ABC Family, Adaption, Cassandra Clare, christinesrant, Entertainment, Fantasy, Freeform, Literature, Paranormal Fantasy, paranormal romance, Rant, Review, Shadowhunters, Television, The Mortal Instruments, TV, TV-series, urban fantasy, USA, YA, Young Adult

Shadowhunters. Unfinished Business.

Shadowhunters is the brand new TV adaption of YA author Cassandra Clare’s bestselling series The Mortal Instruments (paranormal romance/urban fantasy).

In the US it airs on ABC Family, now named Freeform (Netflix for the rest of us), which sadly is the only interesting thing about the show.

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First off, I have read the books. They are okay. Perhaps a tad cliché for my taste but then again, I am no young adult anymore.

I have even seen the movie from 2013.  It was bearable. Mostly because of the casting.

Now somebody has been unfortunate enough to be responsible for Shadowhunters the TV show. So please, whoever is in charge, put an end to this travesty.

It is not imperfect. It is total GARBAGE.

I am actually not that concerned of the changes in the cast. Like so many fans.

I like Lily Collins but not a fan of her as Clary Fray in the movie. Therefore, I welcomed Katherin McNamara, except for the fact that she sucks at acting.

I do not even care that Luke is black. Tokenism or not.

Jamie Campbell Bower was never Jace to me. I always pictured him like Alex Pettyfer, when he still had is golden locks.

I can even tolerate the new high tech X-men base that is the no-longer gothic Institute.

The only one that actually can act is Alan Van Sprang. I am certain he can give the oomph that is Valentin Morgenstern. I loved him as Sir Francis Bryan in The Tudors and as King Henry II in Reign, but the writers do not bother explaining or give time to the antagonistic Circle or Valentin. Hell, they do not even bother about Shadowhunters that much.

What they do care about is showing of model perfect, beautiful people.

Mannequins.

Locked in selfie mode.

Look at the official teaser (all the way down, at the end of the rant).

If you think it looks weird, low budget and unfinished, this is also how the rest of the show looks like.

I am talking plastic swords with LED- lighting and ill-fitted supermarket cat eye contacts.

Hey, it is cheaper than CGI!

You know what will save even more money? Let’s not actually show the fight scenes! Just hint at it. Cheaper than paying a fight choreographer.

In my research for this rant (yes I actually do work at it) I found what creator Clare herself says about the show.

Clare states on her homepage (and seriously, it is really all her, high lights and all): “Please understand that I have nothing to do with the decision to make a television show instead of more movies. I have nothing to do with any casting or recasting decisions. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE WRITING OF THE SHOW OR ITS PLOT. […]“.

I rest my case.

Christine

 

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Adaption, BBC One, christinesrant, Entertainment, Literature, Mini-series, Rant, Review, Television, TV, TV-series

And Then There Were None. Above and Beyond.

We have just left Christmas celebrations behind us. A holiday full of jolly nostalgia and hard core glitter use.

I must admit, I am not that into Christmas traditions. Christmas will be upon us anyway, I say.

So without seeming too grinchy or scroogey I really do not see the appeal of watching the movie Love Actually (2003)  more than once. The rest of the TV schedule (at least in Norway) is full of crap B-, C-, and D-movies not worth your while, and the A-listers keeps running and running, staling for every channel you switch on to.

But the holidays is a perfect time to catch up on movies, TV series and shows!

I especially like to indulge in mini-series because they often fit perfectly into my holiday schedule. Short and effective stories with high production value and the best part, you do not have to wait a year for the next season!

So while everyone else was watching and talking about Making a Murderer (2015) (I was saving it for the new year’s celebrations), I was thrilled when I found the new TV adaption of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery And Then There Were None (2015). Perhaps more known as Ten Little Indians.

First class British crime and costume drama from BBC One.

Oh, Holy Night.
Jackpot!

First published in 1939, the novel is recognized as Christie’s masterwork, and has been adapted many times on screen, TV and the stage.

The story is as simple as it is meticulous.

MV5BMzRlMzU0MTgtOGYyMC00MjExLTgwN2QtNWU2M2EwOWM4Y2M0XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTExNDQ2MTI@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_It is Saw set in 1939 without traps and all the gore. And without the possibility of making it out alive.

