October 18th, 2010

breaking bad

A visit

I went to altariel's house this weekend, and I had a great time. It is hard to believe we could spend so many hours just talking, and the time just flew by. So interesting. I think altariel has unusually deep insight into people, and also willingness and ability to articulate insight, which even the most insightful people often hide with deflective aphorisms and glib comments. Why do people hide it? To hide themselves I suppose.

mraltariel is literally the best home-cook I know, and his food is delicious of course and also it's interesting to find out about new ways of cooking and presenting food. On Saturday among other things we had chicken cooked 'sous vide' which I have never had before. The texture in particular was striking - both firm and soft. Sorry not very good at describing the texture of meat :-)

mraltariel and I are both very interested in archaeology, and particularly in trying to feel or understand the experiences of people in transitional states. For example, the transition from Palaeolithic to Mesolithic Europe. I recommended to him the new Stephen Baxter novel Stone Spring. I haven't read it myself yet though.

Anyway, this ridiculously abridged version hardly does justice to a lovely weekend.
breaking bad

Mad Men - did you finish?

Just watched the Mad Men season 4 finale. What a strange, strange, season it has been. I can't think of another show that has incorporated the viewers' doubts about whether it has lost its way into the very fabric of its story*. And that has actually done things in the 'wrong' way to - what - to tease and annoy us? Comment on the artificiality of television? I think it's a very risky approach, and I don't think it has completely paid off. But I am now convinced it is deliberate.

In this episode - not a spoiler - Don's son is playing in a swimming pool 'Daddy I'm gonna be a Shark!' and Don jumps over him. Or does he? Steady on chaps, it's only season 4; hold your nerve.

Don's creative pitches were a major feature of seasons 1-3, but there have been very few in this one. Here is a transcript of his pitch to Collapse )
The episode ended with the song that is repeated endlessly in Groundhog Day - 'I've got you Babe', by Sonny and Cher: that sinister droning elegy to a doomed relationship. It is an allegory for an endless futile cycle in which rebirth is a curse not a blessing.

*though Vince Gilligan, of Breaking Bad, wrote an X Files Season 9 episode called 'Jump the Shark'