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The Sea of Stars

Water-stained pages, pebbles and traces of stardust

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Culture Review - January 2007
Spring - luna_ann
Here's what I've been watching over the past two months or so. I don't talk about television much, mainly because I prefer to read and listen to the radio, but I do have a few favourites.

The Tudors
Oh man, I was so disappointed by the time this series finished. It started out so well and then it just went off the deep end and now I have no idea where they're going. And not in a good way. I don't expect perfect fidelity from historical television, believe or not, but I do expect some nod towards the facts. Calling Henry's younger sister "Margaret" because having two Marys would be "too confusing" is just pathetic. And why on earth have her marry Charles Brandon, then be unhappy? What was the point of that story? I'd rather have her not included at all than be warped like that. And Charles ignorant that she was dying? I don't think so! Let's put aside the fact that she actually died of cancer and look at her death in the series: she has tuberculosis, or consumption as it was commonly called. The later stages of consumption involve shortness of breath, a hectic flush and visible, dramatic weight loss. Given that, according to the same series, they were still sharing a bed, how did she manage to hide all this from him? Answer: she couldn't. So we're left with a super-dramatic and tragic death which seems pointless. And then we come to Mary Boleyn (I notice that the writers didn't change her name, even though she's another Mary): if you're going to include her, get it right! She was there and then she disappeared: she was still at court, you morons! Yeah, she got pregnant, then she came back to court. Also, why is Thomas Tallis in there? Tell me, why? Is it just so you can say you've done your homework? That would be more impressive if you hadn't treated the two Marys so cavalierly. (Don't even get me started on Jonathan Rhys Meyer's statement that an American audience wouldn't get a "fat, red-headed king as a hero". So red hair makes you ugly, Jonathan? No hero can ever have red hair? Well, I guess that explains why Ron Weasley gets such short change in the HP films.) One thing I did like was the portrayal of Catherine of Aragon: she's very noble, dignified, and intelligent. I also quite like the way they've portrayed Anne Boleyn, although the idea of Henry saying that he'd wait until they were married to have sex with her... please. That did not happen. Neither did they immediately have sex when Wolsey died (I liked him, too). She only did that when she was completely sure he'd marry her. Another problem is that you can really tell when they're quoting from historical texts as opposed to just making up what the characters might have said... or at least, I can, but my mother's a Tudor nut. Probably, other people don't have this problem.

Ballet Shoes
This book is a childhood favourite of mine, so I was worried about someone adapting it (and casting Emma Watson as Pauline!). But I needn't have worried, it was lovingly adapted and I thought everyone was great in it. Emma was actually very good as Pauline, much more natural than she is as Hermione (don't know why this is). There was only one false moment, when she had to drop to her knees and burst out crying, and I had to grit my teeth because it sounded so unreal. There was also a problem in that she had to portray Pauline from around ten until she was eighteen, and since Emma's in her late teens now, it was hard to believe she was a flat-chested twelve-year-old. But that's not her fault, that time constraints and the BBC being tight with their money about hiring three different actresses to portray the same character. Posy was even more unlikeable in the adaptation than the book, because they didn't make so much of her humour, but the girl who played her was very good. I'd definitely watch it again.

Eerie, Indiana
Some people may remember this, some may not. It was a great series back in the early 1990s that I can best describe as a kind of pre-pubescent X-Files. Boy moves with his family to a town that seems "perfectly normal" on the surface, but discovers that underneath the surface lies a lot of weirdness and darkness. Aside from the nostalgia, this series is genuinely funny and also has some poignant moments. Plus, for a ten/eleven-year-old (as I was when I first watched it), it's quite scary!

Oh yeah... I also bought an apartment. ^^

Happy Birthday to julu543!

Happy Birthday to timedoesflyohmy!

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You bought an apartment? Congratulations!!

Thank you! :) Hope you're well.

COngratulations! Haven't read all of the above, just the important stuff. *grins* So, when do you get your keys? That's so cool... And tell me, what does GIF say? Is he still GIF? *is happy for you*


I haven't told anyone at work yet, on my parents' advice. I want to make sure I can move in and actually claim the place before I tell anyone. ;) It'll probably be a couple of months yet before I move in.

