March 8th, 2017

Sergio Balleseros

Book Reviews: Lady Midnight + Jinty 1981 + The Private Lives Of The Tudors

Lady Midnight: The Dark Artifices Book One by Cassandra Clare
I thought this series was called ‘The Dark Artefacts’ until I was 1/3 of the way through it. The overall name of this saga has changed from ‘The Mortal Instruments’ to ‘Shadowhunters’. In LA, a gang of teen shadowhunters deal with horrendous calamities, evil deviant fairies, a notoriously convoluted love story and the social poison of a mad murderer.

People are blighted by misfortune and self-silencing. This book is inordinately long and cliché infested as teen shadowhunters chance upon the inexplicable. People have an apparent inability to be sensible. There are folk beliefs, grim truths, sadness and urgency, misguided revelations and corrosive arguments. Clare does not handle the multiple plot arcs with any degree of equanimity. There is no intense drama.

Man-boys are intrusively creepy. The plot is rambling and confusing. The super couple are woebegone and permanently moody and obsessed with their own shortcomings. I did not care for any of the couples or any of the plot arcs. Stars of past books make cameos but everyone is so whiny and unpleasant and full of repressed fury and intense anger that you just don’t care. This was mediocre and dull.

Best Lines:
“I behaved ill.”

“You’re ruining the ambiance.”
“This place has ambiance?”

“No understanding, no sympathy, and no tolerance.”

Jinty Annual 1981
This is a collection of dated advice (fat shaming, con-tact paper) and ludicrous stories. This was not artistically credible; it just showed the cultural practices of a bygone age.

Best Line:
“It was supposed to represent the four seasons of the year, but all of them looked like a foggy day in Scunthorpe.”

The Private Lives Of The Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain’s Greatest Dynasty by Tracy Borman
The Tudors created a mystique of monarchy. This book shows how from Henry VII to Elizabeth I - they cultivated public and private personas. Borman shows how every act was calculated from their toilet use, to their underwear (or lack thereof), their carpets and how they washed themselves and their hair. This is a fascinating tale of people lived in a bygone age.

Best Lines:
“How swiftly his favour could be lost.”

“He does not trust anyone alive.”

“The King’s notoriously fickle goodwill.”

“I never did see such lack of good order, discretion, and sobriety, as I have now done.”
Scary Books

Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

‘Supergirl’ 2x16 promo
Teri Hatcher and Kevin Sorbo! NOOOOO!

‘The Flash’ 3x16 promo
Oh god no.

‘The Wolf’ promo

‘The Void’ trailer
A crazy cult and gore. Oh yes.

‘Life’ trailer

Best Line:
“Life beyond earth.”

‘SS-GB’ 1x04 promo
Is Huth hitting on Archer? A yank bumbles.

Best Line:
“It’s starting.”

‘The Replacement’ 1x02 promo

‘A Simple Plan’ (1999) promo

‘Get Out’ TV spot

‘Big Little Lies’ promo

‘Ghost In The Shell’ TV spot

‘American Justice’ promo
“You can’t run around stabbing people.”

‘Clique’ promo

‘The Replacement’ 1x03 promo

‘Candyman’ (1992) trailer
Scary music, 80s hair and clothes, a deep voiceover, idiots say the name into a mirror, there are bees and what is behind the mirror? This was a good trailer.

Best Lines:
“It ain’t safe around here.”

“Starts attributing the daily horrors of their lives to a mythical figure.”

Wheat free cracked black pepper oatcakes - okay.
Lime Curd - gross.
Chicken Liver Pate Brandy - odd.
Mini chevre - okay.
Wild Garlic Pesto - yum.
Fruit nut cake - yum.
Extra fine lemon dark chocolate - okay.

Freakshakes look gross.

When will I see ‘Kong: Skull Island’?

‘Cujo’ (1983) looked terrifying.

I won’t review ‘The Flash’ 3x14 ‘Attack On Central City’.

WTF is the Shadowhunter Tarot?

