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Last year, Rick and I took the non-stop to Frankfurt, where it took literally 1-1/2 hours to get from the gate we arrived at to the Lufthansa club nearest the gate we’d be departing from. Then we lazed about in amazing chairs for a while before catching our flight to Istanbul.

Our flight lands in Istanbul at 1:30 in the morning, though it was closer to 2 before we managed to pay our visa fees at the airport, get our passports stickered, and wander over to the immigration queue.

We took a cab to our hotel. The cab driver liked a genre I’m not generally into: light jazz.

Until the next song started. I remember driving along parallel to the Bosphorus, the famous bridge in the distance, mere days before the protests started up.

The song changed, and suddenly, I forgot where I was, completely involved in the music. I pull out my phone, launch SoundHound and ask it to figure out what song it is.

Yachts (a man called Adam mix) by Coco Steel & Lovebomb.

It had been used in the opening scene of Fairly Legal Season 2 and somehow I’d assumed it was incidental music written for the show. When we got to the hotel, I bought the song off iTunes.

Here’s part of that scene:

I started using SoundHound in 2011, and it’s really been great for finding songs that remind me of places and times. First song I bought after finding the tune with SoundHound? I was in New Orleans over the holidays.

Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing by Tom Waits and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

When Rick and I were in Puerto Rico having a great dinner, SoundHound found a song playing in the restaurant, Gilberto Santa Rosa’s Amor Mio No Te Vayas.

So. Check it out. I especially like the fact that you can have it listen for a clip, then save that for later so you can search when you have bandwidth. Perfect for international travel on sippy cup (or nonexistent) data plans.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Season 2 of the web series One Step Closer to Home is filming in Australia. So. I’ve. Been. Told.

It’s a show about a newlywed couple trying to figure out all the normal stuff in life, like where to find the art for the living room and how to fit sex into the schedule.

Oh, and if you liked Season 2 of Fairly Legal with Ryan Johnson as Ben Grogan, here he is with his more typical accent.

Here’s the web site.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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This is a really great report of a panel at a Supernatural con.

Sebastian Roché has the attention span of a fruit fly on meth[...].

And, about a prior con:

Misha comes on stage with a small pig, because why not?

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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I’ve been kicking this post idea around in my head almost a year, ever since I sat in front of a computer working on a fan site wondering if I’d gone mental. Adding to the surreality was working at a glass desk over the shallows of the Indian ocean — hardly normal for me.

Backing up a bit, several of us were fans of a particular actor and role on a particular show that was, as is often the case, canceled. It was obvious the actor in question hadn’t found additional work in the US and would return home to Australia soon. One night, a Twitter direct message conversation spawned between myself and another fan, and I up and registered a fan site domain on the spur of the moment.

The Site That Almost Wasn’t

The following morning, I was scheduled to leave for Tokyo.

No worries, I thought, it’s a few bucks. If I still think it’s a good idea in when I arrive in Tokyo, I can do something about it.

Or, you know, not.

Honestly, I almost didn’t. It’s putting one’s self out there a lot and it’s a lot of work, not to mention an implied ongoing commitment. Making a fan site is adopting someone as “your people,” only they don’t really get a say the other way.

Plus, back when I was a teen, a friend of mine and I were singing at Disneyland in the annual Christmas Hallelujah Chorus thing, and Jimmy Stewart was the big actor there that night. My friend was a total fan. Just loved him. Unfortunately, he was a total jerk that night, and it broke her fannish little heart. Sometimes, we’d rather keep our fannish things to ourselves.

From the other end of things, I remember the first time I saw a positive review for one of my pieces. I was stoked. This person probably will never understand why I think they are so totally awesome—even if they never feel the same about anything else I ever do.

Back to the site…I got to Tokyo. Kinda freaked out. Emailed someone who ran a different fan site:

I’ve just bought a domain for a Ryan Johnson fan site, but it’s the morning after and I’m having cold feet, so please tell me that you’ve had some positive feedback from someone other than me. :)

This is where people you don’t know from Adam will leap to help you.

Most people in the limelight are happy with a fansite, as long as it goes easy on the gushing, treats them as human beings without objectifying them and respects their private lives.

