September 28th, 2016

Pretty Smart

Book Reviews: The Struggle + The Fury

The Vampire Diaries #2: The Struggle by L.J. Smith
This 1991 novel sees the ruinously sociable Elena obsess over the boring Stefan while the sexually confident Damon sees her as designated for the enjoyment of his perverted self. The determinedly insular Fell’s Church is a bleak desolate place where the monstrously overblown mishmash of a plot takes place. Everyone is totally unlikable and they make a concerted effort to annoy. Why is everyone competing for Elena’s attentions? Caroline has stolen Elena’s diary and plans to read it out in public as an act of pure aggression. Tyler is a jerk jock as Caroline plots dishonour and infamy for her despised former friend.

Damon has a late life obsession with Elena; he has no menacing nonchalance or evil utterances. He’s just a boring vampiric sex offender. This has no moody atmosphere and is just bland. Young girls are attacked and menaced by men. Nobody cares. The coda isn’t startling. This was diligently boring as there is death and yet again Stefan plans to seriously face down Damon and compel the asshole to leave.

Best Lines:
“That’s a disgusting dream.”

“I don’t know; killers are sort of romantic.”

“Tyler has something against the Fells.”
“But they’re all dead,”

“I’ve heard my parents talking about her family - no wonder she never mentions them.”

“But if you want to see Stefan Salvatore run out of town on the evidence of his own girlfriend’s diary...”

The Vampire Diaries #3: The Fury by L.J. Smith
This 1991 novel sees Elena turned into a vampire as Stefan and Damon adhere to some harmful aspects of traditional masculinity. There is a twist, nefarious motives and adults command absolutely no respect. This repudiates sense.

Best Lines:
“The school where the undead walk? Is that the kind of publicity you want?”

“You did everything all wrong. You were supposed to be sorry and cry, and comfort each other. I did it for you. But instead you ran and got swords.”
Scary Books

Dramarama (1983 - 1989) 1x01 + National Treasure 1x02 + Reign 3x06 Reviewed

War Games With Charlotte
The only episode I can recall from this ITV anthology series was ‘The Universe Downstairs’. This series was alleged atmospheric and inventive afternoon plays produced for children. In this tale of the uncanny, the past reaches out to the present aka 1983. A schoolboy gets detention admit stylised set design, dated opening credits, unseen children singing and an exuberantly nasty teacher.

The boy sits in detention as the self regarding preening teacher spews smug insane nonsense to a visitor. This was not insistently strange. Does something dark, ancient and malevolent lurk? There is rain, a fluttering curtain and a metronome. WTF? The visitor is a bleatingly unhappy woman. This lacks any sort of identity, direction, consistent tone or aesthetic. This was horribly sluggish and complacent and full of overbearing music cues. This was silly, unconvincing, cheap looking, badly acted, cliché ridden and predictable. This was inglorious.

Best Lines:
“What a vile night it was.”

“Why on Earth I agreed to come back after so many years.”

National Treasure 1x02
Danielle yells at her former babysitter who has accused her father. 6 weeks have passed since this all began. Real scandal hit names are tossed around. People mumble. Marie has doubts. Danielle has custody issues. People have icy contempt for Danielle and her issues. She is like Alexandra off ‘Dr Phil’. Danielle blames her being a drug addict on her father. Karl is shifty. There is a flashback to young Paul and the slutty babysitter. Marie justifies her choices. Paul is abandoned and miserable about his choices. Danielle chooses to believe in extreme fashion. This was not good apart from the end scene.

Best Lines:
“A device for making the ignorant more ignorant.”

“You can leave.”

“Whose troubles have been well documented.”

“Flash American car.”

“You don’t get to do this.”

“We both know it's lies.”

“I could smell his lies.”

“A life poorly led.”

“I would not forgive you that.”

“Last one out the door pays your legal fees.”

Fight Or Flight
Charles and Bash chat. Charles gets a dog. Greer prances around the court giving orders. Greer acts like Mary being unimportant now is a scandal. Mary is a childless widow; of course she is unimportant now. Catherine fights the entrenched patriarchy. Mary is unrushed and uncaring about Scotland. Mary and Bash are constantly demanding that Catherine do something. There are negative patterns and Catherine has inherent resolve. Meanwhile Mary is a lazy, mooching, untrammelled moron. Why does Mary not care about her own throne or country or her dead mother? Elizabeth is quietly irritated.

