In three weeks time, the eyes of the Finnish and Swedish fandom will be in Mariehamn, Åland Islands. It's time for Archipelacon!Four days of sun, fun and fandom. Mogens will be there, sporting the colours. Be seeing you!
IPA of the day is domestic 4,5% Mufloni IPA, brewed by Beer Hunter's in Pori. It was a positive surprise. It has a full, properbly bitter and citrusy taste and a nice, long, dry and hoppy aftertaste. Not at all watery or thin. Recommended.
TV series is again a bit of a mixed bag. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is Joss Whedon -created spin off from Marvel's a Avenger's movie universe. In the series, everybody's favourite agent Phil Coulson gets together a team to intercept and deal with alien, paranormal and superhuman threats. There is monster of the week spiced with team bonding and a mystery of how Coulson – who died in Avengers – can be alive. There have been ten episodes so far. Jukka gave up after few episodes, I have kept watching.
The single episodes have been a bit blah, except the one that happened in Stockholm – mainly because Stockholm! I am also less than taken with the typical whedonesque women: thin, lippy, with long brown hair – I still have trouble differentiating between the hacker Skye and the scientist Gemma. I also know that it takes some time for a new series to find its feet, but in this case I think writers and directors have taken the lazy way out. It would have been easy to make us care about the characters and the underlying plot arch with better writing, now there have been too many fillers and reliance on stock characteristics instead of character building.
On positive side, three of the six members of the team are women and I like the kick ass pilot May, Coulson rules and the snappy dialogue is getting there. I am willing to give the series a chance to grow.
Today there won't be any cider or beer, thanks to the chinese stomach bug my sister thought fully brought over from Shanghai. But have a TV-series:
Endeavour is the second spin-off from ITV's Morse which in turn was based on Colin Dexter's popular detective novels about a grouchy, borderline alcoholic DI solving crimes in Oxford. YLE has been showing it and is at the second to last episode at the moment, I think. I liked Morse and I loved the first spin-off, Lewis, so it should be right down my alley, but I am a little conflicted about the series.
There is lot to like. The period detail is amazingly good, Shaun Evans is excellent as the young disillusioned romantic and there are some blindingly good moments in the scripts. The best thing in the series, however is the relationship between Morse and his inspector, Fred Thursday (Roger Allam). I might mentioned somewhere that I love mentoring dynamics inrelationships, and this one hits all the right notes.
However, the plots and especially the internal dynamics of the police station are handled lazily so that the episodes start running together instead of standing out from each other: the blustering, ironically named chief superintendent Bright gets really old really fast. The worst problem – for me – is that the series is basically a tragedy of sorts. Every one who has seen or read Morse knows how his life will turn out, so watching young Endeavour trying to find his place in the world and forge relationships is actually quite painful and frustrating.
You may have notivced by so eof my earlier notes, that I like ginger. And ginger beer, hence today, on my brthday, I'm drinking Hollows & Fentimans All Natural Alcoholic Ginger Beer.
And this is good. The nose is subtly gingery, sweet and juicy, not at all like ginger ale. The taste is semi-sweet, lovingly gingery and unlike any other ginger beer I've drank before. I did have a Ginger Joe earlie rtoday and while there is the similarity with ginger, Ginger Joe is a lot more sweeter, but also stronger. GJ is also a lot cheaper. And more meadier. I could imagine cider person, who likes ginger with alcohol, liking this one.
Since it is my birthday, I've been taking today very easy.
Taking it easy. Highly recommended. As is Continuum. Second season ending was quite an episode. Can't wait for season three! Good show, sir!
St. Urho's Pub night. Beer (and some cider) was imbibed. Terrierwasn't too memorable nor great, but Hoegaarden Wittewas good as always.
Talked about various things, including tv-series. Petri tried to sell me Arrow, but I'm not going to budge on my first (and only) impression: boring, uninteresting and mediocre pretty-boys-and-girls go DC. Yes I've seen the first episode and I ain't gonna call it cat's pajamas. Grimm got better reviews from number of people, as did Lost Girl and Almost Human. And Continuum was universally liked.
Next workday will be the 27th. I have something like a week to read books and comics, not to mention watch some films and tv-series. Easy does it.
Fuller's Organic Honey Dew. Very nice. Very, very nice ale. Hint of hunny in the nosey-wosey, which is a lot stronger on the taste, but not that overpowering. But it all makes this very drinkable and very easily drowned. I seem to have guzzled half the pint with two sips. This is very nice honey beer. Not very robust, but to my huble taste, a really pleasing surprise that will definitely find its way to Casa Tali again in the future.
Today's recommendation is the Lost Girl. Think of Buffy. With more sex. Anna Silk plays a succubus named Bo, who is, well... a succubus in a place (somewhere in Canada, since Syfy), where fantasy and reality meet. Lots of fae and various fantastical creatures, with whom Bo usually has sex with. Because that is where she gets her powers from, very useful, since she is not keen on taking sides in the Eternal Struggle (TM) between Darkness and Light (TM). Being neutral may have its benefits, but more often than not, she'll find herself in a fierce battle. So, like I said, Buffy, with more sex. (Yes, even more than in seasons six and seven.)
