About Me

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was sold to gypsies as a small child for half a tank of gas and a kitten. She was quickly, if not easily, retrieved by her mother after the kitten was revealed to be an Eldrich horror looking for a ride into the nearest metropolitan area to begin wreaking havoc. It's been a bone of contention between Maria and her family ever since, whether the Horror-kitten would've been more or less trouble than she grew up to be.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

TV - Bedlam

I am a total sucker for ghost shows. I will watch any of them at least once. Maybe twice if nothing better is on. And I love British stuff. So a fictionalized account of actual deaths and ghosts in an historic British landmark is sort of exactly what I want out of life. Unfortunately, TV is created for the largest common denominator of any group, so my ghost shows get filled with quasi attractive, almost talented twenty-somethings, all of whom are at least half as interested in screwing as they are in dealing with the undead. Meanwhile, I go to sleep crying into my copy of The House on Haunted Hill and let the Erlkonig lull me to sleep.

The Premise

Bedlam Asylum has been closed for years after a scandal revealed the abuse of patients. The Asylum has been locked away for years, just sitting and taking up space, until the descendants of the last owner take over the property, creating a brighter future for the historic building by turning it into apartments.

(Raise your hand if you've heard a story like this before.)

The family patriarch is overseeing the remodeling, while his daughter and her friends live in one of the finished flats. In the premiere episode, we see him gifting his daughter with a ring which the crew pulled from the wall of the asylum.

(Raise your hand if you can taste the impending fail.)

In what will likely become a weekly formula, chaos ensues as skeptical people make elementary mistakes in the wake of an ghosts.

(Raise your hand if you want a Scooby Snack.)

And yet, I'm still watching.

The Characters

I am henceforth dubbing the cast as a whole Pretty-Prissy-People-With-Posh-Accents-And-Poltergeist-Problems until further notice. All individual characters will be given fake names until such a time as they warrant my giving a crap about them.

The main character, Sir Broods-A-Lot, broods frequently and is possibly even worse at deflecting questions about his ability to see ghosts than Melinda Gordon. Granted, he didn't have an awesomesauce grandmother to guide him through his powers (we don't think). Instead, he had an adopted family that thought he was crazy and an embarrassment, and eventually shipped him off to a nut house where he was pumped full of crazy-be-gone pills to try stop him from seeing all that ghost crap that made the family look bad. Unfortunately for them, the hospital gave him a clean bill of health, and decided he really didn't need any medicine since he wasn't crazy, and sent him on his merry, socially awkward but hot way. He still sees ghosts though, so the boy still has no credibility. The actor didn't have a lot to work with in the premiere; I can't quite tell if he actually acted the part of shy, reclusive, but goodhearted and earnest psychic, or if that's just what I read into the character. Anyway, he's kind of hot, so even if this show tanks, we'll probably see him again in some other BBC show - because God knows there are only ten actors in the whole of Britain.

Princess Snobby Slut is the cousin of Sir Broods-A-Lot, and she is snobbish and a bit of a slut. Don't believe me? Within the first ten minutes of the show, she seduces her male flatmate, knowing her other flatmate has a thing for him, mainly to prove that she can and to screw with the heads of all who know her. When Sir Broods-A-Lot bursts in during their foreplay to save her dumb butt from impending ghost-smiting, she is quite put out, and proceeds to make everything awkward for everybody. Forever. She does this again the following morning by completely dismissing the flatmate she'd been dry-humping only hours earlier. We learn through her other flatmate that this is rather typical behaviour from Princess Snobby Slut, and I am left wondering why I should care about her survival at all. Because I really, really don't. I can only hope that the writers have one hell of a character development arc planned out for her, otherwise I'm voting that she gets offed in the season finale. Of course in a series like this, there's a good chance they'd bring her character back as a ghostly adviser with a chronic case of stupid-bitchitis. Every genre has its' abused deus machinas.

Mr. Milktoast is the flatmate PSS seduced at the beginning of the show. Despite the kind of sleazy and assholish overtones his character was introduced with, I actual got to like him as the episode progressed. Suffering some kind of survivors guilt two years after the death of his brother, I can attribute his otherwise uncharacteristic interest in PSS as some part of his emotional trauma. Whether because he's still grieving or because he is supposed to be a nice guy, MM is the first character to really try get SBAL(look, typing out all these names gets hard after a few paragraphs) to talk about his ability and believe that he's not crazy. He and SBAL are going to be bros someday soon, I just know it.

Clueless Kitten is like Brittany Murphy's character in Clueless (you see what I did thar?). She's sweet, naive, totally out of her element, and everybody dumps on her because her spine is made of a single strand of candy floss. I'm really hoping she's just going to snap one day and stab PSS in the twat. Though given her proclivities as we see in later episodes, PSS might just be into that.

Finally, we have the dark, evasive, more than slightly menacing building owner who has taught his daughter, PSS, all she knows about being a snobbish slut. I really want to see more of him and his menacing hint dropping, but I fear that if BBC headed my wishes and made him a bigger character at this point in the show, he would lose his evil, pinch-faced, condescending charm.

Plot Devices and Other Points of Interest

Apparently, Sir Broods-A-Lot is notified of impending danger by supernatural text messages. I want to mock this, but one of my favorite shows involves an alien traveling through time and space in a police phone booth, so I really can't say anything. Judgement shall be withheld until further notice.

And where the heck does SBAL get his broody, psychic powers? That stuff doesn't just come out of nowhere - at least, it doesn't in GOOD fiction. While ep. 3 gave us part of the answer, there has to be more and revealing it all in season one would be disappointing. LEAVE US WANTING MORE, BBC! And was there an ulterior motive in SBAL's adoption? Given who it was orchestrated by, I would not be surprised at all.

Who the heck keeps warning SBAL about PSS? Why do they want her to live? I certainly don't.

On a related note, there are a group of messages SBAL keeps receiving that are frighteningly contradictory, as though there are two forces, one trying to get him to stay to help a female character, and the other telling him it's no use and to go away. This intrigues me and it should intrigue you too. It is one of the more potent foreshadowing tools and it keeps me coming back.

The last owner of the facility, when it was still an asylum, was removed from his position and was in the process of being brought to trial for rampant abuse of patients. However, he died before he could be tried. I smell a finale enemy.

To explain the growing paths of UST would require a wall and a few balls of multicolored yarn to map and explain. If we could just get some solidity on just ONE of these, I would be the happiest girl. But being confronted with all of them on top of the plot makes it very hard to explain to my brother when he asks me what's going on.

Final Thoughts

They have already tried my patience by killing a cat. But there are enough things going on that make me curious and keep me entertained that I'm going to continue watching until they either jump the ghost shark or kill another kitty.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book Review: Beauty Queens

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a new review post!