‘The Kindred’ (1987): some things are best left unborn. I may get a DVD of this.

I’ll review ‘Honeymoon In Vegas’.

Houseguest blares radio and snots about central heating and makes mess. He demands we be supportive and say supportive things and never ever says thank you. He is told to say thanks and complained about having to say thank you all the time - he never says thanks. He belittles his partner, makes mess, stole a t-shirt, sulks, babbles madly, insults people, is lazy and thankless, leaves doors open and sleeps in. He also stole tea. More vile provocations. He rants about the freezer and plots. He whines and claims our house is cold all the time, leaves doors open, whines about Paris, his old bike, his old job, his city, his partner and his ‘illness’. Oh go away. He stole popcorn and burnt it.

RIP the poor Paris rhino Vince.

‘Sunday Independent’ Quotes:
“Induced lactation.”

“Little kingdom of filth.”

“Never before explored by human beings.”

“Unconvinced of his prospects.”

“Rich degenerates.”

‘The Sunday Business Post’ Quotes:
“Fights are the most common outcomes of any attempt to care.”

“Put you at risk without even a thought.”

“Lying to you constantly.”

‘The Simpsons’ Quotes:
“Heed his lesson.”

“Non gender normative Malibu Stacey.”

“World War China.”

“Make guys with a windowless van look bad.”

“You had Dean Cain!”

“You fakers disgust me!”

“A riff of joy.”

“Strangulation triggers.”

“There really is such a thing?”

“A quiet lunch.”

“It sounds like how paste tastes.”

“Control my own emotions.”

“Storage lockers. Our only growth industry.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“You elected to get pregnant.”

“They don’t come.”

“Withold sex as leverage.”

“I can’t look at it and care.”

“What happened to that marriage?”

“Get happy or get gone.”

“Financially devastated.”

“Behaviourally measurable outcomes.”

‘The Guardian’ Quotes:
“A bad choice at a bad moment.”

“People driving Range Rovers who shop at Whole Foods,”

“East-coast prep-school girls wearing black puffers and Uggs,”

‘Sky News’ Quote:
“Remain unharmed.”

On ‘Hollyoaks’: John-Paul and Ste had sex in James’ bed. Sick. John-Paul has no morals. There are no frankly explored intimacies. John-Paul feigns concern and has no propriety. What is the appeal of Ste? James is a finer man than Ste. Diego plots. Doesn’t anyone have a job. Warren RAGES. Walking chin stubble Diego is obviously dodgy. Frankie thinks. Harry bothers Amy. Where is Ryan? John-Paul is let down by indiscipline. There is a Sinead mention. Ste blames John-Paul for him cheating on him with her. John-Paul acts in a wildly suspicious fashion. John-Paul is foul. Cleo fancies Joel, she has forgotten Nathan. James finds out about being cheated on.

Where is Nick? James has simmering fury. John-Paul is an ass, a lying ass. Don’t Ste and Harry have jobs? James drives around very slowly in a highly conspicuous yellow sports car. Mercedes looks haggard. James let John-Paul know he knows. Cleo hits on Warren. John-Paul isn’t sorry. James is devastated and vengeful. Jack rages at Frankie. How do James and John-Paul get back to Chester after James wrecks the vintage car? Myra dumps Diego again. John-Paul is still chasing Ste. John-Paul declares his love for Ste. Harry is proposed to by Ste. John-Paul needs to go and go now, everyone hates him.

Best Lines:
“You were going out with my dad when we first kissed!”

“In public?”

“I hope you washed the sheets.”

“She’s old and confused!”

“No-one around here cares about you.”

“Daddy and Wednesday Addams are dead and buried.”

On ‘Neighbours’: Willow and Piper are vile. Drab is highly imperfect. Steph ruins more lives and is not contemplative. Sheila is awful. ‘Dee’ continues her exceptionally obnoxious conduct. Sonya is sick of Willow and ‘Dee’. Piper is thick. Lord I hate Steph. Toadie sulks and ignores his sick wife. His negative behaviour bores.

