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12 June 2006 @ 12:23 am
What Boppy's been up to  
I'm feeling a little lost in the season-end hiatus. Not quite sure what to post about--and that's silly, because I have plenty of SV-related projects to wrap up. Duffer me!

TV: House, Lost

I have seen up to 2.15 of both House and Lost. I'm enjoying House a lot more than Lost and am loving the new House/Wilson plot devleopment. In second season, I'm finding I'm enjoying nearly all the characters more, but Wilson in particular has really hit his stride. I just love his little hissy fits so much! And I loved the rat episode. So cute! I'm discovering I like Cameron now that they've defined her character a bit better. And she's very pretty--it took me a while to notice just how pretty she really is. Chase, of course, I love, though I still cringe at some of Jesse Spencer's acting. But Foreman annoys me and I can't say why. Anyway, I can't wait to see more, and arrangements are underway to obtain the final eps of the season.

I was losing interest in Lost--it's a puzzling show. I don't really like anyone in it, aside from Sawyer and Sayid. Echo is also interesting. But it doesn't inspire me with great fannish love for any particular character, and it is insanely illogical, and I'm less and less sure that it’s going to follow through on its promise. Conceptually there are many things I like about Lost, and I still enjoy watching it, but at a different level to other shows. I'll catch the rest of this season week by week on Aussie tv.

TV: 21 Jump Street
As a special treat to myself a friend of mine, I bought 21 Jump Street Season 1, and we had a little mini-marathon of the first six episodes. I revived all my childish love for the show I used to sneak up to watch in the 80s. I was a very wee bop when this first aired, and I don't think I understood most (any?) of the plots, but I crushed on Johnny Depp like the rest of the world. Nearly 20 years later, it's great to know that my tastes haven't changed that much!

I was expecting to find 21 Jump Street attrocious as an adult, but it's actually quite enjoyable even in the thankfully brief interludes when Johnny's not on screen. I also hadn't expected Johnny's character to be so adorable. I know Johnny hated the show and the role, at least by the third season, but it's practically impossible not to be charmed by him.

Baby-faced Tom Hanson is introduced in the pilot as a new cop who is a liability to his partners because no-one can believe he's old enough to be a policeman ('Get him off me! I feel like a child molester!). This irks Hanson, who has a bit of a temper and inner pain (which we learn of in a painfully badly voice-acted voiceover flashback--thankfully Johnny's shirt was open in that scene, so I didn't have to listen that closely!). His chief suggests that he join the Jump St Chapel squad, a special squad of young-looking officers who can go undercover in high school. (Yeah, don't inspect the plausibility of this too closely!) Hanson finds that they're a bunch of crazy non-conformists and at first he feels seriously out of place, but after managing to solve some cases, he starts to be happier in his new role. So far, Tom Hanson has revealed two things he is passionate about: the injustice of car insurance and bowling. He combines extreme dorkiness with suavity and confidence, and the nature of the role means Johnny's in a different costume nearly every scene. Who's going to complain about that?! Especially when the costumes involve earrings, lemon-coloured cardigans, clunky 80s walkmans, bandannas, make-up or punk haircuts…

The other character I really like is Hoffs, the female officer. She's got a lot of spunk, is gorgeous and compassionate and the actress is really good. I think I remember envying her hair and her denim jacket when I was little… At the moment, the rest of the characters bore me, though Ioki has promise.

The slash would be rife for this show if it aired today. The 80s slang is near-impenetrable to me at times, but it also makes for some eye-widening moments. E.g. characters keep telling each other to 'bone up'. It took me a while to decode that one as a simple expression of support. And my favourite so far: 'Two guys always make out better than one!' (this was especially funny in context--Hanson being asked out by one of the other guys).

I'm so hooked! At its worst, this show has brilliantly daggy charm. Right down to the end credit special messages about drug helplines. As anti-drugs as I am, I still get a kick out of the irony of Johnny Depp doing these terribly mis-aimed ads only a few years before he bought the Viper Club etc. Not only that, but I'm pretty sure the message the show thought they were sending ('stay away from drugs and crime, kiddies!') was not the one that they really sent--Hanson's undercover identities are far more glamorous and memorable than his actual character, especially for teens. And kids are great at sifting what they *want* out of shows and ignoring the rest.

Can't wait for more!

