index once again.

She’s listed under four separate entries in the index.

I am reminded of Dulcie Mainwaring in No Fond Return of Love when she speaks of how a good index can make or mar a book.

Aside from the pitiful index? This is a lousy book. I detest biographers who let their personal bias sneak in. This guy? Hates his subject. What’s worse is that he’s made this an intensely personal biography. I’m sorry that the author’s idol had feet of clay, but why he found it necessary to attack him and call it fact, I’m not sure.

I should explain that I don’t really have a deep and abiding interest in Peter Sellers. I’ve seen a few of his films and thought him excellent, but I am by no means a fan. But if I wanted to read about Mr. Lewis, I would have looked for a biography of Mr. Lewis.