Which is really good advice for dealing with anyone, and not different than I’d planned. I can’t handle the fan sites that are populated by stalkerazzi photos. I hope that fan site runner gets some happy feedback from their person eventually.

However, it was a couple more weeks before I told Rick about the fan site, though that was partly because I was in the Maldives and he was not….

Stuff I Learned

I’ve always thought of myself an audio person rather than a visual person. In high school, I was in band, marching band, orchestra, dance band, and choir at the same time. I studied sound recording (audio and film) in college. I’m generally more interested in how someone sounds than how they look.

I’ll often identify actors by voice long before I recognize their face (due to lighting, makeup, and the general chameleon-like nature of actors in their profession).

However, suddenly having (way) more than a thousand pictures of an actor’s career in front of me and having to pick and choose which made the cut and which didn’t — things started to click.

I’ve never really liked animated movies. Sure, I can enjoy them, but I never deeply bond with them. If you asked me why, I’d have said: the limited facial expressiveness doesn’t bridge my suspension of disbelief.

And that’s true, as far as that answer goes, but the real answer runs far more deeply than that, and I really had never put two and two together.

People’s facial expressiveness mattered to me far more than I realized. I tend to take people at face value, and I realized that I was getting far more of that “face value” from facial expression than I’d been aware of.

I started thinking about people I liked—the colleague you joke with, the person who sticks out at an event you attend—and realized that many of them had more expressive faces than average.

And, unfortunately, people whose faces are less expressive than average are generally people whose faces aren’t as memorable for me unless they say something that’s particularly memorable.

As I sorted through the pictures and tried to get good screen captures for the fan site I was building, I finally understood a whole lot more about why I hated YouTube so much, why I preferred Vimeo, why I liked BluRay and hated standard def, and why I generally loathed streaming media. The lossiness of video, particularly streaming formats, cuts a lot of the facial expression detail. I kept feeling like I was watching Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine when his face was melting—not because of any issue with the acting or production, but because of the quality of the video I was viewing.

So while the fan site wasn’t a project I undertook to understand more about myself—it really was “Dude, I love your work”—it helped anyway.

I was nervous and strung out about announcing it, but he was very kind. It’s hard to pick a favorite out of all the pictures, but this one’s on my short list.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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So, Google had been annoying me with the “Do you want to link this YouTube account to your real name?” crap for eons. It was like a bad date who wouldn’t take the word “no” seriously, you know?

Usually, I’d log out of YouTube, then reload the damn page to watch the video. As my friend Jason is so fond of saying, “Because fuck you.”

So I went to favorite a video today, and I had no favorites list. None. Zero.

I thought I’d lost my carefully-kept list of Ryan Johnson clips. I haven’t put fan videos featuring his work on that list, but my favorite of the ones I’ve found is this Fairly Legal one featuring Duffy’s “Mercy”. I think maybe it’s time for a second playlist here….

Anyhow…what happened. My YouTube account split. I now have my old persona and my new persona. All two of my uploaded videos are goners, but at least I still have what mattered most: my favorites.

So, without further ado, here are ten of my favorite YouTube clips.

  1. Jessica Biel can actually sing. I love this song, love her performance. Colin Firth steals the movie, but her music is, in my opinion, the real star.
  2. Ilio the Surfing Pig. For real. I first saw this segment on TV, and there was more of Ilio surfing then, but only “Part 1″ has been uploaded. If anyone finds a better link, I’m all ears.
  3. Salvador Dali on the 50s TV show What’s My Line?
  4. Jordan, the Royal Tour. Visit the country of Jordan, guided by a former Star Trek actor who also happens to be the head of state. (This is several YouTube videos long and is definitely worth watching if you’ve never seen it.)
  5. Daylight Robbery, a show featuring extreme squirrel obstacle courses.
  6. Star Trek/NIN “Closer” mashup. Exactly what it says on the tin. Original series slash at its finest. All clean except for the (non-bowdlerized) song.
  7. TED: Bonnie Bassler, The Secret Lives of Bacteria. Quorum sensing bacteria is just such an amazing thing to me.
  8. Boney M, “Rasputin.” Love this video. Though it is their official video, the male singer isn’t the person at the microphone as this is the non-live version of the track with live footage carefully cut.
  9. Sean Penn gives us all a lesson on how to answer awkward questions about one’s ex. Major props to him for a really winning approach that leaves nowhere to go and is hilarious at the same time.
  10. Extreme Sheep LED Art. Welsh farmers with a truckload of LED lights and a bunch of sheep. Hilarity ensues.

