bennet_7: (Dork (Jimmy Stewart))
If you didn't really understand the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (I certainly didn't. Honestly, the only subject I ever failed was Economics 101) then HBO's recent TV movie Too Big to Fail does a pretty good job of unpacking what went down on Wall Street while still managing to be fairly entertaining and suspenseful. It's making the rounds of the usual places and I recommend it. Fans of The West Wing will definitely get a kick out of all the wheeling and dealing.
bennet_7: (Press Gang: At last a dragon)
1. There is a Tumblr dedicated to cats that look like Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation. And then Vulture called up Nick Offerman and got him to comment on some of the posts ("You wouldn't guess it, but that's a look of abject pleasure on both the cat and Ron," says Offerman. "That would be Ron sitting by a burbling stream, redolent of trout."). Oh internet! The random joy that you bring!

2. Speaking of Nick Offerman, I've started my West Wing rewatch and I saw him in episode 1x05 aka "The Crackpots and These Women". He played one of the crackpots, part of the delegation that speaks to CJ about Pluie the wolf and the wolves-only highway they want the government to build. It's just the kind of outdoorsy thing I can see Ron being interested in if it weren't for the fact that he hates to see tax payer's money spent so frivolously. So I have decided that Ron was once an idealistic young man who believed in big government and went to the White House to plead his case, only for him to be rebuffed by CJ's disbelief and thus he became the Libertarian curmudgeon we all know and love (and now compare to cats!). If only he'd known about the position paper CJ went on to write, about the necessity of wildlife protection...

3. Still enjoying The Chicago Code. It's definitely more about the corruption and the politics than it is about the cases, which is good because crime procedurals generally bore me to turning off the TV. One unexpected source of delight is the scenery. They film on location and they really take advantage of it by shooting the streets of Chicago in a very cinematic way: lots of wide pans and overhead shots. I had no idea Chicago was so beautiful.

And it's an interesting when juxtaposed with The Good Wife which is set in Chicago but actually shot in New York and deals with similar subject matter. Already I've gotten a much better sense of Chicago itself in the three episodes of Code than I have from the season and a half I've seen of Wife.

4. I think we're headed for trouble in the Community fandom. I think it'll look like a shipper war but speaking for myself it's actually more complicated than that. I feel that the second season hasn't had the same depth of character as the first, with Abed and Troy being the only characters to grow. Jeff and Annie get most of the focus (him out of all the characters - which, yes, he is the main character, I know - and her out of all the girls) but they keep on playing the same beats: he eventually realises that he does love this rag-tag bunch of misfits, she runs into conflict over her standards/perfectionism, and the ship teasing continues apace. Pierce has actually regressed as a character, becoming more and more unlikeable. Britta and Shirley get pushed into the background far too often for my liking and often come across as one-note (something I attribute entirely to the writing).

Anyway, I've noticed some disagreements breaking out between Jeff/Annie shippers and people who aren't Jeff/Annie shippers. Trouble is on the horizon. We'll see if the next few episodes keep it at a rumble or cause the fandom to splinter.

5. I'm currently drinking wine that cost me $8.00. I'm having a hard time detecting the notes of melon and guava it's supposed to possess, so I guess you get what you pay for.
bennet_7: (DW: looking forward to the future & past)
I finished/handed in my thesis a couple of weeks ago and since then I have been decompressing. This has involved sleeping in late, taking the time to cook elaborate meals, reading books with no other purpose than enjoyment, re-establishing contact with friends and family, and watching a lot of TV that I missed out on.

Here are my thoughts on various shows.

10 Things I Hate About You )

Chuck )

Community )

Dance Academy )

Doctor Who )

The Good Wife )

How I Met Your Mother )

Modern Family )

The Office )

Parks and Recreation )

The Vampire Diaries )


So El-Jay, what's up?

Updating

Dec. 31st, 2009 01:40 am
bennet_7: (GW: Does it say no smoking?)
I have not updated in ages because I've done so much writing for uni that I got a bit sick of it. But I've been watching a heap of great TV shows lately that I want to talk about even if I don't quite have time to go into detail.

Totally and completely love:

- The Thick of It. Imagine The West Wing except it's only half as long, British, a dark comedy, and monumentally profane. Like, I am not even joking about the language but it's funny because most of the f-bombs are dropped by a mad Scottish version of Rahm Emmanuel and everything is just funnier when said with a Scottish accent. You don't really need to know anything about British politics, but an appreciation for Machiavellian schemes would certainly help.

- Misfits. Everyone describes it as Skins meets Heroes and that certainly works. It's about a group of juvenile delinquents who, while doing community service, are caught in a thunder storm that gives them abilities or powers that are somehow related to their personalities. There's Kelly the punchy chav who can suddenly hear people's thoughts, Alisha the good time girl whose touch sends people into a sexual frenzy, frequently ignored Simon who can become invisible, and disgraced runner Curtis turns back time. Only the obligatory psychotic jackass Nathan appears to be unchanged but we find out eventually and it would spoil the finale to tell you.

