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The week in media consumption

Movies


Blood: The Last Vampire
Anime short from 2000 that's about half the length of a feature film (they meant to make more of it but that didn't happen for some reason). About monster hunters. Set in the 60s. I don't usually notice sound design in shows I watch but this show had such awesome sound design that I could just sit and listen to it multiple times just for that. The way live music playing in a large room high school gym sounds when you're several hallways away. The sound of a rotary dial phone. The sound of the subway.The set design was also stunning. Institutional colors. Vintage furniture. Some of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who and Torchwood are based on history and find old institutions to use as sets, and this had a similar feel. I also liked how realistic many of the characters looked. One of the major characters is a fat woman.

Episodics



The Wire
Finished the fourth season, which is about missing bodies and ex-police trying to make a difference in public schools that are hamstrung by testing requirements. I love this show so much.

Pinky & the Brain
My current favorite Pinky & the Brain episode was on this week's disk: the mini-episode "Calvin Brain" where Brain is a fashion designer and Pinky is a male supermodel.

Hawaii Five-O reboot
Almost through the first season. The police parts are fairly routine but they make more of an effort than most police shows to take actual science and technology into account (e.g., they sometimes run out of bullets in gunfights, and the term "IP address" was used correctly in a recent episode I saw). The team is multi-racial. There are positively portrayed fat characters and fat people (well mostly men) walking around as extras. There seems to be some effort to respectfully portray Hawaiian culture.

Fiction


Rachel Swirsky, "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window"
Short fiction about a spirit that is bound until the end of the universe and is periodically summoned by leaders to give them advice. It's kind of unclear at the beginning what kind of story it is, but I like what it turns into.

Peter Watts, "The Things"
This is a nifty story about a really alien alien. But for me the experience was almost completely spoiled by the final line.

Rex Stout, The League of Frightened Men
This is the first Stout I've read rather than listened to. I love the audio series because the narrator, Michael Prichard, gets Archie and Wolfe SO RIGHT. But I wasn't able to find this one on audio. Reading it is an equally superb but quite different experience. Stout's language precision is more noticeable. I've listened to enough Prichard that I can hear him doing the characters while I'm reading it, which is fun.

Tananarive Due, The Good House
Just started. Horror. I like how Due discusses race and family issues around the edges of her stories.

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