So, there you go. Hope you enjoyed.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Now that Fairly Legal Season 2 is being broadcast in worldwide markets, I keep seeing people ask what season 3 would have been like.

Several of us who’ve done a lot of writing have discussed this, and I’m sad to say that others have come around to my point of view. In short: I believe this was answered in the first scene of the second season.

Specifically, it’s this line:

No. No. I tend to make things much worse, and then I disappear.

That’s the proverbial Chekovian gun on the mantlepiece. Since it didn’t happen at the end of season 2, my guess was that it was intended for the end of season 3.

Sarah Shahi has said that Kate was going to be very “Sex and the City” in Season 3, dating lots of guys. Implication being anyone other than Ben.

And, honestly, in the sense of keeping a longer-running show around, it was too early to put Ben and Kate together. Look at how long the romantic lead-up was in Castle. Or CSI. (In CSI, I like that it didn’t turn out to be Happily Ever After for Grissom and Sara, but then there’s the awkward part of the relationship being shorter than the buildup.)

Show Longevity Revolves Around UST

Where UST = Unresolved Sexual Tension. That’s what sells advertising, and TV shows live or die based on ad spend. You can throw a believable male/female spark between the primary characters, press them -> <- this far apart for a few years, make each episode otherwise decent, and you will have a loyal and built-in female audience for that show in the prime market segment.

Look at how well it’s worked for The Mentalist. Baker and Tunney are cute enough on their own, but what keeps women coming back is the longer arc about their relationship, which I tired of some time around the beginning of season 3. Plus, IMHO, the writing is meh, so it’s not enough to keep me interested without the relationship.

Frankly, I don’t get the appeal of several-seasons-long UST. I’ve never been the kind of woman whose attention could be held by one small thing here, and another small thing many weeks later. As a writer, I’m fascinated that (other) people can be held that way.

I suppose this is one of the things that utterly fascinates me about the fanfiction community. If you search on fanfiction.net, you’ll find that many of the top-favorited fics are very long. Several hundred thousand words (aka several books) long. Here’s a Twilight one that tops half a million words. A Star Wars one that’s 300k words. A 400k Glee fic. (Note: I haven’t read any of these; I generally limit myself to ones that are no more than typical novel length.)

As a footnote, I’ve come to a new understanding of serious fanfic writers: fanfic is like improvisational jazz for writers. You get to take someone else’s motif and play with it. I like the pieces that subvert the underlying work’s tropes or add meta layers to them. I love weird crossovers (Fairly Legal/V anyone?). A piece I admire concept-wise (but have only read a bit of) is this meta-fanfic where Bella is a fanfic writer and Edward is one of her readers. Note: half a million words and a lot of UST.

Dividing Loyalties

The love triangle’s a hard one, and I think Fairly Legal lost ratings because it divided crucial viewers between the Justin camp and the Ben camp. Most of the new viewers were solidly in the Ben camp, and it’s interesting to note that essentially all the fanfic written after Season 2 started was about Ben and Kate, not Justin and Kate.

Working backwards from the final scene of season 2, I get why it happened the way it did, but it would have been far more sympathetic to the Justin shippers for Justin to find a new and compelling possible romance to give the Justin fans something to look forward to.

Worse, Kate’s Sex and the City antics in season 3 would have lost many of the Ben shippers, including me if it had gone on too long.

Character Arcs

The opening bar scene in season 2 made me wonder: was Ben intended to be a two-season character? Or not? As someone who loved the character, had he stayed disappeared after the end of season 3, I’d have stopped watching. My expectation for the season 3 ending would have been that Ben would have disappeared sometime in the final episode and Leo and Lauren–and possibly even Justin–would have pushed her into going to look for Ben, with the final moment being them seeing each other, leaving that moment hanging in the air. Because, you know, season finales and cliffies go together like strawberries and whipped cream.

