Sunday, May 25, 2014


i'm apparently late to the shark party.

that's not really a surprise. ever since i had kids, i'm generally late to everything. but every now and then, my children bully their way into having a sleepover with a beloved relative and i get to play catch up on pop culture references. that's how my love affair with sharknado began.

as my husband and i settled down for what we'd hoped to be a romantic night of watching SyFy B-movies and eating various flavors of doritos, we immediately had the feeling that Sharknado would be something...special. or at least i did because i'm pretty sure the hubz didn't make it to tara reid's house in the film.

again, pesky kids.

i'm not going to give you a play-by-play here. it's a syfy film. you already know that means shitty CGI and green screen. i will just give you the highlights:

1. john heard - imagine what would have happened to kevin mcallister's dad if his wife left him after forgetting their son a second time and took all the kids with her. he'd go to the beach, find a local watering hole, and hit on the scantily clad underaged bartender. BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT SAD OLD MEN DO. but then, because he raised a son who was so adept at saving himself from thieves and robbers, he'd redeem himself slightly with little more than a barstool, a poignant symbol of both his downfall and his redemption. somewhere, there's a dog named after whatever his character's name was, i'm sure of it.

2. nova - someday, i'm going to survive a traumatic shark attack (my emotional scars will be obvious by my daddy issues and wardrobe choices) and have the world's ugliest, fakest scars mar my perfectly toned body. then, i'm going to live on the beach and work at a job where, like hooters, i'll be forced to expose my long, toned limbs every day, forcing the casually observant to notice my scars and ask me about them. then i will lie about the origins of the scars until i meet someone who fell down a slide at the park, FOR ONLY HE CAN TRULY UNDERSTAND MY PAIN. then, we'll drop motherfucking bombs into the motherfucking sharknadoes together, saving the world and falling in love. until i am swallowed whole by a great white. did i mention I REALLY HATE SHARKS.

3. that dude from baywatch - remember logan from baywatch? here, he is EPIC as the australian friend with nothing to lose but perhaps his leg and his life. my second favorite scene involves the campy australian in a hardware store dropping knowledge about how tornadoes are formed to a bunch of half naked kids who are building bombs without the use of the internet.

4. tara reid's house - it's nice to see tara reid getting work. by which i mean not more botched plastic surgery. my third favorite scene happens at tara reid's house where her terrible boyfriend colin discovers the cardinal rule of being a dick in a made-for-tv-horror-film usually means you die a horrible fucking death first. it's also here where we learn there is a son - because the writers probably figured that they needed a reason to keep the characters from just going inland so they added another emotional heartstring to keep us firmly entrenched in snarknado territory. or should i say...terrortory.

5. the end - okay, i'm saving the best for last but this happens:

and then, just when we think all hope is lost, ian zeiring chainsaws his way out of the great white, carving a makeshift sharkvagina and birthing himself (and the blood drenched nova). it is EXACTLY what shakespeare envisioned for macduff (NONE OF WOMAN BORN SHALL HARM SHARKNADO!) but clearly lacked the technology to make it truly sing. i almost wet myself laughing.

my husband snored gently and missed the whole thing.

i don't know. i love that syfy has become the ed wood of my generation. these campy, terribly written little gems have found a home and given me a simple hope for the future.

that hope is sharknado 2.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sherlock: His Last Vow - Pressure Points

So, my awesome sister made screencaps of Sherlock's pressure points.

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I think we're going to need to talk about them. It appears that there are six that repeat:

1. Irene Adler
2. Jim Moriarty
3. John Watson
4. Opium
5. Hounds of the Baskerville
6. Redbeard

Some of these are fairly obvious. Pressure points seems to mean "something I can exploit or use against you" in Magnusson-ese. Sherlock's drug use is a fairly obvious point in that regards. As is Irene Adler or John Watson. I'm not entirely sure why Sherlock's dog fits the bill - but they certainly made a big deal of that darn puppy in this week's final episode. To me, the two names on this list of note are Jim Moriarty and Hounds of the Baskerville.

Jim features prominently in the episode. A little trapped voice telling him not to fear pain. Obviously these things help set up the final moments of the episode; I get that.

