bimo: (Default)

The dialogue on Once upon a Time may not always be perfect, but there is this delightful line, spoken by Rumplestilstkin, that magic always comes with a price. It’s wonderfully catchy and universal, quite applicable to a lot of things, actually. Being the information junkie that I am, I would never have thought, though, that trying to keep up with the Brexit and its consequences would be one of those pricey things.

Some of you already know that I work in adult education, teaching everything from basic travel English to conversational English, and also British (sometimes Scottish) life and culture to a bunch of open-minded, interested and simply fantastic people, most of them in the 55+ age group, although the folks in the evening classes usually tend to be a bit on the younger side.

So spending the better part of last week discussing the various aspects of the Brexit, professionally but also with family and friends, was exactly what I had expected. What I hadn’t reckoned with, however, was how bloody exhausting these discussions would be, because I am emotionally involved.

In essence, the British Isles aren’t a foreign country to me but rather my holiday home in Europe. I’ve been travelling the UK ever since I was sixteen. Over the years, I’ve consumed more than my share of British culture, literature, history and media; I’ve formed friendships and regularly exchange Christmas cards.

Among my favourite TV people ever are David Attenborough, Simon Schama and Jim Al-Khalili. And if fellow Doctor Who fans inquire about my favourite Doctor, I’ll proudly say it’s the Fifth. (I only caught up with classic DW after the new series had started, and while I’ve seen every classic Doctor in action by now, Fivey is the one I really clicked with on every level, which is kind of sweet, because due to his early 1980s run, Peter Davison’s Doctor would have been the one I had imprinted on as a child if I had grown up in the UK.)

Despite the fact that I certainly think, feel, act and sound unmistakably German in everyday life, it is therefore no wonder that a large part of my personal identity is determined through what I love about the UK.

I would hate to see these ties substantially weakened, due to the bureaucratic complications that are likely to ensue now. Following media reports and political commentaries feels like a trip to some clownish, nonsensical and ugly bizzarro world.

The reports on the rising number of racist attacks on immigrants from other EU countries are leaving me shocked.
bimo: (DRD_beware)

Apparently someone at our local community-run indie cinema possesses a certain wicked sense of humour. Two showings of Jaws , one in German, one in English, right at the start of bathing season.

Of course, Cavendish and I went to see. Jaws is one of the movies that I know by heart and will never cease to admire because of how skillfully it was filmed. By a director who, at that time, was still a relative newcomer to the business and hadn’t even reached thirty years of age.

One aspect I have never realised before, though. (And here comes the amusing part): Matt Hooper, the youthful marine biologist played by Richard Dreyfuss, is Dana Scully. Totally. Just think about it.

  • Comparatively small and soft-featured person
  • Extremely smart and competent in their field
  • Strong belief in science, rationality, technology and proper equipment
  • Able to hold their own in a macho surrounding, while not necessarily subscribing to hyper-masculine ideals themselves
  • Coming to town to fight monsters
  • The second they utter their first line of dialogue you know they are cool.
  • And then there is that autopsy scene where Hooper cuts up a shark that isn’t the shark…
bimo: (Alex_Gene_mug)

Negative stuff first, just to get it out of the way:

No matter how much I used to enjoy Castle, after all the news and rumours surrounding the departure of Stana Katic, I am actually relieved that ABC has finally decided to cancel the show. 

There is this conversation I had with [personal profile] selenak  a while ago, about series being continued well past their natural expiration date, that ideal, non-realized stopping point at which plotlines could have come to a satisfying conclusion and the characters full-circle. With Castle, that point would have been reached at the end of season 7 by latest, I guess, with Beckett’s impending promotion and a lot of personal growth for both her and Castle himself. It was back then, when both Cavendish and I decided to quit and let these two characters ride off into an imagined sunset, so we would be able to remember them fondly.

And this is exactly what I will do now. 

Salute a show that I followed for over one hundred fifty episodes. Here’s to cast and crew, to the fun-to-watch character dynamics. To a plethora of criminal cases ranging from serious, over bizarre, to simply hilarious.

One of the things I liked best was how shamelessly self-indulgent Castle played with the boundaries of its genre. As audience you never knew what you would get. Thriller, film noir, romantic comedy, western, mystery, sometimes even sci-fi. Also bona fide B-Team action adventures with Detectives Ryan and Esposito. Almost as if the show wanted to acknowledge its own fannishness by being playful.