That Word

Speaking of, I have to say that I really, really love where season 2 of Fairly Legal wound up. I think it was one of the best moments I’ve ever seen for a show ending, because it both closed off a lot of possibilities, but left the new season (if there were to be one) open in the way most season endings don’t.

I need a word for that. It’s almost the opposite of a plot chokepoint.

Said ending caused my plot brain to go into overdrive for months. Every morning, I’d dream a new plot that could stem from that moment.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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There’s a fascinating article on Medium about why Cable TV bills are escalating out of bounds. I’d noticed this a couple of years ago when I looked, horrified, at our cable bill and we cut the wire. In 2011, we replaced cable TV with a dual antenna set that ran $400 and has served us well for the staggering amortized cost of $15 a month (and falling).

When the region changed managers, I got a call from Comcast asking why we wouldn’t come back.

It wasn’t the service issues, though those sure didn’t help. It was the realization that most of the money I was paying was going to things I had not only no interest in, but I felt were things I wouldn’t choose to spend my money on. Worse, what I’d rather spend my money on was getting almost no funding at all.

So, I said, “Until you have the Fuck Sports Channels and Fox News Plan, we’re done.” And I meant it. I’d far rather fund a real educational channel. Another Farsi channel. Something else.

Inevitably, non-sports fans will realize that they are getting totally ripped off. My favorite explanation came from a post by sports blogger Patrick Hruby: “ESPN’s business model is getting 60 percent of the country that doesn’t watch ESPN to pay 60 bucks a year to pay for ESPN.”

I don’t really want to go on a tear about funding for sports, how athletes are given passes in ways they shouldn’t be (especially true when sexual assault is part of the problem), nor about how Title IX and sports isn’t really anything liked I’d hoped it would be. It’s not that I dislike sports. I do make a point of going to sporting events. I just have little use for sports television apart from the Olympics. (And if you do, that’s fine.)

The problem, as is outlined in the Medium article, is packaging.

I can’t help but feel that we’re caught up in a variant of Max Barry’s Jennifer Government, where everyone is in competing marketing alliances and the cable companies need to suck up to all of them — to our detriment.

Here’s the bigger tragedy, in my opinion. Used to be that the networks were the studios that made the shows. An ABC show was actually made by ABC. This is no longer true. You’ve no doubt noticed the production company credits (e.g., Bad Robot) after the show if you sit through the credits.

Let’s say you’re a rebel like me and you cancel cable. And AMC has a show you really like — Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead.

Let’s say you can watch it on Hulu. Does that count toward the show’s viewership? Yes, because it has ads. Remember, the network is fundamentally all about selling ads.

Let’s say you buy it on iTunes. Surely that’s good, right? No. Because that money goes to the production company, not the network, it counts as zero viewers when considering a show for renewal. So, even though the production company gets a bigger slice of the pie and you are directly supporting what you love, it doesn’t count when the network decides to renew the show. (I suppose it’s possible that such sales affect the price to the network if the revenue’s significant enough.)

Same with buying DVDs — money goes to the production company, not the network.

Thus, not only is the pricing model broken, there’s incentives for it to stay broken, and it’s not likely to get fixed any time soon.

Until the bundled pricing model breaks (which is starting to happen), our hopes lie in iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, et al.

Graphic is from this article about highest paid public employee in every state.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Some years ago, Rick and I sat listening to a panel of some TV writers talking about their experiences in Hollywood. Neither of us remember the writer in question or the name of the proposed show, but we both remembered the punch line, and I think it’s an important one.

It’s one of those that’ll stick with you.

Before Buffy, the proposed TV show (never produced) about vampires was going to feature a major character who was a Moor, centuries old, educated at Oxford. Or maybe Cambridge.

One of the network execs giving notes said, “He doesn’t sound black.”

Writer explains character’s background and education.

Network exec says, “How will they know he’s black?”

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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I started writing fiction around 1988. My best friend, Joyce, started a writing group out of our circle of friends. If I wanted to play, I had to write. All of us (who are still living) are still writing, too.

