Winter Solstice

The Longest Night of the Year

Bill Watterson Returns
Bill Watterson, the creator of Calvin and Hobbes, was recently revealed as the guest writer for a handful of strips of the comic Pearls Before Swine earlier this month. While I don't particularly care for PBS, Bill Watterson!

Check them out (I've linked to the start of the story arc, with BW's work starting a couple days in):

Audrey Nathan
Last night's episode of Agents of SHIELD had a character named Audrey Nathan.

Not kidding.

Makes you wonder.

The Best April Fool's Joke You Didn't Hear About on the First
Warning: All teh cute in three ... two ... one ...

"Frozen" in 25 Languages
Heard about this on NPR the other day, thought I'd share ...

A sequence from the Disney movie "Frozen" (which I haven't seen yet), with one of the songs translated into 25 different languages. It's remarkable how they matched the voice so well across so many languages. Pretty nifty, check it out.

May be a little spoilery for "Frozen"?

Found: James and Arla Cogan
The Barn apparently dropped James and Arla Cogan off in the wrong show - they're both over in Bitten, Syfy's new (and not particularly watchable) werewolf show.

Recommended Viewing
A recommendation for you, my fine f-listers, for those that like this sort of thing.

Miss. Fisher's Murder Mysteries is a fun, thoroughly entertaining Australian TV series, set in Melbourne, Australia in 1928. The lead character, the Honorable Miss. Phryne Fisher, is a "lady detective" and a modern woman with a strong sense of adventure. A varied cast of supporting characters help her out along the way. The tone of the show is fun mystery, in the same ballpark as Castle.

The first 13-episode season is available on Netflix in the US, and also on DVD. Season 2 (which I haven't seen) just finished airing in Australia with a Christmas episode.

When the Lighthouse Breaks
It's two Haven reviews for the price of one, in which I try not to complain too much about how busy I am and instead review the last two episodes of Haven, "When the Bough Breaks" and "The Lighthouse."

[Spoiler (click to open)]
I didn't actually dislike these two episodes, I want to make that clear. It was still Haven, after all, and I will still happily obsess over it and ask "when do we hear the news about season five?" with increasing amounts of despair in my voice.


I didn't like the way they broke these two episodes up. It felt like they wanted to tell more than an hour of story in WTBB, so they stole 15 minutes of time from TL. While the Troubled baby story was interesting, as was Duke getting re-Troubled, that story dragged on just a little too much, and the final episode paid the price. Yes, people are dying, and we can't hurt the baby!, but I'm not really convinced that killing the child's father was a better solution than cutting the baby's vocal cords. Does that make me a horrible person?

I'm glad that we got more backstory/personality for Gloria. She continues to be a solid character, and I hope they don't kill her off anytime soon.

Finding out that Dave was adopted was disappointing. It's become Haven's story crutch. Want to add flavor or mystery to a character? Surprise, they're adopted! Nathan, Jennifer, Dave, the Real Audrey Parker, James ... it's just too many.

And then there was the pacing. As others (and myself) have observed in the past, this season has felt somewhat rushed, with storylines being set up and knocked down like bowling pins. For example: Wade's curious about the family Trouble - no wait he's Troubled - no wait he's a serial killer - no wait he's dead - all in about three episodes. And I actually kinda liked it until "The Lighthouse", where they frelling teleported from "we need four people to open the door" to "William, Audrey, Jennifer, and Dave are all aliens from another world." I mean, seriously? That's a bit much for a 45-minute episode, don'cha think?

(By the way, a cloud-filled pit does not fit my personal definition of 'door'. 'Doorway', maybe, but not 'door.')

I actually snorted when Nathan figured out how to hurt William without hurting Audrey. And the look on Audrey's face was precious.

And, um, did Nathan just propose? When he was giving Audrey the little speech about a house with a white picket fence when this is all over?

I hope that someday they return to the subject of James, Arla, Agent Howard, and the Barn. Are they really dead? Or is it much more complicated than that?

And, of course, I wonder how they'll wrap up this season's cliffhanger. Is Jennifer dead? What worse thing came through the "door" that Jennifer mentioned with her dying breath? Will they be able to cure Duke without William's help? Or will they have to retrieve William from the Hell dimension he's in? Why does the cat have to lick my fingers right now? And is Audrey really Mara now, and how long will it take to get her back to being Audrey this time? And if we don't get renewed for Season 5, will they at least get a TV movie to wrap everything up? These questions and many others will (probably not) be answered on the next episode of Haven! (And a brownie point to anyone who catches that reference!)

Happy 50th Episode, Haven
My really, really late thoughts about "Shot in the Dark" (a/k/a "Monster's Ball"), the episode of Haven that aired over a week ago now.

[Spoiler (click to open)]
Is it just me, or do neither of the episode titles for this episode have anything at all to do with the episode?

The Darkside Seekers element of this episode was just okay. I didn't dislike it, it was just ... okay. But then, I absolutely despise the real shows that Darkside Seekers was emulating, so it makes sense I wasn't impressed.