TV: Hornblower
I watched the first few eps before I went away, and I watched the plot arc ending in Retribution the other night. It unsettled me greatly, despite warnings from nehellania. I was in the grumpiest of grumpy moods after the painfully tragic and pointless death of Archie. Jamie brought so much cheery charm to Archie, and I don't think I can bear to watch the final eps. Also I really really want to know why Horatio decided that what he really wanted to do in the middle of a dangerous political situation on the ship was to get naked and get sprayed by water as the rest of the crew (and prominently Archie) watched appreciatively. ??!! Baffling! Seriously, this show only makes sense if you fanwank in the slash--the 'conspiracy' that the captain rants on about is the term he uses for 'sodomy', the captain is tortured by erotic dreams about young Wellard, and he's jealous of all the good boy-on-boy action Archie and Horatio and co. are getting. But I have a terrible feeling that I'm going to have to read the books to work out what the random nudity was really in aid of (my theory that it was to get the crew on side so they would testify on his behalf fell down when the crew were never called on).

Also, Matthews is the unsung hero of the show. He saves the day EVERY SINGLE TIME. So much so, that as long as he was around, I had no fears for our heroes. When they got stranded on the mainland, the suspense increased tenfold, because Matthews was not with them. Who would helpfully point out the danger/solution to said danger just in time?? But then it turned out that distance is no obstacle to Matthews. Yes, boys, it was very romantic to leap off a cliff together, but it would have ended horribly had Matthews not noticed you doing so.

Literature: John Banville rage
I've delayed posting on this until my anger abated. I'll try and tell the story briefly and objectively.

I went to see Alex Miller (Australian novelist) interview John Banville (Irish novelist, winner of last year's Booker). I had read The Sea but didn't know if it was representative of Banville's work. Evidently it is. And I'm not a fan. At all. During his talk (it was an 'interview' in name only), he cited lots of Dead White Male writers who he adored (no women, naturlich), slagged off Ian McEwan and read out two passages from his work about women, both of which were hidously offensive. He also made a lot of sweeping generalisations about writers such as 'all writers must believe they are writing a masterpiece'. His misogyny, obsession with the past and the romanticism of the mundane, the egotism… all of it got to me. I fumed. I was also premenstrual. I resolved to return my copy of The Sea to him. Originally I had intended to get it signed and sell it. But having heard the man speak (he had the nerve to say that noone should write about 9/11 for FIFTY YEARS for frak's sake!), I didn't feel comfortable making any profit from his appalling work. So I queued to return it instead.

Unfortunately I was foiled. One of his lackeys scouted the queue and asked who the dedication should be made out to. I replied that I was not there for a signature. A slight, er, altercation transpired, in which I was honest and polite about my intentions, and she got snitty and said, 'oh that's just lovely of you!' in a saracastic voice and stormed off. She fetched a rather Important Person in the Melbourne lit scene to intervene and head me off. I was two people away! But thwarted, I relinquished my book to him instead, explaining that I was just not comfortable owning it any more.

However, I'm still pissy that I didn't get to talk to Banville personally. I wasn't going to be rude--I was just going to return it so he knew there was one person in the world who didn't idolise him. But apparently when you win a Booker prize, your ego becomes eggshell-thin and needs wrapped in cotton wool. Puh-lease!

Concerts: Low, Annie, Belle & Sebastian
It's been quite a concert-fest here in Melbourne recently. June is one of our peak times for tours, and I've been to three gigs in just over a week. First there was Low, who amused me greatly with their earnest non-rockstar-ness. Then there was pop-princess Annie who was cute but shallow, as one would expect. And finally Belle & Sebastian, playing my favourite venue, The Forum.

The Forum is a gorgeous theatre. It has an art deco façade and inside it's all plush carpets and sweeping staircases. The ceiling of the foyer glows blue like a fake sky, and inside the walls of the theatre are lined with fake Greek statues--all very over the top and glam, but somehow when the lights go down and you look up at the fake starry sky (yes, it's a night sky, inside), it's all rather magical. On top of that, it has a big dance floor beneath the high stage, so there's lots of space for the enthusiastic fans to throng in. And there's rows and rows of plush couches with little tables up the back for the lazier sort.

I have a theory about The Forum: the venue is so awesome it ups the chances of a good concert there by at least 50 per cent. And last night didn't disappoint. I saw B&S at The Palais a year or so ago, and they were ok, but Stuart was a bit manic, and the Palais's such a terrible venue (waaaay too many seats, no good dance floor, crappy acoustics) that they weren't that great. But last night they were delightful. There was lots of crowd interaction, the band played for a good two hours in fine form, Stuart made jokes about Melbourne ('summer in winter, winter in springtime' being a very appropriate lyric for us) and they played lots of old stuff as well as tracks from their new album. I'm proud to say the Melbourne audience came through with their ability to whistle the melody of older tracks when called upon to do so. There were lots of grins from the band members when sections of the audience (including me) squealed with delight at the opening bars to older tracks.

