Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Watching the detectives

Well...sort of anyway. But I couldn't resist the title.

Hubs and I are becoming acquainted once again with the magic of television, all thanks to DVD and a multi-region player. We've been watching Dexter of late, and are eagerly awaiting the first series on DVD, which should be winging its way across the ocean to us.

Maybe one of these days the Royal Mail will stop its incessant striking and actually deliver it to us, wonder of wonders.

So. Loving Dexter. Especially the intense Miami versimilitude. Everybody looks sweaty all the time, which is exactly the way people in Miami actually look. The murder scene in the first episode was a hotel here the hubs actually stayed once. The second looked to me like Bayside, where I used to go with some coworkers if it rained and so we got the day off (we worked on the beach selling drinks from trailers.) Sigh, I do miss Miami.

Also just started watching Heroes, which kicks serious ass. The first season comes out on DVD August 28, so we'll be getting that one too.

There's nothing else to do here, after all.

Except read. I just finished "Rises the Night" by Colleen Gleason, and enjoyed it very much, too. I read "Fashion Babylon" and enjoyed it not as much. I read a few other books I thought were only eh. And I'm enjoying the hell out of Necropolis: London and its Dead, by Catharine Arnold. Only a chapter or so in but already having much, much fun. The descriptions of Roman cremations gave me some great ideas--although ever since seeing Conan the Barbarian as a child (regular readers may remember this is one of my all-time favorite films)(how's that for alliteration?) I've been fascinated by the idea of funeral pyres anyway. I just plain like fire.
Also firing (ha ha) the imagination is her description of charnel houses and the many and varied uses for bones in France and Italy.

Including chandeliers.

Totally look for human bone chandeliers somewhere in one of my next books. They'll be there, oh yes.

What have you been watching or reading lately?

(Oh, and: I've decided that instead of placing my book excerpts on my website, I'm creating new blogger blogs for each and posting them there. So if you click on the "Sample Chapter One" links on the site, you'll be led to a blogger page. I've seen a few readers say this is easier on the eyes. Haven't transferred all of them yet but I'm in the process.)


Gabriele C. said...

HBO Rome finally made it to German TV. It's ok, but doesn't live up to the hype - it's a bit too American for my taste, though still good enough to keep watching. And I don't watch series usually.

I'm not reading Harry Potter. I'm waiting for the paperback. :) What I am reading is Stephen Lawhead's Byzantium and Ellen Kushner's The Fall of the Kings. Waiting for David Blixt's first novel, The Master of Verona to be delivered.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Dexter. Actually the book is next up for a review (or rather, I wrote the review and just haven't quite gotten around to recording it yet.) the books is just as good. It puts you right there in Miami and in Dexter's charming, cold head.

I like Heroes too, and I can't but help look at it with a writer's eye. They are great at pacing out plot like layers of an onion. Just when you think you get it, they reveal something else. Sylar is a great bad guy, and in the episode with his mother they almost, almost make him just another "neglected kid becoming a bad guy". And then they turn it around and show he's completely bat-poo crazy. I think you'll like that episode if you haven't seen it already.

It's also interesting to step back and see how much of the Heroes hype is aided by all the extra on the webpage, like comic versions of the episodes, the episodes themselves, character blogs and such. I wonder how much gimicks like that could help us writers build excitement about our books.

Angie said...

The husband and I started watching "The Adventure of English" a couple of episodes back (we've seen the ep on Chaucer's time and the one on the English Bible) and are enjoying the heck out of it. I've always had a notion to write a medieval time travel romance where the modern character who goes back can not just automagically understand everything people say, and seeing a program like this just brings that particular bunny a bit farther out of his burrow. :)

I'm currently reading the latest issue of Asimov's SF mag, and I have a Jo Beverley romance waiting for me when I'm done with that.

I've never seen either Dexter or Heroes. [hides under keyboard]


BernardL said...

The Dexter series is very good, and the books are better. I've been watching Hex since BBC sent it over. It's like an English version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer without the budget. :) I get a kick out of it though. The Dresden Files is another one I like a lot.

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that Heroes, as well as most of NBC's shows are available to watch online. The Heroes episodes are here:

Robyn said...

Bone chandeliers, cool!

