January 9th, 2012


Tea in the Trenches

This weekend was pretty much Super Bowl Sunday for fans of British costume drama, with the return of Downton Abbey on PBS. There was all the pre-game buildup with a marathon of the first season (my PBS showed it during the afternoon, but I watched on DVD). And then, finally, we got to see what happened next. They found the one way to improve a British costume drama for me: add battle scenes! We got to see former skeevy footman Thomas looking terrified (and skeevy) and future Earl Matthew looking handsomely pensive in the WWI trenches. But you know you're watching a British costume drama take on a war story when the pivotal trench warfare scene (so far) involves two characters having tea. I still think they should send Lady Violet over to meet with the Kaiser. That would end the war in a hurry, especially if she takes her frenemy Isobel with her. The only thing better than those two sniping at each other is those two teaming up on a common cause.

I did catch up on movie watching over the holidays -- OnDemand, not actually leaving the house to go to a theater. I watched The Adjustment Bureau, which I found rather disappointingly dull. The previews made it look action-packed, as a man goes on the run to escape the people trying to shape his fate, but that turned out to be the last ten minutes of the movie. The rest of the movie was Matt Damon waffling. It was a story that would have made for an awesome Twilight Zone episode but that didn't stretch out well into a movie.

And then there was Julie and Julia. I'd read the book and wondered how they'd make a movie from a memoir about writing a blog. Blending that story with the true story of Julia Child was an interesting way to go, except that the true story of Julia Child was worthy of its own movie and far, far more engaging than the story about a whiny narcissist writing a blog -- even if the whiny narcissist is played by the usually endearing no matter what Amy Adams. But Meryl Streep's Julia Child was wonderful, and now I want to read Julia Child's memoir about actually doing something (as opposed to blogging). I can see how Julia Child might have been put off by the idea of this chick drawing attention to herself by using her work. I don't know if the filmmakers planned it this way, but it was especially jarring to me to see Julia's struggles to get her cookbook published for a relative pittance after years of hard work juxtaposed with Julie's answering machine being filled with offers from agents and publishers because of her blog about following Julia Child's recipes.

I think I may also want to try cooking something from Julia Child's cookbook. And then maybe not blogging about it, or at least doing so in a less annoying way.

I'm sure there was something else I watched that wasn't a rewatch, but I can't think of what it was, so I suppose it was incredibly memorable.

I rewatched Inception, and I guess my latent romantic streak peeked its head up because my main question at the very end with the abrupt cut to black was not "Does the top ever stop spinning?" but rather "But what about Arthur and Ariadne? Will they get together in real life?"

And now it's a beautifully dreary and rainy day, so I imagine I will accomplish a great deal of work.