Saturday Morning Brain Drain [10/2/24]

Image via Holly Reporter

What I Watched: Monsieur Spade, starring Clive Owen. It has all the noir you could possibly want!

Here’s the blurb from the Hollywood Reporter: Clive Owen plays Dashiell Hammett’s dashing private investigator Sam Spade of The Maltese Falcon novel fame, forced out of a quiet retirement in the South of France and back on the case to solve murders, in the trailer for AMC’s Monsieur Spade. The crime drama will also feature guest-starring appearances from Alfre Woodard and Dean Winters, portraying Virginia Dell and Father Matthew, respectively.

Monsieur Spade is set in 1963 when legendary private detective Spade (Owen) is enjoying a peaceful retirement in the South of France. But the rumored return of an old adversary changes everything. Six beloved nuns have been brutally murdered at the local convent. As the town grieves, secrets emerge and new leads are established, all of which has Spade, in his trademark fedora and trench coat, connecting the crime scene to a mysterious child believed to possess great powers.

“Everyone from the Vatican to French Intelligence to the CIA is after this kid. This has spoiled my tranquility,” an irritated Spade complains at one point in the trailer, as his preference for swimming nude in a luxurious swimming pool and pursuing local, village lovers is disturbed as trouble comes calling.

The six-episode drama is co-created, written and executive produced by Emmy winner Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit), who also serves as director, and Tom Fontana.

Season One Trailer

 What I Read: A few series continuations:

  • Drake Hall (The Secrets of Ormdale Book 2) by Christina Baehr. Gothic late Victorian England, with dragons.
  • A Sky Full of Stars (Shadowvale Book 7) by Kristen Painter. Less silly than some of her series, with a full complement of paranormal beings.
  • Forever Covert: Forever Bluegrass #21 by Kathleen Brooks. Improbable town with improbably skilled residents. The bad guy always loses.

What I Listened To: A bit of Club 8, a new artist to me – Sunny; Kinky Love; and Strange Reflection. Off point, but thanks to the windy weather I’ve been listening to the large, deep-toned wind chimes we have in the backyard. They are glorious.

Thank you for playing Brain Drain! How are you, dearhearts? Darling DeadSplinterites, what’s going on? Please do share with us!

About Elliecoo 494 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. I watched the first season of Slow Horses, which someone else here has brought up. It’s very entertaining, about loser agents at MI5 stuck in a dead end office who try to save the day.

  2. As I watch Reacher S2 and seeing American actors running around in Niagara Falls and the Toronto area I realized that Reacher is actually a remake of the Littlest Hobo aka the Deadliest Hobo.

    There’s a criminal conspiracy that keeps on calling me

    Down the road is where I’ll always be

    Every stop I make, I’ll kill a new fiend

    Can’t stay for long, just shoot’em down and I’m gone again

    Maybe tomorrow, I’ll want settle down

    Until tomorrow, I’ll just keep punching on

    Down this road, that never seems to end

    Where a new body count, lies just around the bend

    So if you want to join me for a while

    Just grab your gun, come travel light

    That’s Reacher style

    Maybe tomorrow, I’ll want settle down

    Until tomorrow, the whole world is my home

    S2 is not bad so far. Even they had a reference to the first movie but no short jokes or Scientology cracks.

  3. Also watched 1/2 of The Griselda mini series on Netflix this week. Hopefully finish it sooner than later.

    For a brief moment at the beginning I thought Sophia Vegara was going to scream “Jaaaaaay!” (Modern Family)

    It’s entertaining to see Sophia not be Gloria and play a dramatic role. She does it well. I’m scared of her. However, I noticed that Sophia plays Griselda who is the real life dangeorus woman that Sophia’s Modern Family character Gloria mentions she was (for comedy) all the time she was back in Colombia.

  4. Monsieur Spade, 1963, the south of France, noir? I know what I’m doing today.

    In last night’s episode of “Hawaii 5-0” a shipment of bombs have arrived at Pearl. But then, as the soldiers are taking possession of the shipment, some kind of hand grenades are launched but it’s nerve gas, so the soldiers aren’t killed, but they’re knocked out, and a few miscreants make off with the bombs.

    Meanwhile, a femme fatale is carrying a briefcase full of cash. This is a common theme on “Hawaii 5-0,” which she delivers to her contact. He happens to be disguised and works as a Catholic priest! With a laughably bad Irish accent. The femme fatale is the daughter of a “Boston industrialist.” You know where this is going. All of this is going to be shipped to Northern Ireland for the IRA.

    I doubt this episode could have been made nowadays but it would have made sense at the time. My mother was an anti-Irish bigot and she had plenty of opinions about “The Troubles” and she used to say, “If they could all just stop drinking for minute…”

    So, there’s some violence, and McGarrett is already on to the faux-priest, and the femme fatale is horrified by this and (presumably as a good Catholic) she confesses to 5-0.

    Now, the question is, WHY IN HONOLULU?

    Honestly. You all must watch it. For many of us it’s within our lifetimes but it might as well be set on a different planet. The pay phones, for one thing.

    I was once in this history museum. It was really small and kind of sad, and à propos of nothing they had a recreated office cubicle circa 1984. So there was one of those little Macs, and an office telephone. Kids were encouraged to pick up the handset and push numbers. It didn’t go anywhere, but it brought insight to the kids about what their dinosaur parents were used to. When I was there some young girl was left unattended and we were in the “office” and she seemed completely bewildered.