So what's up with the Hounds???

It definitely doesn't say HOUND, so I doubt it refers to the drug. I feel like it's either just a catchy little canonical nod or something big I missed in an episode I didn't find that impressive initially.

The other thing I want you to start thinking about is the notion of brothers. Mycroft was in his fraternal glory this week; Sherlock is his pressure point. Got it. But there's that weird line at the end when he's discussing what's to be done with his wayward murdering brother. Something along the lines of "you know what happened with the other one."


Is there another Holmes boy out there? Is it supposed to be Moriarty? WHAT DID I MISS?

Oh, yeah, I missed Jim.

I should probably also wonder why Sherlock isn't on John's list. But I'm not going to. Sherlock would never willingly let himself be a liability to John, at least as far as I can tell.

That's all I got for now.

Sherlock: His Last Vow (Series 3, Episode 3) - I MISSED YOU!!!

Okay, I've calmed down a little. Not much, but a little.

Last night's season ender was epic. Not, I think, my favorite all-time Sherlock episode, but certainly an excellent addition to what has been a fairly amazing season.

First things first: I TOLD YOU SO.

While not entirely evil, Mary certainly catapulted into the realm of "complicated" last night. I knew she was way too clever with the code deciphering and the successful playing of both Sherlock and Watson. And, of course, the "liar" and "linguist" warnings from Sherlock's initial reading of her.

I didn't exactly see her shooting Sherlock, though. But my Sherlock-senses were definitely tingling whenever she was on scene.

Things I Loved About Last Night's Episode:

1. Mary - I was worried they were going to straight up villainize her. They didn't. They made her complicated and worthy of a second chance. They also pointed out what everyone already knew: John loves himself a dangerous sociopath. There was no way Mary and he could be happy if she weren't. I'm pretty sure I fist-bumped myself when my earlier deductions were remotely right, though.

2. Moriarty - While it was great to see Moriarty trapped in Sherlock's mind dungeon, it was even greater to see him serve as the perverted deus-ex-machina, saving Sherlock from exile (and, perhaps, most likely death) with his timely return. Of course, there are so many questions here. Is he really back or is this someone using Moriarty's image? How did Moriarty fake his own death? Have the writers decided to go off canon now? It doesn't really matter, of course, since I'm about to pee my pants with excitement about Season 4 regardless.

3. Sherlock fighting death - This entire scene was incredible. My husband said this and I totally agree: they've gotten so much better about showing Sherlock "think" as the seasons go on. Here, it's a mind palace on the brink of collapse. Molly and Mycroft serve as prompters, getting Sherlock to make the necessary calls to save his own life, but it's Moriarty, still tormenting from his padded cell, that really highlights the bond these two sociopaths share, even in death.

4. Molly - Season 3 Molly not only got to kiss Sherlock (albeit in Anderson's fantasy - do with that what you will - although Sherlock did give her a little cheek peck later) but also gets to slap him as well. You go, girl! Molly is braver, feistier, and less likely to suffer fools. When she slaps Sherlock for squandering his gifts, you know it isn't just about that.

5. Sherlock playing human - I'd earlier lamented that they were trying too hard to humanize Sherlock this season, while hoping it was for a greater purpose. Seems it was. While Sherlock clearly has special emotional dispensations for Watson, he is in his element abusing the emotions of Jeanine (last week's bridesmaid) in order to get what he needs/wants. And, of course, we poignantly see him reaffirm his high-functioning sociopathy at the end when he shoots Magnusson in the head. Not a very elegant Holmesian solution, I fear. I hope they won't waste any time on Sherlock feeling guilty about that next season.

6. Christmas - Sherlock's parents are back! This time, for Christmas! And we see just how amazing a Holmes' family Christmas can be. We learn that it's Holmes's mother who is the "genius" (a mathematician turned mommy) - which is probably Moffat's way of saying "See, I'm not a misogynist!' Still, when  Sherlock drugs them all to run off to catch Magnusson, you just feel so warm and fuzzy and right.