The show is intelligent and real and because it's British it's not populated with former models. These kids can act and a couple of the characters are genuinely weird or disturbed.

Quite like:

- Cranford Revisited. Just a two part Christmas special with most of the characters returning plus a few new ones. It started out a little fluffy but then the Gaskell March of Death started up so I wouldn't be surprised if half the town died in the next episode. Still, if you have longed to see Andrew Buchan holding a small infant (and I know I have) then you get your wish.

- Doctor Who. I have such low expectations for RTD penned episodes that I generally like them ok. As usual, a rubbish plot was buoyed up by great performances. Bring on The Moff!

Good but probably won't ever watch again:

- The Thorn Birds. I bought this mini-series for my mum and we watched it all on Boxing Day and as it's 400+ minutes long and I hadn't seen it before, my mind was fried after. I thought it was good despite the fact that I didn't like most of the characters. I had no idea the relationship between Meggie and Ralph was so squicky (for those who haven't seen it, they meet when she's a child and he's in his late 20's and he acts as a father figure to her. So inappropriate!) Despite the fact that it was set in Australia, it was actually filmed in California and featured only one Australian actor so it didn't feel at all Australian to me. There was only one kangaroo! Still, my favourite part of it all is that Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown (that lone Australian actor) met on the set in 1983 and have been married ever since. The chemistry between them does sizzle.


Hope you all had a great Christmas and enjoy the New Year!
bennet_7: (Iron Man: Pepper/Tony dance)
Just a quick note to say that I am not dead. I am just finishing up my BA and preparing for Honours (I was invited! EEEEEEEEE! 15,000 words on 19th century literature here I come) so things have been hectic.

Here is a list of things I like:

- Royal Pains featuring Donna's Republican boyfriend and Ax from Animorphs. Only two episodes so far but I think it has potential. I particularly like Tucker and Libby. At the very least, it's light summer fluff and I need that some times.

- The trailer for Creation a new biopic about Charles Darwin. Suck it Intelligent Design!

Things I love:

- These cookies. I made them on Sunday and have had to keep them in my room so that my brother doesn't eat them all. Of course, my brother would still eat them all if they were mediocre cookies but they are not. They are ridiculously good. I cooked them a little longer than the recipe says to and I left out the raisins because you don't mess up a chocolate cookie with fruit! Try them. Try not to eat them all.

- Glee which is charming and funny and smart and not High School Musical the TV show. Definitely the new series I am most looking forward to.

- Hugh Dancy. Again. Some more. Watched Confessions of a Shopaholic for him. Stupid book turned into a slightly less stupid movie (and the book is really stupid). Cleansed my palate by watching Dancy in Daniel Deronda which is how I first fell in love with him. Hadn't realised that Jamie Bamber was also in that adaptation.

Bamber's horrible/hilarious period facial hair under the cut )

Things I don't like:

- The weather here in Australia can not make up its mind. It's winter. Be winter-y Australia!

Things that are taking way to long to download:

- Casualty 1909 which I am watching for a) the social history and interesting turn of the century medical procedures, and b) Millais Culpin/Ethel Bennet who are AWESOME and ADORABLE and SAVE LIVES.



If you like angsty, realistic period dramas then this one is for you.
bennet_7: (Press Gang: Spike & the image we project)
So I haven't posted in aaaages. Sorry about that. Partly, it's because I was working a really crappy job. I'd never been so miserable and so bored and so frustrated before and I didn't want to spew all that bile into this journal - LJ is my escape from real life.

I've gotten out of the habit of posting and I've found it hard to break the silence but I really want to get back into the swing of things. Any kind of writing is good for me, whether it's a 2,500 word essay on the cult of Amun in the New Kingdom or a paragraph on what I'm watching on TV at the moment, so I'm gonna try and do the latter a bit more (I did the former last semester and once was enough).

Right at the moment even a paragraph is beyond me so I'll take a baby step and start with a list of stuff I've been doing lately:

- Cooking. I've been baking, roasting, stir-frying, boiling, and leaving-to-cool-to-room-temperature a lot and I'm loving it. I've always liked cooking but I've started experimenting more, attempting my own recipes (with mixed results). Next time I make something impressive I'll post pictures.

- Reading Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens. I quite enjoyed the recent mini-series and the book is good to but it's very Dickensian - whole chapters about characters I don't like or don't care about and I struggle with those (though this isn't as bad as Our Mutual Friend. I refuse to give up but it's slow going.

- Re-watching The West Wing. The parallels between the campaign in season 7 and recent real life have me itching to skip forward but I'm still watching season 1 at the moment.