    “Here, honey, here’s how the phone works. Pick that thing up and hold it to your ear. That’s right. Now push some buttons. That’s right.”

    The museum had rigged it so that for whatever number you dialed in you got a busy signal. Does anyone remember those?

    So my new friend got that, and had no idea what it was, and I took the phone from her, and started laughing. Good times.

    • You have to wonder if some studio exec had a leftover script about the IRA from some show like Kojak, and decided to just quickly swap out Honolulu for New York and “Book ’em, Danno” for “Who loves you baby?”

      • …it was…not uncommon for a while, I feel like…there was a sort of common acceptance that for dramatic purposes US money…only sometimes sketchy money…was funnelled to “the cause”…if you didn’t want to make the villain of your piece a straight up dirty commie

        …but it certainly hadn’t been new for a while by the time sons of anarchy had the multi-decade history between a guns & drugs running outlaw biker gang in california & guns & money for the IRA be the foundation of the viability of the whole club’s charter

        …so it would be quite the trope to have coined if 5-0 got there first?

        • It looks like McCloud beat Hawaii 5 0 to the punch with an episode six months earlier about IRA killers.

          McCloud would make more sense as a US show with  an episode about the IRA, since it was set in NYC and New York had the kind of Irish ex pat community that did lend some support during the 70s. Also it’s vastly more sensible logistically for shipping weapons compared to Hawaii.

          But McCloud was also a wildly ridiculous cop show. What he was doing with the NYPD never made sense, and it’s fitting that the final episode of the series was “McCloud Meets Dracula.”

          • I wonder if Banacek ever did an IRA episode. That took place in Boston. I remember reading once (maybe 30 years ago) that the port of Boston and Logan Airport were responsible for a vast amount of money and munitions shipped to fund the IRA. Far more than anywhere else in the country.

            I was just up in the Boston suburbs last year. The Sullies abound. The accents. The cargo shorts and hoodies in 30° weather. I was asked to attend a Catholic Mass. I’m always up for that, why not?

            The church was this postwar circular structure set on a huge plot of land with tons of parking. As I was slowly walking in with my cane I turned to my companion and said, “This is amazing.” And she said, “I’m glad you like it.” And I said, “I don’t like it at all. It’s ghastly. It’s an eyesore. It must be bringing down property values. Oh, hello Father.”

  5. …slow horses is great…think there’s a season 3 I’ve not got to yet…& a big part of why it’s good is oldman…though the “lead” in some narrative senses is a guy with a more than passing resemblance to a young simon pegg reprising his hot fuzz character…but the mick herron books they’re adapted the thing from are also pretty great so if the show isn’t your cup of tea there’s always a chance you might like those…they aren’t all about the slough house lot but several are & a few more see an appearance from oldman’s character

    …finished up mr & mrs smith…& I enjoyed that…personally I think the mrs brings more to the table but it was entertainingly bonkers while managing to have some genuine moments so I’d be game if/when it comes back

    …& came across another it’s-a-book-but-not-THE-book from patrick rothfuss…the narrow road between desires…if you’re familiar with the would be trilogy the character first appeared to then it’ll suffice to say it’s a day in the life of bast…though if you’re not it would probably be important to say no, not the bast with the cats…this one’s a guy…& fae

    …liked that fine but it can’t help arriving with a side of “so, pat – where’s book #3?”…which may be unfair & unkind…but I can’t seem to help?

    …as ever…pretty sure I stared at other stuff but I’ll be damned if I remember what?

      • …he was pretty good as a young lando in that han solo movie…& atlanta was/is (is, I think but I’m behind if so) pretty great

        …& iirc he’s the other half of the abed double act in community…which was a lot of fun

        …so more of a compliment to his other half there than particularly trying to diss a donald I don’t hate?

  6. I actually went to the library this week and picked up a few books.  Currently reading Thom Hartmann’s The Hidden History of Neoliberalism: How Reaganism Gutted America and How to Restore Its Greatness.  I always enjoy his books & listen to his radio show when ever I can.

    I watched Mr. & Mrs. Smith this week but we have already discussed that so here, learn about butterflies & moths …

    Listening to some chill reggae…

      • @Elliecoo, gas guy got rescheduled a day later (yesterday) and was having a really frustrating time fixing it but just as he put everything back together and making sure all was good, we found another leak in the wall going up to the fireplace upstairs.  So, now we are delayed until he can come back on Tuesday to fix that line (still can’t close the subfloor to floor over it).  I am super frustrated.  Wife loves what we have so far but is also getting frustrated having to wear shoes in part of the house & then take off to not mess up new floor.

  7. We’re currently into a show called Criminal Record with Peter Capaldi.  I’m holding off on the  Monsieur Spade and True Detective 4 until all the episodes are in because we’ll probably want to binge them.

    • first time ive heard it….and i kinda love the new sound

      its my kind off odd

      did somehow make this song pop into my head tho… not really sure how that worked

    • I read Pam Anderson’s memoir last week and am currently reading Paris Hilton’s. Britney’s is on the list! These gals are made to look shallow and stupid in the media (as a whole), and yet… none of them actually are.

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