The thing that struck me about this episode was the nature of the two romantic relationships. Nathan and Audrey are together, Duke and Jennifer are together, but it all seems so fragile, as though they're all so desperately aware that they could be torn apart by the Troubles (or all the trouble that goes with the Troubles) at any moment. And, this being Haven, I really do expect at least one if not both of those couples to be broken one way or the other by the end of the season.

Which is in two episodes. My, how time flies.

Odd seeing Vince without Dave for a second episode.

Really curious to see where they're going with Jennifer's storyline. And I don't even have any good guesses, which is actually kinda nice. Whatever it is, I won't have seen it coming.

I am so psyched for the last two episodes. And the inevitable cliffhanger is going to kill me.

Having a Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Here
A random assortment of thoughts about last Friday's Haven, "The Trouble with Troubles." Usual blah-di-di-blah about spoilers.

[Spoiler (click to open)]
I really liked the way they started this episode. In media res, and we the viewers slowly finding out what's going on. It was nifty.

As to the It's a Wonderful Life AU Haven - Nathan's jokesy persona felt forced, Duke was fun as a cop, and it was funny that, as twee as they were, the Teagues still took the same stand - Vince for telling Haven what they needed to know, and Dave all for covering it up. Of course, in this case, it was a homeless problem of one allegedly homeless person, but still. And all kinds of odd that Cliff's Trouble interpreted his wanting a Trouble-free Haven as also being free of lower-case trouble as well. I wonder why the police department was so well manned if one case of vandalism constituted a crime spree.

Apparently, the Troubles temper men's souls.

And I loved the line "What kind of Trouble takes my shoes?" I don't know why, but I did.

When I heard that this was going to be an It's a Wonderful Life episode, I was hoping that we'd get to see some of our late or absent friends (or enemies, for that matter), but we just got to see some names on a list.

I still say they're doing the product placement reasonably well. Sure, it's still product placement, but at least they used the search feature in the car to actually search for something they actually needed to find.

Okay, here's this week's revised theory, based on what we now know: Sure, William and first!Audrey started the Troubles. Or woke them up, or something, since they seem to predate European settlers. But once she saw the enormity of what she had done, first!Audrey volunteered to go in the Barn to suppress the Troubles until they could be ended for good. And William, who had no remorse, couldn't accept that she would choose doing the right thing over him, and became crazy stalker ex-boyfriend. And William could also end the Troubles if he wanted to, by killing the one he loves (look out Audrey), which also plays into "What was once your salvation is now your doom."

And I have to say, I'm sorry, but, Nathan? I really like you. You're a good guy, and you and Audrey are great together, but. These homicidal rages of yours have to stop. They're becoming your defining characteristic. They make me not trust you to think in situations where Audrey is in danger, and it's doing you more harm than good. I know it's in your genes, but that excuse will only take you so far. You keep this up, and I won't be able to justify wanting you to have your happily ever after.

Did you realize that the next episode is Episode #50 of Haven? It's true!

William, It Was Really Nothing
A collection of thoughts about Friday's episode of Haven, "William." Speculation for the future abounds. (Like Tigger.)

[Spoiler (click to open)]
I never really trusted William (ask lone_pyramid), mostly because I was supposed to trust him. So even though he said a lot without actually saying anything - he's from Haven, all right - I have come up with a theory, certain to be Jossed in the next episode.

William is Audrey's crazy stalker ex-boyfriend. He was in love with one of Audrey's previous personalities hundreds of years ago - maybe the first one, maybe not - but she was not in love with him, he just thought she was (in the style of TV stalkers.) If it was the first personality, maybe that's why she agreed to go into the Barn in the first place - not just to save Haven, but to get away from William. But he somehow followed her into the Barn. In the past, Agent Howard was able to keep William away from Audrey in the Barn, but now that he's dead or healing or whatever, William was able to get to Audrey and make it possible to get out of the Barn and back into the real world.

Not sure if his Trouble is actually a Trouble or some weird manipulation of whatever causes the Troubles and his own excessive time in the Barn.

I really hope the solution involves the fact that James is still in the Barn, and is more likely to side with his father than his mother's crazy ex. Hmmm, that may or may not evolve into a fic.

Really curious to see where they're actually going with this.

The solution to the cliffhanger - and the whole "Audrey has to kill Nathan" thing - was fairly anticlimactic. They didn't even get to celebrate, just had to move on to the next crisis. Welcome to Haven. But they got to make googley eyes at each other a couple times, so that was nice. Thinking about it, this episode must have taken place the same day as the previous episode - when would they have slept? This show and its internal timelines.

Loved the "Code red! There's a toxic, um, ..." "Gas leak!"

I don't have as many thinky thoughts about this episode as the others. Not sure why that is.

p.s. On the other hand, if Audrey loved William once, maybe killing HIM will end the Troubles for good.


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