Joffrey Baratheon- Or Buh-Bye Game of Thrones.

Spoiler Alert–

 

The king is dead. Long live the king.

Joffrey Baratheon

Joffrey Baratheon

Yes, I read all the books way back when, back when each was released. The two most not-so-recent installments bored me beyond tears.

Regardless– Joffrey Baratheon’s recent demise might possibly be the least satisfactory death in literary/film history. Evil should suffer, if only to give satisfaction to the reader/viewer.

Frankly, if anyone was deserving of the Blood Eagle, (see Vikings), it wasn’t Jarl Borg, it was Joffrey Baratheon. The Blood Eagle episode, by the way, contains the most moving, beautiful, horrific execution scene ever filmed for television.

(Read this, you won’t be disappointed: Viking’s Creator on Frightening Spiritual Death.)

But it’s not my disappointment over the simplicity of Joffrey’s death alone that has robbed me of a pleasurable viewing experience. One can only take so much bad. That’s it in a nutshell. Occasionally a lighter hand is required.

Now, I’m well aware I’m swimming upstream here, paddling against the current if you will. I’ve read the books. I know Martin loves to kill off his characters. But the series (the books) lost me as a fan because:

1. Many of the characters I cared about were brutally murdered or morphed into something unrecognizable, or worse, were left dangling like participles – stuck in suspended animation, while other characters, characters who had little meaning for me and played only a marginal role in the ultimate story, took center stage.

2. Too many story lines. Way too complicated. And here is where Martin really irritated me when it came to the books. The HBO series only exacerbates this issue. A single scene of Bran or Arya or Danerys is singularly unsatisfactory, as is too much focus on the Lannisters.

3. The worst thing an author can do is take the well-seasoned meat of a gripping story and somehow lose track of time, wander aimlessly, forgetting he’s turned on the oven until he smells smoke and the meat is burned beyond recognition. Even sex and death, when constant, become flat out boring.

4. He’s changed Theon Grayjoy (never one of my favorite characters) from the bawdy tortured despised craven guilt-ridden under-achieving son and heir of Baylon Grayjoy and foster brother of Robb Stark into Igor (Marty Feldman) from Young Frankenstein.

You know, I really hate it when that happens.

Maybe it’s better to go out like Firefly. Leave the party early, before you drink too much and publicly humiliate yourself. Or throw up an entire bottle of red wine on your host’s new white carpet.

Now, as long as Vikings continues its stellar trajectory and if Orphan Black can maintain its brilliance and even improve with age– I’m happy.

P.S. Awful things happen in Vikings- but there are playful moments as well. Since today is the first night of Passover I’ll say this – one must mix the bitter with the sweet. The secret is finding balance. Ah yes, as Stoltzfus says to John Book in Witness“That’s the ticket, Mr. Book.”

Holy Shite!

How long must I wait???

Orphan black 1

The second season of Orphan Black (on BBC America) won’t premier until Spring 2014.  Shite!  Shite!  Shite!

Vikings

Vikings, second season, 2014.  Fy faen!

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones, fourth season, 2014.  Godsdamn!

True Blood can bite me.  It sucks!

the walking dead

The Walking Dead, fourth season, October 2013 – will watch one or two episodes to see if it’s worth my time.  Ya had to kill off Shane, didn’t ya?

downton abbey

Downton Abby premiers January 5, 2014.  Oh my dear darling, yes!

Big Bang Theory

Person of Interest

In the meantime I’ll have to make do with Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest.  Looking forward to September.

the sharons

You know… the writing for the small screen is so much more creative and interesting than writing for the big screen right now.  Orphan Black may be the best series… ever.  My passionate love for Sara Manning and her sistras rivals my love for the Sharons on BSG.

Monday Morning Update!

All the news…

So while I was in Montana I read three books – two new and one old fave I keep in my suitcase for emergencies.