The highlight was Stuart's little performance at the start of the encore. During the concert, he'd occasionally wandered off to the corner of the stage to perv at the Greek statues (you get a pretty graphic view of the genetalia from below). And as he came back on stage, he headed over and started scaling the balcony. He had to hang by his hands and pull himself up, which was pretty funny to watch. The balcony is huge--it's done up like a Greek garden with a mock temple and full size statues and trees. Stuart scrambled around it and climbed up on one of the statue plinths to pose with the Greek god. It was attention-seeking behaviour of the best sort. The crowd went wild chanting 'Jump! Jump!', and hilariously the band broke out into Jump! by Van Halen. Stuart eventually scrambled down to enjoy them (he sang the whole thing through!), but not before groping the statue and ending up dangling from the speakers on his precarious way down.

And some music to share
I've loved Belle & Sebastian for years and years. So in honour of this exciting event I share with you a couple of their earlier, less well-known but greatly loved by me tracks. I'd have had more but Yousendit was all weird with me.

Dog on wheels
Connection, obsession, whimsy

Get me away from here I'm dying
Naïve boys, storybooks and happy endings
Current Mood: amusedamused
nehellania on June 11th, 2006 07:29 pm (UTC)
...Um. About the Hornblower books. Archie's not actually in them. I think he's mentioned once by his last name, but that's pretty much it.

Horatio just likes to flaunt his pretty, wet body for Archie. *g*

I always feel bad for Bush, with his puppy love, and his sadness.
And yes! Matthews! I love Matthews. And Styles. So much love.

I will be back to grab those songs when I'm on hi-speed again.

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Jamie Bamber smrt is sexybop_radar on June 11th, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
Archie's not actually in them.
*rotfl* OMG! So he was totally a constructed character for the films? That makes it even more slashy that he was constantly at Horatio's shoulder! Wow... I wonder why they wrote him in in the movies? *curious*

Yes, Bush was a good character. He added a lot. And I love Matthews but Styles shits me to tears. Ah well! I was very fond of little Wellard too, but it pissed me off that he and the crazy captain died together. Ew!
The First Evil: Archie & Horatio - I'll Wait For You - sasta77 on June 22nd, 2006 10:41 pm (UTC)
I'm perusing old entries that I missed while I was on vacation and I saw HORNBLOWER. ;-)

Yes, Archie Kennedy is 99.9% the creation of the writers of the movies. He is in one paragraph of one book. Bush is actually Horatio's BFF in the bookverse. I'm not exactly sure why Archie Kennedy became Horatio's friend (or lover in most of fandom's mind ;). He was to die at the end of the first film (or float off never to be seen again), but the writers, producers, etc liked Jamie and the Archie/Horatio relationship so much they decided to write him back in. The first two films were shot at the same time, hence Jamie being MIA from 'The Fire Ships' because they had no opportunity to write him into that story.

As for Archie's death, that was dictated by the Forester estate. Horatio's character is quite different in the books (so I have heard) - very isolated and alone. They didn't care for the close friendship he had developed with Archie and before they would permit A&E/the BBC to do any more films Archie had to die...on screen...so there was no coming back for the character. Hence the painful (in so many ways) death of Archie.

I haven't seen the last two films yet. Almost everyone says they are the worst of the series and that Horatio comes off as cold, bitter, and unlikeable. Supposedly his character is truer to the bookverse, but even fans of the books take issue with his depiction.

I have a list of links somewhere for more information (there is a whole site dedicated to Archie) if you'd like them.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Archie Hornblowerbop_radar on June 23rd, 2006 12:45 am (UTC)
Oh! Thank you for commenting and enlightening me! How fascinating.

He was to die at the end of the first film (or float off never to be seen again)
Nooo!!! For the whole end of that film, my friend and I were screaming at the TV 'What about Archie!! He's still in the rowing boat!! Go and save Archie!!' I am so glad he didn't end his days that way...

the writers, producers, etc liked Jamie and the Archie/Horatio relationship so much they decided to write him back in.
Heeeee!! *loves on the writers/producers* Completely understandable. Jamie is adorable and it was completely endearing how much puppy charm he brought to the Archie role.

They didn't care for the close friendship he had developed with Archie and before they would permit A&E/the BBC to do any more films Archie had to die...on screen...so there was no coming back for the character. Hence the painful (in so many ways) death of Archie.
OMG! Horror! That explains a lot. But eeeeek!