The mysterious Mr and Mrs Owen invites eight strangers to a secluded Soldier Island. Greeted by the butler and cook when arriving, it is quickly revealed neither they nor any of the guests have actually met the Owens, and that their hosts are nowhere to be seen.

Completely alone on the island, they are interrupted after eating dinner by a recording that reveals that all ten of them have been complicit in the deaths of others but has managed to escape notice and/or prosecution.

Ten artfully crafted table pieces and an American children’s rhyme (Ten little Indians) are also important pieces in the continuing story where the characters are killed off one by one. Until there are none left.

I was thrilled!

The cast is excellent with many familiar faces such as: Toby Stephens (Captain Flint from Black Sails), Burn Gorman (Owen Harper from Torchwood and Major Hewlett from TURN), Noah Taylor (as some of you may know as Locke from Game of Thrones, but who cares about GoT right?).

Miranda Richardson (Rita Skeeter from Harry Potter), Anna Maxwell Martin (Elizabeth Darcy from Death Comes to Pemberley  and Mary Shelley from the new and very promising TV series The Frankenstein Chronicles).

Aiden Turner (mostly known as Kili from The Hobbit-trilogy, but for me he will always be Mitchell from Being Human (UK)).

Douglas Booth (Pip from Great Expectations and as Mr. Bingley from the upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), and (at least for me) the more unknown Maeve Dermody.

And, to top this smorgasbord of, the ever-so cool Charles Dance and Sam Neill, with too much goodness on their filmographies to single out just a few.

It is beautifully crafted TV. And when I got over the cucumber castle in the intro, this three-part series is a total delight!

A must see for crime and costume fans!

Did I just birth a new term?

I can live with that.

Christine

 

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True Blood. Dead Through.

It is not long before True Blood season 7 fires up its engines and takes off. We are talking DAYS.

It is in this celebratory moment, I ask myself:
What the fudge happened to True Blood season 6?
Fudge yeah, I am using a grandma Stackhouse proofed swear word!

Is it the production? The writers?

Is it me?

The acting, lighting, sets, make up, plotlines, sex, they all sucked.
BIG TIME.

And not in that oversized hunky, sweaty, sexy, southern sucky way we all have learned to love as TB.

Praise Charlaine Harris, I loved the Southern Vampire Mysteries novels. I became a fan girl from the very first page. Although, I never did get the Bill hang up.

Anywho, I have read the novels. Some multiple times with the same result. It only makes me love them more.

I have read the ending. I know who stays alive, dies, and lives dead forever. However, I thought Harris hurried the love story in the end. Ultimately, I can only say that I am as satisfied as far as a junkie can be, now that it is over.

Moreover, I love TB. I love the fact that TB created its own storyline.  It is, or more was, surprisingly good and hot blooded on its own.

I love that they did not kill Lafayette. The one thing I actually miss in the books.

However, I am not any closer to finding out what happened to TB season 6.

TB storyline has changed so much from the novels; I cannot say where they should have taken it. However, the season 6 story is not crap. It is poorly executed.

It is the first time I am not looking forward to next season. Which is also the last one.

Do I dread it? Yes.
Will I watch it? Yes.

By the way, did I mention earlier on that Alan Ball left the show after season 5?

Christine

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Tolkien did not invent fantasy but he may have ruined it.

I heard somewhere that Tolkien is to epic fantasy what Jimi Hendrix is to rock music. Now, I love rock music and I call myself a Hendrix fan.

I like fantasy but strangely enough, I am not that into Tolkien.

It might be me.
Seriously, I can be at fault here.

Epic Fantasy (also known as High Fantasy) has become commercially successful. It is recycled endlessly; movies, TV-series, novels, games. You cannot escape it.

Ultimately, you cannot escape Tolkien.

Tolkien did not invent elves, goblins and dwarves. However, his vision of them has almost replaced their origin.

It has also left a curse behind. The curse of staying true to the traditions of epic fantasy, unwilling to bring something new to it.

Why does nobody accuse Tolkien of stealing material?
Not that I want to go into a discussion on Originality.
I am just saying.

At the same time, modern fantasy (after Tolkien) and its complexities and moral ambivalence has more in common with the grittier and darker fantasy genre (Low Fantasy) than that of Tolkien. He is much more a ‘black and white – and nothing in between’ type.

He is also a bit of a prude.

