Sunday, March 20, 2022

I'm Right Here...


Going to be a short post today because I actually went to work for once. Seems like a long time since I was last there and that's because it was. I'm not going to be putting anything coherent together this evening, that's for sure. Might as well have a pot luck post.

Let's start with a few things I've been watching on tv. I just read Wilhelm's post on the same topic and it reminded me I meant to mention "The Woman in the House across the Street from the Girl in the Window", starring Kirstin Bell, although I'm not sure you can just "mention" something with a title like that. You have to take a run-up.

I really enjoyed it, even though it was very different from what I was expecting. It was clearly flagged as a comedy by Netflix when I first added it to my watchlist and the current page calls it "darkly comic" and "deadpan, absurd, offbeat", all of which are true but almost incidental. What it mostly is is a fully-fledged, properly plotted mystery-thriller. It just also happens to have some good jokes and some surreal set-ups.

Kirstin Bell is excellent throughout although I'm pretty sure if her character really drank the astonishing amount of wine she's supposed to have been putting herself outside of since her daughter got eaten by a serial killer on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, she'd look a damn sight worse for wear than she does. Compelling though the lead character, Anna, is I was distracted for the longest while by her friend and agent, Sloane, who I was sure was played by the same person who played Shannon in Kim's Convenience. She's not. Two totally different actors. This is when I miss not watching television with a roomful of people in the years when you couldn't just look stuff up online. That argument could have fueled an entire drunken evening.

Sloane (aka Mary Holland) in blue, Shannon (aka Nicole Power) in black.
It's not just me, is it?




I'd say it has a really good twist at the end but I hate it when people even reveal there is a twist in things like this. Except of course there's a twist! The whole show is twists!

Did I see it coming? Yes. Long before it happened? No. I got it just in time to say I'd figured it out for myself but I'd have felt pretty dim if I hadn't.

The fight scene that ensues, though, that I did not see coming. I'm willing to bet no-one did and if they say different then they're lying. The whole thing rounds off with the world's heaviest "Second Season Coming" drop. I'm down for that.

Talking of second seasons, I've either just finished or am just about to finish three of them and I was minded to write a whole post about the trouble with sophomore seasons off the back of it but this is not that post. I'll just say the second season of Raising Dion is at one and the same time overblown and undercooked and the second season of Final Space rips most of the pathos from the wounded heart of the first. 

Despite their many, many flaws, I'm thoroughly enjoying both. That's always been the great thing about television. It really doesn't have to be good to be good to watch. Just as well, really.



Upload also wobbled crazily at times as its second season flashed past but then so it did during the first one. Despite huge chunks of the premise, let alone the plot, not making any sense at all if thought about for more than a moment, the character arcs and the throughline do all hang together, somehow. Things got so fractured I didn't think the writers were going to be able pull it all together but then they managed to hail mary all the hanging plotlines in the last five minutes of the final episode with such success that I can't wait to find out what happens in season three.

Unfortunately I will have to wait and quite a while, too, because apparently Upload takes longer both to write and make than most Netflix shows, which is why we only got a paltry seven episodes this time. I really hope things work out for Ingrid when the next season does finally get here. She's my favorite character and she deserves a break.

That'll do for a TV round-up. Not quite sure what I'm going to be watching next, either. I think the fourth season of Stranger Things is due soon and the second set of Russian Doll, too. And wasn't there some talk about another season for Umbrella Academy?  The one thing I could really do with is another long-running half-hour sitcom, something that maybe notched up seven to ten seasons but that I miraculously haven't yet seen. And that's on Netflix or Prime. Not been able to come up with any good candidates so I'm open to suggestions.

Games, then. Other than an awful lot of Guild Wars 2, about the only thing I've been playing is the awkwardly-titled Steamworld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech. It's a bit of a departure for me, being a card battler. It's not a genre I know much about let alone one I'm any good at and generally I find the idea of deck-building about as tedious and annoying as talent trees in mmorpgs but SQ:HoG also has a surprisingly strong, linear plot and that's mostly what's keeping me playing.

The characters are unusually distinctive for this sort of game, too. They aren't subtle but they have strong personalities. It feels a bit like an rpg in some ways. For all I know, that's what all these kinds of games are like. It's not like I've played many to get a feel for the genre. I've read a lot of blog posts where other people wrote about them, though, and I can't remember anyone even mentioning there were plots or characters, let alone whether they were any good or not.

Other than that... nothing. I logged into EverQuest II, thought about making some spell upgrades to try and get past the tough boss in the Adventure Signature Quest, decided it was too much like hard work and logged out again. Haven't logged into Chimeraland since End of Dragons came out or Lost Ark since I got my egg pet. Blade and Soul is patched but I still haven't gone back. 

I'd blame ANet for making a good expansion although judging from what I read on the forum I might be the only one who thinks they did. As for the immediate future, we're in the middle of a spell of glorious early Spring weather that's set to last all week, so I might be outside a lot. I might not be doing all that much gaming until it starts raining again but I'm sure that won't be long.

Going to wind up this quick filler post with a tune, one that YouTube's happy little algorithm offered up while I was watching all those Glastonbury long-listers. I wanted to put it in the post last time but it was thematically inappropriate. And now it's not!

Motorbike - Gretel Hänlyn

There's nothing about this I don't love. The relentless bass riff, the deadpan vocals, the color keying, the way she reminds me of Paula Wilcox in Man About the House... I could write a list. Best of all, 1.30 when she yells "Hey! You're not being loud enough!" and someone turns up the volume. Not far enough for my money.

That's all I got. Peace out!

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