The first piece I wrote Joyce said was like “waltzing with Frankenstein” — it’s clumsy, but I got there. It was science fiction. In that future, people had beepers. Just goes to show you about failures of imagination, doesn’t it?

While waiting for a response, Gilbert’s beeper made a raspberry sound. He calmly moved his hand to silence it, and, in his haste, knocked it to the ground. It shattered with a last mournful wail. Gilbert’s faced turned raspberry, no doubt to match the sound.

And so, my literary (non-) career began.

I remember spending an inordinate amount of time looking stupid shit up. Like punctuating dialogue.

My next novel I wrote on a typewriter. Way. I started it — and given much of the slush I’ve read, this is not an uncommon place to begin — by having the character wake up. I wrote three novels of it in first person. It bit. I wrote a short story set in the same world. It also bit. Marion Zimmer Bradley said it had “no sense of wonder” back when she used to send personal rejection letters. I have always wondered if that was more her problem or mine. (I’m not an idiot: at least part of it was indeed my problem.)

Somewhere in there, I tried to write some Trek fanfic, but I really wasn’t inspired. That’s because it was before Riker grew a beard, I think, and before I dated the guy who kinda sorta looked like Riker.

Then I fell into a rough crowd, literarily speaking, and wound up with contracts for twelve adult (read: porn) westerns in four different series. Yippie-ki-yay. Wound up being half my income for that 18-month stretch, mostly written when I lived in Fort Lauderdale in a studio apartment with a roach problem, dating a guy who had a magic ability to rescue and repair televisions. I know that not all twelve wound up being published; I know at least one was, and no, I’m not telling you the names. Move along.

Oh, and my late husband, not realizing what the stash of books was all about, burned them one evening. Just. Great.

I started writing technical books and chapters after that, including a book about (Macintosh) System 7 for Que. They came with prompt checks and contracts (and really prompt deadlines; I had three weeks to write my first book), but eventually I realized it was coming at the expense of writing fiction. Fiction writing makes me happy; technical writing does not.

I got turned down for Clarion a couple of times and realized I needed to try harder. I went to Odyssey one year, but our year is sort of a lost year, unfortunately. Some of us are really only just now starting to get some success.

In 2001, I started my MA in Writing Popular Fiction (now an MFA program), and learned a lot. I was accepted for Clarion in 2002 (don’t ever do that mid-MA/MFA, it was a stupid idea), and then went on to do Viable Paradise in 2002 (see previous comment) and again in 2004.

Then I got into the doldrums, where I was lost for years. I’m not usually a fast writer and I am fairly easily discouraged when I hit a wall. Nanowrimo has been really a successful endeavor when I’ve been able to commit to it.

Last time I wrote a whole novel draft (2009), it was only in a few weeks, but I wrote it out of order and it is an unholy mess. Let’s just say that, like E.L. James, it is an erotica riff that launched from Twilight in its own way, but the resemblance ends there.

She strolled by, smelling like a hot Texas night where lovers cling under the magnolia tree wrapped in dense humid mists, fireflies twinkling with excitement. Only she was two thousand miles from Texas and blocks from even a single magnolia.

It’s not that I wasn’t writing, but I wasn’t doing enough of it. There are reasons, and some of them are good reasons. Let’s just say it’s part of the past.

In 2010, I decided to go for my F (MA->MFA upgrade), but decided quickly that it really wasn’t for me. For the first time, I felt like I knew what I was doing as an author, and what I needed was more story seeds, not more education. Instead, I set out and fixed some long-standing obstacles in my past, including mending a long-broken relationship with a good friend.

So I had an idea for Nano last fall, and I decided on a project I’d been wanting to for a few months, so I started on it on Nov 1 dutifully. In a few days, I fell over.

Why? Because my writer brain had been waking up every day for months, without fail, working on fanfic. So I said, well, what the fuck, we’ll write some fanfic then. I started doing that on the 6th or so.

I got the 50k done in November. The piece is somewhere around 70k now, but I haven’t yet taken the machete to some places that need it, and I cut 10k out of it one day.

