Random TV Reviews

I’m having trouble writing much at the moment, with too many ideas flitting about my head that I’m having a hard time concentrating on one. I’ve started a few blog posts that I’ve had to abandon. So to get something written I’m reviewing recent TV that I’ve watched (UK TV, so some may be unfamiliar or a few seasons behind to some readers).

 

New Worlds

I’ve only vague memories of the preceding series, The Devil’s Whore, but I gave this one a chance as there were a few interesting bits in the trailers. Those may have been the only interesting bits. I did manage to stay through to the end, but my reading in the adverts often continued when the adverts ended as I couldn’t be bothered to pay full attention to what they were agonising about on screen.

Possibly I’m just not the intended audience, but I’ve enjoyed some similar things before. (None memorable enough to mention here though)

What story there is felt like it meandered along the scenic route, and ambled near the resolution without ever doing more than glancing in its direction. At least that 4+ hours wasn’t wasted. I did get some reading done.

 

The Mentalist

I enjoyed the end of the Red John storyline (although it may not have completely ended, since one of his acolytes did escape the big showdown – why do that unless they intended it to matter later on), and felt it worked well (and I didn’t work out who it was till the week before, thankfully). The fact they did so in the middle of the series leaves me with hope that they have something planned for the end of it (still have about a handful of episodes to go here), and some larger story to be going on with (maybe Red John’s acolytes, although would they need to sacrifice a long-standing cast member raise the stakes rather than make it seem forced).

While the formulaic episodes are enjoyable enough, it’s when the series strayed into the darker areas of Jane’s desire for revenge that it became truly good. And I doubt his murder of Red John is going to be as easily brushed aside as it so far appears to’ve been.

 

Person of Interest

Nearing the end of series two here, I don’t understand some of the harsh opinions I’ve read about the series. They seem to amount to wanting it to be something it isn’t. Maybe there’s a sense of it being on the verge of being something better, when it gets into the larger mythology of the series, but it seems content to be what it is. I enjoy the chemistry between the actors enough to take it as it is.

 

Mammon

A fairly by-the-numbers conspiracy thriller, which nevertheless manages to hold the interest with good performances. And a death in last week’s episode (the penultimate one) genuinely caught me off guard.

It fills my addiction for subtitled TV while I’m waiting for BBC4 to find something interesting for Saturday nights (I haven’t tried their current offering, and while Salamander was ok – albeit fairly misogynistic – I just want the next series of The Bridge to hurry along).

 

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I want to like this more than I do. There are many elements that I do like, and it’s in no danger of losing me as a viewer, but it feels like it’s missing something. Possibly I’m expecting too much because of Joss Whedon’s involvement, which in this case probably isn’t as direct as in other stuff. I’m kind of hoping it’ll be like Dollhouse, and take time to find its groove.

While the links to the movies is good at making the series feel part of a larger world, there is the danger of it controlling the series if the movies are seen as more important – and therefore allowed to do what they want with the series having to react accordingly. I doubt that’s the case at the moment, and the impact of the recent Captain America film (which I haven’t seen, and won’t until it’s out on DVD – another problem with being tied in) will have been known when they were creating the series.

I’ve enjoyed how they’ve tied it in so far (we’ve just had the Hydra spy in the team revealed), but I’m still waiting for the series to decide what it wants to be. Maybe knowing this shake up was coming is what’s prevented it doing so. I can hope.

 

At least I’ve managed to write something. I might end up doing another of these in a while. The second season of The Boss has just started, and the second season of Orphan Black is back this week, so there’ll be those to comment on in time.

Experimental Slowness

With the latest short story from the Tales of the Thief-City series I’ve tried altering my writing process so that I have only a rough outline and a collection of lines and ideas to go in there somewhere. I then write it at a slow pace, firming up the details as I go – rather than having a more comprehensive outline and sometimes dictating the text.

It’s a mess. Some stuff I’m fairly certain is repeated, other stuff that feels like its in the wrong place, and a story that feels too simple – as though it’s missing a beat or two. And I was extremely frustrated and stressed out by the slow pace I forced on myself (and by the delays of working out what happens next).

It looks like a thorough outline is the way I’m more comfortable writing. While I can take my time on the outline, when I’m doing the same stuff writing the first draft of the story I feel an urgent need to get it done.

I’m wondering how doing the outlining on computer would work. If I do write up blocks of text I could then just slot them in when I get to the proper writing, rather than transcribing my notes. I’ve got a feeling it wouldn’t work, that I’d feel compelled to just get on with the writing.

It might be worth trying on a short story though.

Grey Enigmas

Grey Enigmas is now available.

Grey Enigmas small
In a telepathic society where everyone has their inner policeman, mysteries are rare. So when a thoughtform programmer is murdered, with no obvious culprit, the authorities are at a loss.

Woken from his sentence still unrepentantly anti-social, Alex finds society now has need of a detective.

Will solving the mystery offer him freedom, or is that no longer possible

A 3900 word novella.

Based in the same setting as Grey Engines, this is set over a century later, so is a stand alone story rather than a sequel.