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TV meme
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Copied from selenak

What TV shows did you start watching in 2013?

A lot. The Fosters, Pretty Little Liars, Orphan Black, Bomb Girls, Sleepy Hollow, Atlantis, and Caprica. I also went back and watched the entirety of Cashmere Mafia, a fascinating train wreck of a show, for Lucy Liu.

What TV show did you let go of in 2013?

Doctor Who, and boy am I glad I did.

A few years ago, when I first tried the show, I wrote up my thoughts in a post I never shared. Essentially, I could easily see why other people would love it, but if a group of people had sat down to design a show that would not work for me, they would have come up with Doctor Who. But  "The Eleventh Hour," Amy Pond, and River Song got me hooked. I enjoyed parts of their run, but the underlying mismatch between me and the show grew more evident as I slowly lost interest over the course of series 6. When River said goodbye, so did I.

Scandal and Downtown Abbey, two shows that have nothing in common except the fact that I watch them with the same person, are both on my temporary hiatus list due to real-life challenges. I'll probably get back to Scandal sooner rather than later.

Which TV show did you mean to get into in 2013 but didn't? Why?

Orange Is the New Black. So many people I trust love it, and from their descriptions it sounds like I would love it. But the fact that the privileged white woman is the main character made me leery, and the actual time I have for television tends to vary dramatically.

To be honest, I'm a little leery of the baggage I bring as the relative of someone currently serving a life sentence in a US prison.

What TV show do you intend to check out in 2014?

I intend to give Orange Is the New Black a try. I've also been meaning to watch Farscape for years. And at some point I intend to get back to Once Upon at Time, and maybe Lost Girl (though I find the racial and class politics of that one pretty painful to sit through).

What TV show impressed you least in 2013?

That Show With All the P.E.R.I.O.D.S.

I didn't have particularly high expectations, but wow, was that pilot bad. (And I say this as someone who is generally a sucker for pilot episodes.)

What show did you enjoy most in 2013?

Elementary is a contender; so is Orphan Black. Both shows are not only technically excellent and phenomenally acted, but emotionally engrossing to a surprising degree.

But in terms of pure joy, it's a toss-up between Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which I am little by little catching up on fifteen years late (shhh! no spoilers!) and The Fosters, which has completely and utterly won my heart.

Book Review: The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
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Yangsze Choo’s The Ghost Bride is a fantasy novel set partly in the Chinese community of 1890s Malaysia, and partly in the Chinese otherworld of ghosts and demons. While it covers much of the same material as Lisa See’s Peony in Love, the fast pace and more likeable protagonist make it a better read.

Pan Li Lan, our heroine, receives an unusual and insulting proposal, to wed Tian Ching, the dead son of the wealthy Lim family, in a ghost marriage. Li Lan fiercely opposes this match, but is nonetheless drawn to the Lim family when she falls for its living heir, Tian Bai, and finds herself being aggressively haunted by his cousin Tian Ching.

Li Lan must discover the truths behind Tian Ching’s death and that of her own mother, and thwart a vast cosmic conspiracy, in order to follow her own desires and marry for love.

One of the great strengths of The Ghost Bride is its setting in Malacca, a diverse trade hub in the British colony of Malaya. Malacca’s Chinese community, which exists in an uneasy thrall to both mainland China and the British, blends its own traditions with Malay customs, and the US-based Choo’s love for this ancestral land shines through.

Read more...Collapse )

5x03 The Death Song of Uther Pendragon
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One of the benefits of falling so far behind in fandom is that I was warned ahead of time that it was a terrible episode. But as I have a pretty extensive imagination for terribility, I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was nowhere near as bad as I had feared.

Which is not to say that it was greatCollapse )

Merlin 5x02: Arthur's Bane Part 2
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Wow, there are so many delightful things about this episode it’s hard to know where to begin.

(This review may be more of a list)Collapse )

O joy, o rapture unforeseen / The clouded skies are now serene
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Thank you, America!

I am so pleased in the results of yesterday's US elections--in the Presidency, a Senate that is not only more liberal but slightly more representative of the wide range of people who actually live in this nation, in the embrace of marriage rights--and amazed at how it brought people together.

For all the flaws and divisiveness in representative democracy and our particular example of it, it does more than elect leaders. Voting can and does bring forth a sense of community in this huge, varied, aggressively individualistic and often uncohesive country.

The delighted discovery of the most isolated woman I know that she could walk to the polls and enjoy being among other people, the jokes and respect of people waiting over an hour in the freezing cold to vote where the Love of My Life lives, the wonderful way that election night brought my own family members together--all of these things are worth remembering, precisely because I so rarely do.

Merlin 5x01: Arthur's Bane Part One
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I have misgivings posting about this when the rest of the fandom is so far ahead of me (never mind that this episode seems to need its second half more than many other two-parters), but I do adore this show. Nice to see it back!

Read more...Collapse )

Merlin 4x12 and 4x13 The Sword in the Stone
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More accurately, an attempt to wrap-up some of the themes of Series 4. Which starts off cranky, but does not end there, and also owes an immense debt to conversations with the always brilliant selenak and meri_contrary.

Better late than neverCollapse )

Merlin 4x11 The Hunter's Heart
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Since this episode was basically all about Gwen, her intelligence and determination, her relationships with Merlin and Morgana, and medieval literature, I loved it.

And in the interest of actually getting these write-ups out (before the next series) with my current schedule, I’m going to confine this discussion to points I haven’t seen other people make.

On deer in Arthurian literature, among other thingsCollapse )

Sundries (Elementary and Doctor Who)
River is smoking hot

Hello, internets! Poking my head up from my main occupation of working far too hard for my employer to remind people that I'm still here, and miss you all!

Elementary and Doctor Who 7aCollapse )

Quick thoughts on the Merlin Comic-Con panel video
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I swore off spoilers after some interfered with my enjoyment of parts of Series 4, but here I am getting sucked in again...
Spoilers of the vaguer sortCollapse )