Saturday Morning Brain Drain [7/8/21]

A place to let it all out.

Image via nextepisode.net

What I watched:  The most depressing television series I’ve seen in years, Unforgotten, about a cold-case squad. It stars UK TV favorites Nicola Walker as DCI Cassie Stuart and Sanjeev Bhaskar as DI Sunil Khan. The show is clever, weaving disparate unrelated persons within the crime story. Unforgotten does an excellent, respectful job in treating the long-term bereaved and in showing that time changes but does not lessen grief. It also does a crushing job of totally fucking up the current lives of suspects (always multiple suspects). None of suspects lack skeletons in the closet, and many are flawed and unlikable, but few have committed chargeable or unforgivable/unjustified crimes. The last show of each season does a fair job of wrapping things up in the best possible fashion, but it in no way does it make up for their life-demolishing inquiries.

Here is a clip from Season 3:

What I read: I’ve been deep in the King’s Watch world I mentioned previously, having zoomed through seven of the nine core books and three of the six related short stories. Still highly recommended, so far there have been no duds!

Aside from that I have read nothing else except for a new cookbook, Essential Ottolenghi, the special edition, two-book boxed set of Plenty More and Ottolenghi Simple. Yotam Ottolenghi is a New York Times bestselling author whose specializes in Middle Eastern, vegetable-heavy cooking.

Stay tuned for the next few weeks however, when I promise a more robust book section: Amazon dropped eight of my preorders on August first, and I will endeavor to read through the wonderful book backlog!

What I listened to this week: I slowed the temp and the volume way down this week (these recommendations are not Wednesday Steel-worthy). Here are Coyote Island – Here Before, Son Little – Hey Rose; Close Talker – The Change It Brings, and Ed Harcourt – Drowning In Dreams.

So, darling DeadSplinterites, what’s up with you? Is everything okay? What have you watched, read, or listened to? Did you do anything that was fun? Anything annoying? Please tell us how you are and what you are up to!

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About Elliecoo 524 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.

28 Comments

  1. What I’ve been thinking about

    I would like to offer a sincere and heartfelt apology for a grossly offensive comment I made in last Saturday’s Brain Drain. I have no excuse. That comment was probably the stupidest thing I’ve said or written in years, and I have no defense. 

    This has been weighing on me all week and my apology is long overdue, but I couldn’t think of another place to put it, so I waited until now.

  2. Watching:  I took Ellie’s suggestion and started watching Bosch.  Excellent show so far.  I’m not a fan of the generalized cop show–there has to be something in there that is more about rah, rah, good guys getting criminals.  This one certainly has a good mix of conflicted characters, excellent writing and solid plot.  Thanks, Ellie.

    Read:  Discord.

    Listening:  Eric Reed is my favorite jazz pianist, hands down.  He has an impressive body of work, considering he started recording at such a young age.  This is from one of his older albums, which is a collection of reworked tunes from musicals.

     

     

  3. The Movies That Made Us
    The Toys That Made Us
    Both Netflix documentaries on 80s/90s movies and toys.  Did you know that George Lucas/Lucasfilm only made 5% on Star Wars toys till Kenner buggered it up in the 1990s (when they thought it wouldn’t have mattered.)
    I had the time of my Sat Morning Life watching the episode on the making of Dirty Dancing.

  4. Watched Suicide Squad 2. It was actually enjoyable. I was surprised because Suicide Squad 1 sucked so bad that I remember promising myself never to watch its sequel and that’s all I remember of that movie. But the trailer of #2 changed my mind and I wasn’t disappointed. Though we couldn’t remember the characters (other than Harley Quinn) and their relationships, it didn’t detract from the movie and it is not an excuse to revisit the first one.
     
    I also watched Fear Street 1994 (Netflix). The complete trilogy recently dropped. They are based on R. L. Stein’s books. I loved the shit outta his work when I was a kid. From Goosebumps to the Fear Street saga and everything in between… that might explain why I shriek with glee at gore. The movie was a blast from the past (kinda like Stranger Things). The soundtrack was rocking. It felt a bit like a made for TV movie but a good one. I’m eager to watch the next two installments. 

    • …I haven’t seen the james gunn suicide squad yet but that’s encouraging to hear…I probably would have watched it anyway because between some of the comics I’ve read, the animated series & the other movie they did with margot robbie as harley quinn I think there’s a lot of mileage in that character that’s pretty much at odds with the way it was portrayed in the earlier comics & the god-awful suicide squad movie with jared leto as the worst onscreen incarnation of the joker

      …plus james gunn seems to mostly make movies I enjoy?

      • James Gunn made all the difference. It was like Guardians of the Galaxy but with darker jokes.
         
        And I wholeheartedly agree with your take on Jared Leto’s joker! I hated his Joker and generally dislike and avoid Jared Leto.
         
        Did you watch Birds of Prey? Was it good? I didn’t watch it because of the first Suicide Squad.

        • …I did…mostly because of the harley quinn stuff I mentioned in that other comic…so I might not have had I not seen it advertised with the sub-title “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)”…so that would be what I meant by “the other movie…with margot robbie as harley”

          …in a lot of ways it seed like the point was to move that character from the depiction in the bad suicide squad movie to somewhere nearer the more recent comics…either way I enjoyed it

        • I think Birds of Prey was one of the last movies I saw before the pandemic.  I’ve read a few of the graphic novels that Gail Simone wrote, and really liked them, so I was a bit biased going in…
          Anyways, I rather liked it.  I think there were some criticisms about the casting and the characters, some valid, some not so much, but it’s worth watching if you like comic book movies at all.

    • This may be an unpopular opinion, but I read both R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike books in my elementary school days and generally found Pike’s books to be better. But even then, his obsession with teenage female sexuality was a bit disturbing. I know there’s more to the discomfort than having been 11-12 years old at the time of reading it and knowing it was a grown man writing these scenes. 

  5. I started watching the hilarious Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace on Amazon streaming.
     
    It’s a fake horror TV show set in a cursed hospital, supposedly shown in the 1990s and so terrifying it was banished forever.
     
    It is more in keeping with Monster Horror Chiller Theater skits on SCTV. Matt Berry costars as a karate chopping gun wielding hot hotshot surgeon.
     
    Wildly over the top and probably unbearable for some people, but I laughed out loud.
     

  6. I just started reading murder mystery The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. So far I’m not impressed but I haven’t gotten very far. 
    Its been a busy week, I mostly just watched the news.

      • …that sounds awfully familiar…I don’t even want to start counting the number of really-not-that-good to genuinely-dreadful sci fi books I’ve read over the years because “it had a great premise…maybe at some point it’ll get around to developing/delivering on it?”

  7. currently watching….well… rewatching

    kurt russels best role ever!
    you know that ronan keating song… you say your best when you say nothing at allit was written for kurt russel in this role
    reading : the calorie count on my beer….its significant…but probably not related to my gut growing :p
    and listening to

    what is old is new again!

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