Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by seamus2389

  1. Sense8

    Finished watching Sense8 and overall really enjoyed it. The pilot was a lumbering mess having to introduce the premise and the 8 characters scattered the world in a hour and if you can't stick it skipping to the third episode is a good idea. It does feel like the first of a planned five season show with the first half of the show being more interested in the 8 characters than the overall plot of what are they and who is after them. It was a lot funnier than I thought a show written by in part by JMS would be after just finishing Babylon 5 and starting in the third episode and particularly in the 6 and final episode they do some really cool action scenes based round the fact that these people can take over each others bodies and talk to each other. The scenes where characters appear in each other locations and just talk about whatever is on their minds is one of the best parts of show in general for me. On the minus side the characters are a bit broad, some of the dialogue is pretty on the nose and the show has it's fair share of stereotypes for the 5 who aren't white and American/Icelandic. On the flip side it's treatment of LGBTQ characters does not suffer from this. Nomi who is a lesbian transwoman, her girlfriend played by Freema Aygeman(of Doctor Who fame) are a joy to watch together as are the gay Mexican couple Lito and Hernando.
  2. Books, books, books...

    You can also read Especially Heinous here
  3. Allegorical prejudice in genre fiction

    I think Jemisin avoid that trap by showing that 'race' plays a factor in the world with regard to how certain skins colour/ hair type is associated with the dominate empire whose direct control has faded but that prejudice exists. With the onogers she is looking at how a society deal with a group of people who aren't equal in terms of the effect they can have, its looking at X-men and dealing with them purely as a group with 'superhuman' abilities. What ties it back to real world prejudice/oppression is the anger and desire for revenge/ burn it all down that people feel but don't have the associated ability to cause a volcanic eruption. Another example is Nnedi Okorafor who ties the historical with the allegorical in 'book of the Phoneix'. In that book the people who are experimented on for developing X-men like abilities are predominately non-white. Slight spoilers but 'the book of the phoneix' almost reads as a prequel to the Broken Earth books. Update - The tv show Black lighting is doing something similar with race, superpowers in a way that like the book of the phoneix ties into history
  4. Movie/TV recommendations

    His plays are pretty similar. The older ones are set in Ireland, mostly in the west. The spoiler is a tale from a play called the pillowman that I saw last year and the play and that play was a chance for him to but together his own fucked up fables. I also like his brothers movie (starring Brendan Gleeson) - Calvary about a priest in the west of Ireland who in confession is told he will be killed in a week by a man who was abused by a priest as a kid.
  5. Episode 413: Myth

    I will definetly check out these games after listening to this episode. Mentioning the Black company books the names of some of the enemy leaders sound like they are taken from the names of enemy leaders in the first Black company trilogy. Reading about the game and it has a few references to Irish mythology beyond the usual - The Tain and Balor and the Fir bolg all make an appearance and Connacht is the name of an actual place. Also the importance of explosives reminds me of the Malazan series of books which is a direct descendant of the Black Company books.
  6. Game of Thrones (TV show)

    Turns out Rowan also wrote that article I was looking for. This old one by Sonia Saraiya is also interesting to re-read. Something similar happened with Breaking Bad in its last season where the last stretch of episodes had the highest ratings. Both are plot heavy shows that involve people trying to figure out how to come out on top and also are talked about alot on the internet. Between legal and illegal means it is/was easy to catch up before the end and the number of episodes for both shows are (BB 62 over 5 seasons, GOT- 67 over 7 so far) low compared to network tv like Lost which had 100+ episodes over 6 season with no Netflix and fewer people having access to torrents to catch up for its final season. Like Lost and the Soporanos, both BB and GoT occupy a certain space where it was covered alot by websites that write about Tv/pop culture and is a 'water cooler/ cultural touchstone' show that people can talk about in a time when tv viewing is increasingly fragmented in terms of the amount to watch and alot of people not watching shows at the same time. If you are someone who likes talking about tv/pop culture its your best bet these days to have a conversation. This article goes further into that aspect of it.
  7. Game of Thrones (TV show)

