You know another really good business? Teeny tiny baby coffins. You can get them in frog green or fire engine red. Really.

7 April 2006


A cat came to the library today. Hesitant and silent as only a big-bellied pregnant cat can be. I told this tabby that we had no smell-o-books, so she left. For a weekend of feline debauchery, no doubt, as the college has quite a population of semi-feral cats.

It has been a strange sort of a week, or maybe I’m merely suffering withdrawel symptons from not being online so much. My contribution to the b’verse have been, for the most part, confined to the mornings at work. But it isn’t really my fault. You can blame Tim Minear.

Or, maybe you can blame Channel Six, as they were the ones who showed the promos for his show The Inside, but haven’t actually scheduled it yet. And they’ve ignored my emailing asking if they know when they might be airing it. But an idle comment on Whedonesque prompted me to look online, again. And lo and behold I found some episodes, that weren’t dead. So, since Monday evening Pavlov[1] has been occupied downloading a folder containt 7 episodes of The Inside, hopefully it’ll be finished some time this evening.

And, while I can go online and do other stuff while the torrents do their thing, it does tend to slow everything down. And given that Pavlov is a whole two years old I decided to just leave him to it.

This, of course, also means that I’ll be waiting till alter to nab the most recent Veronica Mars episode. I’m prepared to wait though, especialy given the fact that at the moment it doesn’t look like there will ever be a dvd release of The Inside, while there will be one of VM.

And of course, there is also the fact that we are blessed with an abundance of watchable weekly tv at the moment. Another factor keeping me from messing about online.

  • Monday
    • Lost which has improved from the “oh god, let something happen before I die of boredom
    • Podge & Rodge – the terrible twosome.
  • Tuesday
    • BSG where poor old Apollo was suffering last episode
    • Desperate Housewives – which gets more and more surreal with every episode
    • Our second helping of Podge & Rodge though I do think they have eased back from the attacks on their guests. They were positively nice to Fr. Brian Darcy. And wasn’t he odd, with his fake-laughter?
  • Wednesday is a bit of dead loss. Apart from soaps, which I didn’t actually watch this week, instead I went to see V for Vendetta for a second time>
  • Thursday
    • House – bearing in mind that I’ve only seen two episodes of this show I have to say that all the reports of it have not been exagerations. It is funny and gross. It does have interesting storylines, and characters, and technobabble, because you can’t have a medical show without the technobabbale, and it has interesting directors like Bryan Singer.
    • Bones is also really enjoyable light-hearted[2] entertainment.

So, that is a week filled with much tv-goodness and I haven’t even mentioned the shows on dvd that are waiting for me.

But it does pose a bit of a problem. My reading is suffering, as well as my blogging. Used to be I’d read a book every day or two. Now it is usually at least a week.

And also, what is the deal with the increasing use of maudlin songs over the final few shots in American TV shows? Cold Case is of course the worst offender. It spends the final half and hour recapping all the scenes we’ve already seen with people filing boxes away while some angst-filled emotional songs provides the only sound. But Bones seems to be spending longer and longer grave-side with the music, and House did the same thing. I don’t mind a bit of music at the end, but do we really need to be hit over the head with the “look how sad/resolved/emotional/important the ending is?


  1. my laptop
  2. can call a murder investigation, corpse-ridden programme light-hearted?

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24 Responses

  1. AUDS says:

    The title's from house!!!
    Watched half of it last night, pretending it would be good for exams. Finally gave in to common sense and turned it off – what was wrong with the hallcinuting boy in the end?

    I loved the bit where he told the mother what's what with regard to vaccinations.

  2. anne says:

    The rest of your title quote is making me really sorry that we don't get House here…

  3. Fence says:

    Bang on, Auds. The kid was adopted, and so the docs had an incomplete medical history of the mother. She hadn't been vaccinated, so for the first six months of his life, neither had the baby. He'd picked up measles (I think), which *insert technobabble* mutated into whatever it was that he had.

  4. Fence says:

    Anne, BSG is Battlestar Galactica, which is far too long to type.

  5. NineMoons says:

    Wasn't BSG SHIT this week though?

