Lately (Things Seen & Liked)

I’ve been finding it easier to write about why I like, or what I like about, podcasts, or other audio, than it has been to write about film, television, etc. I’m not sure exactly why that is, possibly because there’s one less level to be working at, but possibly because I just haven’t been watching very much television or film lately.

So, here are a few of the things I’ve been watching recently, with accompanying youtube videos, and then a brief summary of what I thought about them:

QI

Excellent as always, only one bad episode this series (Horrible), though, that was likely just as a result of the subject matter as opposed to the guests or the material.

The Trip

It’s great, although every episode follows the same pattern (and sometimes the same jokes), and I’m sure there’s some reason for this about repeating the same thing over and over again, but… It’s still the same thing over and over again. Lovely stuff though.
(Edit: Just watched the fifth episode, and, the repeating builds, and… watch it. There’s only six episodes.)

The Untouchables

Fairly easy to see how Sean Connery got the Oscar for this, not too keen on the child killing at the start, as it set a rather strange tone that the rest of the film never quite matched or seemed to settle with. Still, pretty good stuff.

The Host

Loved it. Beautifully cathartic and a great blend of dark humour and horror.

Peep Show

Looking pretty good so far, things haven’t quite snowballed to the extent that they were at the end of the last series, which is good. Nice to have a semi-clean plate, a calm before the storm.

Slenderman Mythos (EverymanHYBRID)

The core characters are great, but some of the extras (Evan, the girl etc) seem like watching the Special Features on the DVD.

Slenderman Mythos (MarbleHornets)

MarbleHornets tells the story of a young adult male with no discernible personality. At first, he appears to be somewhat concerned with the plight of his friend, who has gone missing and apparently has been the victim of a series of abnormal, borderline supernatural encounters with a mysterious being.

Gradually, as the series goes on, our (for lack of a better term) hero begins to suffer the same fate, and so it turns into a story about a young adult male with no discernible personality and the scrapes and japes he gets into. Problem being: his friend is interesting, and so we care about what happens to him.

This problem seemed to be somewhat fixed at the end of “season one” of MarbleHornets, when a “tape” revealed that interesting friend A was still alive and kickin’ back with a chick in parts unknown — and still in danger! Unfortunately, this proved to be a minor detail, as things quickly returned to just being a story about a whiny protagonist going through pointless issues. Essentially, an angsty soap. Which is a shame, because the whole Rear Window aspect was really interesting at the beginning, and the spooky effects were top notch. In the latest video, Entry #27, most (if not all) of the “bizarre” visuals and effects come from the use of a Fish Eye lens filter, apparently strapped to the protagonist’s chest.

That nobody featured in the video comments on this to the protagonist is hardly surprising. Really, the whole thing at the moment is giving off the vibe of that teen drama from about ten years back where the kids on a school trip got abducted by aliens and then it turned out the whole country was in on it. Only I kind of want to know what happened there, but with MarbleHornets, I don’t. I just want it to stop being so angsty and remember that horror can be fun, and gripping. All it makes me think is “Oh, that’s moderately weird. Shame it didn’t, and could never happen.”

I think that’s part of the problem, really: it used to be about isolation and about the personal, solitary experience of dangerous investigation. Now, it’s about a man who could easily reach out for help, but doesn’t even explore the possibility. Instead, he just wanders on by past people on camera without asking anything, and then complaining that he doesn’t know where he is.

Which is again why I’m hoping that this latest development is some kind of The Prisoner type set-up, but… Given the budget, I’m assuming not. Here’s hoping!

(This entire post turned into a long rant about MarbleHornets)

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