Thursday, February 1, 2018

This week in Couch Potato Land

There will be spoilers. Of lots of shows. You were warned.

I say I don't watch a lot of television. I might be lying about that. Not intentionally. I don't normally watch a lot of television. But lately it's like there's so much GOOD on that I find myself curled up on the sectional binging show after show.

I've sat through the second season of Stranger Things twice now. Once for myself, then once with the youngest daughter.
She expressed an interest in the series during the 'snowpocolypse' break a couple weeks back. So we binged the first season while it was freezing and we had nothing better to do. We finished the second season Sunday night. She loved it. She's eleven. Not the character, her age. All her friends were talking about it and she was left out. She doesn't watch scripted television, only youtube vids (post for another day)... and now she's drawing the demon dogs every where. And wants to see IT. I told her no. She said she's old enough and can handle it. I said I'M NOT OLD ENOUGH and no I can't handle it. Don't want to handle it. She can get her brother to watch it with her. Nope I am a big nope on that one. Cool, when can we watch it?

Sighs... what has been created?

I enjoyed Stranger Things. I think I enjoyed the second season more than the first. I think I want to punch Billy in the throat, or wrap him up and tell him Steve is perfect for him if they'll just stop fighting and kiss. The girl child is all like nooo, why do you want them all to be gay. They're not your characters. Because that boy is exhibiting closeted rage issues. His father calls him faggot and has probably beaten the shit out of him most of his life but it's the 80s and that's the way it was. I don't know if they did it intentionally, but... well, that's my take on that character. He's a dick. He's a massive dick through the entire season and you want to kill him and then it clicks. He's abused. He takes his rage out on the step-sister and the other pretty boy he's marked as the object of his disdain. But Steve? I don't know. The hair obsession would be the only thing that would make me think he might lean that way and is hiding it. But anyway, it would be interesting if they explore that next season. But Steve should be graduated by then so???? Or maybe I'm projecting my desires onto this show... not that I desire young guys... but... I want them to get something happy out of all this mess. Anyway...

If you are on the fence about Stranger Things, yes it is horror. I don't like horror. But I enjoyed this. The first season is like ET to the extreme. The second season is Gremlins. Or as my son argues, first season is Alien, second is Aliens. I've never watched the Alien movies so I can't comment. No I'm not going to watch them now. So, yes, very good story telling. Interesting characters. Intense at times. Terrifying at other times. They have some details wrong, but for the most part they captured the time period... and I had that same ruffled blouse Barb wore. Dammit those things were ugly.

Then there's Lucifer. Not that Lucifer, the other Lucifer. There are two Lucifers. We'll discuss that in another post. For this post it's the Fox show Lucifer.

I hate this show. Okay. I've hated it since it started. But I strangely love it too. I loathe Lucifer in this show. He's narcissistic and... stupid. With moments of pure evil genius. It's the stupid, naive part of him that I loathe. The Devil isn't stupid or naive. Narcissistic, sure, in spades. I'm good with that. In this show he's a hedonist. And I do enjoy that about him. The devil just wants to have fun. He's pan sexual. He's fun. He's sarcastic. He's loyal. He's... lost and trying to fill a hole and has massive daddy issues. Unapologetic daddy issued out the butt.

I've struggled with this show since the beginning. It is half of a great show. The other half is bogged down in baddy of the week cop procedural blandness with a huge rip off of Castle that brings the devil into Detective Chloe Decker's life. It's been done. The devil, magic aspect of this show sets it apart from Castle. Castle was once a great show. The kiss of death for shows like this is coupling the two main characters.

So why do I watch this show if I hate it? Maze. His demon. I adore Maze. She's a badass unrepentant demon set loose on the world and she's bored. It's fun when they let her go. And Lesley-Ann Brandt is gorgeous and plays her to the hilt. And the kid. Chloe's daughter Trixie. Who isn't around much this season. I love this kid. She's like a mini Maze in the making and Maze loves her and has a better relationship with her than her own mother and I would really love this show if it was Maze and Lucifer have to raise a child that they are terrified to touch and somehow end up being the perfect family. Oh and Amenadiel as the no nonsense angel straight man foil to Lucifer's sarcastic never serious facade. And when the two of them fight, each other, or other people together, it's perfect.

I hate the cop show aspect of this show. I mean, last week they repeated almost exactly a crime that was on Lethal Weapon earlier in the season, almost exactly. I don't like the insta romance in the making between Lucifer and Chloe, see Castle reference above. But... now that Tom Welling (Superman) has joined the cast as the lieutenant and a possible nefarious threat to Lucifer. And I was right, just not about how or who.

Cain, or Marcus Pierce... or just Mark... of Cain... and now Lucifer has a new plaything. Remember that pansexual comment. Suddenly, this show has my interest. How to kill Cain and put him out of his misery is going to be fun. The gleam in Lucifer's eyes when he gazes upon Cain, or Mark or who ever. And making them go undercover as a married couple this week... the kiss. Oh it was beautiful. I'm on this ship now. Cain is seriously not interested. Maybe. Maybe he just needs immortal friends. Or a lover. That would be fun. Shut up. I know I said I don't like the romantic pairing of the two leads... he's not a lead. Please let him become a regular. I need Lucifer and Cain sexual tension. And chain saw attacks.