    This article made some interesting points on the show and books in terms of 3 kinds/tales of fantasy it combined and why that works against an ending that hits all 3. Does anyone here remember the article the write wrote years ago about the show being a 90's anti high fantasy adapted by people who were trying to make it like the Soporanos 'Prestige' tv but in the 2010s when both those genres had moved beyond those starting points which made the show kinda double dated as a work of tv and fantasy or that was my take away from it. I think the Steven Eriksons 'Malazan books of the fallen' series does combine those three strands in their endings but it also focus on different parts of history than kinda medieval English civil war(s) and have a lot more fantasy in terms of magic and gods etc playing a role - more heroic and subversive than history that way Kate Elliots 'Crown of Stars'might also fit although more the history and subversive, less heroic and less magic than Malazan. Maybe R Scott Bakkers prince of nothing which is the most anti-fantasy in terms of how vile the world/ plot but it hasn't fininshed yet no idea if will combine all three in the end The one thing all three have is a strong religious component that ASOIAF lacks.
  8. The bomb and beast casts were the last 'standard' video game podcast I listened to and I tried a couple like Polygons, Waypoint and US gamers since I dropped them earlier this year but I think that is a format of covering Video game that I have lost interest in. This is likely tied in with me losing interest in video games that aren't strategy, RPG games or ones cane and rinse/ retronauts do an episode on. Those two, along with 3 moves ahead, axe of the mad blood god are the only Video game focused podcasts I still listen to. Is there other video games podcasts that focus on a particular theme or genre or focus on a particular game per episode that are worth checking out? Abby and Bens new podcast is entertaining.
  9. Penny Dreadful (TV series)

    These two articles dig into why it ended the way it did and the problems with the shows Gothic background short changing the characters
  10. Books, books, books...

    If you like The unwomanly face of war you should check out Second hand time and Chernobly prayer both by the same author. Both are really interesting looks into the late soviet union and post soviet Russia/CIS.
  11. Books, books, books...

    Invisible bridge :The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan and before the storm : Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus by the same guy are also worth reading. For more 1960's america books - the Best and the Brightest covers the demotratic administrations handling of Vietnam, Robert Caro's LBJ series which currently goes up just after the Kennedy assassination and covers alot of American political history, America in the Kings years which focuses on the civil rights movement. I just fininshed a collection of critical essays on Mieveille published by Gylphi press who have also done a volume on David mitchell and Maggie Gee
  12. The Fast and the Furious series

    In honour of 8 this is happening. 7 was the one that may well be my jumping off point for the series. It t made me realise that seriesnow has a set formula and will stick to it rigidly.
  13. Movie/TV recommendations

    The fictional series is also on the Netflix in Ireland and I am guessing the UK
  14. Riverdale

    It's definitely Twin Peaks inspired but maybe a bit of Veronica Mars although I might be calling that too early since I only watched the first episode after reading a review for the third which indicated it was actually digging into the whole student- teacher romantic trope which I cannot stand. I think I am going to wait till this season is over to see how it plays out. I like the visual aspects but good lord that show drops pop culture references like Mauro Ranallo
  15. The Idle Book Club 22: Wuthering Heights

    Arnolds adaption of the novel is the closest there is to the book. Chris misinterpreted 'love being a force of nature' as a positive thing, not a destructive thing which is more of what the film portrays it. One review I remember described it, particulary towards the end as becoming a horror film.
  16. Breaking Bad

    The difference between the Shield and BB is that tension of the Shield was within an episode, the cliff hangers are the ad breaks, by the end of the episode the particular crisis is over, in that way it operated like an episodic show. That changes in the fifth and 7th season but in both cases the fallout is equal to the build up and only a couple episodes in both seasons end on cliff hangers. The Shield had alot of background tension regarding the Strike Team had so much illegal stuff they were trying to keep hidden from those outside the team and in some cases each other.In the third fourth they had stopped doing all of their illegal activity but still had the threat of it hanging over them which drove the remainder of the show.
  17. Breaking Bad

    That was a show that began and ended with Walter White and they put some time into the rest of the cast but that imbalance was never fixedwhich was a problem for me in the last season. If you are looking for tension filled show starring a bald white guy the Shield might be worth checking out. After the Wire it would be my pick for top tv show. Both look like cops shows on the surface but underneath are two very different but devastating tragedies, the Wire is more social/ institutional while the Shield is very personal. They make for interesting rewatch companions in that way. Breaking Bad had two deaths in it's last season that were meant to be as devastating but didn't spend the time to develop the characters who died enough to make me care which is why I stopped watching that show. The Shield did a far better of not just focusing on Vic Mackey. He was Al Capone with a bad to Walter's Scarface but the Shield put more time into the rest of the cast. Mackey's actions would also be at the centre of the show but other characters could exist outside of his storylines and be interesting to follow which I never felt with breaking bad. Someone made the point once that Walter White story isn't normal man becomes scarface but is more of a super villian origin story. Lastly the Shield can be seen as either a 3 (1-3, 4/5, 6/7 or 5 (1/2, 3, 4, 5, 6/7) act tragedy where Breaking Bad could also be seen as a 3 act show but it's first act is the first 4 season - Walter constantly rising up and defeating everyone who stands in his way, the second act is the last season up to the third last episode - hubris taking hold and the third act is shoved into the last two - realising the harm he has caused and trying to do something about it.
  18. The Wire

