June 17th, 2018

Pretty Smart

The Handmaid’s Tale 2x09 + Counterpart 1x10 Reviewed

Smart Power
Offred whines. A new Eye shows up in the Waterford household. Serena Joy is traumatised but still has her eyebrows done. Serena Joy wants Offred out of the house as soon as the baby is born. The Waterfords travel to Canada as a trade delegation. Luke and Moira see the Waterfords on the TV and Moira recognises him.

Moira calls The Commander a war criminal and demands his arrest. Thinking is apparently an unfamiliar activity for Luke. Offred is a nexus for catastrophe. Why is Nick on the trade delegation with the Waterfords? Serena Joy seems tempted by life outside Gilead. The Commander speaks French and has puritan serenity.

The Canadians are snide. Serena Joy has a sense of being ignored and abandoned. Serena Joy is given a picture book schedule. The Canadians universal sneering toward Serena Joy isn’t helpful. The Commander is a rigid dogmatist. Serena Joy is sneered at by defiantly triumphant diplomats. Why is Serena Joy treated worse and more vilely denounced than her husband? Janine rants and gets a smack from the new Eye. The Commander has Christian certainty but Gilead doesn’t seem very Christian.

The fear culture of Gilead grows. As far as The Commander is concerned he is living the life that god desires that men should live. More choices are taken away from Offred. Serena Joy is a pariah because she’s part of a system that turns women’s wombs into clown cars. A reporter bothers Serena Joy. Progress has been made in the fertility crisis.

The Commander is a fastidious aesthete without a trace of sentimentality. Where did Luke get the giant blow-up photo of his family? Nick has penitential guilt and so speaks to Luke. As for Luke, he is drunk and belligerent and ungracious. Nick gives Luke the letters. Luke isn’t emotionally resourceful. The Commander and his remorseless watchfulness feels justly proud of himself. Offred fears The Commander would hurt the baby.

The letters cause the Waterfords to be thrown out of Canada. Women sneer at Serena Joy. Poor Serena Joy is treated with contempt and yet The Commander isn’t. Isaac the new Eye sucks. The letters leak will come back on someone I’m sure. Serena Joy looks at her teal wardrobe in despair. Who makes all these role-related uniforms? Offfred learns Luke and Moira are in Canada. Poor Serena Joy and her emotional blows. This was good; I worry about Nick’s safety.

Best Lines:
“I still have circumstances.”

“He needs to be arrested.”

“Blames the fertility crisis on women.”

“Which American government is that?”

“Shut your mouth unwoman!”

“They don’t baptise babies here.”

“All be over someday.”

“Strong Gilead wife.”

No Man’s Land, Part Two
Richard Schiff is Clare’s dad. Peter Quayle is injured and Clare 2 is unhurt. The shooting is covered up. Clare 2 terrifies Peter Quayle into submission. He covers for her. People know what type the shooters were. Narrow-minded idiots are cold and inhospitable. There is focus and seriousness and malign types. There is awful uncertainty and unflinching commitment to unreality.

This was irredeemably bad. This does not dramatically raise the emotional stakes. There is non-specific dread. Peter Quayle is unmeritorious; he’s heading for a bad end. This was mediocrity. Howard 2 play acts the tough guy. The malign influence Clare 2 is wholly contemptuous of her husband and tries to render him manageable.

Emily 1 is still a turnip. Howard is less sympathetic than TPTB would like. Weird tech is used. Who are management? WTF? Are they aliens or something? There is constructive dialogue. There are hostile parties and perceived threats. Peter Quayle is to hunt down sleepers. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. The assassin’s fabrications and lies unravel. Howard 2 does not emit the air of menace he thinks he does. Grievances are nurtured and the two worlds are encouraged to hate each other.

Has irreparable damage been done to relations? There are unanticipated outcomes, the shooter dies of his injuries and Dimension 1 seals their side of the crossing. The Howards are stranded. Is the shooter’s body still rotting in the crossing? Howard 1 and Pope chat. There is no glorious moment of tragedy. Pope seems to hint that there is more than 1 crossing. Howard 1 of all people takes Pope out. Is Pope actually dead?

There are guns, death and no conciliatory gestures. Ian Shaw won’t listen to Howard 1’s babbling. Clare 2 cleans up blood after killing someone. What’ll become of Howard 1? Ian Shaw dislikes people who aren’t us. Howard 1 is going to feel more dislocation. There are moral choices and lingering resentments. Peter Quayle heads home to dinner and doesn’t take his mole hunt work home with him. Howard 1 is in a hole and Howard 2 had Howard 1’s life. I am kind of curious about season 2.

Best Lines:
“All for this.”

“Shut down all questions.”

“Idiot bastard.”

“What’s still going to happen.”

“Your other’s never coming back.”

“His life belongs to you.”

“Vile woman.”

“Sad little man.”
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Book Reviews: Dead Asleep + Sword Of Destiny

Dead Asleep by Jamie Frveletti
This 2012 novel is part of a series and is a badly written ill-considered mess that slowly grinds towards a conclusion. Various idiots run around the incoherent plot that has no intellectual heft and is just lumps of leaden prose blocks. This is vociferously terrible. It makes no sense and shouldn’t exist.

This is full of absurd fear mongering, hostile relations, nurtured grievances, social damage and leaves you with the unpleasant feeling you made a misjudgement by reading this.

Best Lines:
“With the air of someone completely unconcerned that at that very moment his beach house was burning to the ground not five hundred yards away.”

“A man with a machete just tried to attack me.”

Sword Of Destiny
This is a badly translated, sexist collection of clichéd fantasy stories that with sad slow inevitability bores. There is little of dramatic interest here as this tome barely rises to prominence. This has no poignantly ruined magnificence.

