Fox Searchlight released the first, gorgeous poster for the upcoming adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd, starring Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts.
In news that had me gibbering with nerdy glee, Steven Stielberg is to direct an adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One. Ready Player One is a hugely popular sci-fi/dystopia novel that is a blast of inventive good fun as it follows the adventures of Wade Watts, a brilliant, somewhat overweight pop culture fanatic (I mention this because I wonder if the film will be true to this or replace him with someone who looks like, I don’t know, a Hemsworth) who spends his life, along with most of humanity, inside a massive virtual reality game.
The Flash‘s Jesse Martin, Carlos Valdez, and Rick Cosnett sing a gospel, acapella version of The Serenity Ballad and it is everything you want from life. Apparently it was a big thank-you to Joss Whedon for donating a large sum to their Kickstarter project.
Tonight, while weighing wild winged hope with fears
Of loss, again the girl’s voice crying gay
And sweet – O playmate of lost pagan years! –
Comes ringing in the glory of the May.
O singing beauty! Singing though there nears
The moment of all finding and all loss:
Together in our laughter and our tears,
Wind-driven to the centre where ways cross.
Rose garden in blue night, where souls embraced
In holy silence, timeless ecstasy:
Truth grew between us, final beauty laced
The stars, and awed we knew eternity.
A secret sharing passed from eye to eye:
In death the singing beauty does not die.
Way out at the end of a tiny little town was an old overgrown garden, and in the garden was an old house, and in the house lived Pippi Longstocking. She was nine years old, and she lived there all alone. She had no mother and no father, and that was of course very nice because there was no one to tell her to go to bed just when she was having the most fun, and no one who could make her take cod liver oil when she much preferred caramel candy.
Pippi Longstocking. A forever classic and a book that, along with Brian Jacques’ Redwall and Roald Dahl’s Matilda, encapsulates childhood for me, and even thousands of others. The rollicking, carefree, care-filled, complex elasticity of childhood where there aren’t any lines or boundaries, where everything is immensely fluid, adventure lasts forever, umbrellas, apples, rain, chocolate, Caribbean islands, forgotten gardens, and old cupboards are equally magical and the most ordinary thing can turn into pure gold. Pippi is purest adventure in its purest form, in the same way Redwall is warmth, Matilda is cleverness, and The Secret Garden is magic.
Unstoppable, redheaded Pippi Longstocking lives alone in a tiny town, eats whatever she likes without ever getting a stomachache, and teams up with the children next door to go on wild adventures that include pirates and islands and everything a child, or adult’s heart, could dream. Own this book my loves. Go buy it on Amazon for 6 bucks (edition pictured above because this girl did). And if you haven’t read it yet, buy it, read on a long winter day after another day of office work, or on a slow humid summer day when the island seems to fall out of the pages of the book into your lap. Read, and love.
-ABC’s Forever got off to a very strong start with one of the more confident pilots I’ve seen in a while, but its second and third episodes vacillated between ludicrous and mind-numbingly dull. There’s all the structure to create a good procedural ala Castle – strong leads with a lot of chemsitry and interesting histories, decent premise – but no sense of pacing and very poor writing kill it pretty thoroughly. Ioan Gruffud has inexplicably gotten hotter with age, here’s hoping eventually he lands on something worthy of him.
-ABC’s Selfie is annoying for the first half of its pilot and then charming. I reviewed it here, and having seen its second episode now I can say it’s underwhelming but not completely awful. However, its quality is a moot point since it’s pulling in spectacularly low ratings and will get canceled.
-CBS’ Scorpion is a sweet show and is kind of like that painfully socially awkward/unintentionally rude kid that you can’t help but find likable but you still wish someone would take him in hand and teach him how to polite and act in appropriate ways. It’s not that its offensive – its plots are just so inane that I can’t take any element of them seriously. Good ensemble, with some parts stronger than others (Happy, a brusque female mechanical engineer, and Toby, a snarky psychiatrist/con artist, are standouts both separately and together and already fan favorites, but statistical genius Sylvester comes across like a cardboard cutout of a dorky brain) but…hands down the silliest drama I’ve seen in at least several years. The pilot was mediocre, second episode showed a lot of promise, and the third made my brain melt with its total lack of competency and believability. I found myself laughing out loud as the team scrambled to stop a bomb exploding. I want to like this. I just can’t.
-CBS’ Stalker is as bad as I thought it was going to be – see this review for everything I thought said better
-CBS’ Madam Secretary is surprisingly really good, sort of like a cross between 24 and Scandal, only without the bullets. Seriously. Badass performances, solid plot, and really hot Tim Daly husband.
-CW’s The Flash is resounding good and to my surprise has left every single bit of its competition in the dust. It’s strongly constructed, the cast was deftly chosen, and it’s just charming and fresh and light-hearted yet with strong emotional hooks. I love, love it.
I had not honestly thought that The Flash would be as good as Arrow. Two amazing, strongly written comic book shows is far too much to expect from the same network, right? Plus, it felt like they were cheating by trying to have two at once. But The Flash is everything one could want in a superhero show, with one of the strongest pilots I’ve seen since Lost as far as setting up world, character, and story without repetition or slow pacing. It’s crisp and cheeky and Grant Gustin is that perfect charismatic blend of badass, scientist, and super-nerd. I love it.