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.

0428a0de-6fcd-4fed-8427-81718906bd88

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

 

Standard
Adaption, christinesrant, Entertainment, Review, Sci-fi, Science Fiction, space opera, Syfy, Television, The Expanse, TV, TV-series

The Expanse. Expanding in the Right Direction.

OMFG!

I am having trouble finding words to describe exactly how excited I am about The Expanse!

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here I am. All fired up!

Alert French Bulldog running forwards

This space opera could be the next big thing since Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)!

It seems to be the answer to all my prayers. If I prayed. Which I do not. But if I did, I would pray for something like this.

I am a huge scifi fan and there has been a serious lack in the space-opera-on-TV since BG.

I love TV shows like Star Trek (any of them), Farscape (1994-2004), and Babylon 5 (1994—1998) etc. Although not space operas per se, not even these scifi shows have worthy successors.

I have been mildly interested in the deteriorating Falling Skies (2011-2015) and the more bearable Defiance (2013-2015).

I even tried Dark Matter (2015-), but it did not hook me. DM is scheduled for a season two, so I might pick it up again, but it is not likely to happen anytime soon.

I gave Killjoys (2015-) a try. A choice I do not regret. If you are into fun-loving, high-tech, guns blazing, and adventurous scifi, you will not regret watching it! Season two is already scheduled.

Now I crave something more complex with depth.

The Expanse is a serious contestant in winning me over, as the scifi slut I am.  Four episodes in, it promises a lot and I am certainly intrigued. Belly up and all.

It is bas1484233348223075652ed on a series of novels called The Expanse by James S. A. Corey. There is actually a duo hiding behind the pen name, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. The first one in the series is Leviathan Wakes from 2011, so it is relative new. They have released five novels and counting.

More delightful, the Syfy channel is responsible for this bowl of goodness.

It is about time that the channel sheds its lame, low production escapist B-movie status. The channel did give us cheesy movies like Sharktopus (2010) and Sharknado (2013). And, yet again give us pompous space opera dramas like they did with BG.

Honestly, the trailer is kinda meh. After watching the first four episodes (of 10 total), I do not feel it represents the show fairly. So I beg you, see episode one instead.

The first episodes paints a big picture with broad strokes, introducing a well of characters and plotlines with little information to go on. Characters die at a rapid rate and I am guessing blindly who will be the remaining main cast.

Three characters stands out though.

Police detective Joe Miller, played by Thomas Jane (Punisher from the movie with the same name and Ray Drecker from Hung) is on a missing woman assignment while his home world Ceres erupts into chaos.

Chrisjen Avasarala, a United Nations executive played by Shohreh Agdashloo (Stefania Vaduva Popescu from Grimm) is trying to prevent war between Earth and Mars.

Ship Officer Jim Holden, played by Steven Strait (D’Leh from 10,000 BC and the forever hunky Warren Peace in Sky High) quickly finds himself and crew sole survivors of an attack, with failing air supply and the enemy close by.

Action, drama, survival, terrorists, space travel, technobabble, mystery, political thrills, secrets, military strategies, culture clashes, tech noir, explosions, conspiracies, you name it!

A 13- episode second season is already scheduled to air early 2017.

I cannot wait!

 

Christine

Standard
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

 

Standard
Christianity, christinesrant, Entertainment, Faith, Genre, Religion, Sci-fi, Television, TV-series, USA

Fantasy and God. Part 2: Book of Insight.

The Leftovers  final episode came and went with a lot less fuss than I expected.

From the first episode there was this massive built up frenzy from fans, critics and hostiles. Mostly from frustrated fans looking for answers.

Surprised by my own reaction while I watched The Leftovers, it spurred not only reflection on my part but also writing a blog entry on fantasy genre and God where I raise the question of the sudden appearance of God everywhere in (new) fantasy fiction.

More surprised, I had so much nothing to say that one entry was not enough. That is why you are reading part two.

Rich conservative Christian individuals/organizations/churches/ congregations/cults/whatever they call themselves, are no virgins to media production.

They have their own radio and TV channels. Hell, they have even conquered the Internet! Streamlining their message, teaching people to be good Christians. All over the world.

Now however, it seems they are getting their hands dirty by putting their hard-earned dollars into mainstream media production, funding a more hidden message. Making the Christian God a natural part of everything.

