Archive for May, 2021

The Kids of Barrie Park Pt. 1

May 8, 2021

Liam flicked his lit cigarette into the dirt and brooded. The funeral had ended about twenty minutes prior but Liam had hardly noticed it start and end. Sure he grieved for the deceased, John and Tereza Ganton, but he had really come out of a sense of obligation. He had known the two of them since he was a small child. There was shared history there but especially shared tragedy. Being there and watching them get lowered into the ground made it all so real and it set his mind racing. Everybody just faded away while he thought about the implications. Maybe it was just a coincidence but maybe it meant something.

“Pick that cigarette butt up,” a woman’s voice said from behind him. It shook Liam from his fog but it did not make him jump. He turned to face Chantal. Even though it had been over two years since they had spoken directly, he still remembered her voice.

“Sorry, Chant,” Liam said and bent down to pick up the now cool butt. “I wasn’t thinking. Maybe I was thinking too much. Forget it.”

“None of that’s too uncommon at a funeral,” Chantal said. “Do you want to talk about it?” She reached out to comfort Liam but he moved away without really meaning to. He had the grace to look apologetic and Chantal let it go.

“You have to know what I’m thinking,” Liam said. “You were there that night.” He looked into her eyes with purpose. He spotted the scar across her left eyebrow that would never allow it to grow back again. She had gotten off light. Liam ran a hand over his own arm where a scar ran nearly from shoulder to wrist although it was covered by his cheap suit.

“I get it. They’re dead, Liam, and we had a connection to them,” Chantal said. “It hurts. It’s big but it is just a part of life.”

“It’s not just normal funeral stuff. Besides, you know that it doesn’t really hurt,” Liam said. “You know that both of us didn’t actually talk to them much. Most of us do not talk to each other. It’s weird.”

“And yet you and I both attended their wedding,” Chantal said with a sad smile. “We didn’t really know them but we were connected to them.” Chantal had a kind heart, it could be inspiring but it could also be annoying.

“We were connected,” Liam said, nodding in agreement. “We are still connected. That’s what I worry about. That connection. I’m worried this means something.” Liam knew he had that look in his eyes. That crazy look. He could see it in Chantal’s reaction. He was used to that reaction. As a freelance researcher in journalism, he was used to getting that reaction when he had a wild theory. The problem was, he was usually right.

“It means that the Gantons died, it’s sad, and nothing more,” Chantal said. “Now buy me dinner before you blow town again.” She took his hand and started pulling him toward the cars. Everybody else had pretty much cleared out except for the grounds crew of the cemetery. Liam went with her, walking toward his rental begrudgingly.

“We drove separately,” Liam said. “We’ll have to drive separate again. I don’t want to have to come back here, do you?”

“Hell no,” Chantal said. “I would never come back here if I had my way.”

“I think we’re agreed there,” Liam said with a nod. He almost reached for another cigarette but thought better of it. His fingers made a frustrated kind of motion as if they were disappointed at his change of heart. He shoved his hands in his pockets and shuffled toward his car.

“We’ll meet at Dona Habana,” Chantal called out. “No arguments.” She gave him her version of The Look which was meant to shut down any conversation for the moment.

“You know I hate Dona Habana,” Liam said. “I really hate Dona Habana.” It was an Afro-Cuban fusion place that Liam knew that Chantal loved. It was noisy and bright and the food disagreed with Liam’s stomach.

“I know you do,” Chantal called out with a big shit-eating grin. “That’s where I want to go and I said no arguments.”

“Fine,” Liam said. He stopped before getting into his car and watched Chantal drive off. He sighed and thought about that cigarette again when he thought he spotted something move in the distance. He narrowed his eyes in the gathering dusk and tried to decide if he had seen what he thought he did. What he thought he saw was a very tall person. He rubbed his eyes and decided that either way it was time to leave the cemetery. He needed food in his stomach and he needed to explain himself to Chantal.

Media Update 5/6/20

May 6, 2021

The Nevers

This show kind of felt like it was made for me. The show takes place sometime in the 18th century with some steampunk flair. Some sort of event has happened that awakens powers in people, causing them to be ostracized by society. These “touched” are mostly women and nobody seems to have similar powers and the powers range from very useful to frustrating. It feels a lot like Steampunk X-Men meets Sherlock Holmes. Although the show feels like an ensemble piece, it arguably stars Laura Donnelly as a detective who runs an orphanage for the touched. Her partner in crime is a bright-eyed optimist played by Ann Skelly. Both are delightful to watch for different reasons. Amy Manson plays an insane villain who is fascinating to watch. Ben Chaplin plays a human police detective who is hilariously gruff. I am also really enjoying Anna Devlin, Rochelle Neil, and Kiran Sonia Sawar who each add a lot to the show. I am really looking forward to where this goes. I recommend this show.