One of my fanfic stories, a little Once upon a Time/Castle crossover would never have worked, if Beckett, in addition to being simply gorgeous, competent and smart, hadn’t also been such a huge, canon-confirmed fangirl. I had so much fun writing her from Hook’s point of view.

Thank you, Castle, for being such an occasionally weird and goofy fun ride. You were one hell of a show.

Kate Beckett, back in the Enchanted Forest, you would have been royal.
bimo: (Coop)

Watching  5.12 Souls of the Departed it occurred to me how strongly the episode seems based on a theme of smoke screens of mirrors.

All in all: Very Orphic, very fairytale-like and much smarter than it looks at first sight. Rather well-done, show. )
bimo: (Terra_incognita)

1. You begin re-reading Treasure Island.

2. You try installing the 2004 edition of Sid Meier’s Pirates! on your shiny Windows 10 PC only to realize that the game, quite miraculously, is running more smoothly than ever. During an afternoon of nostalgic bliss and cheerful plundering you memorize the exact shape and position of Nassau. Seeing Jack Rackham included in the game’s Top Ten Pirates Ever list is making you cheer.

More side effects likely to follow.

Now, the computer game that I’d really love to play is a 1715 Age of Empires Special Edition located in the Caribbean… *g*





bimo: (Default)

I guess this is mainly for a certain person on my friendslist, who has been repeatedly trying to get other people into watching this show...  Well,  [personal profile] selenak ,  I’m glad to report that your efforts have not been entirely without success. *g*

After a real life week from Hell, I thought it was high time to unwind and grant myself some marathon viewing. Thanks to you I picked Black Sails. Consider me hooked.

I must say, though, that I probably wouldn’t have made it past the *ahem* decidedly action-laden pilot, if I hadn’t known about the character-driven drama and world building to come. What a spectacular mix of historical and Stevenson-based fiction! I’m fascinated by the show’s take on Nassau and the evolving web and interpersonal relationships.

(Extra kudos for fleshing out even supporting characters like Dufresne in a way that is not only contributing to the plot but also a pleasure to watch.)

So, hooray for fannish osmosis!  Also hooray for Bear McCreary’s soundtrack and  the simply gorgeous opening credits! Hooray for morally ambivalent characters, male and female, and their agendas.

 

 

bimo: (Default)

I have to admit I was looking forward to the new mini-series.  A clear case of curiosity and nostalgia winning over reasonable caution, one could say. No matter how frustrated I might have become with the X-Files during the show’s later years, agents Mulder and Scully will always be dear to me. Also, wouldn’t it be interesting to see what kind of spin the 21st century with its changed political, technological and social landscape of would put on the general narrative? After all, it’s a post financial crash, post Snowden world that we live in, a world ideal for any kind of deeply unsettling fictional nightmare driven by conspiracy and paranoia.

So I acquired an ITunes season pass, leaned back and watched... )

 

bimo: (Terra_incognita)

If you live in an area as densely populated as I do, where one city seamlessly blends into the next and even the greener agricultural fringes with their fields and small patches of woodland just seem a little less tightly knitted, you are used to a certain level of business. Cars on the road. People running their errands. Supermarket customers queuing at understaffed checkout desks.

So the following observation took me by complete surprise, though I certainly should have expected it. After all it is mid-January; for days temperatures have been below zero, even here in north-western Rhineland. No snow, though, just frozen soil and puddles turned into ice.

Under these conditions there seem to be few places so perfectly quiet, so perfectly at peace with themselves as a garden centre at 9.15 am on a Wednesday morning.

Plants in deep slumber, their leaves rolled up or lost. In a heated glass house some eager azaleas, pink crimson and white. Not a soul in sight except for an employee quietly unpacking some bird seed.

(Before you ask what on Earth I was doing there: Cavendish had asked me to get some bark mulch for his Dahlias.)

 

On a less winterly note: Yesterday evening we finished rewatching Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, which has aged surprisingly well. A clear victory of writing and acting over relatively low production values. Even in this day and age of near perfect CGI worlds the show manages to be every bit as atmospheric as it used to be. Also, it’s fun to see a young Peter Capaldi play Islington.



