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Just finished watching all the Borgen episodes there are in existence. I frequently talk about being so bad at watching TV; I wander off and do other things on the Internet or lose the will to hunt down episodes all too easily. The flipside of that is that when a show grabs my attention, it really grabs my attention - I was up till 4 AM last night watching the brilliant finale and finally got what my good friend Max meant when he said the last five minutes of the season 2 finale was amazing. (Spoiler: it was.)

Borgen is also brilliant at anticipating all my narrative needs; frequently I'd come to the end of an episode and think, "That was great but what they really need to do is focus on Birgitte's personal life," or "Great political strategy but what about the stuff that actually makes a difference to people's lives?" or "What about more gender stuff?" and in the very next episode they'd deliver, it's kind of freaky and also great. This show juggles a lot of balls - in one episode alone they tackle about three to four heavy-duty issues in a smart and coherent storyline - and they never let a single one go for too often. It's ambitious and clever storytelling at its best; I can't help comparing it with Political Animals and feeling that in every respect Borgen comes out on top.

I... am also not entirely sure how many times in a row I can say "Call me, Birgitte", but there are not enough times in the world. Her clothes! Her smarts! Her everything! I have way too many torrid fantasies about either being a) an intern in the PM's office (somehow magically speaking Danish, of course) or b) Birgitte's au pair (again somehow magically speaking Danish). All of a sudden I have this incredible lust for office wear, impeccable makeup, and a ponytail. I haven't done ponytails since leaving high school; such is Birgitte Nyborg's power. BIRGITTE, CALL ME.

One thing I didn't like: (spoilers) )
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I've just finished the first five episodes of Borgen: it is such a good show. It's basically everything I care about - gender, indigenous people, quotas, and ruminations on the nature of democracy - and some things I didn't, but now do - politicking, power struggles, and corporate boards. I know zero about Danish politics but Borgen has it right on with the most odious Labour Party leader I've seen in a long time (Tony Blair anyone?). SO GREAT, YOU GUYS, IT'S SO GREAT. Also, full of terrifyingly competent people - I think the person I identify with the most is by default the hapless secretary (who isn't that hapless and has good instincts; just gets intimidated by the people she's surrounded by)???

Birgitte come to me.

Also, I read a book!

Rubyfruit Jungle, by Rita Mae Brown.

Kind of forgettable. )
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I know I've already posted like 295 times today but I've been feeling chatty recently; today I want to talk about Torchwood lots of chatter and some spoilers for the first two seasons )
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How Italian Food Conquered the World, by John F Mariani.

Solid book - if you're interested in Italian-American history and the history of food, you might want to pick this up! I felt like this could have been shorter, in general, but that's not a debilitating flaw. This was also refreshing, in the sense that most books about food tend to get a little food porn-y, and this was just... history.

Dicey's Song, by Cynthia Voigt.

Annnd I've finished reading the Tillerman cycle. Reading Dicey's Song in the wake of having read all the others is weird, because you meet Mina and Jeff and everyone else knowing what's going elsewhere, and it's a little bit strange to see them from Dicey's POV? Speaking of which, I am quite fond of Dicey's POV in the sense that I feel like her default face is :|, which is delightful. Archetype-y maybe, but also AWESOME.

Evil Under the Sun, by Agatha Christie.

It is so hard to review Agatha Christie novels, because she writes with remarkable consistency. Thoughts on gender and shit! )

Mrs McGinty's Dead, by Agatha Christie.

UGHHHH PERFECT I feel like I can't even evaluate Agatha Christie novels properly, every time I go away being like goddamn! she got me, again. There's plenty of satirical content in here too - from the tabloids, which turn out to be that really intriguing hybrid of both valid clue and red herring (urgh, I should have read through that properly, I feel like I've let down my high school teachers who trained me in CRITICAL THINKING and such) and the adaptation of Ariadne Oliver's play. Mm!

Clouds of Witness, by Dorothy L. Sayers.

extremely sparse spoilers. )

In other MEDIA: I HAVE BEEN CONSUMING IT news, I have watched the first three episodes of Downton Abbey. My reaction: this is okay, but not brilliantly written. They're all such snobs! We're.. meant to enjoy that or something? And the first two episodes of Game of Thrones. Reaction: God, that is not the best-written book, and it routinely makes me uncomfortable in its portrayal of race and hegemony (all the THOUGHTS about how a lot of media these days seem to be so fascinated by sending 'here is the way people thought back then, they obviously had different values, as a society' RACIST SEXIST HOMOPHOBIC CONTENT 'enjoy the show!!' when it's doubtful, really, how radically society has changed tl;dr I am so sick of ironic isms) but also, that is one sumptuously-produced show, maybe I'm just noticing that because my downloads are pretty high-definition. I've also just finished the last season of Skins. God, when it is a badly-written show, it is badly-written. I wouldn't have stuck with it, except that Season 5 was amazing, god damn it!

PS. Re Downton Abbey - I'm not a monster, I still cried when Bates was asked to come back.


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July 2014

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