7. Wiggins - In season one, one of the homeless network girls was named Wiggins. Which was cute and all, but I was hoping Wiggins would be a far more central figure. Prayers answered! The role gets recast here as a junky with a budding interest in deductions and chemistry.

Things I Didn't Love:

1. Magnusson - Sure, he gets shot in the head, but that's so not satisfying. We watch Sherlock because we want to see him mentally best the baddie. Not shoot them in their mind palaces. This felt like a copout or misdirection solely to get to the amazing punchline of the season. And that's a shame, because the guy playing Magnusson was so creepy he could have been a truly special villain. Instead, we just have to take it from Sherlock that he was the most dangerous opponent they've ever come up against. Having Sherlock win by default (if murder can be considered default) feels most unsatisfactory.

Things I Will Obsess Over:

1. AGRA - I'm guessing these initials are the IOU red-herring of Season Three but I can't help to think that Mary's identity and the mysterious USB are a clue I'm somehow missing. Besides, if nothing else, knowing a rogue agent is on your team to fight Moriarty has got to feel good.

2. Did you miss me? I had a feeling this was coming about halfway through the episode. They've used Andrew Scott a lot this year; for a guy who's supposed to be dead, he certainly was getting a fair bit of screen time. If he's really back, that should be an epic season 4. If he's not, it should still be pretty amazing. But I do worry. Now that Sherlock is a "murderer" - what's the incentive at beating Moriarty at his own game? They sacrificed a little of Sherlock's integrity this season and I don't know how or if they'll be able to successfully reclaim it in any meaningful way.

More after the rewatch!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sherlock: His Last Vow (Series 3, Episode 3)


Holy shit.

I'm going to need a minute.

Or a year.

To process that episode.

Can I spoil it a little???

Just a little.

Moriarty lives.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

FiftyFiftyMe: The Hamlet Trap (Book #3)

(sung to the tune of "Let's Get Together" from the seminal flick The Parent Trap)

Let's commit murder, yeah yeah yeah.
Why don't you and I combine?
Let's commit murder, what do you say?
We can have a swinging time.
We'd be a crazy team.
Hey, let's make a crime scene...Together!

oh, oh, oh, oh
Let's commit murder, yeah yeah yeah.
Think of all those we could kill.
Let's commit murder, everyday
Every's such a thrill..
And though we haven't got a lot,
We could be homicidal til we're caught. Together.

Oh! I really think you're sick.
Uh huh! We'll beat you with a stick..
Oo wee! And if you stick with me
All the ways we'd harm her, say hey Jeffrey Dahmer.

Let's commit murder, yeah yeah yeah.
Two is twice as nice as one.
Let's commit murder, right away.
We'll be having twice the fun.
And you can always count on me.
A gruesome twosome we will be.
Together, yeah yeah yeah.

Monday, January 6, 2014

FiftyFiftyMe: Takedown Twenty (Book #2)

i've stopped buying stephanie plum books. sure, i still read them, but now i wait for weeks and weeks to get them from the library instead of shelling out good money for crap fiction.

this one was pretty not good.

first, the beginning chapters read like a warped version of the babysitter club series where stephanie introduced us to each and every person in her life as if we hadn't been there with her for the last 19 installments.

this is lulu. lulu dressed like a ho. but lulu ain't no ho. except lulu is considering become a ho again so she can get an expensive purse.

to each their own, i guess.

i don't recall evanovich ever just listing her exposition in a fucked-up little litany of who is who before. but maybe i just usually skim those parts more.

it has been awhile since i've read one of these.

if i were grading this novel, in the margins, i'd have written "show, don't tell!" about 24249 times, so, maybe the introductions were the least of her problems.

i recently wrote a review about comedy in literature being written like it's amped up to eleven. if that's the case generally speaking, here, it's amped up to at least thirteen. stephanie is, perhaps, even klutzier than usual - maybe because of bella putting the "eye" on her - or maybe because she's getting a little too old to be traipsing around trenton, getting shot at and blowing up cars that don't belong to her.

of course, the mystery here is so phoned in as to be ridiculous. i'm sorry, but if you don't figure out the calling card way in advance of stephanie and joe, you deserve to read the rest of these. the giraffe was a surreal little touch, but, of course, most of us are still reading these for the morelli-ranger-plum triangle.

for an almost engaged woman, stephanie sure kisses ranger an awful lot.

also, isn't it about time that she and morelli take another break so us rangerphanies can get ours a little?

thanks ever so much.

not that i'm anticipating hurrying to read the next installment. these are going the way of the sookie stackhouse books, only with no hint to an end in sight. which is a pity, because when evanovich is on, she's on! it's just not really happening here for me.