5 TV Reviews

Supergirl 2x14

Mon-El sees Kara as his reward for not being a dick. Jeremiah (Dean Cain) is ‘rescued’ from Cadmus. Helen Slater and Brenda Strong barely feature. Mon-El points out how obviously evil Jeremiah is. Nobody listens. Alex and Kara yell at Mon-El. Alex is angry with Kara. Winn annoys. James is not in this. Jeremiah is evil, like duh. J’onn growls. Maggie shows up. What is Cadmus planning? What is Jeremiah up to? Okay.

Best Line:
“Your jealously is appropriate.”

Amerika (1987) part 10
Devin does the Pledge of Allegiance. How and why is this happening? Where is Jackie’s boyfriend? Will Devin SHUT UP? The scene drags on and on. Devin is a vile, fickle, sanctimonious creep. Then he tops the scene by yelling America a lot. Why do people have such deep reverence for him? This was truly harrowing. Devin and his perma-ennui drags this mini-series down. All the other characters are better and more interesting.

Devin is social poison. Show us the other interconnecting characters. Devin’s evil ex is called Marian? Was she cast at a bus stop? I’ve visceral dislike for Devin and his notions of moral and civilisational superiority. This leaves one dispassionate. This has bad ADR and no substance. The Russian General broods. Colonel Denisov mutters. Russians have a very casual attitude to their own language. Peter is called the new Abraham Lincoln. The endless Devin scenes sap a degree of urgency.

Devin’s grandfather yells and meets William. Amanda annoys. This was big pretentious drama. Denisov tells Peter to find William. Soviets are armed lunatics. Awful decisions are made as are foul choices. Kimberley screeches and dumps Denisov. Amanda declares her love for Devin. There is ‘action’ and this was okay.

Best Lines:
“A communication freeze.”

“They can get worse.”

“The conqueror of America.”

“I didn’t think anything rattled you.”

“Circumstances for evil.”

“You’re stupid.”

“In a society where few have privileges.”

SS-GB 1x03
Karl Marx is being exhumed as part of the Nazi/Soviet friendship pact. I’m sure Archer has a reasonable excuse for his crap. There is no tense misery. Jason Flemyng is in this apparently. Archer isn’t driven to do good and has a thirst for validation as he faces condemnation and social conflict. Kellerman is a meticulous ass. Archer has localised concerns. Archer has a sinister reputation and faces implications. Archer is an idiot with tacit acceptance. What is the unoccupied zone? Sylvia is useless. There is death, brooding and boredom. Barbara is ghastly, there’s a bomb and emotion is unlooked for.

Best Line:
“German lavatory attendant.”

Criminal Minds 10x13

Nelson’s Sparrow
TPTB have killed off Gideon. Off screen. Hotch is stolid, before TPTB fired him. JJ shows off her hair extensions. Reid twitches and there is hopeless horror. Morgan and Rossi stare. A Ted Bundy like killer (Ayre Gross of ‘Hexed’) lurks. There are flashbacks to the origin of the BAU in 1978 with young Gideon (Ben Savage) and young Rossi. This does not shine with merit. Gideon had contentions. Unpleasantness is a terrifying imminent possibility. Young Rossi was a tool. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“Haven for the lonely.”

“All my friends dying off.”

“He regretted even having me.”

“The BS unit.”

“No one would want her.”

“Held captive for 37 years.”

The Replacement 1x02
The death is ruled a suicide. Newborn Lia is ignored by her mad mother. Ellen snoops and acts like a crazy woman. She stalks Paula. Ellen was in a nut house and needs to go back there. She stalks Paula’s daughter Caris. Paula wears too much make-up. Emma ignores her husband and child. Ellen and Paula have a bitter bond. Social workers show up. Okay. Where is Caris? What is up with Paula? Ellen is the baddie isn't she?

Best Lines:
“Pretend better.”

“Can you not harass me please?”