I started posting it. Any of my Clarion classmates can tell you this: I’m really really not a one-draft writer. So seriously not. I under-write. I leave out important stuff. My first draft is really more like making clay for the final pot without any pot-like shape to it.

But this is fanfic. You can make it as polished as you want — or not. I’ve decided to mostly post first drafts, flaws and all. However, my first drafts are far cleaner than they were in my Clarion days. First, I’m not as tired. Second, I’ve grown as a writer. However, I’m aware of my limitations, but I decided I wanted to play now, not six months from now.

I’m glad I did.

I got fan mail. (As of today, I’ve gotten fan mail ten days in a row.) Fan mail is incredibly addictive, folks. It will keep almost anything going.

But that’s not what’s most valuable about it to me.

I’ve discovered a lot of things about how I write. I’ve always known I’m a plot writer, and characters don’t really talk to me except when we’re in media res together. I can’t do those character sheets ahead of time and have it mean anything. But fanfic comes with complete characters (hopefully not so complete that you don’t have room to grow them somehow), so that wasn’t a problem for me this time. Because of that, it was easier to keep going because I felt like I had a feel of what the characters would say and do that I don’t get when I’m writing the early parts of my first drafts.

So I can start characters first. I just never have been able to with original stuff.

There are spaces in between scenes where things can happen, and those interstitial moments can be very cool.

Other people are writing the same characters and using them in different ways with different moments, memories, and lines. You get to look at those choices and figure out if you agree more with them or your own interpretation — or if you want to write another piece that takes advantage of what you’ve learned from someone else’s interpretations. It’s interesting how much even four people can diverge on interpretations yet agree in the main.

Fanfiction.net also offers some very nifty traffic stats. I have a reader in Kazakstan. How cool is that?

But mostly, the other people writing in that same world will amuse you and you will learn from them — and they from you.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Rick and I were discussing my favorite kinds of shows as I was whining about Fairly Legal being canceled. He pointed out I liked smart shows with good dialogue, complicated plots, and layers to them — and that most people simply couldn’t relate to them. I also really like a good sense of humor in a dramatic piece, but it’s not something that’s absolutely necessary for me.

My three favorite movies, in order, are: The Player, Duplicity, and Inception: all but the last have a great sense of humor; Inception probably would be my favorite movie if it were warmer and funnier.

So let’s go over those doomed series. This will be the first of a one-post-per-show format.

Fairly Legal

For this show, I really loved the writing. There were lots of places where things were left far more open than in a typical series, and I just love that kind of pointilist dialogue.

There were, unfortunately, a lot of fans of the soon-to-be-ex-husband on the show, aka #TeamJustin. Having built that up for a year, introducing Ben was bound to cause some of the fans to become disaffected, though many of us who liked Justin in the first season switched to #TeamBen. For me, I liked Ben from his first episode, though I saw his flaws, but for others, it didn’t happen until around episode 8 (“Ripple of Hope”) of 13 episodes, which was, imho, way too late to get people on board. Some people stopped caring about the show as a consequence. Side note: iTunes claims I’ve watched Ripple of Hope 192 times. Ahem.
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Here are some series I have loved in Season 1 or 2 that have died an early death, in approximate reverse order. These are all series where I became a fan within the first two seasons in real time and was religious about not missing an episode.

Fairly Legal
Alcatraz
Terra Nova
FlashForward
Caprica
Stargate Universe
Firefly
The Agency (CIA show with Jason O’Mara and Paige Turco), brilliant in Season 2, never on DVD. :(
The Lone Gunman
Crusade
Cleopatra 2525
Prey
Space: Above and Beyond
oh, and Twin Peaks

Notice anything about the show longevity?

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Sorry to see you go, Fairly Legal.

There’s really only been two shows I’ve fully bonded with in the last few years: that one and FlashForward, but they appealed to me in completely different ways.

I’ll write about that later.

nu9sr

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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From Fairly Legal, Season 1, episode “Coming Home”, a key conversation between Justin and Kate. From this, it’s fairly obvious that Justin filed for divorce and that Kate didn’t want to split up.

