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BethR

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Everything posted by BethR

  1. BethR

    The Good Place

    Speaking of shows with vaguely religious/spiritual themes, The Good Place is a comedy about a not particularly "good" woman (Kristen Bell) who dies and finds herself in an afterlife identified as "the good place" where she feels somewhat uncomfortable. Ted Danson is the "angel" responsible for the clerical error. The basic assumptions of this series--that one's afterlife is based on one's deeds--are obviously not Christian, but match many other religions and general feelings, I suppose. I haven't seen it. Writers are attempting to infuse both a continuing narrative, comparing the show to LOST. All episodes are available for streaming via NBC.com
  2. BethR

    The Americans

    The final season (6) finally won an Emmy for writing, and Matthew Rhys won an emmy for Lead Actor. Keri Russell deserved one as well. (I know awards don't mean anything, but I found myself watching the Emmys and wondering what was going on--everything seemed to be going to just three shows.)
  3. BethR

    The Good Place

    Joel, I would love to read your paper. Have you presented it yet? Season 3 starts September 27.
  4. Ha. I love Edwin Turner's responses overall. He's absolutely right--nobody knows what literature will be canonized in 50 or 100 years. My own thoughts on scrolling through this list were along the general lines of "If this is going to be the 21st century canon, depression and cynicism will rule." But then, that was more or less the situation with the 20th c. canon, such as it is, when I went to grad school, which is why I ended up a medievalist, despite having spent my MA on a shelf-ful of late-20th century poets. In other canonicity news, "The Great American Read" books are a bizarre hodge-podge of actual great books, books people think should be considered great, and complete dreck. My fear is that somehow 50 Shades of Gray, The Da Vinci Code, or A Confederacy of Dunces (the most overrated novel in 20th century literature) will the voted up to the top. So everyone, go there and vote for some decent books.
  5. BethR

    God Friended Me

    Coming this fall to CBS. (trailers & featurettes at the link) I reserve judgment.
  6. BethR

    Living Biblically

    Answers In Genesis breaks down every episode, FWIW. Believing in a 6000-year-old creation not actually required.
  7. BethR

    The Nevers

    Joss Whedon signed on with HBO for The Nevers, "a sci-fi epic about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world." Some have noted similarity with a proposed comic book, Twist, described as "a Victorian female Batman," with which he was associated for a time. No premiere date as yet, but probably not before 2020, is my guess. Apparently Whedon is also still working on a Freeform series called Pippa Smith, Grown-up Detective. Don't hold your breath.
  8. BethR

    Lucifer

    And the fan campaign for renewal resulted in Netflix picking up Lucifer for a (shorter) 4th season. I will say that Tom Ellis has done a nice job with the part of "Lucifer," which offers the greatest range of emotions and attitudes. The actress playing the police lieutenant seems more like a model than an actress, but according to imdb.com, she has had several recurring roles in the past. http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/ustv/feature/a860487/lucifer-season-4-netflix-release-date-cast-trailer-episodes-spoilers/
  9. BethR

    Babylon 5

    B5 is now available for streaming via Amazon Prime. I own all the DVDs, so I haven't actually checked it out, but for anyone who's never been able to see it, now you can--free (with Prime). It's more relevant than ever. I also recommend A Dream Given Form: The Unofficial Guide to the Universe of Babylon 5 (Guffey & Koontz), from ECW Press. Details & background for each episode (and more), plus interviews with J.M. Straczynski, Peter Jurasik, and others.
  10. BethR

    Game of Thrones

    I can't believe there's no topic for this, but the only one that came up when I searched was in a discussion of audiobooks. Anyway, GRR Martin has just announced that a director for the pilot and one cast member have been chosen for the HBO mini-series of A Game of Thrones. Tom McCarthy, who wrote & directed The Station Agent and The Visitor, is the director. I'll be looking forward to the DVDs...
  11. BethR

    Star Wars: Han Solo origin story spin-off

    I didn't have high expectations, and am not devoted to the larger Star Wars mythos, so maybe that's why I just enjoyed Solo and thought it was a perfectly good summer sci-fi action movie. I left the theater smiling, which was fine. Andrew and Joel Mayward, if you want to find out what happens to a ship's AI in love and embodied (or not), read The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and its sequel, A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers. I'm not as enthused about this series as some (there's a third book I haven't read yet), but they do go there. It won't solve the movie's problem, but you can't have everything.
  12. BethR

    Dickinson

    I do like Hailee Steinfeld. As for movies (at least) about poets, I'd make an exception for Bright Star, which was quite good with Keats. But that's the only success I can think of.
  13. BethR

    Dickinson

    While I don't idolize Emily Dickinson, I don't have a good feeling about this. Why can't she just be an oddball 19th century girl named Emily Jones?
  14. BethR

