Saturday Morning Brain Drain [02/10/21]

A place to let it all out.

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What I watched:  We are watching Endeavour, the young Inspector Morse series, which is a prequel to Inspector Morse and the related Inspector Lewis. I cannot stress how good this show is. Each episode runs an hour and a half, which gives ample time to offer an intricate case to solve – and I occasionally have zero clue whodunnit.

The show is placed in Oxford (the buildings are gorgeous, and I want to be on the river in a punt) and covers the years from 1965 to 1970. There is a wonderful tension between “town and gown” throughout many of the episodes. The writers do a sophisticated and subtle job of paying homage to the turmoil of the time, as background or as a murder case basis. For example, you hear a radio report of Bobby Kennedy’s assassination, presented during other action. Or, there is a young policewoman experiencing all the troubles that inspired Gloria Steinman and Germaine Greer, but it is accepted as “the way things are”. And one episode features a British rock band and a one-named model. Also, the police drive beautiful black Jaguar MK1.

Here are a few trailers/clips:

What I read:

I read the six-book School of Magic series by Patricia Rice. The books combine mystery, magic and romance, oh my! The School of Malcolms (named for a large magical family), in Old Town Edinburgh, is the link between the characters in all six books. One woman has the ability to talk to animals, another is a psychic, and another a magical photographer (you get the idea). These books were my catnip, for sure.

Also, PSA here, for those of you who are fans of the Zombie Cosmetologist, novella three, Cut and Dyed, is out. And really, who doesn’t love a good story about a Hollywood-based, film industry adjacent, zombie cosmetologist?

What I listened to this week: I’ve been on a Nick Monaco kick this week:

Nick Monaco – Private Practice, Yellow, and Elliot

So, dearest DeadSplinterites, how are you? What have you watched, read, or listened to? What is going on in your world? Was there any fun in your life? Please check in, tell us how you are, and share what you are up to!

About Elliecoo 518 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. I keep seeing Endeavour on Prime but I haven’t watched Inspector Morse. Is it okay to start with Endeavour?

    I’m still watching The Handmaid’s Tale because apparently I’m a masochist, lol. It’s very upsetting, obviously.

    I read a piece of fluff called My Italian Bulldozer by Alexander McCall Smith. about a man who travels through Tuscany on a bulldozer, the only vehicle he can rent during a busy holiday season. Adventure and romance follow. It’s not my typical read but my sister recommended it and it was a nice palate cleanser after the last two violent and trauma ridden books I read.

    I’m listening to the latest Courtney Barnett single, she’s teasing them out before the Nov release of the new LP. I wasn’t wild about the second one but I like this.

    Write A List Of Things To Look Forward To


  2. @Hannibal it is probably best to start with Endeavour, then Inspector Morse, and finally Inspector Lewis from a correct timeline POV. We watched Lewis first, have one show left of Endeavour, and will move on to Morse after that.

    Have you hit any of the bakeoff yet? We did the first two as they release on Fridays. I am not really rooting for anyone yet, but there is a lady with odd orange hair who annoys me.

  3. Thanks for the reminder the other week that there are new episodes of the Good Witch.
    I love that show with all it’s sappy romance and low stakes mysteries. It’s just fine for pandemic viewing.

    Also, I love all the healthy relationships they model in that show. Sure, it’s cheesy at times, but you know what, the characters treat each other with respect, apologize when they are wrong and there isn’t a pile of raped and dead women every episode. Which is refreshing at times.


  4. To whomever said they were going to take my recommendation for the “Miss Anne Lister” book, I apologize 🙂 It’s exceedingly boring! I don’t think I’m even going to finish it. Based on the HBO show, i thought it was going to focus more on her relationships, but t reads more like a ledger: how far she walked, what she ate, how much she spent, etc. The relationships are barely mentioned. I wasn’t looking for a lesbian bodice ripper, but just a glimpse into 1800s queer life. This is a very blindfolded glimpse, unforch.

    • I, too, enjoy LGBTQ+ history. Have you ever read Charles Kaiser’s The Gay Metropolis? Tons of archival research and original interviews. It’s very New York-centric though. On the other hand it’s very gossipy. I believe it is in this book that he interviews a man who slept with all four principals behind West Side Story: Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, and Jerome Robbins.

      It covers from about the 1930s to the AIDS crisis, but I wouldn’t know by consulting it once again, because I loaned my copy to a friend, and he loaned it to his boyfriend, and they had a horrific breakup, so I never saw it again. It was reissued in 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.

      I do still have Neil Miller’s In Search of Gay America, which is a period piece only because it was published in 1989 (I’m old enough to have bought a first edition when it appeared) and it’s now 2021. In it, Miller travels the country and often goes far off the beaten track (so, not SF and NYC) to find gay people to talk to in some very unlikely places. How he pulled this off pre-internet is a marvel. I think it’s still in print too.

      • I will add it to the list!

        I’m currently reading “A Queer History of the United States” by Michael Bronski. It goes back to colonial/native times. I literally just started it so I cannot accurately review, but I so far am enjoying the information on how the American natives viewed gender roles (and how the European settlers subsequently stomped it all out).