Ah, the GIF... yes. The GIF has been messing around (in every sense) with another girl at work. so I am very grateful that I didn't do anything except flirt with him.

*hugs back*

Ahh - unfortunately that's the way it is with some GIFs. Not suitable boyfriend material at all, but gorgeous for a flirt. Enjoy the flirt and use it to bouy your spirits, the next GTF (guy to fancy) is lurking in the shadows... :)

I hope so, I'm getting tired of being single, and this is from someone who likes her own company. Oh well, flirting is still fun. We were walking in town yesterday (he to his busstop, me to my house) and engaging in the usual banter.

Him: "They should cryogenically freeze my body so I can be brought back and worshipped by everyone."

Me: "Everyone minus me, you mean."

Him: "Fine, don't join in the praise."

Me: "Trust me, I won't."

*snort* Good thing, that. :)

In Manifesting, it is said that if you focus on being happy (for no reason at all) and enjoying life, the things you desire will come to you, even if you don't focus on them. Because, when you're being happy you don't focus on the lack either. So maybe that would be a get-a-boyfriend-strategy to try? Just find ways to enjoy whatever you do, and you'll bring in more things that give you joy (like a boyfriend). I do remember the tired of being single feeling, so I can sympatise. *hugs*

In Manifesting, it is said that if you focus on being happy (for no reason at all) and enjoying life, the things you desire will come to you, even if you don't focus on them. Because, when you're being happy you don't focus on the lack either. So maybe that would be a get-a-boyfriend-strategy to try?

*nod nod* That's what I'm trying to do, focusing on myself, getting myself healthier and happier, expanding my horizons and visiting friends. :) Hopefully, all the happiness will attract a happy person!

I watched an episode of the Tudors and got quite confused by the apparent enormous age gap between Henry and C of A. From what I remember of year eight history, I didn't think of her being that much older than him, and they were married for at for a very long time.

You're correct, she was only six years older than him. But she was almost permanently pregnant for ten years, which doesn't really do much for your figure, and she was short, which also went against her. I hadn't thought about that aspect before, but you're right, the programme makes it seem like she's actually around ten years older than him, when she was only in her early forties.

Ooh an apartment! Fancy schmancy. It's not a 'flat' then? :-P

Seriously - wow! And congratulations! That's brilliant. Where is it?

I loved Ballet Shoes as a kid. I don't think I disliked Posy - I'll have to re-read, it's been a few years. I think I can live without seeing the adaptation, but I'm glad Emma did well.

Well, if you want to get really technical, it's a pied-à-terre. :PP I was using 'apartment' in deference to my American friends, Anglophiles though they may be. It's in a converted house, with own front and back door, no communal areas! It's in Gloucester, a little further out than my current place but has off-road parking, so great for visitors. *hint hint*

Posy isn't that dislikeable in the book, because she's very funny, but I did think she came off as a bit obnoxious in the adaptation. All that ambition and self-absorption. She's very Slytherin in that way, now I think about it.

Does this mean you've finished your thesis?

(Deleted comment)
It's called understating. We do that a lot over here. In fact, we've made it into an artform. ;)

Edited at 2008-01-10 12:29 pm (UTC)

Congrats on the apartment!! Is my guest room all set up for July??

Oh...I'm sad about 'The Tudors' sucking. I wanted to watch that. I shall skip now. And Emma CAN act??? I simply must watch that!!

Well, I haven't moved in yet, and I need to furnish it, but as soon as I've moved in, the room is free for you! :) But you need to tell me when you're coming down as I'll need to book it off ASAP.

Oh, it's not bad television! It is very watchable. But the problem is that when it makes a mistake, it really makes a mistake, and the mistakes are more glaring because it gets some things so right.

Ballet Shoes is on DVD, so you can maybe buy it when you come over?


We're looking at prolly mid-July. I don't know if we're starting on the Continent first then coming across the Channel or vice-versa. I'll keep you posted =)

I'll watch then and I'll be prepared. I can't buy DVDs in the UK since they are a different region from the US. Different technology, I think. Darnit!

Congrats on finding your own apartment! :D

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