Just watched History Channel's Lost Worlds; an episode all about the various henges and old pagan sites around the UK. From some of the crypts they've uncovered, scientists suppose handling the bones was a very important connection for the pagan peoples and their dead loved ones. Understandable, I guess, when the average lifespan was about 25-30.

Camille Alexa said...

Love Heroes too. And o, yes: will keep an eye out for human bone chandeliers.

Rebecca said...

I just finished reading She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb - which was utterly fantastic!

December/Stacia said...

Oh, Gabriele, I sooo want to see Rome. And The Tudors--Jonathan Rhys Meyers is just oof. (I didn't always think so, but I do now.)

Hmmm, interesting titles all...

Ack, Michele, I'm only four episodes in to Heroes, don't tell me!!!
I knew I would love it, I'm a total sqeeing fangirl for Jeph Loeb anyway, but wow I really really love it.

I know what you mean about all the hype and extra stuff. I'm trying to figure out how to get a bunch of that on the Kane website. :-)

No need to hide here, Angie! We don't judge. :-) The English show sounds fascinating. I have a few Liza Picard books where she discusses how accents have changed--amazing! And I picked up a book called, I believe, The Word Graveyard with all kinds of obsolete words in it. It was a B&N bargain if I remember correctly. Really fun.

December/Stacia said...

I've seen a few episodes of Hex, Bernard, and really enjoyed them, but since I couldn't ever catch it from the beginning I haven't really watched. One of these days I'll get the DVDs though. :-)

Michele, Hubs and I were sorely tempted, but we're going to be good little viewers and wait. Sigh. Thanks though!

Ooh, I wish I'd seen that, Robyn! We have a bunch of documentary channels but most of them seem to be nature or forensics programs. Watched a really cool one about owls last week, though.

Definitely watch for them, Camille, I even think I know where they're going! Squee!

I've heard about that book, Rebecca, and wanted to read it. I love the name Wally Lamb too. Which might be a dumb thing to get all interested in, but so what. :-)

Gabriele C. said...

Hmmm, interesting titles all...

Byzantium is the 800something pages story of an 10th century Irish monk who comes to Byzantium with some Vikings and gets involved in lots of intrigues and mayhem. Fall of Kings is the standalone sequel to Swordspoint, a Rennaissance-ish Fantasy world with gay MCs. And Master of Verona is the first book in a series telling the feud between the Capulet and Montague, mixing in lots of Shakespeare, Dante, and history. According to the reviews, the book must be a fun romp of about 600 pages.

kis said...

Dexter's awesome. It's playing nightly at nine right now on our movie channel here in Canucky-land, so I get a fix every weekday--yay! I watched the first couple episodes of Heroes and really liked it, but my life's too chaotic to remember a weekly slot, and once you miss a few, you have no clue what's going on. I can't even manage to see House every week, and I soooo freaking love Hugh Laurie, even when he was just the stupid prince on Black Adder. I liked Rome, too, but not as much as I love my Dexter.

There's nothing in my TBR pile right now, because I can't afford to buy books and our library is hardly worthy of the name. I may have to just pick up an oldie. Swordspoint is one of my all time fave books, and has enough nuance to be fun the second or third time around. Byzantium sounds pretty cool, too, Gabriele. Guy Gavriel Kay has a duology called the Sarantine Mosaic that is an alternate-reality fantasy based on the Byzantine Empire. Really good. I always enjoy his books, but you have to have a box of tissues to read them.

And Conan the Barbarian is a totally blammo movie.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching Anthony Bourdaine's No Reservations lately and not much else since the only "sport" on television is baseball -which is too boring to be called a sport.

We did plug in Dune and watch it the other night.

I'm currently reading Lonesome Dove -which I've avoided all my life just because the title didn't do anything for me. It sounds to me like a cheesy native american love story. My brother finally talked me into reading it, but he didn't tell me it was the not-so-little brother of War and Peace!


Kate Thornton said...

Love Dexter - but he reminds me a bit if my chrming brother. And HEX - I've watched from the beginning, still adore Thelma. I just finished reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Excellent, creepy and literate.

kis said...

