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Aug. 21st, 2014 09:45 pm
meganbmoore: (emilia: eat your brains)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 In my mid-late teens, I watched Hercules: The Legendary Journeys very, very faithfully-recording numerous episodes on VHS-and was of the opinion that Kevin Sorbo was among the hottest things ever, even though, characterwise, I preferred a number of other Hercules and Xena characters to Hercules himself.  I rewatched the series in my late twenties and still found it quite enjoyable, though there was considerably less crushing on Sorbo that time around.

Today I read this.

My inner 15-year-old is crying and burning her VHSes, because even with her extremely conservative, republican, black-and-white-morality worldview upbringing*, she knew better than that.

*Family gatherings are a political/worldview nightmare for adult Me, folks, let me tell you...

Honey West

Aug. 20th, 2014 10:41 pm
meganbmoore: (nancy drew)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
Honey West is a half-hour serial that ran for 30 episodes from 1965-1966. Starring Anne Francis, it's the first mystery TV series to b named after a female detective (if not the first mystery series to have a female protagonist, that one I'm actually not sure about).

Based on a series of books that I haven't read, Honey inherits her father's detective agency, along with his junior partner, Sam, a former marine. Rounding out the agency is Honey's aunt, Meg, who largely functions as secretary and confidant. Honey and Sam both know Judo and use a variety of James Bond-like devices while on cases. On a typical case, Sam does surveillance in the van while Honey does most of the hands-on work.

I tend to automatically adjust my expectations to a degree when watching older shows/movies, but even so, I think this holds up pretty well. While some characters may question Honey's competence as a detective, the narrative itself never really does, and Honey has one or more fight scene in almost every episode. The fight scenes are actually better than those in most 60s movies that I've seen, as someone apparently bothered to teach Anne Francis and John Ericson at least the basics of Judo. Most Hollywood action scenes from the period that I've seen involve the fake "pow!" punch and people throwing other people. Honey punches, kicks, throws people over her shoulder and smashes things over their heads regularly, and has the same happen to her. While there are a number of times that Sam dashes in to the rescue, this mostly only occurs either because he's learned they were wrong about who/what she'd be facing, or because something has gone wrong on a case. There's never a real "well, Honey's a girl so she can't take care of herself" subtext to the show, and Honey tends to come to Sam's rescue as often as not. The series also came about before the memo that if you have a crime solving duo, one HAS to be orderly and by-the-books, and the other HAS to always come up with "harebrained" schemes and charge off on what should be illogical tracks that pay off, and that if it's a male/female pair, the conservative one HAS to be the female and the one who thinks outside the box which always pays off) has to be the male, especially if there's any will hey/won't they going on, because it's pretty much the opposite here. Honey also apparently has a pretty healthy sex (or at least, social with plenty of first base) life, which there isn't any judgement of.

It's far from perfect. The resolution of most cases is pretty obvious early on, and there's a good bit of casual sexism, though it's better there than many other things from the period. (And, sadly, better than some today.) The few times POC appear are also...really best not discussed. Just assume you'll be cringing a fair bit on those rare occasions. But it's still a fun series and, IMO, worth watching.


Aug. 20th, 2014 05:07 pm
jmtorres: The arch-elf from the movie Santa Clause, with pita. (food)
[personal profile] jmtorres
So I was considering making chocolate truffles because I have too much free time and a fair amount of cooking supplies. Only it turns out that I'd be making a batch of like, 15 dozen, so uh, does anyone want homemade truffles?

potential flavors:
--fair warning all the nut ones would probably be made with some form of alcohol
--am willing to take requests if i can figure out how to do a flavor neatly
--like raspberry ala chambord

Ping if interested with requested flavors, I'll probably figure out the 4-6 favorite flavors that will cause me the least pain and suffering and send out like, a dozen to everyone who wants.

Recipe includes condensed milk and butter, so sadly not for my vegan or dairy-free friends.

The Crimson Field

Aug. 15th, 2014 07:45 pm
meganbmoore: (bomb girls: ot3)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
The Crimson Field is a 6-episode series set in a fictional British field hospital in France in 1915, and is part of BBC One's WWI Centennial lineup. (And as far as I can tell, the only one with multiple major female characters, much less focused on women.) Doctors, nurses and patients are all pretty heavily featured, but the ongoing storylines primarily revolve around several of the nurses, with the episodic "horrors of war" plotlines centering around the soldiers they're treating.

When the series opens, Lt. Col. Brett (played by Matthew Crawley's draft-dodging valet in Downton Abbey, which amuses me), who runs the camp, has recently promoted Sister Grace to Matron of the nurses over her mentor, Sister Margaret, who most had expected to get the position, a decision regarded as very controversial by many in the camp. Sister Grace is well respected and competent, but not considered as good a candidate and Sister Margaret, who is pretty much a war hero to most, and there's gossip that Brett may have chosen Sister Grace because they're a little too close, and Sister Margaret-apparently a very devoted nurse, but a rather awful person otherwise, with a few exceptions-feels betrayed by both. On the heels of this change, three V.A.D.s-Kitty, Rosalie and Flora-also arrive at the camp, along with Joan, a civilian nurse. Kitty and Rosalie volunteered partially to escape personal issues in England, Joan requested to be sent to France because of a dangerous secret, and flora is a teenager who lied about her age to be able to become a nurse. (So, yeah, the only new arrival who is there for purely selfless reasons-not that the others don't also genuinely want to help people-is technically breaking the law to be there.)

There's plenty of Drama, but it's much more subdued than that in most period dramas, and I confess to thinking of it at times as "Oona Chaplin, Hermione Norris, Suranne Jones and a bunch of other people in costume." I doubt I'll like other installments in the Centennial lineup as much as I liked this, unless there's something really interesting sounding coming that I haven't heard of yet. It's set up for a second season, but most things are pretty well resolved, which is good, as it was cancelled. Because BBC hates me, sometimes Basically (unless things have changed in the last few days) BBC hasn't cancelled it, but the actors' contracts have expired. So it may still be renewed, but will likely have changes made to the cast (which wouldn't be unexpected anyway, given the setup) unless it just so happens that no one gets a new gig before then.

A few warnings:

There's very little onscreen violence, but there is fair bit of blood onscreen, and numerous gross wounds are shown.

A lot of in-period dismissal of shell shock and PTSD as cowardice and/or weakness, but primarily by the higher-ups and examiners who visit the camp, not from the main characters. Also some mild (as such things go) homophobic comments. Neither the able-ism nor the homophobia is supported by the narrative, though.

There's a scene with domestic violence, though it ends before there's physical violence, though there is physical intimidation. Basically, there's a scene with one of the nurses and her estranged husband and it's clear he's done some very awful things to her in the past, but in this case, someone interrupts before he's able to do much more than frighten her (though he mostly hadn't moved on much because he was enjoying the mental torment). Still a very disturbing scene, though.


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