Saturday Morning Brain Drain [22/4/23]

Image via Rotten Tomatoes

What I Watched: The first episodes of season sixteen of the Murdoch Mysteries. I know from previous comments that some of you really like this show and others do not like it at all, but until this season I have been firmly in the “like” camp.

I want Murdoch Mysteries to have mysteries, George’s inventions, and famous people from history. What I got was episodes about angst, personal drama, and story lines that were very disappointing. Boo hiss! After sixteen seasons, I am sure that the writers and cast are looking for something fresh, but I just found their direction annoying. Now perhaps I am being a bit too curmudgeonly, but I, a faithful viewer, have zero interest in finishing out the season. Sigh.

Season 16 Trailer

What I Read: As usual, I’ve read a bunch of stuff, including Detecting Danger book 11 and the finale to the Sinclair and Raven series by Wendy Vella. It’s my jam, Regency romance with a touch of magic, intrigue, and mystery wrapped into the plot. This last book involved characters from her Deville Brothers series, so I’ve read those four books as well (the fifth book is due on June 8th). These books are not magical but do have Regency mores, mystery, the flouting of convention, and intrigue.

I also read Half a Soul, Regency Faerie Tales #1, by Olivia Atwater. While I thought the book bogged down a bit in the middle, it was overall a different take on magic, and I think you could do worse. Here’s the blurb:

It’s difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you’re a young lady with only half a soul. Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment—an unfortunate condition that leaves her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season—but when Elias Wilder, the peculiar, handsome, and utterly ill-mannered Lord Sorcier, discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous faerie affairs. If her reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all high society, then she and her family may yet reclaim their normal place in the world. But the longer Dora spends with Elias, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love even with only half a soul.

What I Listened To: The New Pornographers – Pontius Pilate’s Home Movies (good stuff from an old favorite); Royel Otis – Sofa King; Belle de Jour by Parra for Cuva; and the complete opposite of the previous track, Goat – Do The Dance (Shit & Shine Rework).

Thank you for playing Brain Drain! How are you, dear hearts? Darling DeadSplinterites, what is up with you? Please do share your status!

About Elliecoo 523 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. What I watched:  Eternals.  Holy shit what a terrible movie.  I’d heard bad reviews about it, but I figured those were mostly from people who thought that every movie should be a masterpiece, so if it’s not The Godfather or Amadeus, then it’s shit.  I figured “eh, it’s a Marvel film, so fairly mindless and should be entertaining at least.  Something to burn through a cold afternoon.”  Nope.  It sucked.  The plot was all over the place, the writing was minimally acceptable and considering the cast they had the acting was hot garbage.  I have sacrificed myself so you don’t have to.

    What I listened to:  Our penultimate stop on the tour of the greatest engineered singles of all time brings us to One Headlight by the Wallflowers.  Released in 1997 on their second album, Bringing Down the Horse, this is a classic example of a song that they knew was going to be a hit so they made damned sure that it sounded as good as possible.  Engineered by the legendary Tom Lord-Alge, the defining characteristic of this song is the snare drum.  It is meaty and resonant without any tinny ringing which is a very common problem with snares.  Pro tip:  if you’re ever recording a snare drum and it keeps ringing, get a sanitary napkin, peel back just enough of the adhesive tape to stick it to the edge of the drum canvas, and let the rest of it dangle off the side of the drum.  Ringing problem solved.

    Anyway, listen to this song under the best pair of headphones you have and close your eyes.  Every single instrument was recorded with great care.  The guitars have great tone, the bass isn’t super defined but isn’t mushy either, and the Hammond B-3 has great placement, which isn’t the easiest thing to do with an instrument whose main feature is two spinning speakers.  Jakob Dylan’s (yes, that Dylan) voice was recorded and balanced to bring out the slight raspiness of his voice and is placed just right.

    This song was a monster hit, and I will contend to this day that a big part of the reason was how great it sounds.  The rest of the album sounds like dogshit, which is why nobody else has ever heard of the other tunes.


    • Eternals on paper sounded like it would be right up my alley.

      I completely agree with your assessment, having wasted 3 hours of my life last year or whenever watching it. It desperatedly needed about an hour cut off from better editing.

      I would add that I found it very racist too, despite having a very diverse cast. There’s a very racist trend in archaeology in the 1800s and early/mid 1900s that all the cool important stuff happened in Europe and the Middle East. Tigris-Euphrates River Valley, Greece, Egypt, etc. It was a racist trend because it basically acted like anything that happened in North and South America was just dogshit and justified colonialism because wow “we developed all sorts of massive cultural institutions, you’re living in teepees” etc etc. So like if you have the Eternals put on Earth to help humans develop, and then all the flashback scenes you show (with the exception of the Spanish slaughtering Aztecs) of them helping *inspire humanity* are Old World, you’re reinforcing those ideas that nothing important to the human race happened in the New World before Europeans showed up.

  2. …enjoyed the finales of picard & the mandalorian…though the pacing in the latter was probably better…wouldn’t need a lot of persuasion to watch a show following the 1701-E…so…broadly positive on both, I think

    …also…florida man on netflix seems pretty fun…not quite elmore leonard/carl hiaasen good but hints of that sort of thing…& if you find yourself thinking more clark gregg would help…he directed at least a couple of episodes?

  3. Dear DeadSplinterites, I am off to engage in cooking ahead for the week. I hope to find something worthy of a FYCE, but am not feeling confident about it. Carry on, I’ll check back in a few hours . . .

  4. I’ve been slowly working through the second season of Down to Earth with Zac Efron on Netflix. He’s a good host for these shows, he’s definitely a himbo but also he clearly isn’t taking himself too seriously which means he listens well instead of assuming he knows everything. While the show focuses on environmental issues, they do try to include some positive things people can do to help for the issues which helps the tone of the shows.

    I read a new Stacey Reid romance this week and it was really disappointing. Like probably will delete off my kindle disappointing. She’s one of my go-to authors too, so that was extra surprising. Premise was it’s like 1880 and our heroine has been raised as a boy because her mother had rough pregnancies and needed the husband to stop trying to get an heir on her. Heroine’s father is a psychologist, she’s training in his footsteps by fooling everyone that she’s a young man. Okay fine, plausible for a romance novel. Meanwhile! A duke who was lost in the wilds of Canada for a decade as a child (adopted by a pack of wolves, DUH), has returned home and our psychologist and his “son” are hired to help duke readjust to society. Nope, we’ve ventured too far away from plausible now. Anyways, they develop *feelings* for each other and then she’s just happy to throw away all her dreams and freedoms to literally kill off her male persona and marry him and be a lady now!

  5. I think The Walking Dead broke me. I’m totally addicted to their universe. I started Fear the Walking Dead and got extra giddy when I saw that there are 8 seasons to get through. Woohoo!

    Beef was great. I’m frustrated that its success is tarnished by one of the actors who bragged about raping women on a podcast ten years ago. Fucking men ruin everything. He says he was just joking and that he has never sexually assaulted anyone and that he has atoned for the “jokes” and grown a lot since then. The rest of the cast have come out in support of him (after over a week of silence). If I were in their position I would not side with him. There are plenty of actors especially Asian ones who deserve to be on screen and who have not profited off of pretending to have raped people.

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