My horrible phlegm-filled lurgy is now finally subsiding, even though my throat is still raw and I keep coughing randomly. At least I no longer sound like a cross between Davros and Barry White, and was able to laugh at last night’s Mock the Week without actually killing myself. (Frankie Boyle’s Inuit Robot Butler was absolute genius).
Janet is off work today, and is happily ensconced on her PC playing Spore, which (despite annoyingly refusing to let her interact with any of the online content) is generally pleasing her in being a combination of every game style she’s ever liked, with the added bonus that she gets to design weird alien life and evolve it.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which turned out to be unexpectedly not-a-big-pile-of-crap, is back for a second season on 8th September. I might never have started watching this if I hadn’t been asked to review it, and seen a couple of other people praising it, but I’m really glad I did. It’s smarter than it has any right to be, and it neatly picks up on everything I liked about T2 while ditching everything I disliked about T3. Lena Headey is suitably obsessive and bad-ass as Sarah Connor, plus it has Summer Glau as a deeply unnerving ‘good’ Terminator, as showcased by this here poster (click for a bigger version).
Ben Folds Five are re-uniting for one night only to play “The Unauthorised Biography of Reinhold Messner” in its entirety. When we saw Ben Folds ‘solo’ back in June he was playing with two other musicians who were for all practical purposes indistinguishable from the remaining two members of Ben Folds Five (to a philistine like myself — I’m sure their friends and families see an important difference) so I’m sure this will be a breeze for Ben. This seems to be part of a MySpace “Front to Back” live album initiative.
Folds’s new album Way to Normal is out on 30th Sept. He played quite a few songs from it when we saw him live, and generally it sounds quite up-tempo; less acoustic and melancholy than Songs for Silverman. More of an early-BFF sound, in fact.
The moment I started my holidays last Saturday I started coming down with the lurgy. Funny how often that happens. So even though I’m on holiday this week I’m also bunged up and feeling like the back of my throat has been sandpapered (or, occasionally, chiselled). Since I’m not up to much therefore, here are a few things that, in my delirium, I mentally logged as worth telling someone. You be the judge.
The saga of Tom McRae’s website continues. It’s now in Australia. No really.
This story about the MMR vaccine scare on Bad Science is actually an excerpt from Ben Goldacre’s new book. It’s also a fantastically rational account of how irrational the media can be in their quest to sensationalise a story.
Frost/Nixon is a movie that wasn’t on my radar. What were the chances that anyone, let alone Ron Howard, would make a Hollywood movie out of David Frost interviewing Richard Nixon? It’s hard to know what to make of it. The trailer paints the film as a mixture of political drama and David vs Goliath feel-good story, in the general neighbourhood of Charlie Wilson’s War. Michael Sheen looks great as Frost, and Frank Langella seems okayish as Nixon. Other eclectic cast members include Oliver Platt (White House Counsel Oliver Babish on The West Wing) and Matthew “Tom from Spooks” McFadyen. (Plus it has Kevin Bacon in it, so given how ubiquitous Michael Sheen is this should blow the Kevin Bacon game wide open.)
No Heroics is a new sitcom centred around off-duty UK Superheroes. The trailer looks surprisingly okay, albeit sex-obsessed, particularly given that this is airing on that great sitcom purgatory, ITV.
Lastly, what is up with those camera zooms that punctuate Evan Davis’s every sentence at the start of Dragon’s Den? It’s like the camera operator just ate an entire keg of Smarties and can’t calm down.
As mentioned we’re creating a pond at the moment, turning a patch of scrubby garden non-entity into a nice little water feature and, potentially, home to the occasional newts and frogs that visit our garden. So far it’s occupied the best part of the last two weekends and it feels like it’s taking a very long time to come together. There are a number of learning points emerging from this exercise:
1) Pond liner is composed of purest evil and refuses to lie snugly in a hole no matter which way you fold it.
2) Swearing at pond liner accomplishes little but feels good.
3) Pebbles may lie there blinking sweetly at you in a Miyazaki-type way, but no matter how many times you wash them they’ll still turn your water a muddy brown colour.
4) My back still hasn’t recovered from going “oh bugger-aieee-twang!” last year.
5) Water simply can’t take a hint, even when you patiently explain where you need it to go.
6) Ow, my back. This one is worth mentioning twice.
What a great conclusion to a great two-parter for the original CSI tonight. I prefer the show when it’s more about the science but this was exactly the right way to push the characters in a more dramatic direction – by making it all about the case. Some really nice performances, great little moments, and a far cry from the cartoonish mystery-by-numbers approach that the other two CSI shows are taking.
In other news, why when I bite my lip once (which is painful enough) am I then condemned to bite it several more times the same day? Ow!