 

bimo: (Alex_Gene_mug)

The adult education semester has just finished (I taught the last class on Tuesday, but most of my courses already ended in early June), so I now find myself with plenty of time at my hands to finally catch up with  marathon TV shows that I've always wanted to watch, but so far never got around doing so.

After last year's Castle my choice fell on Mad Men this time. By now I've progressed up to the season 5 finale and am waiting for the first season 6 DVD to arrive. Good grief, is easy access via (perfectly legal) streaming/ DVD rental service ever tempting.

Anyone out there watching Mad Men as well? I think I've reached a point at which I can safely join most general and character-related discussions without coming across as too much of an ignoramus ;-)


 

bimo: (Mug_collectors)

Judging by my general viewing tastes, my friendly and perfectly legal streaming provider recently recommended Mad Men to me, so I gave it a try.

So far, I've watched season 1, season 2 soon to follow,  and while I'm not quite hooked yet, I can't help being fascinated by how much this show actually deals with various levels and grades of alienation.

bimo: (Quark_tribbles)

I'm not going to write anything specific, in case I might accidentally spoil someone...


But, good grief, have I ever been tempted to throw random stuff at my TV screen. And no, it wasn't a bad episode, au contraire.
 

bimo: (Default)
TV meme as seen at [livejournal.com profile] selenak  's.


- Bold all of the following TV shows of which you've seen 3 or more episodes.
- Italicize a show if you're positive you've seen every episode.
- Asterisk * if you have at least one full season on tape or DVD
- If you want, add up to 3 additional shows (keep the list in alphabetical order).


Quite a lot of tv shows... ) .


bimo: (Default)
Now playing Babylon 5 ! And even if you, of course, know the full story by now, all the little bits and pieces that lead up to the larger puzzle, the show is every bit as addictive and fascinating to watch as it used to be almost twenty years ago.

On a side note:

Incredible to see how far CGI effects have come since the days when B5 was one of technique's major pioneers.
Incredible how even the first few episodes (including the ones not written by JMS) contain so many little things and details that will become crucial during the run of the show.

Sad to think how many of the original cast members have already passed away.

bimo: (Swann_oldbie)
A rather normal Tuesday afternoon at Casa Bimo, roughly about 5 o'clock. BimoDad comes in, they both have coffee and apple pie, chatting about this and that. After a while BimoDad gets up from the coffee table, walks over to Bimo's TV set and grabs a S1 box set of Boston Legal lying on top of the DVD player. The following dialog ensues...

BimoDad: Oh, Boston Legal! Daughter, please don't tell me you actually bought this?
Bimo: Well, I didn't. Cavendish did.
BimoDad (frowning): Well...
Bimo: We've just watched the first bunch of episodes and to tell the truth, we rather like it so far. You think it's rubbish?
BimoDad: Not at all. Shatner's brilliant. And that guy who was Daniel Jackson in the original [Stargate] movie is great, too. [A small pause, more frowning, though BimoDad appears rather amused] You two really should have learned by now.
Bimo: What?
BimoDad: To come to me first. I've got all seasons on DVD. This is just like the Farscape incident...

During the minutes that followed I had trouble stopping my father, in his enthusiasm, from giving away some important S1 plot developments and thus spoiling me, as we really are just a bunch of episodes into the show.


Oh, and on matters completely unrelated to this: I just got a reply from the ZDF broadcasting station regarding my inquiry about the brief Robert Gwisdek feature I was interested in but cannot watch/record myself for technical reasons:


Sehr geehrte Frau Bimo RealName,

vielen Dank für Ihr Schreiben.

"Abgeschminkt - Robert Gwisdek" 22.03.2012

Leider können wir ihnen erst dann ein Angebot machen, wenn die Sendung ausgestrahlt wurde.
Wir bitten sie deshalb ihre Anfrage erst dann zu starten.


Thank you for that non-answer folks. (They basically said, they can't get back to me/make any offer before the feature's been broadcast.) All I wanted was to know in advance if I can simply obtain a copy via the ZDF of if I have to try finding someone in my circle of friends/relatives who can record the feature for me.

ETA: The ZDF people just got back to me. Yup, apparently it's possible to obtain a copy from them. Yeah! :-)
bimo: (Best_of_Timelords)
Probably all over the place but first spotted at [personal profile] selenak 's.



