Monday Miscellany

1. I was sick this weekend, so instead of having a nice relaxing weekend at home, I had a crappy phelgm-filled weekend. blech.

2. I also read a book this weekend that I was hoping would be good, but was not. Note to self: if your main character is going to do something reprehensible like cheat on his "perfect" significant other, it's important that he be either (a) interesting or (b) relatable.* Otherwise, the reader will end up thinking she wasted her time reading about a jerk who cheats on a nice girl for no real reason besides the other girl is hotter.**

3. I am lukewarm about the band Paramore*** and the song "Use Somebody" by the band Kings of Leon, but here is a perfect example of how two lukewarm things can become one steaming hot pile of amazing. It's Paramore's acoustic version of "Use Somebody," which shows that Paramore is more talented that a lot of people (including me) give them credit for, and that "Use Somebody" is a better song than I thought. Point taken, Paramore. Point taken.



4. I wanted to like the new ABC show FlashForward, I really did. The concept -- that the whole world blacks out for 2:17 and sees what happens six months in the future -- is interesting and the cast is pretty high calibre (Joseph Fiennes for one), but if the writing doesn't improve pretty quickly I'm outta here. You would think that ABC would know how to handle a show about mysterious events, given their experience with Lost, but unlike Lost (which kept viewers in the dark so long it almost got cancelled), FlashForward seems determined to treat the viewers as idiots who can't remember what happened from one scene to the next. They're constantly flashing back to things that just happened, like the viewers are that guy from Memento with no short-term memory.

Also, the characters are stupid. A prime example: two FBI agents head to a small town in Utah where a suspect has used a stolen credit card to buy a bus ticket. The suspect doesn't pick up his bus ticket, though, so what does the FBI do? Do they (a) maintain the blockades of the main roads for a few more days, just to make sure the suspect isn't trying to get out of town, (b) start interviewing people in town to see if anyone's noticed anything suspicious, (c) check to see if the stolen credit card (or the name on it) has been used anywhere else in town, or (d) say "let's go home."

Yep, D. Because if you don't catch your guy at the bus station, then, well, too bad. Better get home to Los Angeles and see if he shows up there.**** I'm willing to give a new show a shot, but it better get better pretty damn quick or it's coming off the season pass.*****

5. I am never going to read any of the Jane Austen industry books (meaning those books that sell because they are basically unauthorized sequels/companions to Jane Austen). In my opinion, this type of thing is Jane Austen fanfic, and while I'm fine with fan fiction in general, I ain't paying money for it. This personal prohibition includes the recent spate of Jane Austen/horror novel books such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies****** and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.******* That said, this list of alternate titles by comments on The A.V. Club review of the book is Super Awesome. Some of my favorites:

Anna Kareninja
War and Peace and Killer Robots
Dracula and Additional Vampires Other Than Dracula
Of Mice and Men and Aliens and also Predator

6. In case you haven't heard (and in case you care), Agent Ted is now at a new agency -- Upstart Crow Literary -- and I have gone with him.

7. Congratulations to Steph Bowe of Hey, Teenager of the Year, for her representation by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown. Ginger is the first agent I ever met in person and seemed like a real down girl. Yay, Steph!

~~~

* Ideally, both.

** Which would have been fine if we were supposed to end the book hating the main character, but we weren't. We were supposed to be happy for him that he'd found someone he really liked...by cheating on a perfectly nice girl who adored him! Congratulations, dickwad! Good for you!

*** Except for their name, which what a great name for a band, right? And I like some of their songs, but they all sound very...ranty, generally, which I can only listen to for so long before I want to turn it off.

**** This stupidity is just an echo of the stupidity in the first episode, wherein one of the FBI agents, when confronted with the chaos caused by a world that has been asleep for two minutes (car crashes, plane crashes, building fires, etc.), tells the other one to go check on his wife at the hospital (she's a doctor) instead of helping people who are, literally, ON FIRE. Priorities, people. Seriously.

***** OR, Oh my GOD, here's another perfect example. FBI agent guy has a vision of the future in which bad things happen and he's drinking again (he's a recovering alcoholic) and is wearing a friendship bracelet his little girl gave him. His wife has a vision where she's sleeping with some other guy. She tells FBI guy about this and says that it won't happen--she'll never cheat on him, blah blah blah. But she wonders aloud whether she should have told him. "We shouldn't keep secrets" he says, flashing back to the fact that he was drinking in his vision, which he hasn't told her. Okay, fine, suspenseful. He's drinking in the future and wants to keep that from her. That's not the stupid part. Here's the stupid part:

She says "why did you start a fire?" (in the fireplace) and he says "no reason" and then we cut to a shot of the friendship bracelet burning in the fireplace.

HUH?

Like, I get why he wouldn't want to tell his wife, who had a vision of cheating on him, that his vision involved drinking. Because that could, possibly, drive her to cheat on him, right? So, okay. Fine. But why is Mr. We Shouldn't Keep Secrets not telling his wife that he's burning up the friendship bracelet? What can be gained there? Why is "I'm burning up the friendship bracelet that I saw in the future because I don't want a future where you cheat on me to come true" such a big effing secret? I DON'T GET IT.

Okay, all right, sorry for the long rant about this, but I get all frustrated when television writers focus too much on the dun dun DUN!!!!! moment, and not enough on the "why does this matter?"


****** Which is a little ironic because I love P&P and I love stuff about zombies, but again, fanfic, and again, not paying for it. Also, I find it a little distasteful that someone would defile P&P with zombies when a good original zombie story taking place in Regency times has yet to be written. Think BIG, people.

******* Especially the last one, because you just know that they came up with the story because "sense" and "sensibility" and "sea monsters" all start with S. And that's the LAMEST REASON EVER for a story. I should know--I once wrote a paper about The Tempest just so I could use the title "Riders on the Storm." Plus, everyone knows that it should be Sense and Sensibility and Centaurs, but people just don't think outside the box.

~~~

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