Saturday Morning Brain Drain [14/8/21]

A place to let it all out.

Image via WHRO

What I watched:  Halifax: Retribution, a sequel series to Australian television crime drama Halifax f.p. (1994 to 2002) which featured the cases of Doctor Jane Halifax, a forensic psychiatrist. The reboot focuses on random sniper attacks within Melbourne, racist gangs, aging rock stars and groupies, and burned out police persons. It keeps my attention because of the plethora of possible suspects, the side dramas, and the Australian setting. Here is the trailer:

What I read: Oh, a zillion books. I completed the King’s Watch series; read the newly released Hessians and Hellhounds (Manners and Monsters Book 6) by Tilly Wallace; sped through Sailor’s Jewel, the newest book form the Charms of Albion series by Celia Lake; and thoroughly enjoyed The Suck Stops Here: A Paranormal Women’s Fiction novel (First Fangs Club Book 4) by Kristen Painter. The First Fangs premise is farcical but is treated with such realism that the reader goes along for the ride. Here it is: the middle-aged with adult children ex-wife of a mafia don who faked his death is turned into a vampire, becomes vampire of queen of New Jersey, survives a creature war, collects friend and employees (including vampires, witches, reapers, gargoyles, wear wolves, fey, and banshees), and wear fabulous high-end clothes, jewels, and shoes. What’s not to like?

What I listened to this week: Spotify let me down this week – the algorithm failed with their recommendations – it happens. Out of 30 suggestions I liked three: Lovely – Binder&Krieglstein; boerd feat. Stella Explorer – Before We Drown; and Mcbaise – Water Slide (feat. Kamggarn).

So, dearest DeadSplinterites, is everything okay? What is up with you? What have you watched, read, or listened to? Did you do anything that was fun? Have you avoided the rogue coronavirus strains? Please tell us how you are, and what you are up to!

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


  1. I’m still slogging my way through The Maidens. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not very good. I may give up on it and read the second Fred,  the Vampire Accountant book instead.

    I watched a couple more episodes of Kevin Can F*** Himself. It’s an ambitious idea, I’m not sure it always works but it’s worth seeing. I also watched a movie that I’m not ready to talk about yet, there’s a lot to mull over.

    I’m listening to the podcast Marlon and Jake Read Dead People. It’s Marlon James and his editor Jake Morrissey discussing classic novels. I recommend it if you’re a fan of James or great literature.

    I’m also listening to the second song released from the upcoming Courtney Barnett LP. I’m a huge Courtney fan but this one is a little meh. I liked the first song Rae St better. Maybe it will grow on me.

    Before You Gotta Go


    Rae St



    • Hooray for Fred,  the Vampire Accountant! I can’t wait to hear about the movie which is making you think about it. For me, movies do not have to enjoyable or even well made if they hit me just right and I can’t “lose them”…when the feeling they evoked lingers on. Inquiring minds what to know – how were the pistachio cannolies?

    • Fred, the Vampire Accountant made me think of the Vampire for Hire (aka Samantha Moon) series by J. R. Rain. If you haven’t heard of those, check them out! They’re pretty great. 

  2. What I’m watching:  The Good Place.  We got the series on Blu-Ray as a gift because we are Old.  Once upon a time, I used to watch lots of new shows.  I would get interested in them, looking forward to the next episode or the next season, and WHAM–the network would cancel the goddamned show.  It was irritating, but I would keep checking out new shows anyway, even though the seasons were getting noticeably shorter and were getting those irritating two and three month breaks in between parts of a season.  Then, in a stunning display of stupidity, NBC annihilated their entire prime time lineup to make room for a stupid, two-hour program by Jay Leno, the least funny person in human history.  When they did that, they wiped out four shows that I was enjoying all at once.  That was the breaking point for me.  That was when I decided that I would no longer get into any new shows, and would only  go back and watch them if they had lasted a minimum of five “seasons” which, at this point, equates to about 2.5 regular seasons.  I have not regretted my decision.  Case in point:  The Good Place, while it is funny and well written, only lasted 4 “seasons”, which is 50 episodes (2 real seasons).  That’s a bit shorter than I require, but I’ll watch it and laugh and then be bitterly disappointed that there aren’t more episodes.

    What I read:  I’m in the middle of something that I’ll talk about in a couple of weeks.

    What I listened to:  I’ve been jamming to some old Buddy Guy.