The world Lost Girl takes place is filled with cool stories and histories, and there's a number of great characters in the ensamble cast. But while you have your cool werewolf cop or dwarven warlock, or Morrigan, or a Valkyrie, despite all that, the real deal in this series is the interplay between Bo and her human friend, Kenzi.
Who is a blast! Ksenia Solo is not only cute as a button, but she is smart, streetcool, handy, funny and above all, just human. A funny sidekick that is truly funny and endearing. I love Kenzi!
No arbitrary links, since this just needs to be read by as many people as possible. I think (well, hope) that everyone reading this blog (hello to both of you!) thinks this is fucked up and that what we really should have, is a world of equality and non-assholeness.
Sorry about the lateness, Mogens and I spent the weekend at Helsinki, Nordic and Finnish Winner dog shows, and were both quite beat after that.
Beer of the day is an old favourite Punk Pale Ale. Original IPA is better but not available in grocery stores as it is 5,6% strong. There is some hand-wringing in teh internets about diluting, but the laws in Finland being what they are, I am more than happy to pick this nicely bitter and citrusy ale to my shopping cart.
As for TV-series, I am going with a classic. I vaguely remember seeing this when it came from the TV for the first time in the late 18970s/early 1980s, when I was much too young to watch or understand it, but after Jukka bought the DVD last year we were both hooked. The series is, of course BBC miniseries of Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy, one of the best TV-series ever made.
Le Carré's claustrophobic spy novel has been turned into a series which is both languorous and tense. Alec Guinnes and Michael Jayston are a great investigative team, and the suspected moles, ”four (well, three) and Alleline” are all brilliant. Watching the series now adds an interesting layer of triviality to the proceedings, as we have seen the cold war crumble.
I loved Alfredson's new film with Gary Oldman, but even with all its artistry it felt rushed compared to the BBC-series which I keep watching again and again. I'll soon know it by heart...
I had a craving for Ginger Joe, so went and bought the local Alko dry. Easily done with only five bottles left on the shelves. I hope they'll have more later, since I want more of this nectar. Ginger Joe!
Vis-à-vis ginger, I had this Thistly Cross Cider in the fridge and it said, with capital letters "REAL GINGER", so I decided to have that today. More beer tomorrow. Unless it's Sari's turn, in which case it might be more cider.
Ah, sweet smell of ginger! And the taste? Well, semi-dry cider with some gingery mixed in. Sipping a bit more and the apple and ginger get more prominent, but this is still abit too watery. Not bad, just a bit... thin.
A bit thin reminds me of Demons. Not the Lamberto Bava masterpiece, nor the delightful combo of Nick Rhodes and Stephen Duffy, which... is actually called Devils, like the Oliver Reed film. OK, not relevant to the Demons-bit. Right.
Anyway, as I was saying: Demons, a bit thin. This is a season-long YA-aimed horror-series from ITV, starring Gene Hunt ie, Philip Glenister. Young Luke is just like any other teenager, except when he learns tha he is in fact the last of the Van Helsing family. As one is.
Delightful ideas wasted on boring main character and some silly costuming (especially MacKenzie Crooks as a silly-nosed level 12 demon, Gladiolus Thrip. There's several nods toward Dracula with Mina Harker as a young love-interest of Luke. And Mina's vampire son, Quincey. And then some.
Demons is an OK series, but ultimately a bit unconstructed and somehow unnecessary. If Gene Hunt is not convincing enough as a demon hunter and when even Victor Medrew is miscasted as silly old reverend (well, he was ghastly in all three episodes I stomached of that horrid Merlin as Gaius) and not the acerbic and cantankerous moaner he is in One Foot in the Grave.
Hence, this. Somewhat less arbitrary than some of the earlier ones.
The pot is in the oven with all the necessary ingredients (various meats, roots, spices and then some) in it. Should be something smoky, tasty and stouty.
Desired stoutiness should come from a generous dollop of McGrath's Irish Black Stout, which according to the label at least, is recipe no. 4.
Roasted malt flavours heads to the nose, but isn't that strong on the palate. There's certain ashness to this, also coffee-like, but not like that bestest of all coffees, Coffee Porter. No sweet stout this and the richness comes after each following sips, stronger and stronger. This is one dry stout. Very nice indeed!
What could be more Irish and fantastical TV than... Moone Boy, but we covered that yesterday. So we'll have to do with Misfits, whose original main character was Irish Robert Sheehan. (*saved!*) I reckon everyone has either seen or heard of Misfits, so I don't have to go very deep into this. But in case there is still someone who hasn't seen this brilliant TV-series, go now and watch it!
This is what happens when juvenile delinquents get superpowers, good and bad stuff. Misfits is lewd, raunchy and occasionally very graphic, but it is at the same time excellently done, brilliantly written and singularily British, that I hope the American remake never materializes. (Then again, people in the know have said that Life on Mars and Being Human US-versions are good, I haven't dared to have a go yet.)
But there is a remake I'm really interested in, Freaks!, an ITALIAN version of Misfits, which ahs its own Youtube channel, where you can see what it is all about. Mainly in Italian. Oh, powers that be, could you possibly translate more of this and sell me a DVD? Puhleese? What's the use of living in this superhighwayinformationsociety, if we're still unable to get everything there is?