    Am mental busy. God knows when I'll be down to you. Will ring you as soon as I know.

  6. weenie says:

    How did you find V for Vendetta the second time round? Am toying with the idea of seeing it again (on my own and without the bf being clueless about it!)

  7. Kelly says:

    There was an article in Entertainment Weekly recently about the increasingly annoying maudlin music & montages in shows nowadays. Hopefully somebody's paying attention and will stop the madness.

    I was JUST thinking about what you said regarding watching tv & reading! Weird… I'm the same way: I used to read at least a book every two days, and now it takes me two weeks. But, I think it's because we're getting our fill of stories, WATCHING them… Still though. I'm afraid my little grey cells are shriveling up as a result. Not that I'm going to stop watching. Civilization is doomed.

  8. Mal says:

    What's with all the guys with guns, Fence? I keep thinking I've wandered onto the Branch Davidians' website! Could we have a nice picture of a lovely lady with flowers in her hair, possibly holding a puppy?

  9. Mal says:

    Hey, I said that…

  10. Kelly says:

    Fence, I beg you: do NOT bow to Mal's request. I will die without my daily dose of Jayne and his macho striptease. Please.

  11. Fence says:

    I dunno NM, I thought it was okay. Not great, but okay.

    Weenie, second time round I found it just as good. And Evey came across as slightly better, as I suppose what had happened to her meant that I was willing to accept her flatness (or the bad acting) as a reaction :)

    Here's hoping Kelly. It's like the makers want to force feed us this "emotional impact" moment. And it aint working. And don't worry, that pic of Jayne is going nowhere, although I may be messing with the layout this weekend (its been more than a month, change is justified)

    Mal, that's Jayne. He's the reason the blog is called Pretty Cunning, so he has to stay. In some guise or another. Sides, there is only one of him. Plus a big giant yawning fox. And no, there will be no ladies holding puppies with flowers in their hear. This isn't Frisco you know?

  12. Mal says:

    OK, I'm going to get slaughtered for saying this, but I can no longer keep my peace…

    This Joss (or Josh) Wheedon bloke…he's supposed to be all innovative and challenging and subversive, right? I don't get it. Why is everybody in his films and telly programmes so damned gorgeous? If he wanted to do something really different he'd have a plain Jane lead for once. OK, Buffy may be troubled (I've never seen it), but she's gorgeous and I bet she's from a wealthy background and lives in a trendy area too. And Angel…never seen it either, was going to get it on DVD until I saw it was set in LA. Do we need ANOTHER programme or film set in LA? It's the "dark underbelly" of LA, I hear, but even that is going for some very obvious louche glamour. Why doesn't he make a programme set in Alaska?

    OK, I might be talking drivel because I've never seen his telly programmes. But I've seen Serenity, and while I enjoyed it and thought it was a superior kind of space opera, I have no idea why it got the plaudits it did. I didn't see anything hugely original on screen. The spaceships were all battered and old, it was a cross between a Western and a sci-fi? Eh, has anyone heard of an obscure trilogy called Star Wars?

    Not that a film should be original, necessarily…I see nothing wrong with a very straightforward, old-fashioned sci-fi. And that's what Serenity was. I think this Wheedon guy gets far too much credit for his supposed originality. I might watch an episode of Buffy one day, but I'm in no hurry.

  13. Mal says:

    By the way, that all stemmed from you mentioning Jayne. It wasn't entirely random…

  14. Fence says:

    Yes Mal :) I got the link between Joss & Jayne.

    If you haven't see Firefly then Serenity won't mean as much to you. It is still a great film, but not so fantastic because you don't know the characters as well.

    As for why there are no plain people on the show, erm, its telly. Name one American show with ugly people.

    To go in depth on why Serenity and all Joss's verses are so great would require much more time than I have at the moment. I may post a whole post on the subject at a later date. So stay tuned …

  15. Mal says:

    Not necessarily ugly, but do they have to be poster-boy and -girl gorgeous ALL the time?

    And it all looks so SLEEK, battered spaceships notwithstanding.

  16. Kelly says:

    You guys, we can't help that our television programs are filled with gorgeous people. ALL Americans are gorgeous! Didn't you know? Sheez.