2 stars - a few laughs, a quick read, but some awful exposition and hyperbolic comedy.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sherlock: Sign of Three (Series 3, Episode 2)

Well, well, well, isn't this a horse of a different color? A second or  middle episode that was actually pretty amazing.

The Sign of Three was highly anticipated after Sherlock's auspicious return to television. At least highly anticipated in my home. But I was wary. There are some distinct tonal changes going on - Sherlock and Mycroft are far more human, far more accessible, than they were previously. Also, at times, the show teeters on campy. We saw that in the first episode with the Inspector Clouseau bit. Here, it's a bit more subtle, but I can't remember...well...laughing quite so hard at Sherlock in the past.

Maybe I've just obsessively watched the humor out the older series?

Maybe it's Mary. Can I just say how much I fucking love Mary? I'm serious. She's amazing. She plays both Watson and Sherlock so perfectly. And she doesn't dare try to come between them. I hope it lasts because, dang, is she incredible.

I will give some major spoilers of tonight's episode. Here is your final warning. I won't tell you everything - because I've got small children and they're disruptive only in the 90 minute blocks I take for myself at bedtime. Tonight, it was adventures in potty training.

Don't ask.

Anyways, tonight was John's wedding. It did not disappoint. However, first, we saw the return of Donovan, who I'd hoped was away on traffic duty in Canterbury or something but apparently was not. We see her and Lestrade trying to crack down on an elusive gang of clown-faced bank robbers. They're on the brink of capture and police glory when...Sherlock texts! He needs help! Please! Come right away!

Of course, he's texted enough that we all know he is no danger, but Lestrade, well, Lestrade is sticking truer the canon and is not a very good police detective so he calls for all kinds of major backup at Baker St. where a totally fine Sherlock is in the throws of a "best man speech writing" meltdown.

Poor, Gavin. Er...Graham...uh...Greg.

Of course, the thing with the robbers is either all a very elaborate lead up to that punchline or signs of future trouble to come.

The writers are also doing this weird time-hopping thing that is making it difficult to know what time anything is happening in. Flashbacks are problematic that way. And we've definitely jumped forward from Sherlock's amazing return from the dead.

Sherlock gives an amazing speech, if you're worried. He makes the audience laugh and cry and gives us hope of Sherlock's increasing interest in joining society successfully. Peppered throughout are cases the boys have worked on together, including an unsolved case of a bloody guardsman and a ghost boyfriend. There are also some pretty amazing interviews Sherlock conducts with various members of the wedding party. It's nice to see him connect so vividly with a young child.

I'd totally let him babysit.

I was curious to see how they'd handle the central mystery of the Sign of the Four (the locked room). It was actually pretty clever here, although, I dare say, I'd figured it out. I won't tell you how it's done, just pay attention to the filming. They give a little visual hinting with some of the shots.

I also don't believe for a second that Sherlock would have trouble figuring out the intended target. That took way too long, but was fairly hysterical in the process.

Also fun - Sherlock dancing, Sherlock's bridesmaid friend, Sherlock visualizing his chatroom (and those women!!!), and the drinking scene (Sherlock and John both get wasted and try to solve a crime; it is just as epic as you imagine).

Of course, the major spoiler comes with the pun on the title. Changing the Four to Three in the title is surely designed to have people think of the new John-Mary-Sherlock triangle. Of course, we all forget how much the writers love a good pun.

Mary is off-put by wine. She gets nervous and sick in the morning of her wedding. She's put on some weight.
It doesn't really take a Sherlock to deduce what comes next.

But it's really, really sweet when he does.

See you after the rewatch.