- Watching Being Erica (it has Eric from Wonderfalls!), How I Met Your Mother (spot the baby bumps!), Gossip Girl (why can't something good happen to Blair?), The Office (really good this season), 30 Rock (not so great this season), and Scrubs (oh dear lord but do I want that teal dress Elliot was wearing in the last episode).

What about you?
bennet_7: (Iron Man: Pepper your eyes are red too)
Hi, my name is Bennet and I am obsessed with Iron Man. For reals. Especially Tony/Pepper. When I walked out of that cinema the first time (oh yeah, I've seen it twice) I immediately went home and prayed that someone, somewhere had written fic. Someones (yes! plural!) have written fic and it is mostly awesome.

Since then I've Iron Man-ified my layout, made icons, and now that I've finally finished my assignments, I've written fic (pick your jaws up off the floor people!). Everyone and their dog has compared Tony and Pepper to Josh and Donna from The West Wing, so I decided to take a whack at Pepper and Donna's totally awesome friendship that would have definitely happened had they ever met. Hopefully this will be the first of many fics (I have two more planned in my head but that doesn't mean I'll actually write them).

Oh, and I finished writing this at 6:00 AM so it may be crap.

Title: The Long-Suffering Assistants Club
Fandom: Iron Man (movie-verse)/The West Wing
Characters: Pepper Potts, Donna Moss, Sam Seaborn, Tony Stark, mentions of other West Wing staffers
Rating: PG - if that
Word count: 1,292
Warnings: None except for extreme West Wing geekery
Summary: Pepper Potts and Donna Moss meet at a Hollywood fundraiser. It's the start of a beautiful friendship. Pre-movie for Iron Man, mid-season 1 for West Wing

Notes: I am a huge West Wing geek so there's a few references which won't make much sense to non-fans. For those brave enough to try and read this without having seen one, here's a quick breakdown: Pepper Potts is the Personal Assistant to Tony Stark, genius weapons designer and CEO of Stark Industries. Donna Moss is the Senior Assistant to Josh Lyman, Deputy Chief-of-Staff. Both women have to deal with bosses who are sometimes demanding, possessive jackasses and with whom they share rampant UST.

I was originally going to set this during the West Wing episode '20 hours in L.A.' but I decided not to. Still, similar circumstances.

“And then there’s the late nights – ” “The endless meetings – ” “The messy love-life you always get entangled in – ”  )
bennet_7: (Danny/Jordan)
Studio 60 was damn good this week. Loved it a lot.

Spoilers )
bennet_7: (Jesus on livejournal)
So I haven't updated in a while. Pesky tertiary education asked to be paid some attention and I've been doing end of year assignments. Sleepless nights, headaches and existential angst - and I'm paying for the priviledge.

More on school, life, turning 19 and the first of many interesting facts about genocide that I have recently learned )
bennet_7: (Andy Lau1)
Last night I saw The Departed, a US remake of the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs.

I really loved Infernal Affairs when I saw it a couple of months ago and have since bought the sequel and loved that too, so it was with some trepidation that I went to see The Departed.

The Departed sticks fairly close to the story line of Infernal Affairs, however there are some new characters and, of course, it is now set in Boston.

Spoilers )

So, it’s probably quite clear from all this that I don’t think this film is as good as the original but is it a bad film? No. It’s not even a bad remake. Liberties were taken but I’ve seen worse. I enjoyed the original more but I still had a fun time watching this.
bennet_7: (Penguin is mightier than swordfish)
Due to some technical difficulties that I hope are finally resolved, I've been having trouble downloading all my shows. Haven't seen The Daily Show or The Colbert Report in aaaaages but I'm now caught up on Studio 60 and The Office (US).

Studio 60: 1.02 )

Studio 60: 1.03 )

The Office: 3.02 )

And finally, on friday night I was in the same room as Hugh Jackman and it was awesome. He was, of course, performing in the musical The Boy from Oz which is the story of Australian singer/song writer Peter Allen. Hugh was fantastic - he has such a huge presence on stage. He spent two years here studying at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) so he knows Perth well and littered the show with lots of references and in-jokes, even appearing in the football jersey of one our our state's teams.

The story itself wasn't terribly good (I've seen a lot better), but Hugh more than made up for it, spending about 20 minutes amongst the audience and even dancing with one guy. Truly hilarious.

And when they sang "I still call Australia home" I must confess there were tears in my eyes. The had a huge flag and a choir - it was like a QANTAS ad ;-)

For my fellow Farscape fans, Murray Bartlett who played Crichton's best friend DK, played Peter Allen's lover Greg - no you don't get to see Hugh make out with another guy, they only ever hug ;-)

Here is the Broadway cast recording. Sadly they didn't do an Australian cast recording but this one is still a great listen.