First fandom I had self-insertion fantasies about: Phew, a rather close tie between ST: TNG and MacGyver I'd say, which I both watched religiously during my teenage days. I guess the only thing preventing me from writing it all down and publishing it somewhere is the fact that this was still the mid 1980s.


First fandom in which I interacted (online and in person) with other fans: In person: ST: TOS, at a way earlier age than most people do. Thanks to my dad, I had all the advantages and contacts that come with being the second generation fan and not the fannish pioneer of my family. My first online interaction with other fans took place sometime during the 1990s, X Files and also the absolutely fantastic German ER Mailing list.


Pairing in the first slash fanfiction I read: Highlander, Duncan MacLeod/Methos. While I wasn't quite convinced of the DM/M pairing, some of my favourite authors were, so I simply followed them wherever they chose to go, simply because the quality of their writing spoke for itself. I think that this reading experience of continuously dealing with a fannish reality that isn't quite mine has had a huge impact on my interest in alternative character interpretations, alternative perspectives.


First fanfiction I read that made me think, 'YES, this is exactly the kind of fanfiction I'd like to write...' :
The first one that hat this kind of impact on me? Well, that would be "Leap of Faith" , a full-blown novella length X Files/Quantum Leap crossover by Livengoo. It took me years to realize that no matter how much I might love novellas and other, lengthier pieces, my own, personal talent as a writer clearly lies with what I tend to call "short distance stories", seldom exceeding 1000 words.

Pairing in the first fanfiction I wrote: Well, to be honest, I fear my writing brain doesn't seem to work along the lines of pairings, however attractive or fascinating those might be. I'll gladly make use of an established canon or fanon relationship between characters once in a while, but that's not really what my stuff is about.


First OTP: Fraser/Thatcher, dueSouth.


First RPS/F OTP: I fear, I don't really have one, at least not in the conventional fannish sense.


First fannish friend I met in person: We are talking about online friends met in person, here, aren't we? Well that would definitely be [personal profile] selenak, followed by [personal profile] kathyh.


First character I formally roleplayed: Well, for about a year or so I was [livejournal.com profile] albert_campion over at Theatrical Muse.
bimo: (Fivey_Adric_Tardis)
Yesterday evening, I tried doing one of the "My Year in Fandom" memes that seem to be floating around at the moment, but eventually I had to acknowledge the fact that my personal TV year has been far too retro-oriented to tackle most of the questions. So, here's a format-free version of the time warp that Cavendish and I have been performing...

Apart from the most current season of Doctor Who (which wasn't exactly my cup of tea), the by far "youngest", most up to date shows I watched were ST: Enterprise (2001-2005) and Farscape (1999-2003). Perfectly fine turn-of-the-millennium genre tv, and ideal for a study in contrast, regarding about every aspect that one could possibly think of.

The most noteworthy difference, however, would be how differently both Farscape and Enterprise dealt with the aftermath of 9/11. One show - the one which had started out with a clearly pacifist mission statement - suddenly laden with unreflected militarism and themes of retribution, therefore alienating a good portion of its core viewership, including me, and the other show - the often wild, violent, chaotic, over-the-top maverick - offering its viewers the much more differentiated, complex approach of "Terra Firma". My love for Farscape has never been greater than during that scene in which a visibly upset Jack tries to explain the impact the 9/11 attacks have had on American society and himself, but ultimately leaves his son John unable to understand.

Poignant and valid on several levels, just as good television should be. (Btw., when I wrote this entry, I caught myself making a rather intriguing Freudian typo, "fathermath" instead of "aftermath".) As I've already said to [personal profile] selenak, Farscape's S4 brought along not only some of the show's worst episodes but also the very best.

So much for my first TV highlight of 2011. For the second one I really have to thank Cavendish, who, once we had finished our business in the Unchartered Territories, kindly suggested to re-watch two of his own childhood favourites, and thus catapulted us straight into the realm of the 1970s mini-series.

Rich Man, Poor Man (1976-1977) and Roots (1977). As incredible as it might seem, to say those shows were equally fascinating to watch (the occasional "head desk" moment included), would be an absolute understatement. The creators of both shows were ambitious, the format fresh, and the production values high. I guess, to do both series justice in regard to their origins, contents, scripts, and acting I really ought to come up with another entry.