    • I liked The Good Place and I thought the first two seasons in particular were brilliant. I think it was smart to not let it run too long.
      Primetime Leno was the brainchild of Jeff Zucker, who is widely considered the most incompetent and worst business guy in TV executive history. I’ve said before his subsequent hiring to lead CNN is a big reason I think cable news doesn’t stink because it is only a money making/ratings enterprise. I’m sure Time-Warner didn’t want him to bankrupt CNN, but they hired him because he was a stooge, not because they thought he was a ratings genius.

      • @bluedogcollar  I remember Johnny Carson with the rose colored glasses of childhood. I remember getting ready for work in the morning and watching daytime TV Letterman. Of all the followers to these two, I like non-network John Oliver.

    • @butcherbakertoiletrymaker

      Ha! “What I read:  I’m in the middle of something that I’ll talk about in a couple of weeks.” You and both, my friend – guard that future content! I’ve gotten so spoiled that I won’t even watch a TV show unless the entire season has dropped and (of course) there are no commercials. Old person solidarity!

    • I’ve yet to see the last season or two of The Good Place, but I’ve really liked what I saw.  I think I heard something earlier, that they planned to have a limited number of seasons from the start, as opposed to just dragging on until they are eventually canceled, and if true, I can respect that.

  3. I’m watching Sunderland ‘Til I Die, a British documentary about the struggling Sunderland soccer team that has been sent to the minor leagues because of its terrible record.
    I’m enjoying it, but it gets frustrating in places by skipping around. Sometimes you get gripping behind the scenes stuff with a couple of players, but others are complete voids. And while the top team exec is on camera a lot, it appears clear that a lot of mismanagement is getting swept under the rug.
    There is a ton of interesting detail, but it feels like it doesn’t come into full  focus.

      • I wouldn’t be surprised if the writers of Ted Lasso have watched Sunderland, although I get the sense that there is a huge catalog of writing and filmed material about British soccer that both series are drawing from.
        I think it’s a good thing that Ted Lasso is making an effort to touch on some issues from real soccer, although I get the feeling it’s about as realistic as 30 Rock.

    • @MegMegMcGee, is Spotify hitting it for you these days? It is really hit and miss for me. This week I only liked 3 of the 30 songs on the customized Monday Discover Weekly, and 5 of the 30 songs on the customized Friday Release Radar. That said, a few weeks ago I like the majority of the algorithmically curated suggestion lists. I do hit the like/don’t like options when I have time, so I am offering guidance.

  4. what i watched : boss level

    yeah yeah i know..i mentioned it earlier in the week…had a premature brain drain….it happens :p
    really do love this one tho….paperthin plot acting that occasionally surpasses meh just 110% good dumb fun
    just how i like my movies…none too bright but lively.
    aaand listening too : the bridge city sinners

  5. We are on season 6 of the Tales of the Quivering Lip starring Claire Danes aka  Homeland. I refused to watch it when it was on because I interviewed for it but they hired someone I replaced on another show – and yes, I’m aware that is super petty.
    Anyhoo – the story lines are good and fairly believable. Claire is wearing on me at this point – and I’ve worked with her and liked her – and they’ve just really screwed over my favorite character – but I’m determined to finish it at this point.
    I’ve read nothing. Pretty much just listen to the Make Me Smart podcast – but lately it’s been filled with doom and gloom –  so I might give it a break. 

    • @Lymond – good for you “I refused to watch it when it was on because I interviewed for it but they hired someone I replaced on another show – and yes, I’m aware that is super petty.

      Not at all petty in my opinion – sometimes a private protest of one is the best medicine for soothing a personal injustice, and I guarantee the show would have been 100% better if you had been hired for it. A plague on their castle!

  6. @farscythe because you liked Boss Level enough to mention it twice, I watched the trailer…and agree with you! While excruciating violent (I bet the writer had fun thinking up 101 gory ways to kill someone on screen) it is over-the-top-gore, so I could (mostly) keep my eyes open while viewing the trailer.

    How is your foot today?

    • @Elliecoo not quite up to morris dancing yet
      but yeah all good here….gonna be a pretty scar….little annoyed its not somewhere i can show off randomly and make up tall tales for
      but yeah…healing well and no infections

      • @farscythe, excellent. I had gone to your link and oppo – and it was a gnarly injury. Also, regarding Morris Dancing, after seeing it for the first time on Midsomer Murders, I thought is was a pretend thing made up as a village quirk for the show. Then I saw it on another British TV show…and had to Google that stuff. I like it for the unabashed strangeness (I love a good quirk) and for the sticks! Here you go!