The Alienist on TNT.

New show. Started last week. Very dark. Dark setting. Dark subject. Dark. Just dark. And disturbing. Done by the same people who did Penny Dreadful. I couldn't watch Penny Dreadful. It was too disturbing for me. I say that I don't like watching shows or movies because I'm too visual. I don't know if that's the correct descriptor. I don't need a real picture to see something. I can turn the written word into a picture. I tend to steer clear of shows and movies that I know will visually destroy me. I didn't want to watch Titanic because I knew the history. Why in the hell would I want to watch... the floating frozen mother holding the baby is still in my head. It will never go away. I can't unsee images. I have nightmares from photos of the civil war. Just photos. So, yeah, Penny Dreadful had imagery that was too much for me to handle so I stopped watching about four episodes in. The dark magic in it pushed the brutal imagery of the era into nightmare material and I could not handle it. So far, The Alienist is very much like Penny Dreadful. It's dark and brutal and it's hard to look at it. But, it hasn't pushed me past my breaking point yet.

I must point out that the subject matter is something I've already written about, in an unpublished book. Boy prostitutes.

I recall a comment on twitter from someone that they didn't believe anything like that could possibly happen. Not to children. Not to male children.

It brings to mind so many comments about my own work that people could not believe anything like that could happen.

I am constantly amazed at just how sheltered people are now.

I am constantly amazed at how little people know about our own history. Never mind the rest of the world. That we are less than a hundred years away from some of the worst of humanity in our own country that we have no idea just how terrible life once was, for children. Children were not cherished, not by everyone. Children were mouths to feed and feet to shod and a burden on those already impoverished, children were suffocated at birth, especially girls. They were put to work to support the family at an early age. Or they were sold. By their parents. Or taken. Children were exploited and nobody cared. Half the prostitutes in the American west were teenage girls. And boys were prostituted. Thrown out by their parents for deviant behavior... however it happened, it was their only options. Or they had no options. The child sex trade in the US thrived less than a hundred years ago. In the open. I'm sure it thrives now. In the dark.

I recommend The Alienist, if you can stomach the brutality of history. And love a good Ripperish mystery.

And then on the lighter side.

The Librarians and The Magicians. Wednesday night is my light and breezy fluffy magic night.

TNT and SyFy.

You can find the first three seasons of The Librarians on Hulu. And the first two seasons of The Magicians on Netflix. I am so happy that SyFy isn't bleeping the Magicians this season. It made it tedious to watch on the network. and yes, it's got language and it's incredible for the language and there's some sex but no nudity, not full frontal, and it's gross and well, don't get attached to anything cute and fluffy, because they don't care about your delicate sensibilities and fuck cats in particular. I believe season three is probably the best so far. It just apologetically doesn't give a fuck what anyone thinks. It did that, bitches. And it will do that again. And Margo is just incredible.

The Librarians, well, it's camp, it's Doctor Who light, and it's a nice break from the dumpsterfire that is life. It's just a very nice palate cleanser of a show.

then there's Lethal Weapon, which didn't come on this week, but I think is probably the best on network television. And Martin Riggs needs a goddamned hug. Clayne Crawford needs an Emmy. I didn't want to enjoy this show. I didn't want a ripoff terrible reboot of the movie. It's not. They give a little wink and a nod to the movies but that's it. It's just people with the same names in a modern cop show dramedy catching bad men while harboring the craziest of them all... not sure which one that is from week to week but, what the movies didn't do with Riggs' character, the TV show does. And Crawford makes Riggs his own.

Finally, Supernatural. Yes it's still on. Thirteen seasons and this season is incredible. No it's not the same show it was even two seasons ago, no you can't watch season one or five and think you know the show, it didn't stay in those boxes. sometimes for the worse, but constantly for the better. Sam and Dean grew up in front of our eyes. They're not young adults anymore. They're approaching middle age, their mommy issues and daddy issues are played out, the monster world is ever evolving. They grow weary of it. They carry on. Last week was probably one of the best episodes to date. This whole season has a nuance to it. Dean no longer cares to hide what he is. He's tired of it all. He's tired of the killing and the need to kill. He's done hiding behind a badge that isn't real. He just lays it out there for anyone. yes that's a monster. yes I'm here to kill it. no you're not crazy. let me do my job. Sam is still Sam. He's the worrier. The one who cares. And now they have a 'son'. The devil's son. And this kid is pure power. To Dean that means pure evil. And he struggles with this kid and becomes his own father. And you see it. The struggle of youth ending and becoming what he despised and it eats at him. While Sam is still Sam and tries to play mediator because that was his role until his own daddy issues hit... but, there are twelve seasons of this and by now it should be old and worn out and... it's not. Oh and Lucifer is out and powered down and feeling some remorse for his old ways... but he is Lucifer, and not in a stupid naive kind of way, or an I'm not evil I just want to have fun... in an I am pure evil and fun is watching the world burn kind of way.

Because in the end, watching the fictional world burn is entertaining as hell. The reality of that is not as pleasant, so... even the devil is trying to save this fucking planet this time around.

I could talk about the shit I watch on HGTV and Food Network, but... that would take more time than I have.

Also, football. Don't even get me started.

Go Patriots.



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