World War ZWorld War Z, An Oral History of the Zombie War, by Max Brooks – I’d been avoiding this book, worried it would be your standard post-apocalyptic zombie fare ala The Walking Dead.  Not so!  World War Z is a fantastic work.  The story unfolds via first person interviews with survivors ten years after victory has been declared.  Loved it, especially the inclusion of the Five C’s– kind of an inside joke.  (The chapter on North Korea will send chills up your spine it’s so scary prescient.)  I was determined to read the book before the movie is released.  To my great disappointment rumor has it that for the sake of political correctness the location of Patient Zero has been changed.  Too bad.  Max Brooks is also the author of The Zombie Survival Guide.

Gifted HandsGifted Hands, the Ben Carson Story, by Ben Carson and Cecil Murphey.  I finished this autobiography in a few hours.  I’d been wanting to read the book for years.  Only laziness kept me from buying it.  All the recent publicity surrounding Dr. Carson forced me to finally get my ass in gear and buy the book.  Gifted Hands is the inspiring story of a poor black kid from a single parent home in Detroit who grows up to become the preeminent pediatric neurosurgeon in the entire world.  Dr. Carson is an impressive man.  The challenges he’s met and the standards he’s set for himself throughout his entire life are equally impressive.  Good stuff.

After the NightAfter the Night, by Linda Howard.  This book travels with me.  If I run out of reading material, why, viola!  There it is!  The hero, Gray Roulliard, may be a beast, but he’s one sexy beast.

So long, Andrea!

So long, Andrea!

You’ll never believe it but thanks to my daughter’s insistence I watched the season finale of The Walking Dead.  I swear it was so much like a soap opera I didn’t have to have seen a single episode of Season Three to pick up right where I’d left off.  What did I think?  Meh.  Wasn’t horrible.  Wasn’t stellar.  Not much in the way of forward movement.  Quite a few TSTL moments and of course we were treated to the de rigueur demise of a member of the original group.  Next season I’ll probably watch the first episode and the last.  And yeah, I’m still mad as hell about Shane.

Game of Thrones, Tyrion Lannister

Game of Thrones, Tyrion Lannister

Ah… On the other hand A Game of Thrones opened on a high note–  So much talent, so much potential, so many fabulous stories to tell.  I’m super excited about this season.  A Game of Thrones promises great things.

Vikings- Ragnar Lothbrokson

Vikings- Ragnar Lothbrokson

Sundays are tough for me.  All my television viewing, except for The Big Bang Theory and Person of Interest, is condensed into a single night:  A Game of Thrones, Vikings, (The Walking Dead), and Downton Abbey.  Fortunately each show follows it’s own timetable so I won’t be forced to choose.  If I had to choose I’d choose Vikings.  If you’re not watching Vikings, man oh man are you missing something special.  Watching Rollo, Ragnar’s brother, bury an ax in Svein’s chest was practically orgasmic.  Payback’s a bitch, honey.

In other news I’ve been traveling lots– and that’s sort of an understatement.  Two weeks ago I was in Oregon for my father’s birthday.  As you know this was an important birthday, most notably because he nearly died of a ruptured mitral valve last November.  After a couple setbacks he’s great, amazing.  Aging in reverse.  I like to keep my family life private but here are a few picks of our small birthday gathering–

My mom and dad

My mom and dad

Our little family - my parents, my sisters, my cousin, me.

Our little family – my parents, my sisters, my cousin, me.

My dad goofing around

My dad goofing around

My dad and his nephew

My dad and his nephew

Here’s a totally cool photo of my daughter taken during a hike on her ranch.  She’s standing with her short-haired St. Bernard who thinks she’s a cow dog–

My amazing older daughter

My amazing older daughter

They need rain/snow… bad.

Last but not least my new cowboy boots!  I mean if you fly all the way to Montana on a little plane what’s the first thing you do?  Go shopping at Murdoch’s.  Bought two shirts and a new pair of cowboy boots.

