Monday, March 14, 2011

That's Right, I'm Back . . . and Winning (Even Without the Tiger Blood)

I’ve returned from my self-imposed blogging break fresh and ready to go and, still, frankly, in awe of the odd specter that is now Charlie Sheen, an irresistible car wreck from which I, and scores of others, cannot help but watch, no matter how dirty you feel after you've watched him (or followed him on Twitter).

I’ve finished editing my top secret manuscript (Winning! . . . I’ve been invoking the self-proclaimed warlock’s exclamation pretty frequently, much to my own personal dismay and shame) and have dispatched it to some folks who I trust to tell me whether they think it’s publishable or total bunk. With my manuscript out of my hands for the time being, I’m back to the business of writing about all things pop culture and politics here on this blog . . .

Big Love’s Almost Over

I'm going to start with the second-to-last episode of Big Love. As far as I'm concerned, the end can't come soon enough as I've now lost my faith in the show's writers. Don't get me wrong, I used to call Big Love one of my favorite shows. I was fascinated by its unique twist on the suburban family and on the subject of what it means to be a wife and a husband, particularly when there's more than one wife in the picture. I thought the show was at its best when it had a smaller, home-based focus and examined the relationships between people and what happens when your vision of what makes a family conflicts with the view held by society.

Then the Big Love writers got bigger, wilder storylines in their minds. And they just couldn't help themselves. They started writing more and more eccentric, out-there stories, trying to (artificially) amp up the tension more and more, pour on the violence and the insanity until it got to the point last season when it was just ridiculous.

I had hopes that this season would improve. It started off promisingly, but, as with last season, it's gone to far afield and my expectations for the series finale are pretty darned low right about now, which is a damned shame. (I did a more thorough episode review on CliqueClack TV.)

Any Big Love fans in the house? What have you thought about its last season? What do you want to see in the finale?

Now Reading . . . Jane Eyre

During my blogging break I finally finished reading A Tale of Two Cities for the very first time. I slugged through the first 30 or so pages, impatient for the story to seize me in its grasp, when it, at last, become entertaining. The twists and turns that it took came as a surprise to me and now I finally get all those “Madame Defarge” references people have made in political contexts. They’re not complimentary.

Completing the Dickens classic made me hunger for another classic. Seeing the preview for the latest cinematic incarnation of Jane Eyre made my selection for me. When I was but an ungainly, awkward, too-tall of a junior high gal, I read Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre multiple times over. But since that was a very long time ago, I realized, once I started reading Jane Eyre, that I’d forgotten 90 percent of what happened in the book.

As I waded through the first 60 pages, I was taken by how many similarities there were between the 10-year-old orphaned Jane – unloved tortured, abused (physically and emotionally) by her aunt and cousins, made to watch while her cousins celebrated holidays and open presents while she was excluded – and Harry Potter. It was eerie. (I’ve got Harry Potter on the brain because my husband and I are still reading the J.K. Rowling series out loud to our 9-year-old son. We’re almost done with the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.) Harry too was an orphan, treated abysmally by the Dursleys, reared by them to think he was wicked and bad, and, in the human world, he too was poor, though his parents had money in the wizarding world. However, I’m sure, if I have any shred of memories left from my previous readings of Jane Eyre, that the similarities between Jane and Harry will end shortly as I continue reading.

It's good to be back!


cooleyhorner said...

Oh how I love "Jane Eyre." It's easily one of my favorite classics (along with dear "Gone with the Wind," "A Tale of Two Cities," and "The Odyssey"). The love story is super awesome, too. My favorite film adaptation is the old black-and-white one with Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles (his brooding darkness really matches Rochester, in my opinion, when compared to the...hotter incarnations of recent films). Eager to see how your perspective on the book has (or has not) adjusted since your last teenage reading!

Sonya said...

Welcome back! Glad you're here and cant wait to read your book.