V95- I'm waiting for them to do a show called Anthony Bourdaine: I'll Eat Anything. I mean, that is the recurring theme, isn't it? Loved the one where he ate the still-beating cobra heart.

December/Stacia said...

Ooh, Gabrielle, they all sound really good-let me know, okay?

I know what you mean, kis, about trying to keep up with a weekly show. I can only manage one or two at a time. We've set reminders on our cable for Dexter though! At least until Season One arrives!

Oooh, V95, I love Anthony Bourdain! I have two of his books--Kitchen Confidential and The Nasty Bits, and love them both. I watch him when I get a chance, which isn't often, but I'm dying to get more of his books too.

We have Lonesome Dove but I've never read it. We watched the miniseries though, and giggled whenever Diane Lane talked about getting a "poke". Heee. Great series. Will read the books one of these days.

Hi Kate! Mmm, I'm always on the lookout for creepy. You should try Stephen Dobyns' The Church of Dead Girls. Quite creepy--not horror, but creepy and really good.

Heh heh kis, yes, he will eat anything won't he? I liked when he ate blowfish. Missed the beating heart, more's the pity. In The Nasty Bits he talks about eating raw seal and how delicious it was.

Anonymous said...

I'm totally addicted to Iron Chef America. The original has too much slimey seafood for my taste. I love Hell's Kitchen, and I would totally win on that show.

I'd like to watch Rome, but we only get select HBO shows on our cable. We caught a bit of one episode, but it seemed like one of those shows where you have to see all of them in order to really get it.

I used to watch The OC and Prison Break. Now, I seem to watch Ruby Gloom, Atomic Betty and Martin Mystery more than anything else.

I just finished reading Bertrice Small's Sudden Pleasures and I can't tell you how unimpressed I was with it. Anya Bast's Witch Fire was great though. Now I'm reading Highlander Unbound by Julia London, Shimmer by Cassandra Curtis.

Vicki said...

I haven't watch much TV lately. It's been writing every night. Science Guy tapes the things he thinks I'll want to see and then on the weekend I try to catch up.

Hero's is one of my favorite shows and I can't wait for it to return. The writers on the show are amazing.

Serena Joy said...

I am SO behind. People keep talking about how great Dexter is and I haven't seen a single episode. I have GOT to start tuning in.

Anonymous said...

kis -and he's always smart enough to wash it down with whatever native alcoholic beverage is available. I'd like to travel with him. -V95

Karen Erickson said...

Bone chandeliers? Eww! Of course, can't be any worse than those moose horn chandeliers I've seen in cabins. Hee hee.

I hardly ever watch TV anymore. Unless it's a crime show on Court TV. I'm gruesome

Maybe that's why the more I think about those bone chandeliers, the more they appeal...

Arin Rhys said...

Shark Week is a family tradition at my house, my brother escapes the Rhys family compound to watch it at my place.

I loved the last Harry Potter book and I've just started the Dresden Files series and those are pretty sweet. Oh, and I'm working on a China Mieville book. He's the master of fantasy where he can twist steampunk, mystery, and awesome worldbuilding into complex and fascinating stories. I know... I'm a total fangirl.

Roxan said...

Isn't Dexter the greatest? I just love the way they portray the character. You know what he is, but you root for him anyway.

writtenwyrdd said...

I've read the first two Dexter books, and for the only time I can recall, the showtime show is better than the books. Really. Book 1 is the first season. Not sure if they are doing a second season. But creepy, whoa, so creepilishious.

You might also enjoy Dead Like Me (dark comedy about grim reapers) or Wonderfalls. Both were cancelled well before they should have been.

David Blixt said...

Loved Dexter - can't wait for season two (and, yes, it's far superior to the novels, which are good - but he's not quite as cuddly a serial killer as Hall makes him).
Enjoyed Heroes, though it plodded at times.
My recent obsession has been Life On Mars, from the BBC. Not available over here, yet, but I've watched the whole series - 20 episodes only - and I am in awe. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
And, Gabrielle, thanks for the plug. Master of Verona - in stores now!

David Blixt said...

Oh, and Rome lost me when they wrote out the character of Portia. In fact, the politics really bothered me. It should have been just the two soldiers - their stuff was fantastic, and I loved watching them both.