This Week in Geek (21-27/05/07)

Sorry about the lateness, my internet crapped out last night.

Buys

I purchased the first two seasons of Slings & Arrows, a Canadian program about a Shakespeare company in Ontario and clocking in at 6 episodes per season. It came highly recommended and I *am* a Shakespeare nut. See "Accomplishments" for my reaction. Yes, already.

"Accomplishments"

So Slings & Arrows, eh? I sat down the day I got them through the mail to watch a single episode over dinner. 6 hours later... The damn thing sandbagged me but good. The show had me shedding tears and breaking out in laughter seconds later. They had me at hello by concentrating on a production of Hamlet, then actually illuminating the text in new ways for me (not that easy at this point), and making the characters' lives somewhat mirror the play without ever being predictable. What can I say, I was totally sold.

So the next day? Slings & Arrows Season 2. Again, extremely well-written stuff, though the comedy was more clever than laugh-out-loud this time around. Though it explores more than one play, the A-plot stages the cursed "Scottish play", MacBeth. A difficult play which I'd read the first time to help a friend prepare for the role. He couldn't get his head around it, and I wasn't sure either. I eventually came up with the interpretation that MacBeth was an anti-Hamlet. Where the Danish prince delayed action through thought, MacBeth acts without thinking about the consequences. To my astonishment, the show bore all of this out. They made a big thing about Mackers being hard to stage, and the character just being a psychopath, but when our hero director has his breakthrough, it's really about humanizing MacBeth, presenting him as a man buffetted by the winds of fate. Very interesting, and I can't wait for Season 3, out in early July.

If you think that's a lot of TV, I also flipped the first season of Murder One. I guess when I'm feeling down, I'll just crawl into a big DVD and crash there. 16 episodes in one day, the rest the next. I'd seen it when first aired, of course, but the plot twists so much it kept up the intrigue. Murder One only lasted two years, but it was probably ahead of its time. Looking at it now, aside from the huge cell phones and some dodgy hairstyles, etc., it feels like something that would be done today, on HBO even. I certainly didn't watch 23 episodes in one go because it couldn't sustain interest. Two episodes had commentary, but largely on the gushing side. I preferred the 25-minute documentary.

My other projects suffered in comparison. Only 7 cards for the WhoCCG, finishing up my work on Boom Town and starting on The Armageddon Factor (6 episodes is a lot of material to weed through). Over on Warcrap, Lynda only went up 1 level, from 46 to 47, but playing allows me to listen to Big Finish audios at the same time. I went through two this week: Project Twilight, an atmospheric but rather violent contemporary vampire story (not a fan), and Wildthyme at Large, starring the Doctor's postmodern homologue, Iris Wildthyme. As quirky as usual, with some clever bits and incorporating rather than rehashing the Big Finish book of the same name. Katy Manning and that panda are a hoot, though Ortis Deley is a little flat as her companion Tom.

Website finds

With all the hoopla going on about misogynistic portrayals in comic book art lately, prizes were bound to be awarded. Presenting the Manstream Awards! Share the outrage and pay them a visit, won't you?

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