K: (Knocks on Justin’s door) Hey, I tried calling you, you didn’t answer your phone.
J: That’s because I didn’t want to talk to anybody.
K: I’m really sorry I betrayed your confidence.
J: So you just apologize and everything’s all right?
K: Justin, it’s me we’re talking about.
J: You’re unbelievable, you know that?
K: Aww, Justin. I’m sorry. But don’t hold this over my head just to get even.
J: This isn’t about getting even. This isn’t about Paul Hainsley and you know it.
K: All right, fine. I admit it. I’ve been avoiding signing the divorce papers. It’s…. I really like things the way they are.
J: What we have is not a marriage, Kate.
K: I know, and isn’t that great?
J: How is that great?
K: Well, when we were married married, we never had any time for each other, right? And that created pressure.
J: Which I was willing to work through; you weren’t.
K: It’s everything I loved about the relationship without actually having to be in the relationship.
J: So it’s all the fun without the work, right?
K: Yeah, so what’s wrong with that?
J: Where do I start?
(they kiss)
J: Stop.
K: What’s wrong?
J: This is what we always do.
K: Yeah, there’s good reasons why we should.
J: No, and then it just goes back to the way it was before and nothing changes, and I don’t want to do this any more, Kate. I can’t.
K: Sure you can.
J: No. I can’t. What if you were mediating this relationship? What would you say? Ignore the problem. Let’s go to bed. Nah. You’d say fix it, right?
K: Maybe.
J: Yeah. I love you, Kate. But what we have is broken. We can’t keep pretending that it’s not.
K: Justin.
J: (backs away) I’m sorry.

And the opening scene from season 2′s first episode, Satisfaction, where Kate and Ben meet. It essentially is a plot map for much of season 2.

K: (plays with rim of glass)
B: Plymouth and tonic.
K; Check, please.
B: Do you always come in the door leaving?
K: Umm, it is Not My Scene.
B: But, here you are, so you were either born on that bar stool or you came in here disguised as a woman who wants attention.
K: And you’re wearing a $3000 suit with a pocket square.
B: I believe my motives are clear.
K: Sorry. It has been a while since anyone’s offered to buy me a drink.
B: Really? Did the world go blind?
K: (Laughs) I’m married. Was married. Now I’m not. Anyway, the ex is on his way to sign the (waves hand) whatever, but it looks like he has blown me off.
B: Well, it’s just as well, or he would have changed his mind.
K: (Laughs) Nice try. Maybe it’ll feel normal some day.
B: Do you believe in fate?
K: Wow, was that a line?
B: It’s a question. Takes the edge off picking up strangers in bars.
K: I’m 29. I’m, uh, nearly divorced, recently orphaned, more recently out of a job. My life is kind of at this unexpected turning point, so yeah. I do believe in fate. And I believe she is a fickle, fickle bitch. [nice recap for people who didn't watch Season 1]
B: You seem broken.
K: (laughs)
B: I like that.
K: And you’re a fixer.
B: No.
K: Yeah.
B: No, I tend to make things much worse, and then I disappear.
K: Well, at least you’re decent enough to be honest about it, you don’t see that much.
B: Oh, you must be a lawyer.
K: (lying) Schoolteacher.
B: Right. You’re a schoolteacher and I’m a decent guy, so (raises glass) cheers to honesty.
K: Hey, cheers. Yeah. (laughs) And good night. (gets up, starts leaving)
B: Is truth the way to your heart?
K: (turns)
B: Withdrawn, counselor, I misspoke. We have not yet established that you have a heart.
K: The way to my heart would be to do everything and to say nothing. No negotiation, no foreplay, no strategy. Just be who you are and take me.
B: (stares)
K: (whispers) Too late.
B: (stares after her as she leaves)

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

Love this opening dream sequence from the upcoming Fairly Legal episode “Borderline”:

“They’re smart enough not to chase cars.”

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Fairly Legal, Season 2 (thus far)

After season 1, USA axed the show creator and brought on a different show creator, then brought in Ben as a love triangle character. Season 1 was about the rather broken relationship that Kate had with her soon-to-be-ex husband Justin, which was summed up in season 1′s episode “Coming Home”:
cut for post length and spoilers )

The Beeping

Apr. 9th, 2012 05:19 am
deirdre: (Default)

My mother complained yesterday that something in the house was beeping. My iDevices were all happy, so I ignored it and went back to catching up on Anthony Bourdain episodes of The Layover.