And if you're taking any of the music, can you let me know please? I need to keep track of the bandwith. Thanks.
bennet_7: (curiouser and curiouser)
So the internets have not been working. Again. If I owe you something and you haven't heard from me, that is why. I'll get onto it soon. I wish I could say that I used my internet free time productively but I didn't.

The Office 3.01 )
bennet_7: (Danny and Matt)
I never thought I'd like a show created by David E. Kelly and certainly never imagined that I'd like a spin off from his The Practice, but I do love Boston Legal.

It's well written, intelligent, hilariously funny and features some fascinating characters played by brilliant actors. James Spader is superb as the duplicitous but oh so charming Alan Shore, Candice Bergen is great as Shirley Schmidt and each week I'm surprised and delighted at the layers William Shatner gives his gun toting egomaniac Republican, Denny Crane.

Of all the things I love about this show, the real and genuine friendship between Denny and Alan is probably my favourite. Despite (or more likely because of) their differences in age, character and politics, their friendship works incredibly well. They need each other - Denny needs someone to reign him in and care for him without being patronising and Alan needs this contact with humanity else he goes to far into his own darkness. At times they act as a mentor to the other but mostly they are equals. At the end of each episode they drink scotch and smoke cigars on the balcony, counseling each other; a moment which reminds me of the way Kevin and his son used to sit on the beach at the end of early episodes of Sea Change.

I really enjoy male friendships on TV. The camaraderie between House and Wilson on House, Jed and Leo on The West Wing, Jack and Daniel on Stargate SG-1. Even the boys of Coupling, Steve, Patrick and Jeff get along so well despite the fact that Steve is dating Patrick's ex - it's like all the issues and grudges that could bog them down are forgotten and they just focus on being good mates (the girls of Coupling get along well too but there is always a catty edge, especially between Susan and Jane). I was so disappointed with the way Logan and Duncan's relationship was handled on Veronica Mars - it was such a waste of potential and a disservice to the characters.

One of the reasons I am so looking  forward to Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, is that the relationship between Matt Albie (Matthew Perry) and Danny Tripp (Bradley Whitford) is going to be so central to the show and I can't wait to see how it is developed. More platonic man love to enjoy!

In conclusion, boys being BFF is awesome and Boston Legal is sadly under-appreciated by the masses.
bennet_7: (gob)
Was back at uni today. I spent $85 on just one book. I also paid my amenities fee and got my parking permit.

My class today was Practical Writing which is one of my core units for my minor in editing. The handbook is just filled with typos. 

That's how I like my irony served.

I went to yoga class tonight but I was really tight having not been for a couple of weeks. Feel great now.


Commander in Chief started tonight. It's the new political drama staring Gena Davis as the first female president of the U.S.

As The West Wing is my second favourite TV show of all time, I couldn't help but compare the two, and of course, Commander in Chief came out lacking. The first ep was ok but I wasn't immediately hooked. It may get better.

The acting was...not that great. Even Davis, who won a Golden Globe for the role, failed to convince me of her character. I guess she grows into the role. She certainly didn't enter the room proclaiming "'I am the lord your God'" which was a pretty awesome introduction to Jed Bartlett.

Comparing it to The West Wing again, I've decided to call Vince  'Beardless!Toby' even though he is nowhere near as awesome as Toby.

And I shall be calling Ever Carradine's character (my god she looks like her dad) 'Crying girl!Sam'.

The actors who play Davis' children annoyed me and I really couldn't believe it when the son said "Have a sense of history!" to his sister. No teenage boy says that.

And on that note, the dialogue was...well it wasn't written by Aaron Sorkin that's for sure. Sorkin's dialogue is fantastic. It's witty, it's intelligent and it immediately establishes character. The dialogue in Commander definitely needed the 'Sam Seaborn polish'.

Two of the many things I love about TWW are the music and the set. I adore the score. The theme piece is so inspiring. The music for Commander was just generic orchestral stuff that was decidedly uninspiring.

When they entered the Oval Office for the first time I immediately said to my mother "It looks wrong." The set for The West Wing is beautiful. Not seeing Mrs Landingham's finger paintings in the outer office (I've been re-watching season one of TWW) was such a disapointment. The set for Commander is fine, though we didn't get to see much of the White House and it'll probably change for the next ep for such is the way of pilots.

The thing that will bring me back to Commander in Chief next week is Donald Sutherland. I liked him as the bad guy, though I thought his stunt at the end was cheap. It seemed like his accent was all over the place but he had great presence.

The verdict? I wouldn't bother downloading it if you don't get it in your country. However, I'd rather watch it than anything Jerry Bruckheimer has to offer on TV. It lacked the neccessary emotional resonance needed to impact upon the audience and hook them in. It wasn't really that interesting.

But in the end, I may just get out my West Wing tapes (yes I have the first season on TAPE! I got it for my 15th birthday. While everyone else my age was watching Dawson's a Creep I was watching The West Wing. I'm a huge geek) and enjoy that instead.

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