        • lol nice!
          morris dancers are apreciated and ridiculed in about equal measures
          they dont give a fuck tho….they are morris dancers
          hilarious bunch to drink with….almost all of them

  7. Paris Hilton has a cooking show on Netflix. It is beyond ridiculous from wearing fingerless gloves while cooking to using a fully bejeweled spatula. I love it! This week, I’ve been watching it as a palate cleanser for my brain after an episode of True Detective S3. Otherwise I can’t sleep because I find myself obsessively trying to solve the murder mystery with the limited info I’ve got (it’s a slow burning season).
    I watched Beckett (Netflix) last night and it was so so. The beginning was awkward. I couldn’t figure out if the lack of chemistry between the couple was meant to be “cute” or just bad acting. So glad that ended with a car accident that killed off one of them. The rest of the movie follows Beckett as he stumbles his way through Greece while narrowly evading bad guys and being helped by many friendly locals. I like that he is a regular joe who doesn’t have any super skills and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. When confronted with armed assailants he always narrowly survives and had me screaming “Use your cast! Hit that mother fucker with your cast!!!” more than once. One thing of note is that Beckett is a Black American tourist. I had so much anxiety for him throughout the film because if he were in America, he’d be dead already. He was running through villages and cities bleeding from gunshot wounds and sounding crazy. The kind people of Greece did not react the way I was terrified they would.

    • Oooh @HammerZeitgeist, thank you for the Paris Hilton recommendation! I also require “a palate cleanser for my brain” after watching harsher TV shows, such as the aforementioned Unforgotten. I recently used used Making the Cut, with Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, for just that purpose. It is a frivolous bon bon of a show, and I probably like it more than I should due to my years working in the fashion industry. But, it feels a little bit like Queer Eye in that it isn’t mean spirited.

    • Oh my God. Here is Paris’s inaugural cooking video where she makes lasagna: 

      I couldn’t get more than halfway through the thing and it’s only 15 or 20 minutes long.

      She claims that growing up she would sit in the kitchen and watch her mother cook. The only thing more preposterous than Paris Hilton cooking is the thought of Kathy Hilton cooking.

      Paris obviously has no idea what she’s doing and probably had to be walked through this many, many times. Nor does she enjoy it, as she makes clear. She regrets that she has to “steam” (boil) the lasagna noodles. She regrets that she didn’t get (wasn’t provided with) shredded mozzarella. She can’t figure out why two tubs of ricotta look different from each other (they’re different brands.) She’s not happy about the utensils she has to use to “tan” (brown) the “meat” (hamburger.)

      I stopped watching when she shook half a canister of salt into the skillet and managed to shake it all over the stovetop. 

      The whole thing is a train wreck and not in a good way. 

  8. We’ve been watching Stargate Atlantis this week. It’s… ok. We’re about 4 episodes into season 2 and I’m into it enough to pay attention, but it’s not going to be comfort tv like SG1 is. Most of the actors are good, but a few are just so obviously ACTING that it’s hard to not notice. It kind of breaks the spell, y’know? I have to say, though, that Rodney McKay has grown on me. He was such a creep in SG1, but he’s chilled out a bit in Atlantis.
    Currently reading one of the craptastically ridiculous Venys Needs Men series… basic premise is that human women can turn a dragon into a man (dragon-man, wings and tails and stuff) if they can touch him. The first couple I read were fascinating in that “good lord, what NEXT??” way. Each one is written by a different author, so the styles change drastically from book to book, but they’re all kind of flowery and overwrought. This one is… meh. I can’t even remember the title. It’s brain candy. To Tame a Dragon, I think. 
    I’m also reading a non-fiction, Happy Valley: The Story of the English in Kenya which is pretty self-explanatory, I think. I recently read The Bolter, which is about Lady Idina Sackville, and she ended up living in Africa in the 30’s after a divorce or 2, and Happy Valley was in the bibliography of that one.
    Just finished The Galaxy and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers, which is the last book on the Wayfarers series. I thought it was just as good as the first one, which is always nice. I highly recommend these books if you’re into sci-fi/space opera stuff.

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