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Watching and pre-watching: The Newsroom + Legend of Korra + Life After People + X-Files June 24, 2012

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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The Newsroom, the new Sorkin show with Olivia Munn in it, premieres today.

On the one hand, critique of the news + Sorkin-style dialogue (+ Olivia Munn, obviously) = sounds like a recipe for a lot of win. On the other, early reviews suggest a whole lot of skeeviness upcoming, particularly around women. And there’s a lot in Studio 60 that suggests caution. (I enjoyed The West Wing, was engaged by the non-sport parts of Sports Night, and held on through Studio 60 waiting for it to live up to expectations.)

At least a newsroom setting should play more to Sorkin’s strengths and interests than a comedy show. And the actual writing could still rise above the bad omens in the publicity. Doesn’t seem like they’re opening any legal streaming options, but I’ll go looking for others.

(You know what this show should have done? Set itself in the same universe as The West Wing. It would get to deal with made-up news and politics rather than having to convince us it has all the answers about how to manage the real ones.)

***

The Legend of Korra season finale is still not streaming yet.

Can’t wait until it shows up. I already have half a dozen tabs open with spoilery reaction posts, and that’s a lot of temptation. Plus I really want to write up my thoughts on the rest of the series, but it doesn’t make sense to do that before I’ve seen how it ends.

***

I’ve been watching Life After People, a documentary about what would happen (to our pets, to our cities, to our monuments, to our satellites, to our trash, and so on) if every human on Earth suddenly disappeared.

Lots of lovingly rendered CGI of familiar buildings as rotting skeletons in their final collapse, or filled with masses of vegetation, or sinking underwater in great chunks. Plus exploration of real-world sites like Hashima Island, once densely populated, its buildings and streets now abandoned for 35 years. It’s fascinating — not even morbidly fascinating, since it’s not like there are corpses lying around. Abstractly fascinating? It’s like the setting for a ghost story, only without any ghosts. The draw is similar, somehow.

***

Finished my curated tour of The X-Files: guided through the good episodes by Katy, reminded which plot points I was supposed to keep track of, informed which interesting plot hooks not to worry about as they would never be referenced again. There were a lot of fun, well-written stories in there, and a few absolutely brilliant ones, and I enjoyed it very much.

Anyway, we finished all seven seasons, and now we’re moving on to this new series which is fairly similar, but has some fundamental differences and is not, I have been assured, nearly as good. We may not finish this one, since Katy is moving out in like a week, but it’s not like it was that high a priority anyway.

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