The French court acts in a way it didn’t. Amy Dudley drinks tea as Elizabeth makes her Keeper Of The Swans. Tea?!? Regents weren’t elected or voted upon. Narcisse and Lola have expectation management of their sex life. Claude and Leith have gentle mockery. This was not adulatory. The Valois court may not have existed in any form we’d recognise at all. Charles prances. Mary has sheer ill preparedness to rule alone. Charles is not agent of influence. Amy is a dirty ho.

Dudley is pessimistic and a shockingly bad actor. Amy fakes illness and does contented sighs. Nobody has moral status. Claude and Leith flirt to an instrumental cover of that Ex's and Oh's song. Nobody can effectively advocate and communicate. This is not a decent account of Mary’s formative years. Elizabeth wears spider earrings. Mary is imperious and sneers as if she unimpressed by everyone and every idea around her. There is no strong voice of reason.

The word trousers wasn’t used then. Narcisse is an enduring plotter. People succumb to bad decisions. Mary Tudor wasn’t known as Bloody Mary yet. Dudley wasn’t kept in a cell when he was in the Tower. Who is Gideon? There is bad acting, gritty ambition and this was innocuous. Mary has the ecstasy of sanctimony. Catherine plots, in clandestine ways. Mary is half Guise, where are her great family? Why does the show forget the Guise clan?

Best Lines:
“My sexual appetites are healthy and raging.”

“You’ve been selling off vineyards.”

“Subtle skin and absent wit.”

“I barely remember Scotland.”

“A Queen must always be looking over her shoulder to those with the power to undo her.”
“I understand that now.”

“Mary’s ability to bewitch men is well known.”

“Swans are vicious awful creatures.”

“I’m his wife. We’re bound by God.”

“Mutual carnal satisfaction.”

“Strapping male whores.”

“She shamed me.”

“Accompanying lecherous moans.”

“Seduce her way to the information I need.”

Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

‘Real Housewives Of New Jersey’ clip
Screaming and a table flip. WTF?

Best Line:

‘Gotham’ season 2
The rise of the villains and drama.

‘April Fool’s Day’ (1986) promo
Never go to a secluded island home and die to have fun. This was a bad ad. Get ready to party til you drop.

‘April Fool’s Day’ (1986) TV spot
A party to end all parties with yelling.

‘Elefun’ ad

‘Dream Stones’ ad
I am interested; it is like ‘Clear Crystal’.

‘Tri-Strike’ ad

‘Disney Princess’ dolls ad

‘3D Maker’ ad
I like the owl.

Piquillo & red pepper dip - okay.
Raw cacao & orange Ganache - okay.
Jalapeno tortillas - okay.
Mexican rice, quinoa & avocado salad with a chilli & lime dressing - yum.
Single Origin Dominican Republic Milk Chocolate loaded with crunchy chilli tortilla chips - okay.
Pressed Apple, Pear & Asparagus juice - good.
Tomato & Basil bruschetta topping - okay.

‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
Orifice invasion.”

“Inspection of a bodily orifice.”

“Wary of their own mortality.”

“Ah, it’ll be grand.”

“Waited like a bloody fool in the car -”

“Made his living out of being John Wayne.”

“We grew up thinking we are stupid.”

“Show that I can be smart according to their view of the world.”

“Dolly-driven notions.”

“Trifling foibles.”

‘Channel 4 News’ Quotes:
“Yelling too damn much.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t agree with your analysis.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“Prefers questionable men and partying over her own children.”

“Lies about not having money.”

“A bunch of exaggerators.”

“This worthless person that does nothing.”

“I get judged.”

“Pissy attitude.”

“Drinking, mooching, smoking, lying and men.”

“Not real well.”

“Makes it up for attention.”

“Reaping the benefit of her extortion.”

“Four stages of readiness.”

“Claim your life back.”

“Screaming, scratching desperately at the door.”

On ‘Hollyoaks’: Tegan wears watermelon earrings. There is a hen-night brawl. Celine’s ex snots. Ellie and Hypnotaod get close. Where is James? Why is Cindy friends with Celine? Joanne plants drugs on Mercedes. Joe wears tight white grandpa underwear.

Best Lines:
“Is that cocaine?”

“Washed out sour faced baby stealer!”