Shadow and Bone

I had to hop on this show because a lot of people are raving about it. The show feels like the 18th century but in a complete fantasy world. In this world, some people have magic which basically allows them to do one specific thing. Most of them have elemental powers. The follows two storylines. The first and main storyline stars Jessie Mei Li, a lower caste character suddenly thrust into the spotlight by the emergence of her own magical powers. Her costar is Ben Barnes who is an amusingly dark character. The B plot is more of an ensemble thing with a ragtag group of criminals on a mission. Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, and Kit Young are all delightful comic relief and give more perspective on the world they have built. This show is quite a bit more grim but they include enough comic relief to keep it light and moving. I recommend it.

The Shadowhunters

The most modern of these three shows, this is about a young girl who discovers she may not be as human as she thought. She is thrown into a chaotic new world just beyond the one she used to know. The show feels like if you took the Industrial Metal scene, urban fantasy, and White Wolf roleplaying games and threw them into a blender. Katherine McNamara is an instantly likable heroine. Dominic Sherwood adn Emeraude Toubia are great as battle-hardened but playful warriors. Alberto Rosende plays the normal human and the audience surrogate. I really like the imagery of the show and the show’s sense of humor. There is a lot of mystery to the show as they keep throwing out terms that make me want to learn more about the worldbuilding. I recommend this show too.

Music of the Week:

The All-American Rejects – Send Her To Heaven

Kita Menari – Pretty Sure

Лена Катина – моно

Pleasure Venom – Deth

Mashup of the Week

One Bored Jeu – Feel Good in Black and Yellow

Weekly Update:
This week’s theme is “Dark YA Stuff”
I watched more Watcher videos
I watched a lot of Twitch and YouTube
i watched more Elementary Season 4
I watched more Prodigal Son Season 2

The Muppet Show Season 6 Pt. 2

May 3, 2021

S06E04 Sally Field

Sally Field jumped right into a television career in 1965 with the starring role of Gidget in Gidget. The show did not do very well when it aired but the show gained a cult following and was one of the few single-season shows to go into syndication. Studios were still high on Fields so they cast her in The Flying Nun, once again in the title role. She kept working regularly in television until moving into Hollywood movies. She started in 1976 and quickly followed up with more iconic movies like Smokey and the Bandit and Norma Rae. She had established herself as more than a pretty face with comedy skills as she had enough experience in dramas too. She had even more memorable roles in Steel Magnolias, Mrs. Doubtfire, Forrest Gump, and (important to me) Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, her first real voice acting role. She continues to be a welcome addition to movies and television shows.

Field would have been great as a guest for The Muppet Show because of her great comic timing combined with her deceptive sweetness. She could definitely hold her own in comedies and was always a hard worker, something necessary for the difficulties involved with working with puppets. She actually did later do some work on Sesame Street in a bit where she did impersonations of Sesame Street characters. On occasion, she definitely showed that she could carry a tune in a good old-school Broadway style.

Cold Open: Scooter comes in to give Field her warning. She thanks him. The camera pans over to Uncle Deadly who tells her that’s more than enough time for love.

Guest Arc: Miss Piggy thinks that Sally Field will come and ask her to be in a movie but Sally is always talking to somebody else. (ie Gonzo and Animal asking her if she can really fly, Annie Sue and Miss Mousey having tea with her, etc.)

Guest Acts:
“Find Yourself A Rainbow” with the Electric Mayhem
Tea with Miss Mousey, Annie Sue, and an interrupting Miss Piggy
“You’re Moving Out Today” with Sweetums

S06E05 Robin Williams

Robin Williams started as a standup comedian in 1976 in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was through stand-up that he developed his fast-paced delivery with a thousand and one tangents. He did impressions, he sang impromptu songs, and he somehow did not run out of breath. He was not on stage long before he was picked up for television in 1978 for Mork and Mindy (working for Richard Pryor before that). His penchant for the absurd won over America and the World at large as his star kept rising. He starred in his first movie (Popeye) in 1980 and kept on going from there. He eventually landed the part of one of the most iconic Disney characters, Genie in Aladdin which fully utilized his unique delivery. He later moved into more dramatic roles, stretching his talent further and further which established his legend status.

Robin was actually scheduled and announced to guest an episode of Season 4 of The Muppet Show but for unknown reasons, it was canceled. He did go on to guest on Sesame Street quite a few times in some very quirky and fun bits. Robin would have been perfect for The Muppet Show. His energy is practically a mix of Animal, Rowlf, and Fozzie already. He could have sung any number of songs and traded quips with the Muppets with no problems. What could have been!

Cold Open: Scooter comes in to give Robin his 5 minute warning but shakes his head as he finds Robin throwing fish around with Lew Zealand.

Guest Arc: Robin makes it known that he wants his appearance to be an audition to become a muppet so he keeps hamming it up in hopes that he’ll be a permanent part of the show.

Guest Acts:
Stand-up Routine Doing Impressions of Muppets, Ending with Sparring with Waldorf and Statler
“This Heart is Closed for Alterations” with The Electric Mayhem
“Come Together” – with Gonzo

S06E06 Leslie Nielsen

Though he was legally deaf, Nielsen joined the Canadian Air Force to escape his abusive father but he was too young and left before seeing any action. He briefly had a radio career before he went to school to further that career. He got a scholarship from the Neighborhood Playhouse and then he attended the Actors Studio, both of which trained him in acting and pulled him from Canada to the US. His early work ended up being unexciting but he finally broke through with Forbidden Planet, a science fiction adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. His career started to pick up with roles in projects for MGM, Disney, Alfred Hitchcock, and more. His early career reached its pinnacle when he starred in the Poseidon Adventure.