Later, she mentioned something to Rick, who then set off trying to find the sound’s source. A few seconds after he passed the TV, there was another beep. A few seconds after that, another.

It was the show. Specifically, it was profanity being cut. Of course, I hadn’t noticed it because of the context in which I was hearing it.

Rick reports back to my mother, who asks, “Why the beeping?”

Rick says, “It’s Anthony Bourdain.”

Which made me laugh.

For what it’s worth, the Amsterdam episode of The Layover is one of the funniest pieces of television I’ve ever seen, though the clips on the web site are dramatically cut from the iTunes episode.

In my blog post about transiting through Amsterdam, I forgot to mention a detail that sticks with me: the couple ahead of me at the transfer desk were clearly stoned out of their gourd and had, accordingly, managed to miss their flight.

I mean, the Dutch are super-efficient, so I was a wee bit gobsmacked by the relative size of their transfer stations (though it is the 14th busiest airport in the world), at least right up until I realized that part of the underlying issue was also oh-so-Dutch.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

Context: a local Comcast rep came to talk to us as we’re one of the “switchers.”

Dear M,

Thanks for stopping by our house to talk to us about Comcast. As you know, we did have some rather legendary service issues, but that’s not ultimately what led us to leave the fold, it was merely the catalyst.

In short, the entire process of billing for cable television is broken. Without the ability to not subsidize channels like Fox News or shows like 19 Kids and Counting (when did The Learning Channel become so craptastic?), there’s no way I’d come back to cable.

And yes, I really do want to pay show-by-show, not just pay for a shotgun lineup of channels. Now, the shows we actually watch are able to get direct dollars from us, and if more people chose that approach, maybe there’d be better-quality shows produced. Or not. Regardless, what we like is now more directly correlated to what we pay for. What we dislike, we are not paying for.

Also, except for the broadcast channels, I’m able to watch shows with no ads. Imagine that. I’m paying about the same amount of money over time (less, actually) and fewer ads. I’ve never been clear on why I paid a cable company for non-broadcast channels that have advertising.

So, there it is. Sure, we don’t have as many channels as we had before, and downloads aren’t instantaneous, so it’s not a perfect system. It is, however, a better one.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)

The antenna guy came today. We used AV Solutions Pros out of Mountain view. He got it done as quickly as it could be and with great quality. We’re getting some channels I hadn’t expected to, and it all seems very nice. Of course, we’re subject to weather fade, much like satellite is, but he said it’s really worst conditions now due to the leaves on the trees.

Over-the-air cost so far is a wash with buying the HD shows the first year, but of course it’s a gain in years after that.

Now it’s an ongoing saga to figure out content we care about in this new ecosystem, plus I want to make sure to pick up any interesting show premieres somehow — that’s how I discovered FlashForward two years ago.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

deirdre: (Default)
Is there no show or movie you fail to fuck up by bringing it across the pond?

(Okay, I'll admit I like the US Being Human, but it's not the same show. Now be nice and give Torchwood back to BBC.)

The Hugos

Sep. 5th, 2010 10:26 pm
deirdre: (Default)
Exhilarating.

My favorite book (WWW: Wake) didn't win, but I didn't expect it to. Of course that'd be my favorite, though, given my work.

Paolo and China got the tie for novel, which was very cool.

My favorite movie won! Moon. I let out quite the yelp for that.

To give you an idea, it was made for 5 million dollars by David Bowie's son, funded by money raised from/by Sting's wife, using cat litter as the moon's soil, where Sam Rockwell had no one else to play off of because Kevin Spacey's voiceover role was recorded after the fact. It was just Sam, all Sam. Amazing, really, especially given the budget.

My favorite short story of the nominees, "Bridesicle," won.

Former BayCon chair [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire won the Campbell Award. Go, Seanan!

Not everything (or everyone) I liked best was nominated; I'm particularly sad that some of my Campbell-eligible friends, Jay Lake's Green, as well as FlashForward episode A561984 weren't nominated, but I'm very happy with the winners from the pool of available nominees.

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