Best Lines:
“The gravedigger and the doughty idiot set off as scouts. Afterwards, we built them a small but pleasing, burial mound.”

“Sorceresses stayed in their towers, read learned books and stirred cauldrons.”
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Trailers, Quotes and Stuff

‘The Nun’ trailer
Another ‘Conjuring’ knockoff. In Romania there is darkness, mumbling, indoor mist and no electricity. There are ghosts however. Pray for forgiveness.

Best Line:
“A long history, not all good.”

‘The Outpost’ promo
Another fantasy CW show in which people and clothes look clean. The heroine has her eyebrows done and there is fighting. No, this does not look even semi-satisfying.

Best Line:
“Nobody comes to the outpost to find work.”

Sicario 2’ trailer
Where’s Emily Blunt?

‘Hotel Artemis’ trailer

Dark chocolate with peppermint filling - lovely.
Wheat & gluten free chocolate filled cupcake - okay.
Unsweetened sparkling spring water with a hint of cucumber & mint - nice.
Gluten free chocolate sponge pudding - nice.

A ‘Hawkeye’ movie?

I’ve never had Opera Cake.

Who saw ‘54’ (1998) or ‘Wilde’ (1997) or ‘Dance With A Stranger’ (1985) or ‘Last Days Of Disco’ or ‘Heat‘ or ‘Windtalkers‘ or ‘Death Wish V: The Face Of Death‘ or 'Big Fish'?

Had to get a new TV and the TV people are coming tomorrow to fix TV/internet.

Who read ‘Hanging Out With Cici’ or ‘Primary Colors’?

There’s vegan fois gras?

What is tartare of oysters or marine sprouts?

I’ll review ‘All Of This Is True’, ‘The Tall Man’ and ‘The Room By The Lake’.

I won’t read ‘Tradition’ or ‘Time Shards’.

‘The Sentinel’ fanfic ‘Bayou’ from 1998 is not an insightful contribution to fandom. However ’The Sentinel’ fanfic ‘Unsleeping’ that sees Blair encounter a Cthulhu cult on campus is very good.

‘Jezebel’ Quote:
“The choices we make are unfortunately the choices we make forever.”

‘DenOfGeek’ Quote:
“These statements were threatening to me.”

‘Jurassic World’ Quote:
“If their genetic code was pure, many of them would look quite different.”

‘The Guardian’ Quotes:
“Couldn’t imagine how this would end well for him.”

“Do not have a stake in society.”

“Higher quality products.”

“Defiance of educational orthodoxy.”

“Under security escort.”

“It might mean talking to a working-class person rather than about them.”

“I scare people at ATMs,”

“Limiting hours of human activity.”

“Can expect more animosity.”

“They talk about us, but they never talk with us.”

“Parent poorly.”

“Who was arguing with whom and about what depends very much on whose version of events you believe.”

“Sintta-level determination.”

“Embarrassed to be sitting here in your presence having to dignify you with my opinion.”

“Plucked his personal style from a low-rent mafia flick.”

“Unable to connect to fan’s idolisation.”

“A song that sounds like the kind of thing that gets played as a first dance at a footballer’s wedding.”

“Authentication committee.”

“Wanted to maintain scarcity.”

“Wasted middle age.”

“A remark he made in 2009, that will follow him to the grave.”

‘The Irish Times’ Quotes:
“Constructs credibility in a way that is impossible for women to attain.”

“Livelihoods and reputations can be snatched away on the strength of a whisper.”

“Not everyone has that opinion of you in life!”

“Their only experience of love is what they’ve seen on screen.”

“Screaming his response to some slight.”

“Ape our manners, affectations and values.”


“Intensity and persistence is not love.”

“Emotional deliveries of stories of great import.”

The Goldbergs’ Quotes:
“Hated change.”

“Park his pants at the door.”

“Evil food box.”

‘American Housewife’ Quotes:
“Your sweater’s a pox on this family!”

“On like Babylon.”


“Talk to your wife, she made my friend eat out of the garbage.”

“No. Go. Yell. Tell.”

‘Dr Phil’ Quotes:
“In the woods walking around in circles.”

“Put calmness in everyone’s mind.”


“Evil hearted.”

“Jesus sheets.”

“My home is my prison.”

“Started trouble.”

“There’s a snake hanging out of your car.”

“Dark cloud of false allegations and gossip.”

“Your own mother had you arrested.”

“Pattern of conflict.”

“People in her life have turned against her.”

‘Let’s Get Physical’ Quote:
“Pretty isn’t free.”

‘The Simpsons’ Quote:
“I’m not popular enough to be different.”

‘FTWeekend’ Quote:
“Regarded as the nation made flesh.”

“Make or break a reputation.”

“Silence is complicity.”

‘Poirot’ Quotes:
“Don’t madam me!”

“I wish to complain.”

“Not in the newspapers I read.”
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Scary Books

Movie Reviews: Hereditary + Blazing Saddles + Stagecoach

Hereditary (2018)
Toni Collette overacts wildly in this laughably silly, po-faced tale of grief and oscillating emotional temperaments and nefarious scheming and dire circumstances. There is an eerily insinuating stranger, bizarre nudity, ugly kids and a miserable looking Gabriel Byrne. There are toxic implications, black magic mumbling, fire, a truly stupid ending and no sustainable resolution. Aunt Lydia from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is in this mess of doom laden predictions.

Blazing Saddles
In this good spoof a black sheriff rides into town and a Teutonic titwillow sings via bad ADR.

Best Lines:
“Prairie punk.”

“Must have killed more men than Cecil B DeMille.”

“Daddy loves froggy.”

Stagecoach (1939)