    Living Biblically

    And cancelled, though a few final episodes will air. It's been fairly incoherent, and probably left every audience it might have been trying to pander to more or less lukewarm. Probably should have read on to Rev. 3:15.
  15. BethR

    Lucifer

    And after three seasons, Lucifer appears to be cancelled, though there's a lively fan campaign to revive it. The final episode synopsis at the link doesn't give away anything significant, such as the fact that Neil Gaiman himself does a bit of voiceover narration for the first and (probably) last time as "God." It's a perfectly good series finale, so IMO there's not much point in a 4th season. The season narrative arc of season 3 involved a more-or-less immortal Cain, though. That was...interesting.
  16. BethR

    Spammers

    The next replay to "medical studies & LSD" is also spam. Both of these include links to "essays for hire" sites, which just vile.
  17. BethR

    Podcast Recommendations?

    I've added a few podcast subscriptions (links to iTunes or podcast site, but they're available on whatever you like): Backlisted--"giving life to old books"--two or three British people chat about what they've been reading, then get down to discussing the week's chosen unjustly neglected book from the past. All genres, so you're bound to find something you either remember reading, or something you realize you want to read. Recent titles included: I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (Warren Zevon bio), Venetia (Georgette Heyer), Red Shift (Alan Garner), Lost Horizon (James Hilton, Passing (Nella Larson), and We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Shirley Jackson). The Good Die Young--"dedicated to great but obscure TV shows. We love the short-lived, ahead of their time series that end up as fan favorites." I can't remember how I found this, but the first season is devoted to The Middleman, which is one of the most delightful, good-hearted sci-fi shows ever to be cut off after just 12 episodes. Best if you have watched the series, of course. This guy really does his homework, and between reviewing the episodes, interviews series creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach, writers, directors, most of the main actors (including the elusive Matt Keeslar), and the comic book artists. Grapes of Wrath! I can't wait to hear what he talks about next. Shameless plug: A friend has embarked on a Buffy & Angel rewatch podcast, Conversations with Dead People, that will be featuring a lot of fan-scholars & scholar-fans, including me. The first two episodes (covering BtVS episodes 1-5) are up now. I don't think there's anything else quite like this.
  18. BethR

    I Can Only Imagine

    Front page article from the North Carolina Baptist paper, the Biblical Recorder (which I receive as a courtesy as a faculty member at a sort of Baptist university): So, somebody wants to see this movie.
  19. BethR

    Living Biblically

    I wondered if anyone else would take a look at this. I recorded & watched the pilot, and generally agree with Ken's assessment. I did wonder why the show makes the protagonist a lapsed Catholic, when it is obviously based on A.J. Jacobs' blog->book The Year of Living Biblically, which even includes a version of one of the jokes used in the pilot, "I'm Jewish in the same way the Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant." Can TV only handle one Jewish family (The Goldbergs--who seem quite stereotyped, as far as I can tell, but my only other regularly watched sitcom right now is The Good Place). Including an amateur rabbi character is a nod to Jacobs, I guess. Some interesting features on Jacobs' website suggest the show might get to some good points, eventually. The laughtrack is overbearing, but I'll see where the show goes.
  20. BethR

    I Can Only Imagine

    A trailer for this played before 15:17 to Paris (which is interesting, in a way). Still have no interest in seeing it, but thought I'd share, for anyone wondering how they're going to do this. https://youtu.be/OsMyv9Q4_OU
  21. From Cathleen Falsani's interview with the late John Mahoney (link at the end to the full piece), which appears in her 2006 book The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People.
  22. BethR

    The Good Place

    SPOILERS for season 2 of The Good Place, which has just finished airing, in this piece by D.L. Mayfield from Christ & Pop Culture: S2 has managed to build on and twist S1 in even more surprising, entertaining, and educating ways. I don't know how long they can keep this up, but I'm about to consider assigning this show as a companion to Dante's Divine Comedy.
  23. BethR

    Lady Bird

    Shockingly, I can't find a thread for Lady Bird, now nominated for 5 Academy Awards (which we all know doesn't mean much). So either something's terribly wrong with A&F, or that I'm a terrible user of the forum's search function (probably the latter). But this was one of my favorite films of 2017, and here's a lovely interview with director Greta Gerwig on the way she chose to portray Catholic school and religion in Lady Bird. Excerpt:
  24. BethR

    Lady Bird

    Great review, Evan C. This column from (of all places) the Chronicle of Higher Education focuses on a weak point of the film, especially from the point of view of a teacher: At least one commenter replies that Christine does experience remorse and consequences, however: I think I concur with this assessment, but the columnist makes some valid points, nevertheless.
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