However, what makes him perfect for the Muppet Show is what came next. In 1980, he appeared in the parody movie Airplane! as a doctor on board a disastrous airline flight. What those filmmakers were able to do was to help Nielsen weaponize his deadpan and serious delivery and make it into pure humor. His career quickly settled into a new gear as he went on to use a combination of earnestness and bumbling slapstick to climb new heights. He moved on to be a much more beloved and memorable actor than he would have been as a normal leading man. Seeing him act alongside the muppets would be a beautiful contrast.

Cold opening: Pops frantically searches his office as Leslie Nielsen walks up. He has been robbed.

Guest Arc: Several items have gone missing backstage. Word gets out that Leslie is an undercover private detective and is at The Muppet Show to solve the case.

Guest Acts:
“Wanted Man” (Johnny Cash) – With a bunch of rough customer monsters
“Watching the Detectives” (Elvis Costello) – With Miss Piggy and Fozzy
The scene where Leslie arrests Animal

Summers in Neptune Pt. 2

May 1, 2021

When Buffy and Veronica pushed open the doors to the Library, they immediately spotted the two Queens of the Library. Willow Rosenberg sat on the floor with a circle of old books around her. Occasionally, the books would float into the air and travel to the shelves only to be replaced by another floating book. It was trippy. Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie was similarly surrounded by computer monitors although none of them ever floated. The two of them had immediately gotten along and worked together pretty much seamlessly. They had a fairly similar energy even if they came from different backgrounds.

“Hey Willow, hey Mac,” Buffy said. “How’s it going?” Even though she was literally battle-hardened, Buffy ended up being a bit sunnier than Veronica. Veronica found that a bit more amusing than Buffy did. Maybe it was sad.

“Any information to report?” Veronica asked. “It’s still pretty nasty out there and that needs to stop so we can go back to shoveling 09ers shit.”

Mac turned from her screens. “Language, Veronica,” but she said it smirking. “When will you put your claws away?”

“We have friends where claws are literally a thing,” Willow said. “It’s a lot to adjust to.”

“I can only imagine,” Mac said with a shudder.

“I don’t think we’ll have to with this Hellmouth,” Veronica said. “Sooner or later we’ll meet every monster that ever was. We need to solve this thing.”

“It’s not quite like one of your detective cases,” Buffy said. “We can’t just tie it in a neat bow right away.”

“I know,” Veronica said. “but for the record, my longest case took years to solve. Any problem can be solved.”

“Let’s not rehash the painful past,” Mac said and it was beyond true. “We should confront the painful present. Let’s move on.”

“I’ll go first,” Willow said, standing up. “I’ve been studying this new Hellmouth with my research assistants. Dawn and Wallace have been working so hard that I gave them the afternoon off. They’re getting ice cream.”

“What have you found out?” Veronica asked. Straight to the point, that was Veronica Mars. When she had a problem to solve, she was like a dog with a bone.

“Well,” Willow said, shrugging a little bit. “I’ve read a lot of the local lore, I’ve monitored the ley lines, and I’ve consulted the local fey folk.”

“Neptune has fey folk?” Veronica asked, interrupting but the phrase had been to ridiculous to let pass. She had grown up with Midsummer Night’s Dream and Tinkerbell. It had been a long time since she had clapped.

“Plenty,” Willow said. “I’ll tell them you said ‘hi’. Actually, I won’t. They’re really dangerous to get to know and the less exposure you have, the better. Anyway, I have a few leads. More like linchpins. Demons and other nasties that, if we take them out, the Hellmouth could asplode.”

“Asplode, huh?” Buffy asked. “Sounds good to me and yes I heard the word ‘could’. Come find us when you have some specific targets to stake.”

“We’ll rustle up Logan. Kennedy, and Xander and get out there and take care of business for you,” Veronica said.

“Sounds good,” Willow said. “I’ll even join you if only to protect my lovely wife.”

“Well, that makes sense to me,” Veronica said. “I’ve got to protect my boyfriend.”

“I guess I’ll protect Xander,” Buffy said. “Hmm. Any word from Angel and Spike’s crew?”

Willow fought not to smirk and almost managed it. “We’ve tried every method I know of between technology and magic and there’s nothing,” she said. “They are not on this plane of existence.”

“What does that mean?” Buffy asked, clearly worried.

“It means that we’ll have to wait for them to explain it when they get back,” Willow said. “I’m sure it will be an amazing story.”

“You’re sure they’ll come back?” Buffy asked.

“Angel and Spike have both returned from death several times,” Willow said. “I don’t think I can ever count them out again. Not for sure.”

“True,” Buffy said. “I guess we should move on with the briefing.”


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