February 2004 Archives

West Wing Season 5


And so the West Wing has decided to go Bigger. It's now Topical and it deals with Issues. I feel a bit guilty saying that with Sorkin and Schlamme gone it's now gotten more middlebrow, but that's at least partly the truth. There is a sharpness, a snappiness, a deftness and a more subtle understanding of subtext, that has been changed into something else.

To be sure the new episodes are stunning, whether it's just the HDTV rips or not I can't be sure. Mary Louise Parker has never looked more luscious - and perhaps the largest iconographic change has been the entry of the window and entrance into the Residence. It's a more personal, more "character driven", and they've made it very clear that this is not last season's West Wing.

The aesthetic shift is a purposeful one, and they're trying to be bold and being unapologetic as they would have to be. And as much as I enjoyed a number of the episodes, I can't help but feel that they're making better TV at the expense of artistic deft and lyrical subtlety. But that doesn't quite exactly characterise it so accurately as I would like - it's okay, it's different, and there are episodes that really benefit from being taken away from the flow of a greater arc, existing as if in suspension; for all the insistence in that episode on the real world, the very circumvention.

Season 4 was a good season, and I'm starting to get a new appreciation for Sorkin doing a Season Premiere.

The Sitch


Okay, so this is what the plan is going to be - if at all possible, I'm going to stay with Delwyn when I arrive on he 3rd - and stay with him over the weekend. On Monday I'll likely be going to Scotland to visit Cari, and will stay there till Tuesday (hopefully).

At that point, when I come back, I'll go to Karen's place and stay there till the 18th when monkey comes, she might arrive on the 19th I'm not sure, and after maybe straddling a day or two with people we'll end up back at Delwyn's room while he's away.

If Delwyn is really too busy, I'm hoping I can do a rotation between Dion/Emen an Delwyn. I know you're all busy, but maybe you could squeeze me in for a night or two when you don't have something immediately pending?

I'll need someone to lend me a sleeping bag, and please don't get ideas of letting me sleep on the bed, I feel bad enough; though I might take a nap or two while you're at class etc.

I promise I will be as inobtrusive as possible. I've discovered that CaffeNero in town has a wireless hotspot and that will be my best bet to remain connected while I'm in York. Hopefully they support torrenting. Otherwise I'll be ankle deep in TV marathons, I'll be watching the Wire, Roswell Season 1, The O.C. if I feel like it. I hope as well to bring lovely samplers of lovely series over, an Angel, a Spooks, the Firefly pilot etc. Oh, and Nip Tuck if that turns out well.

So hopefully I'll be interested in getting exercise most days and going into town to get my fix, and try my best not to spend too much time in your rooms. I'll be trying to write as well.

The only imposition I can imagine is that I'll be on the phone at odd hours, but I'll either take it out into the hall if possible or find a nice calling card plan and an obliging pay phone. I still have my Dog/Bone card, so that should work out.

I could go to other hot spots, The Cloud is supposed to be more widespread, but they focus on pubs, and it really won't be good for me to spend the whole day in a pub. No indeed.

Or I could just end up too stoned for words and sleep all the time.

So unless I hear otherwise, I'll be landing at Delwyn's doorstep, wherever that is, on the 3rd, sometime after noon. Yay me.



And yes, I now have a nice spanky new notebook, by everyone's favorite thin and light manufacturer, Averatec.

Coursey was right, there was a burning smell, but that's now gone. The only negative I've been able to find is that PowerDVD makes the display refresh and, I suspect, default it back to 16 bit.

3D gaming is not exactly ideal on it, so I'm going vintage and determined to play either Ultima 9 or The Longest Journey on it.

Otherwise, I've got only positive things to say about it, any caveats I have would be ones most other thin and lights are prone to, ports all at the side, etc. But for a 2 spindle notebook under 5 pounds, you won't find any other config that ideal - esp not at less than 1000. And they shipped it with max ram, ie more than they promised, which is fantastically welcome.

The O.C.


There is probably nothing quite like having an entire series/season of a TV show at your disposal to just marathon your way through. I'd probably credit Season 1 and 2 Buffy that really set me on to this, that time when I was staying in Coventry one time over the holidays. Close on the heels of that was the Pacey loves Joey storyline on Dawson's Creek. I suppose Soprano's season 1 would count, back in Singapore...

But yes, The O.C. is doing well on that list, along with Cold Feet, Ultra-Violet, Spooks, Once and Again, West Wing, 24 (Season 1), Twin Peaks etc.

And I mention no caveats with The O.C., it's not good for it's genre, it's just good. It's engaging and it's really funny in a way that Angel can only achieve (fantastically though) with muppets...

The Wire though, is climbing the charts - I've just ordered Season 1 of Roswell, and I'm hoping Nip/Tuck isn't just a signal of my desperation.

Shoutz Out


I've been putting off writing this entry for a while now. It just feels strange coming out of the system and being left stranded. You know there's nothing to be embarassed about but it still feels weird telling all this to people.

I'm (obviously) not being sparklingly academic at UChicago, that ship sailed long ago. I'm now having problems coming into the US under Visa Waiver because I'm not able to prove I live somewhere else. Hence my going back to Singapore.

I've been applying to Creative Writing courses in the US of course, but Northwestern has already said no - though I will be reapplying, since they have rolling admissions. I'm also now applying to Boston, which looks more promising, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm sure I'll be plying Richard and Mary for recommendations for a while yet.

That wasn't as volumnous as I thought it would be to explain. I'm sending a bunch of people who I have to e-mail this post link so I don't have to keep repeating myself. I'm going around to find out who can put me up while I'm in the UK from 3rd March to 28th March.

I would say though, that my parents have been remarkably supportive about me being a bum :P.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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