    Okay, lies aside, part of the fun, while being entertained by tv & movies, is falling in love with the celebrities. They don't have to be pretty (and some of them really aren't… I mean, Alan Tudyk? etc), they just have to be compelling. Okay, I do admit that we polish everybody up as pretty as we can, though. Hm.

  17. AUDS says:

    The thingmebobby disease is probably SSPE – subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. Which I should have been able to figure out (unlike all those SF TV references in subsquent quotes).
    The whole MMR vaccine tied in very nicely to SSPE. Which is bad. Put teeny tiny coffin makers out of business, vaccinate your children and don't end up hallunicating.

  18. Carl V. says:

    I'm enjoying House and Bones as well. Both are entertaining and you don't really have to catch every episode to still have fun watching them. I am a big Hugh Laurie fan from his comedic work and it is great seeing him succeed in this still funny but different role.

  19. LiVEwiRe says:

    House always gets my vote. I love everything about it and actually understand at least 90% of the technobabble… =)

  20. banzai cat says:

    House is cool. Very cool. Though sometimes I think that every show follows the general pattern: something strange comes in, House crew tries to solve it, they fail, try again, they succeed. Did they ever break this pattern in the succeeding shows?

    And why do people like Bones? I've seen some eps and I like the chemistry between the two leads. However, the hologram-thingy is turning me off. Isn't the tech too unrealistic?

    And to appease all, why not put pictures of foxes with guns? ;-)

  21. NineMoons says:

    I really don't think the people in the 'Verse are all stunning looking. In Firefly, River was a bit odd looking, strange beauty well covered and Wash was funny-looking too. Alyson Hannigan in early season Buffy was not the lovely woman she blossomed into later. Xander wasn't a big handsome man either – he was either geekily cute or tubby but good-hearted. Oz is cute more because of his personality than his looks – he's frankly odd looking. Giles and Wesley (sigh) grew into their sexiness in spite of their early tweedishness. Tara's prettiness came from her inner-loveliness. Ditto Kaylee. Buffy, Cordy and Inara are MEANT to be gorgeous women – it's part of their characters. The characters wouldn't work if the actresses weren't beautiful. Ditto Angel – he's chosen by Darla because of his beauty and Buffy first is drawn to him because of it as well. Spike started out very differently as well!
    Basically – you don't know nuthin and you never did.

  22. Kelly says:

    Nines, you're so astute. I'm tattooing what you said on my left shoulder, it was so sharp. (Hi buddy!)

  23. Fence says:

    I dunno Mal, are they are stunningly beautiful? I don't think so, but they are all, as Kelly said, compelling. And the majority of actors out there are good-lucking. Its one of the requirments.

    How true Auds, vaccines should be stopped. Every kid needs to suffer through hallucinations and night terrors. Its all part of growing up :)

    Carl I hear Hugh Laurie, I think Jeeves & Wooster. So its interesting to see him in such a different role.

    Livewire, once someone understands what they are talking about, its all good.

    Banzai, I've only seen two episodes, but I'd agree that that does seem to be the formula so far. But I think that it isn't really about the cases they are working on, more the characters and dialogue. And yes, the holographic thingy in Bones is crappy. But team banter makes up for it.

    Zackly right NM. they aren't all fantabulous looking. But they all become fantabulous because of charisma and character.

    Kelly, I hope you have an extra large shoulder so you'll have plenty of space for that tattoo

  24. NineMoons says:

    And, on mature reflection, I've thought of another thing that's wrong with what Mal was saying – Buffy is NOT rich nor does she live in a nice area. The only reason she can live in a nice house with her divorced working mother is that property prices in Sunnydale are very low – something to do with the insanely high homicide rate apparently. Also, Buffy is one of the loser kids in school – she USED to be cool and popular but since being called as the Slayer, she's constantly in trouble, gets kicked out of school and breaks her mother's heart constantly. She even ends up working in a burger joint to make ends meet.

    And Kelly, anytime you want to step in and tell Mal his ultra wrongness, be my guest. :-)

    (btw, I'm hoping to intrigue him enough to make him actually watch, so that he can eat every single frakkin word!)