        I’m always kinda surprised there isn’t a huge uprising by POC against Christianity, but that’s another discussion…

  5. Nicolas Cage has met his match in Prisoners of the Ghostland. I could barely get through 45min before tapping out and never looking back. The script, actors, and setting were in battle to the death to out-Cage Nic Cage…not in a good way. As a big fan of his movies, I have to say don’t watch it. Or at the very least, don’t pay to rent it like I did. There was one somewhat redeeming scene where one of his balls get blown off by this anti-misogyny suit that he is forced to wear. In a drunk-like swagger that is so typical of Nic, he picks up his bloody ball with a light squish, inspects it and passes out. In hindsight, the poster for the movie boasts one review which did set off some alarms in my head…



    “The wildest movie I’ve ever made.” – Nicolas Cage



  6. Ellie, I love that we read similar books! I’ve been reading the House of Werth books that you mentioned the other week and they are just great. So weird (haha) but very entertaining.

    I’ve been reading like mad this week… Wyrde and Wayward & Wyrde and Wicked by Charlotte E. English (I have the 3rd one ready to go on my Kindle!) Gail’s Family, Willa’s Beast, and Angie’s Gladiator from the Icehome/Ice Planet Barbarians series by Ruby Dixon (yes, it’s total fluff, but it’s well-written and enjoyable fluff.) I finished Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr right after I mentioned it last week. I love Mercedes Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdoms series… read The Snow Queen, and I’m about halfway through The Sleeping Beauty.

    Listened to 2 audiobooks – We Travel the Spaceways by Victor LaValle, narrated by Brian Tyree Henry, which was very good, if somewhat depressing, and The Visit by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, narrated by Nyambi Nyambi, which was… very odd. Both of those are part of the Black Stars series on Audible/Kindle Unlimited (I swear, I’m not shilling for them, that’s just where I do most of my reading these days!)

    I haven’t watched much this week… the guys are still hogging the TV’s with their shoot-’em-up games lol. I did manage to squeeze in a rewatch of The Hunger Games last night, even though Other-Husband talked through the second half of it 😠

  7. …so, I know I managed to watch a couple of things this last week or so but I’m having a bit of trouble remembering what they were…let me think

    …there was the most recent of the marvel “what if…?” cartoon things…which at the very least seemed to take a big step towards those not being as individual/one-shot stories as their comic book namesakes used to be

    …there was the anthology of star wars cartoon shorts called “visions”…pretty mixed bag but some were good, if you like that sort of thing

    …a fairly ropey movie with daisy ridley & tom holland called “chaos walking”…there’s a conceit (it’s a sci-fi thing) where all men on a planet basically broadcast their thoughts audibly which is a not-overly subtle metaphor that goes to some not-entirely-surprising places…but it seems it was based on a book trilogy by one patrick ness that starts with “the knife of never letting go” & very possibly might be better read before watching the film that I think bolts its way through the whole trilogy?

    …& finally…if anyone has watched enough star trek to find galaxy quest funny…amazon prime has a cartoon show called “lower decks” which is pretty entertaining

    …I swear there was something I watched that wasn’t rubbish but my brain refuses to admit it can remember what?

  8. @SplinterRIP I really liked Galaxy Quest, and have Amazon Prime, so Lower Decks sounds like a nice palate cleanser between all the British murder mysteries I watch. Amazon has released the final season of the Billy Bob Thornton drama/mystery Goliath, so that is on my list as well. While I remember you mentioned that you were not as into the mystery genre (I think), this series gives a credible approach to current events (water shortage, terrible political shenanigans, power brokers, etc. It is well done (one season gave me nightmares over an amputation fetish) and it might be worth you giving it a watch? But start with season one…

    • …haven’t watched the new season but definitely watched some of goliath at some point…so I’ll have to figure out where I’d got to & see about watching the rest of it…thank you for the reminder

      …hope you enjoy lower decks

  9. This has been a pretty frustrating month work and commute wise, so by the time I get home, I can usually just barely summon enough energy to shower, get beer and takeout, and then fuck around on the computer.  I’ve rarely managed to scrape together enough concentration to watch any shows or do any reading most nights.



    Anyways, still on The Hanging Tree (fifth? Rivers of London Book) by Ben Aaronovitch, pretty decent, and is leaning towards drawing together events from past books.

    Was going to try and sort out Arrowverse and catch up on that, but apparently it isn’t all on Netflix anymore, and it’s been getting progressively worse, so, screw that.  Started watching the last couple seasons of Supernatural.  It’s ridiculous, but okay.  not terribly captivating.  Might find something more interesting.


    I never watched the last season of The Good Place, and it’s been years since I’ve seen it, so I figured I will watch the whole series again.  might have been the only correct decision I’ve made in the past month…


    Coworker was talking about Squid Game, said it was pretty good, and it seems to be going viral, so I may give that a try this weekend, it would be interesting to be caught up on things for once…


    ETA: oh, watched Avengement and The Old Guard recently.  Avengment is okay if you want to see a lot of over-the-top bloody prison fights.  I really liked The Old Guard, and am all for Charlize Theron transitioning into a not-young action hero movie star, and hoping for more similar from her.

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