I'd love your links if you find them. That would be great! What a fascinating fandom--and what bizarre circumstances. I'm not surprised most fans read them as lovers--there were serious sparks! And the tragic death just begs to be rewritten. I don't think I can bring myself to watch the final films.
The First Evil: Archie & Horatio - soldier boys - sdwolfasta77 on June 23rd, 2006 01:26 am (UTC)
I found the doc! Yes, I have it saved as a Word document because I kept finding myself passing along this info to people and it was easier than finding the e-mail. ;p Anyway, I'm e-mailing it to you. Let me know if you can't open it and I'll copy and paste the info to you instead. :)
Nora Norwich: baby clark snugglesnorwich36 on June 11th, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you were thwarted in your attempt to return the book to John Banville. (Though I must say, you have a lot more guts than I do! I can't imagine working up the nerve to even make the attempt).

I'm afraid I haven't watched any of the shows you talk about above, except a few episodes of House this season, so I can't comment on the other stuff. (I should be able to catch House in reruns this summer, though).
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: House mockingbop_radar on June 11th, 2006 11:42 pm (UTC)
Hee. Thanks for your sympathy re. Banville. My courage was hormones, pure and simple--I'm not usually that aggressive brave. He just hit my rage buttons.

House is well worth catching on re-runs. After SV and BSG, it would be my favourite show of the moment. The writing gets a lot tighter in second season and they seem to decide who they really want the supporting characters to be. It's all a lot better.

BTW, I'm going to have another go at VM at some stage. I'm going to try marathoning it when I can get all the eps. It might be easier for me to get into that way. I am curious to know what all the fuss is about. ;)
Nora Norwich: hold my handnorwich36 on June 12th, 2006 01:19 am (UTC)
Well, don't think you have to watch VMars just for my sake! The teenagers don't get more realistically teenagery as the show goes on, for one thing, and I remember that was one of your complaints. (I do like, though, that they actually go to school and have classes that matter, unlike in SV or Buffy).

On the other hand, if you can marathon it you can see how interesting the plot arcs are, and especially how marvellously they use the minor characters and how complex the characterization is. No one is completely good or evil on this show, and I do love that.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: 21JumpSt Hanson babyfacebop_radar on June 12th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
Hee! Well, you see, I have been known to flip-flop terribly on shows before now... many a show I initially disliked, I ended up loving (*cough* Buffy, Smallville). And I'm interested in complex characterisation, plot arcs and good supporting characters. So there is a lot of potential there! Many people who I respect enjoy the show, so I feel it's a good idea to give it another go. Sometimes marathoning is the only way to hook into something that's not immediately to my taste.
blowjobs for jesus: bookstackkristiinthedark on June 11th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC)
I totally hart you for your near-altercation with Branville. It's too bad they stopped you, because it's not very often an opportunity like that comes along. *fantasizes about slamming Hemingway to his face*- and we know that's not gonna happen. *g*

I have stayed far, far away from Hornblower. I just can't. Even the idea of it makes me emo.

I'm so happy you made an "about Boppy" post! Yay!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee Apollobop_radar on June 12th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC)
Oh, the money I would pay for the opportunity to slap Hemmingway around! Hee! Or to burn DH Lawrence's books in front of him, the syphillitic lunatic!

Hornblower is not for you, little k! Stay away! It is emo to the max.

I'm so happy you made an "about Boppy" post!
Really!? I fretted so much. I wanted to post stuff but thought noone would care. *hugs*
blowjobs for jesus: clark smilekristiinthedark on June 12th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
Gah. Are you serious? Of course we care!

And, huh. You were online and I totally missed you. Damn.

Or to burn DH Lawrence's books in front of him, the syphillitic lunatic!

*lights the matches*
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Chocolate OTPbop_radar on June 12th, 2006 04:19 am (UTC)
Damn, yes I was around and didn't see you. Then I had to run to breakfast.

I'm so glad to have you to share my author-rage with! Only an author can inspire me with so much rage... it happens rarely but it stays with me for life. I still have the scrawled-over copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover from my undergrad degree with all my first-time-reader shock and distaste written in the margins. When I feel bitter, I have a good read. *g*
decisively indecisive: didz and anthonybouncymonkey on June 12th, 2006 11:57 am (UTC)
Belle & Sebastian! Eeeeeeee! ::loves:: I'm going to see them for the first time next week, and I'm soexcitedomg. Sounds like you had a really good gig :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: TW smilebop_radar on June 13th, 2006 01:26 am (UTC)
Awesome! Another belle and sebastian fan! *BG* They seem to be in fine touring form, so I'm sure your concert will be good too. I've seen them before, but this concert was the best. They seem really *in* to touring at the moment, really relaxed and enjoying it. They're sooo cute! For a band so boppy, they dance really really badly. *loves dorks*