I have so many different posts zooming around in my head (commuting to and from activities gives me a lot of time for deep introspection while trying to ignore that Calvin Harris song I heard 8 times today), but this is the one I promised last week, and I am a girl who keeps her promises (disappointed Duplickate followers, no sass please or I will put you in time out). So, here it is. Books, Television, and Movies I have read or seen and liked (or felt feelings about), a short retrospective.
This is really where the hard core rebellion is taking place. After four years of reading Literature and Thinking Hard and Feeling Bad or Falling Sleep During Pleasure Reading, I am taking full advantage of my chance to read trashily. This rebellion has largely manifested itself in lots of YA fiction, with one notable exception that I will save until the end.
First, on my ride out here I started (on the recommendation of the Slate Culture Gabfest and my friend Amy) Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart Trilogy. I’m currently half way through listening to the third one, and they are pretty good. This was an excellent starting point, as they are by an established author I have never read (sorry, everyone I know), they are set in the 19th century in London and do a solid job of telling you important information about the social/political/economic issues of the time (for example, opium gets a really thorough explanation. Seriously, everyone, ask me about opium now, I know things). However, they’re also super pulpy mystery novels with a Smart and Plucky Female Protagonist, which, as anyone who knows me should know, is my favorite genre of television, movie, or book. So, it’s been a lovely romp, and is also a good irritation valve, as when I listen to it and yell in my car about feminism and racism and classism, I then have less yelling left over in my heart for dumb stuff like not putting your shoes on fast enough or listening to TV on your iPad too loudly. I would actually recommend these without reservation, and if you get an Audible account, the narration is really good and there are lots of accents and you too can yell in your car.
The only problem with starting out with these books, is that I got here and on the first night realized I had nothing to read. Quick like a bunny (yes, Mom, I’m turning into Granny too) I rushed out the next day to buy The Hunger Games (which was amazing, but everyone in the world already knows that, so whatever, that’s enough about it), and Insatiable by Meg Cabot. This is the single adult book that I’ve read, and it was the trashiest thing in the world. It’s about a girl (plucky, New Yorker, cute, petite, cliches cliches cliches) who can tell how people are going to die, writes for a soap opera, meets a sexy vampire (prince of the vampires), totally does it with him, and gets involved in a vampire war AND a war on vampires. Yeah, it was just as bad as you think it was. So bad. So bad in fact, that some of the sentences didn’t even make sense. There were actually sentences in that book that were so terrible I actually could not understand the meaning of the sentences. I believe this is a sign that Meg Cabot did not write this of her own volition but did this to us to make that paper. Or she was forced to write it by her experience with a sexy vampire. Maybe in a sexy dream. Because that does happen, you guys, and one sexy vampire dream can do this to us all.
After that I’ve been delving back into Patricia C. Wrede and Diana Wynne Jones, my favorite YA fantasy authors growing up, and it has been excellent. So many plucky ladies, and sometimes they’re witches! But they have to look in themselves to find their secret power and over come the limitations they, and society, have set. I am not looking too deeply into the no doubt Freudian implications of my continued love for these books, and I would thank you to ignore them too.
Oh, and I’m on the Agatha Christie boat like you would not believe. Which transitions nicely into…
Everyone, if you do not have Netflix, get it. Unless you prefer actually accomplishing things and can’t watch TV and accomplish. In which case, avoid it. Avoid it like you avoid giving a five-year-old ice cream after the first time when you saw a human with so much energy she was actually vibrating. If you are a person more in line with me, it’s amazing.
Sometime after I came home from England, all English television became a beautiful safe haven for me. It’s funny, it’s somewhat topical, it’s well acted, and I enjoy the constant sport of “Why Do I Recognize that Person.” The show that has helped me along that particular road the most is the recent BBC version of Marple. I watched all of them, I know all British actors now, I know how bad a faked American accent can sound (and have deeper worries than even before about how bad Anne Hathaway must have sounded in that awful movie), and I can solve a crime faster than blinking. Oh, and I pass along to you this wisdom: never invite Miss Marple over to your home. There will be a murder, she will find out, and someone you love will turn out to be DEEPLY SORDID and probably sleeping with their sibling (incest is a serious Marple theme, also, no doubt, deeply Freudian).
In between Marple I have also watched all of Would I Lie to You, the newest season, and my favorites from old seasons, of 8 out of 10 Cats, and as much as YouTube would give me of QI. I also watched all of Party Animals which stars a younger Matt Smith and is kind of like the West Wing, but less inspiring and a little sluttier. So, rating is… Good? I don’t know, make your own judgment, there’s a really cute scene where Matt Smith dances in one episode, everyone is good looking, and the relationship between the two brothers is remarkably realistic. It’s also one of those shows where I felt compelled to tell my mom the entire plot and my feelings on the acting after I finished it, which is pretty impressive.
Actually, movies isn’t all that interesting, as there’s not unifying theme, but the fact that I’m watching them at all is exciting, for me at least, and I found a new Audrey Hepburn movie that I really enjoyed. Watch Charade you guys, it’s on Instant Watch and I actually shouted, “TWIST” four times while watching it.
So, that’s trashy media and what I thought about it. Or, How to Distract the Thinking Part of Your Brain While you Knit/Paint Your Nails/Do Origami/Listen to Music/Stay Up Too Late. Don’t worry, I got Freedom by Jonathan Franzen from the library, so, I’m on a path to recovery. But I’m also planning on seeing Lola Versus sometime this weekend. So. Whatever, I’m giving myself a couple months off from caring what society thinks about how smart I am. Blammo. Lemon out.
P.S. I am sorry this is so long. I lied to you up there at the top.