End of year meme

Snagged from frelling_tralk.

Which TV shows did you start watching in 2014?
Collapse )

Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn't in 2014? Why?

Collapse )

Which TV shows do you intend on checking out in 2015?

Collapse )

Your favorite TV show of the year?

Collapse )

The most missed of your old fandoms?
Collapse )

Your favourite book of the year
Collapse )

Favourite film of the year:

Collapse )
grrm sux

Literary Lads Fest: Sam Vimes (Discworld series)

Top Three Things I love about Sam Vimes!

1. His sense of social justice and his loyalty to his working class background: No matter how (grudgingly) high he rises in society, Vimes never forgets where he comes from and how he grew up. His loyalties and sympathies towards people from a lower class or poorer background are often touched upon, and the fact that he now lives amongst the more elite society of Ankh Morpork is something that never fails to make him feel uncomfortable, despite his love for his wife and family. Vimes's working class roots are what make him the copper he is: for example, he refuses to wear new, expensive boots, instead opting for the cheapest ones available so as to be able to 'feel' the streets of the city under his feet for directions. It's these little touches to the character that make him so real and sympathetic, particularly to a British sensibility.  One of Vimes's most famous inner monologues is his 'Boots theory of socioeconomic unfairness':

Collapse )

Literary Lads Fest: Maurice Hall

Welcome to early 20th Century Edwardian England, where homosexuality was punishable by law and where gay men were forced to stay in the closet for fear of being found out and imprisoned, thus risking public shame for life. It is in this setting that the novel Maurice by E.M. Forster takes place, and its eponymous hero is one of my favourite characters in literature ever.
Collapse )
grrm sux

Literary Lads Fest: Okonkwo from Things Fall Apart

(image taken from here)

Things Fall Apart is probably one of the most important books you will ever read in your lifetime. It’s pretty much the go-to novel these days for most beginner courses introducing African literature, but for good reason. One of the most striking things about it is how, compared to most previously celebrated works about Africa, it is told from the POV of an African as he witnesses the destruction and downfall of his civilisation and culture by white colonisers; the Africans (more specifically, the Nigerians of the Igbo tribe) are humanised and portrayed as real people, and the protagonist Okonkwo is highly fleshed out with a very complex personality. So many African characters in British novels during the 18th, 19th and 20th century were presented as gibbering, simple savages; Achebe set out to subvert this when he wrote this novel. He didn’t paint Okonkwo or his society as particularly perfect or flawless, but at the same time, he does depict the Igbo tribe as perfectly competent, capable and intelligent, with their own belief system and superstitions.

Collapse )
grrm sux

Movies, movies, movies

I've done it!! I've actually watched every single film that's been nominated for Best Picture this year. Guess there really is a first time for everything. Some I managed to watch in the cinema, others have conveniently leaked way ahead of their release date over here. I think 2012 was a massive improvement for film overall compared to 2011, even outside of the Oscar race. 

Therefore without further ado, I present my very own ~Oscar review of 2012. Warning: some reviews will be spoilery, so it would be best to skip over those films you haven't seen yet. I'll be listing the films alphabetically, because I'm anal that way.

Collapse )

grrm sux

TV meme

Stolen from caitie, hollymarchosias, lisal825 and genkichiba.

Which TV shows did you start watching in 2012?
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad

The Hour
Parks and Recreation

I also watched the Walking Dead pilot yesterday evening, and I absolutely loved it. It has that post-apocalyptic/survivor theme which has always been a favourite of mine as a fan of shows like LOST and BSG - plus, it has Bear McCreary doing the soundtrack! I mean to catch up with the rest of the show when I have the time.

Which TV shows did you let go of in 2012?
True Blood
The Vampire Diaries
Gossip Girl
Parks and Recreation (maybe I'll catch up with it later, but idk. It's just not appointment TV to me for some reason).

I'm tired of vampires and the CW has become a permanent No Man's Land as far as I'm concerned. 

Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn't in 2012? Why?
Elementary. I REALLY wanted to get into it (and I adore both JLM and Lucy Liu) but life got a little hectic and I think I'll catch up with it during Christmas or maybe until the season is over. I tend to enjoy procedurals much more as a marathon rather than in weekly instalments. Also, Doctor Who! My once favourite show of all time! I have S5 on my computer but I can't bring myself to continue. I just can't warm up to Matt Smith as Eleven, oops. And Luther - again, not enough time.

Which TV shows do you intend on checking out in 2013?
Michael J. Fox's new sitcom, for sure.

Which TV show impressed you least in 2012?
Dexter had a brilliant start but has been faltering a little these past few weeks. Parks and Recreation doesn't have that 'must watch' factor for me like Community does, and I got bored of this season much more quickly than I expected. Also, if Thomas wasn't still on the show, I'm not sure I'd still be watching Downton Abbey. [Spoilers for S3]It's lost a lot of momentum since Mary and Matthew got married, I hate that Bates got off scot free and is back to being a long suffering bore and I hate what happened to Sybil and Branson :(

Which TV show do you think you might let go of in 2013 unless things significantly improve?
I'm pretty happy with all my favourites as things stand. 

Which TV shows do you think you'll never let go of no matter how crappy they get? Why?
Dexter. I still cannot bring myself to miss a single episode as long as Jennifer Carpenter/Deb remains on the show. And Michael C. Hall remains as great as ever, despite whatever crappy writing and ridiculous plot twists the writers throw at him. 

Which TV show did you enjoy the most in 2012?
Homeland, no question about it. I love EVERYTHING about this show - the format, the writing (even if it gets insane at times), the acting, the characters. It's like the new LOST for me - there's not an episode that goes by without me yelling WTF after every crazy cliffhanger. BEST SHOW ON TV! I loved it even more than S5 of Breaking Bad. 

And that's it. That's the meme. 
grrm sux

"Hardy's heroines" - a Tess Durbeyfield, Sue Bridehead and Bathsheba Everdene appreciation post.

Here is my entry for lisal825's Celebration of Women in Literature! 

(Warning - the post is quite long, so make sure you have plenty of time so spare before reading).

Calling Thomas Hardy’s female characters ‘heroines’ might seem a little controversial to those who have been brought up on the most popular and traditional literary women, such as Jane Eyre, Lizzie Bennet, Scarlett O’Hara, Anne Shirley, etc. They don’t particularly achieve anything great, or have positive or greatly empowering character arcs. Hardy’s women are strangely hybrid – they are women with modern mindsets who struggle with living under medieval and stifling gender norms, women who belong to the future but suffer because they are stuck in their present. They are normal, everyday women with ordinary and traditional goals. But Hardy never attacks them for the misfortunes that befall them – he mostly attacks the society that holds them back and condemns them. I’ve always thought that Hardy had some great, superseding affection for his female characters that greatly overpowered that of his male ones. Hardly any of the men in Hardy’s novels are as interesting or as sympathetic as his women, and that is something that has always made him my favourite Victorian author.

Collapse )
grrm sux

We love the women fandom hates: Day 4

Day 4: Some of my favourite Betty Draper scenes!

1x09: Shoot

Betty shoots the birds.

Such an especially sad episode for Betty. You could tell how excited she was at the prospect of getting back into modelling and the world of work, only to suffer a crushing disappointment at the end... as the photoshoot really turned out to be All About Don. So her shooting the birds towards the end was so fucking awesome and liberating and hedonistic and HELL YEAH for Betty. Because yes, Betty is spoilt and childish and can be mean and petty, but she's so repressed and trapped and just so SAD. You basically just wanted her to run all over town shooting up random stuff with a cigarette in her mouth. And then run all the way to Madison Avenue and give Don a taste of the same medicine, lawl. (Or at least I did). I would actually say that this is probably my favourite scene of the entire first season, after The Carousel in the finale.

Collapse )