Modern fantasy is therefore more in the traditions of the pulpy weird fantasy from the US, beginning in the 1920s and 30s with its amorality, nudity, violence and gore. I.e. novelists such as Robert E. Howard (Conan the Barbarian) and Fritz Leiber (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser) at the front.

Where am I at fault?

Is it a highbrow issue? I usually go for the underdog.
Is it a popular notion? I like what I like. Going against the flow as a default setting.

Does it simply come down to what I like?

In that case, I like my fantasy personal, dark, dirty and naked.

Christine

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SPOILERS. The New Disease.

What is up with the fear of spoilers? Spoilerphobia, as it is known as.

I can no longer talk to friends about all the cool things I have watched lately, of fear of spoiling. Actually, that is not true. I cannot tell others about it, because they stop me mid-sentence shouting: SPOILERALERT!

How am I ever to convince people to watch my favorite shows without telling them something about it? Or even change my facebook status or tweet when there is something cool happening on TV?

It is as if spoilers somehow diminishes the quality.
People are robbed of the full experience.
An outrage!

I have watched and read both spoiled and unspoiled plots. I find that spoiling does not necessary lesser the value. I still enjoy it. While knowing.

Then again, I do not necessary live by the shock value of plots. Dialogues and characters drive me more.

By the way, who still gets shocked anyway? Usually, it has been done before so it is no longer WHAT that interests me, but HOW.

My point is, people compare the spoiled moment with the unspoiled one, which frankly cannot be done. You do not know how you would have enjoyed it unspoiled, if it already is spoiled. However, I bet you stubbornly would conclude that an unspoiled moment always is better.

I start to feel a little nosophobic myself.

Christine

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Black Sails. In Rough Waters.

I am following up my last post “The Musketeers. All for one and I am all for it”, with a rant on Black Sails, a pirate TV-series from Starz.

You have been warned.

Black Sails is a dramatic adventure TV-series intended as a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island (1881).

Although fictional, the novel is blamed for most of popular and wrong perceptions of pirates. It does indeed contain references to historical pirates such as William Kidd and Blackbeard, but because of the high level of fiction, it is recognized as an adventure novel, not as historical.

Back to BS (a very fitting abbreviation).
My question to you: How could they ruin it?

Where is the swashbuckling? Where is the sass?
Actually, where is the adventure?

BS tries very hard to be historical realistic but it comes out in the other end as sappy drama. I have been more entertained by watching paint dry.

I mean, it took them five episodes to get on the fucking water!

They conflict pretense of realism with adventure making it a pretentious work of shit.

They do know it is fiction, right?
Why do they fuck with fantasy, making it look like reality when reality is fucked up enough?

I do not think I will bother with a season two, and will instead hopefully optimistic wait for Crossbones with John Malkovich.

As they say, smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.

Christine

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The Musketeers. One for all and I am all for it.

Visual representation of historical settings, characters and events mixed with a pinch of fiction, makes a troublesome yet delightful storytelling. Just look at shows like Vikings and Black Sails.

The Musketeers is a historical-action TV-drama based on the characters from Alexandre Dumas’s historical novel The Three Musketeers (1844).

Fun fact 1: The Musketeers of the Guard were indeed a military branch (created mid-1600 and disbanded early 1700) by King Louis XIII of France. They were light cavalry equipped with muskets, which was a “new” combination. Shooting from horseback became an important military strategy for many reasons. However, the Musketeers were not as portrayed in Dumas’s novel, the royal family’s personal bodyguard.

Fun fact 2: The Musketeers was open to lower classes of French nobility. Their prominent fighting spirit is considered real since excelling their task, was the only way for social advancement. Interestingly enough, they are known as musketeers rightfully because of the muskets, but they are more famous for their sword fighting, i.e. swashbuckling.

Fun fact 3: Cardinal Richelieu (yep, real too but perhaps not as sinister but then again he could have been worse) did indeed create his own unit of bodyguards and the bitter rivalry between the two units are in fact true.

Dumas based his novel on Memoirs of Mister d’Artagnan (originally a much longer and french’ier title) from 1700. D’Artagnan is a historical person but Dumas’s version of him is more famous.

The Musketeers is much less an adaptation of the novel as it is a tribute to every swashbuckling movie ever made. A celebration of lovers and drunkards!

Successfully, I may add.

 Christine

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