If you’re curious about new Who, Alan Sepinwall did a nice selection of episodes that are good to start with. (I’d swap out ‘Christmas Invasion’ for ‘The Runaway Bride’ and ‘The Girl Who Waited’ for ‘Vincent and the Doctor,’ but YMMV.) I definitely recommend skipping around and trying the different Doctors, because I’d seen several Eccleston and Tennant episodes over the years, but it took Matt Smith (and, specifically, ‘The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang’) to hook me on the show. But the nice thing about Who is that there are plenty of points to jump on.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. This was okay? I found the heroine a little frustrating, but understandably so, and the family-oriented plot strings worked pretty well. The fannish stuff mostly rang true, though I did have one issue – the ‘Simon Snow’ books/movies she fans over are clearly supposed to be a Harry Potter analogue, but then the book goes and actually mention Harry Potter? I can’t buy Snow as Potter in a world where Potter exists, given that Snow is basically Potter through a Harry/Draco lens. But all told that’s a pretty small complaint that might have been a simple copy-edit error, just one that really bugged the hell out of me.
The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory. Gregory books aren’t something I can read a lot of, or take particularly seriously, but sometimes I actually enjoy them. This one, a prequel to her War of the Roses series featuring Elisabeth Woodville’s mother, was okay. I finished it, but it was a bit totally tedious. (Half the book is basically: Battle, sex, baby, battle, sex, baby. The woman had 14 kids, but geez.) I also attempted a more respected War of the Roses book – The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Penman – but I was bored. So bored. Maybe because I’d just watched that damn The White Queen mini-series and this was hitting most of the same story beats, maybe because Richard III as a total woobie just isn’t my thing. Whatever. Count me as officially Yorked out.
Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi. Just awful, man. Awful. They really will publish anything these days if you slap a dystopia in it, won’t they? Thankfully this was an ARC I got at a charity book sale for $1, because ugh.
Three observations: They are clearly sticking to the original ’50s time period, there’s going to be some serious Bad Wig Action, and this is going to be so wonderfully trashy.
I hadn’t been online very long at all when I had my first twinges of wanting to contribute somehow to Star Wars fandom.
I remember what inspired me – browsing the file area at AOL’s Star Wars fan forum, which had several fan-produced newsletters. The most important of these was the HoloCroN, but instead in contributing, I decided to strike off on my own. My concept: A newsletter for fan fiction, with updates and reviews and the like. I called it ‘A Certain Point of View,’ aka CPOV. I was all of 17.
Kind of a waste of Christopher Eccleston; Pretty sure the set designers were trolling Natalie Portman at one point; If they added Loki stuff, how little of him was there originally?
Overall: Not as delightful as the first one, which was maybe the highlight of Phase 1 for me, but fine.
Mid-credit scene: Kind of bonkers. Post-credit scene: Adorable.
Re-watch potential: Low.
→ You heard that Episode VII finally has an official release date, I’m sure, but here it is again: December 18, 2015. I’m not super thrilled, mainly because this means it happens during the holidays and the holidays just make me cranky. Oh well: It’s all just more fuel for Santa Maul, I suppose.
→ A lengthy profile of pop music’s latest darling, Lorde. ‘Bravado’ and ‘Team:’ Both better songs than ‘Royals?’ Or just not as overplayed yet? Discuss.
→ Poor misunderstood Starship Troopers.
→ Doge. Much funny. Very wow.
For the most part, I can be happily apathetic about the stuff in Star Wars I don’t care for. Some of it I have to cover, so I cover it despite my own lack of caring. I play a lot of stuff down the middle, either due to apathy or due to not being an asshole.
And then there’s Boba Fett.
Let’s not be coy here: I hate Boba Fett. I’ve given myself permission to go full-out negative on one thing and he’s it.
→ 20 songs you might not know were covers. Music is not my best area of pop culture, but I knew about a lot of these. (I even have an MP3 of the original ‘Torn’ around here somewhere.) Still, my biggest surprise was ‘Cum on Feel the Noize.’ Also: Why is Sweden so good at pop music?
→ A nice quick look at the history of film trailers. Yes, I remember trying to download The Phantom Menace trailer, though I think I actually ended up seeing it on TV, maybe the last ever time I willingly watched Entertainment Tonight. (The comments on this are pretty good, too.)
→ Ha ha. Feel Detroit’s exasperation, Boston.
→ And finally, to be serious for a second: The logic of stupid poor people.
It’s early yet, but thoughts so far…
American Horror Story: Coven. As previously noted, I have a huge soft spot for witches. I haven’t watched either of the previous seasons of AHS, but I’m totally digging this. It’s not perfect, but it’s evil fun.
The Originals. Getting pretty good over the past two episodes. Actually, the last couple episodes are better than the last and current seasons of The Vampire Diaries. (So, so over love triangles.)