Ariat boots

Ariat boots

Oh, almost forgot… My birthday is Saturday.  I’m not big on celebrations and I hear tell hubby has something special planned.  I think he’s whisking me away.  Oughta be interesting!

 

 

How The Walking Dead ‘Killed’ This Passionate Fan’s Passion…

In a hurry, I might add.

It’s the lack of character development, stupid.

1.  Tired, trite plot devices.  Hey, old campy sci fi flicks and cartoons like The Simpsons and Futurama have used ye olde decapitated head floating in a jar trope and used it better because the trope was intended to be tongue in cheek.  Sorry, can’t take it seriously. Makes me giggle.

2.  “Smell the Fart“.  We don’t know Michonne.  Last season’s cliffhanger left us with the impression of a borderline insane, possibly psychopathic, cunning, mysterious kick ass female survivor.  I couldn’t wait to get to know her.  Unfortunately we still don’t know Michonne because she has fallen victim to Joey Tribbiani’s ‘smell the fart‘ syndrome.  Remember when Joey landed a leading role in a soap opera?  Well… Michonne is smelling the fart big time.  And that’s about all she’s doing.

3.  Boring writing = the kiss of death = Andrea = Who?  The one survivor I really cared about from the original group (after Shane’s character-assassination and murder), the woman I had high hopes for, has become a zombie without even trying, uh, I mean… dying.

4.  I don’t need record zombie kills.  Zombies are nothing more than set pieces.  I need flesh and bone– three dimensional characters who move the plot forward.  Please don’t resort to zombie attacks to create plot which leads me to the following:

5.  As my son says, heroes are boring.  Villains are not.  Why?  Because most of the time movies and television portray heroes as reactive rather than proactive.  Villains, on the other hand, are proactive.  In other words, villains have a plan.  They have a vision.  Which is probably why The Governor is more interesting than anyone else, heads in jars notwithstanding.  (I must point out the borrowing here– themes from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.  Pay attention, it’s in there.)

I worried the death of Shane might spell the death of the show for me.  I hoped Andrea and Michonne would fill the void.  Not so far.  Nada.

Thus I’m thrilled to have found Faith on Hulu and I can’t wait for A Game of Thrones because if nothing else Tyrion and Cersei Lannister will fill an entire hour with plots and plans, sorrow and joy, murder and mayhem.

Complexity rules.  It’s the characters, stupid.

What’s a woman supposed to watch after the WORLD SERIES?

I’ve lost all interest in The Walking Dead, Season Three.  Sorry, Barbara.  It IS SO NOT working for me this time around.  What a heart-breaker.

To jump the shark in television terms:  The moment when a show is no longer worth watching due to a very contrived episode. The term comes from the Happy Days Hawaii miniseries.

It was tragic when True Blood lost its magic -which happened for me during the All Maryann All the Time slog through Season Two.

The All Maryann Channel

Ah well.

Firefly never got the opportunity to jump the shark.  A mixed blessing.

Jayne – my favorite anti-hero

Battlestar Galactica occasionally sagged a little, but I could get past a somewhat lackluster episode because even if the action sputtered, there were still moments of subtle interaction, character growth, birth, rebirth, and death – moments that made the show worth watching.

So far this second season of Person of Interest has been stunning~ If anything, the second season is more engrossing than the first.  Good writing.  Accept no substitutes.

Here is what I’m about to embark on, in terms of a cutting age television adventure (have to watch via Hulu)~

FAITHLee Min Ho stars in a thrilling fantasy epic, as an elite warrior in 1300′s Korea who travels to the 21st century to find a doctor capable of healing the Queen. In a comic twist, his search for a doctor with godlike abilities leads him to a popular plastic surgeon, played by Kim Hee Sun. When she refuses to believe his outlandish story, he kidnaps her, dragging her back into the past to save the Queen. Will this stoic warrior give up his code of honor and choose love over war, and will this career woman ever consider a life less modern? Only time will tell, quite literally.

I’m excited, subtitles and all!