I can offer only as excuses 1. life has been unusually busy 2. who reads these things anyway 3. I have a problem with free content undermining creative work but am caving due to not having enough people around here to discuss these things with.
More time has been spent in front of the screen rather than the page lately due to 1. great stuff on the screen and 2. disappointments on the page. Dealing with the writing first – I found Bone Clocks a little too scattered for my liking – William Gibson’s latest was interesting line by line but overall uninvolving – last reading highs were Wayne Johnston’s A Certain Woman, David Richard Adams’ Crimes Against My Brother, Jo Nesbo’s Son but the acme was really the Patrick Melrose quintet – I think it raised the bar so that too many alright books seemed sad in comparison.
As to the screen – the guilty pleasure is Hannibal. Only discounted because I don’t buy Will Grahams’s talent as reasonable but Mads is once again remarkable and the last bit of the first season was quite a bit of Kubrick in look. And find it amusing not only that in terms of leads we have the confluence of Apocalypse Now, James Bond, XFiles and Kids in the Hall but another Brit (or Brit colonist) doing an American lead (just like Brotherhood, Battlestar Galactica, The Wire, Longmyre, Homeland, Walking Dead, etc..). But the crazy brilliant show is yet another Scandinavian offering Bron (The Bridge).
Bridge is all over strong but has the best female character yet in Sofia Helen’s Saga Noren the Swedish detective with no social graces opposite the always strong Kim Bodnia as her Danish counterpart. I have not yet seen the American version but would be amazed if they could really present as strong and unique a lead as in the original. What I like about this and so much other Scandinavian crime television (such as Beck, and Wallander) is teh economic versimilitude. These people live like normal people – too much American television has people living a little beyond what they would reasonably have access to.
The third season of the Swedish Wallander deserves mention for its treatment of Alzheimers (yes Wallander). Its a cliche for the detective to have an Achilles heel but this really takes it to the limit. Watch it – its great and its tragic.