My brother’s Christmas gift was a DVD of a local production of the musical THE DROWSY CHAPERONE. He plays a disgruntled fan of old musicals who puts on his record (“Yes, I said record!”) of the 1920s musical farrago The Drowsy Chaperone, a throwback to the days when characters and plots in musicals had no purpose other than to get us from one musical number to the next (a key plot point has the groom roller-skating through the garden, blindfolded). In the play-within-the-play, for instance, the wedding of an all-American guy and a Broadway star also involves mobsters posing as pastry chefs, a dumb chorine (“You’re reading your own mind!”), a Latin Lover (“These days theater fans are too sophisticated to tolerate broad racial stereotypes—we relegate them to Disney.”), the eponymous chaperone and Trix the Aviatrix (“Isn’t a pilot like the captain of a ship?”). Remarkably funny, and a tribute to those works of fiction that capture our hearts and take us away from reality. And yes, my bro did an awesome job. “You’re an accident waiting to happen/So why don’t you happen to me?”
The second season of LOST GIRL has Bo the succubus continuing to navigate among the waters of fae crime and politics (not to mention sex) with the over-riding threat of the Garuda, a malevolent entity (I believe the real Hindu myth-being of that name is benevolent) plotting to set the light and dark fae at war. Good fun if you liked the first season. “I’ll shove that arm so far up your butt you’ll be able to manipulate your own intestines.”
VIXEN‘s second season was another run of short webisodes making up a single thirty-minute show, like Season One. This time a diplomat from Mari’s African homeland turns up with one of the other magic totems, pitting the power of Fire against Vixen’s animal magic. Not the best of the CW’s version of DC (or up to Luke Cage as a black TV hero) but I enjoyed it.
The fourth season of SHERLOCK has two excellent episodes and one very crappy one. The Six Thatchers has Sherlock and Watson investigating the destruction of several Thatcher busts (a variation on Doyle’s The Six Napoleons) only to discover a dark secret from Mary Watson’s past. The fallout from this has Watson cutting all ties to Sherlock in The Lying Detective — but when Sherlock takes on a serial killer who seemingly outthinks him will Watson get back in the game in time? I thoroughly enjoyed them both, but then I had to sit through The Final Problem in which—okay, spoilers below after some white space:
it turns out Sherlock and Mycroft had a sister, Euros, who shows up at the climax of E2. She’s even more brilliant, utterly sociopathic and evil, is kept completely isolated in a top-secret prison — oh, Silence of the Lambs called and it wants its tropes back. It doesn’t help that they’ve made her supposedly so manipulative that just by talking to people she can persuade the entire staff of the prison to serve her. As she doesn’t have Jedi mind tricks or the Master’s hypnotic power, this requires her actually saying something suitably cunning and manipulative (I’ve seen it done elswhere) … and all we get are standard serial-killer cliches. Plus other cliches such as 221B getting blown up but having the guys miraculously hurled through the window unharmed. And a complete waste of Moriarty’s return.
While it’s a relatively minor point, I was also amused that when Holmes falls off the wagon in Lying Detective, he takes drugs but never resorts to tobacco. Given how my ex-smoker friends seem to go for it reflexively in a crisis, I wonder if that says smoking is now less acceptable than other drugs?