review: ‘blood and water’ [no spoilers]

scene-from-blood-and-water

As a Chinese-Canadian hypersensitive to (under)representation of all sorts, I was stoked to hear about Blood and Water, a Canadian crime drama with almost exclusively Chinese-Canadian characters.

In a nutshell, it’s the underdeveloped lovechild of New Zealand’s Top of the Lake and Denmark/Sweden’s The Bridge. The opening theme song is an out-of-place hipster acoustic guitar piece. The visuals are dark, brooding, moody and heavy.  The police station is perpetually underlit. With sweeping panoramas of the North Shore – including Squamish and Cleveland Dam, and a port I couldn’t identify – as well as close-ups of TransLink buses and East Van housing, Vancouver appears to be a chilly inner city ghetto where bad things happen. Which was perhaps intended, as bad things do indeed take place in the show. Very bad things.Read More »

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eurovision 2013 | generational differences

G’evening! Two entirely unrelated things on my mind. First, the Eurovision Song Contest 2013. Fantastic show! Surprising results. I think the values and tastes of voters are changing rapidly. There were some really good songs this year, songs that could be plausible standalone songs. My favourites: Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Malta, France and the Netherlands. Special mention to Romania, who sang most of the song in falsetto while wearing a Dracula-inspired cloak. The interval song that the Swedish host performed deserves special mention. It packed every single Swedish stereotype you can think of in a few minutes of pure entertainment, complete with jokes about hosting a show you can’t afford and meatballs with horsemeat. Genius.

The second thing on my mind tonight is this interesting piece titled “Yes, the men of my father’s generation were better at being men.” Comment sections in the Guardian generally add positively to the article that is being commented on and are fun and insightful to read.Read More »

changing sense of humour

My sense of humour really has changed. Peep Show still makes me want to shrivel up and die of awkwardness but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the show. Louis CK would’ve offended me terribly three years ago but now I can’t get enough of his stand-up.

And let’s talk about the very talented Stephen Colbert for a sec. I just watched Jon Stewart’s acceptance speech for the Emmys 2011 and appreciate how rare it is for a winner to overtly name one fellow nominee and praise them for such a long time. While I enjoy The Daily Show more than The Colbert Report, not only is Stephen Colbert the better actor, the Report has broken the fourth wall with the Super Pac and the Iowa “Rick Parry with an A” ads. That is breaking new ground, with the unfamiliar and almost uncomfortable blending of the TV world and the real world. Which goes to show how farcical our real world really is.

can’t get this silly grin off my face

So here's where a bit of youtube-hopping led me:

I always like to watch comedy during dinner. On Tuesdays to Fridays it's The Daily Show from the night before, but on weekends I have to find something else. I recently discovered Louis CK and have since watched about 90% of what's available of him on youtube. Tonight I found (yet) another interview of him on Conan about how everything's amazing but no one's happy these days, and how today's generation are so thankless about the technology we have. Awesome clip, totally agreed with what he said.

That linked me to Ricky Gervais somehow. And Ricky Gervais on the Golden Globes 2011, which I hadn't yet seen but now I have and he is freakin brilliant! There was some controversy over his jokes – but I remember during that time, I hadn't seen his jokes but only the media reaction, and the media definitely overstated and misreported both the off-colourness and the reactions. Fucking media… anyway.

That led to other great awards show hosting moments and announcements, like Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, Jon Stewart hosting the Emmy's (I thought it was a bit weak, but he does like to please), and of course, the one and only, hilarious and talented

Ellen DeGeneres.

I love this woman so much. She's so full of kindness. What I love even more, though, is

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.

They are so beautiful together. And so in love with each other. Portia is such a lovely woman (I realise I sound like a total tool right now, but they both just make me really happy). It is absolutely not possible for me to watch a clip of them together and not smile!

And now I want to watch more Better Off Ted because Veronica is fuckin awesome. I think I'd like her as a boss :D

quick round-up

Had a week-long vacation in Sweden. That’s right, it wasn’t a trip, it was a bloody vacation (stay tuned for more on that – I’ve already written it, just need to type it out). It was glorious to be back. And I’m really tanned now.

Started working full-time now. There’s less pressure in terms of deadlines (quantity) but more pressure due to higher expectations for creativity and impact (quality). Translating a press release is child’s play compared to developing social media strategies for the organisation. I’m also having mad issues with socialising at work… def more on that in the next days and weeks.

The Daily Show: can’t stand Jon Stewart’s ‘support the troops’ fanaticism. The entire notion of ‘brave men and women’ who ‘risk their lives’ and ‘sacrifice’ to ‘protect freedom/their country’ – all those overused phrases fabricate the elaborate and very solid lie that you can resent war but support soldiers. Love the sinner, hate the sin? As some astute viewers on TDS’s comments section said, these soldiers voluntarily enlist to kill people they don’t know. I used to cut soldiers some slack for financial reasons (the military pays well; poor people are stuck between a rock and a hard place but decide to go for the income) but ethics has broken that argument down. There’s nothing noble, brave or laudable in killing other human beings – least of all when it’s for reasons you don’t know, understand or agree with. Jon Stewart is sometimes the lone voice of sanity but I really can’t stand his stance on war.

I cancelled my health insurance with my previous company, but still got charged this month. What gives?! On a similar vein of blasting bureaucracy and customer-unfriendly business, my bank has no branches open past 18.00. How do working people bank?

Uhh.. yeah, this weekend should be pretty busy, hopefully hanging out with friends.

bruiser

Bruiser is brilliant. It’s a 6-ep comedy sketch show from 2000, starring David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman, Martin Freeman, Matthew Holness and Charlotte Hudson. They look so young (and DM so slim) that I thought it was from the 90s at first. Olivia Colman is much funnier than she seems to get credit for. Someone said it reminded them of A Bit of Fry and Laurie… can def see the resemblance. Maybe that’s why I like it so much?

Favourite recurring sketches:

– Do you do poison?
– Martin Freeman the pimp
– Computer geek swearing
– Tash the American reporter
– Get laid. Go figure.
– Touchy
– The sex recount in the pub