Saturday Morning Brain Drain [23/7/22]

Spooky French TV

Image via Ready Steady Cut

What I Watched: Black Spot is two seasons of weird. “If you’re a fan of shows like The Bridge, Trapped or The Killing, then French offering, Black Spot, is definitely one for you. Laurène Weiss is the Captain of a small police force in Villefranche, a mountainous town surrounded by a dense forest and one with a murder rate that is out of control.” It has a bizarre horned monster, cult worship, strange relationships, eco warriors, intrigue, an ominous forest that plays a leading role, and more.  

Season one trailer

No spoiler review (well done)

Trailer in French

What I Read: This week is all “next in the series”; I will try to work in a one-off book or two for next time.

I read A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder (A Countess of Harleigh Mystery Book 5) by Dianne Freeman. “On the eve of her marriage to George Hazelton, Frances has a great deal more on her mind than flowers and seating arrangements. The Connors and the Bainbridges, two families of American robber barons, have taken up residence in London, and their bitter rivalry is spilling over into the highest social circles.” This results in murder and mayhem.

I also read books six and seven of Arietta Richmond’s Elbury Bouquet series, An Enchantress for an Earl and A Maiden for a Marquess. These are sweet, clean Regency romances with a tiny bit of mystery and fairly good historical research. For example, an illness in book seven is caused by green wallpaper colored with arsenic, which was a widespread problem in England.

And I’m onto the books 17-20 of Blake Banner’s Dead Cold Mysteries.

What I Listened To: When The Lights Come On by IDLES; Be Right back by Kai Bosch; and Lover (Jimi Jules Lo Fi Remix) by Howling, Frank Wiedemann, RY X, and Jimi Jules.

Thank you for playing Brain Drain! How are you, dearhearts? DeadSplinterites, Do tell!

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


  1. Watched:  The Man From Toronto.  I was hoping it was the lifestory of Myo but it turned out to be a semi-awful Woody Harrelson movie completely ruined by very awful Kevin Hart.

    Watching: Witcher.  Not sure for how much longer.  I’m having trouble getting into it, not too much action & silly dialogue.

    I need some help Deadsplinter-ers with some action packed mindless fun movies or shows.

    Listening to:  new Interrupters song …


  2. You and me both @Loveshaq. I tried to get into Witcher and just couldn’t do so. Maybe one needs a familiarity with the game? And I too am terribly disappointed that “Man from Toronto” is not a Myopicprophet biopic.

  3. What I watched:  Two Days in the Valley, a 1996 movie that does the thing where you have a bunch of disparate characters who don’t have anything to do with each other…until they do.  The story line did keep my interest and the cast was quite good.  This turns out to have been Charlize Theron’s first role in a major film and she did quite well.

    What I read:  The Dawn of Everything, by David Graeber and David Wengrow.  This is the Longest Book In Human History.  526 pages of text, with an additional 84 pages of end notes.  Reading it was like being trapped in a rip in the time-space continuum, where it was never going to fucking end.  When my stepdaughter gave me the book I was initially looking forward to reading it because I thought it was going to be a bunch of vignettes covering…you know…everything.  What it really turned out to be was a gratuitously deep analysis of agriculture, cities and nations, in the most boring way that only anthropologists seem to be able to muster.  Finishing it felt like a liberation.

    What I listened to:  Our latest stop on the tour of the best engineered albums of all time is The Division Bell by Pink Floyd.  Recorded and released in 1994, and engineered by Andy Jackson, this was the last Pink Floyd album to include Richard Wright who died in 2008 and who contributed lead vocals for the first time since Dark Side of the Moon.  This was also the 2nd post-Roger Waters album and was likewise pretty well received.  A significant portion of this album was recorded on David Gilmour’s houseboat, which is more the size of a riverboat.  Speaking from a technical standpoint, I can’t imagine how being on the fucking water while trying to record an album was going to work.  Whenever the boat moves (which would be all the time), that movement will transmit through everything on the boat, including the microphone and instrument cables. But, somehow they made it work and work quite well.

    As far as general musical quality, The Division Bell isn’t exactly one of the band’s best works.  It’s a wee bit too much pop and quite a bit too much aimless noodling.  Now, I know what you’re going to say:  “Pink Floyd does shitloads of noodling.”  Yes, but the quality of those previous albums versus this one is not subtle.  But, the sonics of the album are the issue here, and at that they hold up admirably.


    • I like this technique as well “that does the thing where you have a bunch of disparate characters who don’t have anything to do with each other…until they do.

      Sooo….does your stepdaughter have stellar trolling skills and/or did she enact a skilled revenge plot upon your person? Giving you a dreadful book whilst knowing you would feel compelled to finish it is the stuff of evil genius.