You sense I am not a fan.
You sense right.

There is nothing natural about God.

And, nothing natural about my reaction to The Leftovers.

It shook my soul. My skepticism went haywire, casting me out into total chaos, ending up as an emotional ball of unresolved anger.

Why?

The Guilty Remnants (GR).

Every time the story lingers on these white clad, chain-smoking and silent folks, my stomach hurt. They anger me.

They make me uncomfortable. They scare me because the only thing I know about them, leaving the last two episodes out of it, is that they leave everyone and everything behind (although still part of the society) swears to silence, wears only white and chain-smokes.

Their mission is to make people remember.

Up until the final episode, it is unclear what people are supposed to remember. Making it universal. Whatever you have regrets about becomes what you should remember.

Up to a point, they only stalk people.

Soon they move on to breaking into people’s homes stealing photos and clothes. Leaving family and friends of those raptured with less to remember them by.

It is an effective way to piss people off. I am not the only one reacting badly to the GR and I am not even part of that world!

In the final episode, they top their weirdness by placing human-sized dolls looking like those raptured in their own clothes in the exact same situation they were raptured from.

At the same time, I am not that outraged anymore. Because now I have a clearer picture of who they are and what they want.

The more I know, they crazier they get, the calmer I stay.

Which made me think.

Christine

 

Standard
Adaption, christinesrant, community, Entertainment, Literature, Television, TV-series

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

Standard
Adaptation, christinesrant, Entertainment, Literature, TV-series

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

Standard
Feminism, Literature

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Feminists

I am a sucker for romance.

According to some feminists, romantic fiction brainwashes women into submission. Gratefully I am a feminist in the year 2014. Also known as a postmodern feminist. I enjoy romantic fiction for exactly what they are. Fiction.

Disappointed by Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë, 1847) it was with low expectations that I opened my paperback edition of the classical Pride and Prejudice (P&P) by Jane Austen (1813).

The romantic plot in P&P is simple and classical. I am guessing you are like me, not reading romantic novels for ‘do they get each other in the end?’ part. *SPOILERALERT*

The story in P&P is okay. No surprises. No wow factor.

I always pictured Lizzy to be cheekier but Hollywood has perhaps misled me. I love Mr. Bennet. A patriarch and a feminist! I off course loath Mrs. Bennet and Lydia. Mr. Darcy does not rattle my bones. (Team Wickham, anyone?) To sway me in Darcy’s direction he should have been even more proud, more obnoxious, more hero. He should have simply been more.

We know Austen’s stories was (and still is) social commentaries highlighting the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Lizzy fights for her right to marry out of love and not out of politics. I get the biting social commentaries. Thank the Goddess, her true love is filthy rich and able to not only secure her socially and economically, but improving her standing altogether!

Alas we come to the matter that is important (almost lost focus there for a moment), namely Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (PPZ) (Seth Grahame-Smith, 2009).

Is PPZ more feministic than the original, which now seems outdated? What has Grahame-Smith actually done with Austen’s story?

PPZ opens with the sentence: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” Preaching to the choir, as it were. Zombies always want more. Never satisfied.

The original P&P says: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” How easy it would be for me to turn with my sisters and point out the true meaning of the swap of ‘man’ with ‘zombie’, ‘fortune’ with ‘brains’ and ‘more brains’ with ‘wife’. However, I will not succumb!

Other changes in PPZ explains the difference in social status between Mr. Darcy and Lizzy. It is because of their combat training. His family train in Japan while Lizzy and her sisters train in China. Karate vs Kung Fu, anyone?

Conclusively, the Bennet sisters are the same in both stories. They just have one more problem to deal with. Zombies. Fortunately, they are a highly trained militia, kicking ass. Lizzy does not need a man to protect her. She fights her own battles. Feminists rejoice!

I am not saying PPZ is a feminist masterpiece. With the use of zombies, the story becomes science fiction as well as romance (perhaps even more so). Science fiction is a perfect fictional tool to pose questions about social issues such as gender issues.

Austen was undoubtedly a (modern) feminist writer but the romantic wrapping is not up to date with present feminism. So conclusively, Grahame-Smith has written a postmodern feminist work not because Lizzy does her own fighting but because he throws zombies at her!

Sisters unite! For there is always more zombies to slay!

Christine

Standard