The Week in Entertainment
Well, it's been an interesting week, what with the government shutdown and all. Maybe I'll be back at work tomorrow; don't think so, haven't heard yet. But this week...
Live: Two operas at the Met: First, a splendid Norma (though with minimalist, somewhat boring sets) with an utterly brilliant Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role. A not-quite-as wonderful Kate Aldrich was Adalgisa; their duets were stunning. Bel canto at its bel-est (bellisimo-est?) And then a vocally dazzling Eugene Onegin with Anna Netrebko as Tatiana, Mariusz Kwiecien as Onegin, and Piotr Beczala (wonderful voice!) as Lenski. Tschaikovsky didn't write for Netrebko, but if he'd known her he would have - her voice and his music - how glorious.
DVD: Iron Man 3, much better than 2 was, and (courtesy of a very nuanced performance by Downey) an intriguing look at what happened to Tony Stark after "the battle of New York" - PTSD and the whole nine yards. Excellent. Well, with all that time on my hands, I finally decided to watch Torchwood: Children of Earth (so I can watch Miracle Day which I am DVRing). My misgivings aside - and my friend's warnings - I enjoyed it. Yes, they killed Ianto, and that's sad, but it was integral to the story, and important. And my one friend was wrong: maybe Jack didn't say the words, but Ianto died knowing that Jack did love him. He heard what he needed to hear.
TV: And then I started Miracle Day, and it's engaging, too. An episode each of Orphan Black and Last Tango in Halifax, which are both continuing to be great fun, though (of course) extremely different. I watched tonight's, since I very much doubt I'll be called tomorrow (thought I might be) - too bad Celia is so upset about Caroline and Kate (though the previews make it look like Alan is appalled by the depth of her revulsion. The comedies - Michael J Fox was better this week, though they stole the documentary-sit-on-chairs-and-talk-to-the-camera bit from Modern Family, which cracked me up. The funeral for the cat's non-existent, dead wife... Dylan's "Oh, they're cats? That'll make this easier" as he went to dig the grave. The Neighbors - loved the training montage. Sean Saves the World - could do without the soundtrack, but Hayes is funny, so I'll give it another chance or two. Oh, oh - I forgot: Agents of SHIELD,which I enjoyed though it might become formulaic. I do like Coulson, though (and wonder what's up with him and that Manchurian-Candidate "It's a magical place").
Read: The Incrementalists, a hard-to-describe sf novel about a small group of people who live for centuries - moving their memories into new bodies, where they may (or may not) overwhelm the new host - making the world a little bit better. Well, really it's about what happens when one of them commits suicide and is "stubbed" into a recruit by her lover ... and none of them are what you, or they, think. Steelheart, an exploration of what happens when some people gain superpowers. It's not pretty, but the book's good. Finished This Is How You Die, the second Machine of Death collection. The Perils of Sherlock Homes, a collection of stories by Loren Estleman. Fighting for Life, a memoir by S. Josephine Baker, the woman who basically created Public Health in this country, saving the lives of 90,000 inner city children, and fighting against the damage that widespread urban poverty and ignorance caused to children, especially newborns - a fascinating read.