      • No, the problem is that she knows I like history, but she keeps buying exactly the wrong fucking books.  She keeps buying these academic tomes that are drier than the dead people they’re writing about.  I much prefer history that has an actual story to it so that the people feel real to me and aren’t just abstractions.  Book by Hampton Sides are a great example of this.

  4. I watched the first episode of Nathan Fielder’s new show The Rehearsal.

    He recruited someone who wanted help dealing with an uncomfortable situation. He then went to an absolutely insane level of detail to rehearse all of the possible ways things might unfold.

    It’s funny but in a very unsettling way. It is a cousin to Nathan For You but with even greater commitment to the idea, which is hard to fathom considering things he did on that show like the Dumb Starbucks coffee shop.

  5. I watched The Great Pottery Throw Down. It was recommended by someone here on TSMBD. Im so impressed by the creativity and skill involved.
    I read The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson. I really wanted to like this book but was underwhelmed. It was so predictable – lonely boy is bullied, makes a couple of friends that are new in town, has summer adventures, learns some hard truths, gains confidence, blah blah blah. It was mildly entertaining but not great. I’m starting to think I’m hard to please, lol.
    I’m listening to the radio while cleaning as I do on Saturday mornings.


    • The pottery show has had a few recommendations here. I keep watching shows full of bad people instead, but really need to get to it. And having discerning taste is not hard to please, my friend!

  6. One of my neighbors was on Forged in Fire on the History Channel.  He’s a local blacksmith and he got to show off his awesome skills.  I watched it to fly the local flag, and it was pretty interesting watching blacksmiths work.  I don’t care for the reality show/competition aspects of it, but I could easily watch and hour of a good smith doing their thing.

    • I saw one of those little signs on the side of the road that said Blacksmith Lessons with a website. I was thinking about checking it out. My future inheritance includes a forge and an induction furnace


      • Everybody’s good.  It’s not really too hot here because of the elevation.  I think it’s going to be 90 degrees today and it rarely goes above that.  They all have some shade and Gunnar the Horse can take breaks in the barn where we put up some big fans.  I just came down from bringing him some cold carrots and he looked fine.

  7. welp @hammerzeitgeist stole my thunder….

    so im listening to

    dermot kennedy

    its in the charts over here currently….and i love it dearly

    ah…sweet optimism

    i know its all lies….but i cant help but feel a little bit better whenever i hear it

  8. Been waiting for The Bride’s Guide to get to me! I’ve had it reserved for ages and I’m still waiting *taps foot*.

    I’ve read SOOO much lately, I’m almost tired of reading (and that’s practically blasphemy in my world) but I haven’t been able to do much else because my stupid joints are being stupid. Anyway. Lots of cheesy romance stuff because it’s brain candy, and “mystery” novels that aren’t terribly mysterious, and audiobooks while I crochet.

    A few of the highlights – Nightwork by Nora Roberts… good, but very similar to some of her older stories. A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn… very enjoyable and I’ll be working my way through the series. House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J Maas… not quite as good as the first in the series, Crescent City, but I still blew through it (800-some pages!!) in 3 days. The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhader… half about the wars in Syria and half a historical story, it was both really good and really depressing, all at once.

    Currently reading – Cleopatra’s Dagger by Carole Lawrence. It’s… ok. I’m about halfway through and I’m not terribly impressed, but I’ll finish it.

    Listening to – Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series, as narrated by Barbara Rosenblatt. She’s perfect for this series… does just enough “voices” so you can tell the characters apart without being overly theatrical about it. Highly recommend!

    Watching – just finished season 2 of The Bureau of Magical Things. It’s definitely not as good as the first season, but it’s not bad, either.

    For anyone with little ones, I recommend watching Miles of Tomorrowland. It’s goofy, but sincere, and has a really catchy theme song! My grandson doesn’t really watch the show, but he LOVES the song.

  9. I finished this season of Umbrella Academy (which is good). Then I started this season of The Boys. Hoo, boy, I see what you mean about violence, Ellie. I read the comics and I’m like, holy shit.

    Started watching Starstruck with my wife (I do NOT watch The Boys with her). It’s a pleasant little diversion.

  10. SharkFest started on National Geographic, their answer to try to steal the thunder of Shark Week.

    Anyways, I like shark content in general so really I’ve been watching a fuckton of tv shows about sharks all week. It’s been fun.

    One episode was all about “why do sharks bite more men than women??” and the obvious answer was not what they concluded. Clearly the sharks can smell the douchebag on those dudes and are feminists so they’re helping us out. I hope a bunch of justices go swim up near Cape Cod, I hear there are a lot of shark sitings this year.

  11. Man, with the end of the Expanse I feel like I did 25 years ago when Babylon 5 ended.  What the hell do I watch now?

    A friend (who loves SF more than I do) says I’m too picky. He’s right.

    Sigh. Maybe wait to be disappointed by HBO’s GoT: The Blond Clone Wars?

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