So I'll leave you with this:

Most generally underestimated actor/director of my personal TV year: Bill Bixby. Yup, the Bill Bixby.

Favourite female character: Maggie Porter (Susan Sullivan), workaholic and highly competent lawyer and part time love interest of Rich Man, Poor Man's male lead Rudy Jordache (Peter Strauss) during the show's somewhat uneven and soapy, but nevertheless extremely addictive second season.

Favourite male character: Roots' s Chicken George Moore, played by the wonderful Ben Vereen. Chicken George and his wife Mathilda (Olivia Cole) would also be my number one candidate for "favourite TV couple" and the characters I wouldn't mind being adopted by.

Sorry John, sorry Aeryn ;-)
bimo: (Obi_pov)
I saw this nice little meme when catching up with my f-list, and while it's rather old I think I've never done it myself before...


Fandoms as love interests, here we go... )
bimo: (Best_of_Timelords)
Back in 2003 I finally succumbed to the Dark Side started journaling just a couple of weeks after [personal profile] selenak had introduced me to Farscape. So out of sheer curiosity I went back to check my old journal entries for any Farscape-related thoughts I might have posted during that period, only to find that apparently I had never shared this poor little ficlet in my journal (which is kind of odd, because up to this very day it is one of my personal favourites)


Title: Floating
Author: Bimo
Setting: S1, right after the pilot episode
Summary: How do you cope with completely alien surroundings? As long as there are miracles, there's hope...
Notes: Thanks to Selena, for introducing me to the wonderful world of Farscape, and to Kathy, for beta-reading :-)


Floating )
bimo: (Fivey_drawing)
Yesterday was the day we watched Farscape 1.18 to 1.20, the three episode demarcation line consisting of "A Bug's Life", "Nerve" and "Hidden Memory" which so clearly announces the show's official loss of all innocence. And, good grief, can I tell you, even if you are able to brace yourself against the raw emotion being portrayed in these eps because you already know what's in store - the violence, the pain and the madness, Ben Browder's grand tour de force on the Aurora Chair - absolutely nothing of it fails to hit home.

What I failed to notice, though, during my first viewing about eight years ago and which now strikes me as all the more obvious is how much these elements are actually just the logical consequence of a long consecutive series of little steps and decisions, each of them adding level upon level, layer upon layer. Seemingly harmless details like the gradual introduction of Farscape-specific vocabulary such as "frell", "dren" or "fahrbot". The repeated probing of characters' borders, the things D'Argo, Rygel, Aeryn, Zhaan and Chrichton are truly capable of doing and the things they are not. Oh, and of course we have the continuous theme of mental and physical violation that has been there as an undercurrent practically ever since day one, sometimes played more humorously like in "Thank God, it's Friday. Again", sometimes as serious and chilling as can be like in "Durka Returns".

So much for Farscape, now for the service announcements...


***
Technical Problems and Online Presence LJ/DW:

While I'm able to receive LJ comment notifications again and despite recent problems will continue to stay present on LJ for various reasons, I thought I should let people know that communicating via Dreamwidth is more than welcome. I've been happily crossposting from my DW account for quite a while now and check my DW reading list about as regularly as I ckeck my LJ.

Planned Holiday Absence:

August 16 to August 26 (Scotland, Outer Hebrides and Glasgow). In the extremely unlikely case that any of you should be geographically close enough to meet up with us during that period, please let us know. We'd be delighted :-)

***
bimo: (DRD_beware)
The poll regarding the question which series [livejournal.com profile] cavendish and I should take into consideration for our next rewatch project resulted in a clear tie between Blake's 7, Babylon 5 and Farscape. So I took liberty to follow my instincts and gently coerce into convince Cavendish to try out Farscape for a change. An endeavor which, at first, was met by much skepticism from Cavendish's side. After watching the pilot episode he uttered "Do we really have to watch this for four full seasons?" to which I replied with the usual "Trust me, this show will evolve into something radically different, just wait until we reach the end of the first season" speech.

On the plus side of things:

By now we have safely progressed to ep 1.8 "That Old Black Magic" without any further complaints. Also he doesn't seem to mind the muppets, even has expressed sympathy for poor, stressed-out Pilot.

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