Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chuck vs. the satisfactory conclusion

Note, this spoils the final episode of Chuck. If you don’t want to be spoiled, then stop reading.

As MIck Foley said in his autobiography, “Amnesia angles never get over.” This is something that the Chuck creators should have remembered. It was a ridiculous premise to go out of their way to destroy the last five years of characterization for Sarah by hitting the reset button which made it even worse was that Chuck, who spent most of the series learning that he did not need the intersect to be a spy, ended up with the intersect back in his head.

There is part of me that wonders if this is some sort of clever discussion of the concept of a cyclical universe as opposed to linear, but somehow I doubt it. I just think it is lousy plotting. All of this could have been saved by slapping on a scene two years later with where they are living in their dream home, but, of course, that didn’t happen.

Looking around, reaction seems to be split between those who think that it ruined the series for them and those who think it was a masterpiece. I have to say I am somewhere in the middle as usual. I don’t think it ruined the series for me, but on the other hand, I am not running out to buy the DVDs of it.

There are some final episodes that have grown on me over time. I hated the Seinfeld last episode when it first aired, but now it makes more sense that they got their comeuppance in the end. This, however, makes no sense.

Jeffster on the other hand still rocks.

Friday, January 27, 2012

As Comic Book Guy would say

Worst final episode ever. Although it should be noted I never watched Lost or the Sopranos. Chuck what was that? More when I can think coherently.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Now I remember why I enjoyed blogging

To point out stupidity such as this. Nice? Nice? What is being taught at Eton?

While doing some reading on this I discovered that "Git" is not considered parliamentary language. So nice to have Wikipedia back.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dancing with Colonels: A Young Woman's Adventures in Wartime Turkey by Marjorie Havreberg

Dancing with Colonels: A Young Woman's Adventures in Wartime Turkey
by Marjorie Havreberg

This book is excellently described by the subtitle with one minor quibble, Turkey was never actually at war. It was neutral, which gave the Allies and Axis ample opportunities for espionage and the like. Unfortunately, we don’t hear about any of that in this book. The letters are those that the author sent home, first, from her job working for a United States Senator, later as a civilian working for the war department as a secretary for the military attaché in Turkey.

As the substantial introduction points out, she didn’t talk much about her job which is understandable. There is a comment in one of the letters that they passed through a government censor. However, there is little here about the wider war either. The book is interesting in that it describes just what was served at a cocktail party in the 1940s, but beyond that I found myself not caring who was a good dancer or who was funny over dinner. A few of the people mentioned are relatively famous. Luckily, there are end notes that give short biographies for those that I had not heard of. The book concludes with a biographical note on her later life and a remembrance from one of her relatives.

So who is this book aimed at? Honestly, I am not really sure. There is not enough here for someone looking for an in depth look at the diplomatic service in Turkey. The writing in and of itself is decent enough, more geared towards travel writing than anything else. They took a few memorable trips into the mountains, for instance. Possibly if the introduction had not been so thorough, I would be more forgiving towards the text.

Strangely, this is one case where there is too much academic apparatus, at least for me. I felt that I could have simply read the introduction and that would have been enough, making the next 180 pages or so almost superfluous.

Not recommended.

 Note:This book was provided through Librarything's early reviewer Program.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Catching up on things.

So what did I miss while I wasn’t posting to the blog? Well, we had a federal election. We also had a royal visit and, come to think of it, a royal wedding. Ok, I really haven’t blogged in a long time. Like I said, I will try to do better.

Instead of discussing those things, we are going to talk about Harry Potter and Chuck. Saw the last Harry Potter movie, like most people. I am amazed that some online are considering it for Oscar nominations. Sure, in the technical categories I see their point, just not in the acting ones. Come on, guys. Get real here.

We are down to the last two episodes of Chuck. This final season has been a bit of a mixed bag. I am not sure why they are doing characterization heavy episodes at this point—the entire kidnapped baby subplot, for instance. I do like that they are acknowledging what the series was based on, mainly a mix of action, comedy and, yes, T and A. Sarah’s comment that on missions she has had to wear cat suits and platforms was probably the funniest example of breaking the fourth wall I have come across in years.

When the series concludes in two weeks, I will be down to watching new episodes of the Simpsons and Big Bang Theory.That’s it. They are just not producing shows these days that I am interested in.

Oh, well, this just leaves me more time for reading.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Brushing off the dust

After a very long absence I figured I may as well fire this thing up again. Partly that's because of a review opportunity I'm excited about. The other reason is that it feels like time. Just for the record I only read 100 books last year. A large number of them rereads. Important lesson don't move into a new house that still has daily visits from contractors. Other important lesson moving 2600 books up one flight of stairs and down two flights of stairs is a lot of work.

I'm not going to guarantee how frequent I will be posting. Except to say that the next one will be sooner then a year from now. So what have you been up to?