    Rewatching the Wire and just noticed McNulty has a photocopy of the 1916 Proclomation taped to a cubicle wall at his desk which makes perfect sense for that character. This shows attention to the little details of peoples personal spaces is the thing that has so far stood out to me most rewatching this time.
  19. Other podcasts

    Check out the beef and dairy network podcast. Wasn't my glass of milk but it might be yours. Do you listen to any of the earwolf comedy podcasts?
  20. Person of Interest

    I felt the same way and chalk it down to only having 13 episodes as opposed to the usual 22. I think some of the people behind the show mentioned more of a focus on Samaritans newest recruit from this episode.
  21. The Fast and the Furious series

    Watching the end of F&F 5 having seen Tokyo drift first made the scene with Han and Gisele in the car to Berlin when he says he will go back to Tokyo someday a surprisingly emotional moment as was the death of Dom's friend. Up till that movie I didn't think much of the series but after reading some reviews I ended up watching it 3 times in 2 weeks. Those movies really do commit to the theme of family in a way that is sometimes mawkish but mostly well done. From 5 onwards they have a really solid ensemble cast of people who are easy to like/ root for assembled from the previous 4. The ending to 7/ Paul Walker send off was so good in a blurring of the lines between fiction and reality you only really see in professional wrestling. Talking about wrestling it is likely that the fall out between Vin Diesel and The Rock is a work for Wrestlemania which as a someone who watches wrestling was the first thing I thought when I heard it. The history of this series is so unplanned and odd for one of biggest movies franchise of the last 15 years especially with most of them being rehashes/adaptions of existing works with 10 year plans. One last thing about those movies is they have a consisently good to great soundtrack with 5 for me being the high point with this song. PS - This opening montage to 6 was such a nice moment/ send off by Lin.
  22. Films of Nicolas Winding Refn

    Drive is more the driver of this generation particularly since both are based around a get away driver in LA.
  23. K-Dramas & K-pop

    I watched a couple years ago till I realised they repeat the same storyline/ characters with a different coat of paint. I look up reviews every now and then trying to find something that seem it might be worth watching but the only people who write about them like the fact they are drawing on the same narrow pool of story and characters played by pop singers which is the exact reason I don't watch them.
  24. Person of Interest

    I used these reviews to figure out what to watch and what to not in the second season of POI. Season 2 is a step up from 1 and 3 is as big as step up from 2. Your point of the wife of the surgeon reminded how the show, definitely in the later season had more women in roles that weren't victim x that I would except from a CBS show. I think someone(s) were definitely making a point to have at least one woman in roles that in other shows you wouldn't see any. About half way through the current season of Bojack horseman which continues to be really good show about people trying to not fuck up their lives and not doing a great job of it. As of this season is now one of the few I can think where a character actually goes through with an abortion and it involves a pop song about shotting said feutus that as pop songs go is pretty good. Also ending the third episode with a different version of the ending song was genius. Also re-watching Crazy ex-girlfriend on Netflix which like Bojack has a pretty dark undercurrent under it bright surface with another main character in need of some help regarding her mental health. The only show I know that has a
  25. The Idle Book Club 17: The Sympathizer

    As was I am about to type this I heard an ad for a book on audible called 'Without you these is not us' about a woman's experience teaching in a college in North Korea which reminded me the idea that the general and the sympathiser are not Vietnamese but anti-american. My recommendation for simile that was so clever is was distracting was him saying something a beating like the LA police give. The novel does seem like Nyguen taking ideas that could work as essays and building a novel round them but I liked the style/voice. I didn't even register the hap hazard nature of the plot cause I like the rest of it but it's something I'll keep in mind when reading other debut novels. Having just read a book about the battle of Dien Bien Phu I liked the detail of the General having fought there and spending two years in a POW camp after it. I thought Sonny and the Major being killed with so little basis made sense cause people who fit a 'profile' were killed with just the right person saying they are an enemy spy/ agent.