Greetings, blog readers who still have time to do any blog reading! I’ll kick off with Katie’s visit to see me on Friday and Saturday, which I imagine was one of her first interactions with the fiendish process of buying National Rail tickets. It’s actually one of the underlying physical laws of the universe that this is impossible to get entirely right on your first go, but I think Katie deserves official salutations for managing to persuade a London Underground ticket machine to sell her a London Underground ticket to Cambridge at what was seemingly a completely made-up price. Obviously, I’ve underestimated TfL’s sprawling reach… the appearance of Cambridge on the tube map is, clearly, only a matter of time now. Anyway, Katie’s visit was lovely, and we did the essential library tour (sans the UL, which refused to let her in), watched the Sarah Jane Adventures (sshh, sshh), did formal Caius hall just for the lolz and battled across the varying terrains of Worms 3D and Peggle Nights. Oh, and don’t forget the waffles
Now… don’t hate me, but I’ve never really been much of a fan of Halloween. (Although this is apathy rather than some kind of puritanical hatred – don’t worry, you don’t have to fight for your right to party.) I am greatly impressed by the various amazing costumes on show, but still failed to join their ranks this year. However, on the freaky-scary scale (named after its inventor, Dr. Freaky Scary), watching Uther’s – *cough* – intimate encounters with a troll on Merlin surely ranks about a 9. We also went to see the ever-fantastic musical episode of Buffy at Caius FilmSoc, which always makes me wish that real life could also encompass frequent bouts of well-choreographed singing.
(Omg – you can buy the Once More, With Feeling soundtrack online? That’s almost as good!)
To continue my theme, albeit with a newly present Buffy soundtrack in the background, last night Oliver, Abi, Owen and I saw The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, which (all but one of us agreed) was really enjoyable. It perhaps didn’t have the strongest feminist undertone in the whole entire world, and once again the Devil continues to get a really unfair press (I kid, I kid), but it was beautiful, fun and my attention didn’t lag once throughout. So naturally I don’t want to say any more about it, because praise is rather boring compared to criticism and as of last night I also have a new favourite laughable bad TV drama: ITV2’s Trinity.
Trinity‘s basic premise is as follows: Trinity college – not technically of either Oxford or Cambridge but clearly intended as an Oxbridge institution – has been forced to admit some proles alongside its usual contingent of stupid posh twats. They clash. But! Underneath is an exciting (well, not really) conspiracy involving murder most foul, secret overlords, etc etc etc. The execution of these already rather weak ideas is, however, grotesquely awful to the point of being utterly hilarious as well as not actually making any sense. (An example of dialogue, roughly: “I’m from Lewisham.” “My uncle owns Lewisham!”)
Just in case anyone has any doubts about Oxbridge, I feel compelled to reassure you of the following: graduation mortarboards are not inexplicably worn all the bloody time, grace – if said at all – is not divvied up line by line to each student so that poor people can be laughed at for not knowing Latin, champagne is drunk rather than poured over oneself, medical students are not instructed to work ‘through the night’ alone in a creepy basement with appropriately flickering lights and beds are (sadly) not of the four-poster satin-sheet variety.
But I’m not particularly worried, since Trinity seems to exist largely to confirm prejudices about ITV2 rather than Oxbridge. The biggest problem – or rather, source of much mirth – is that the characters consistently display a strange lack of ability to remember what their own personalities are supposed to be. Take Charlotte. We are repeatedly and unsubtly reminded that Charlotte is a chaste Christian girl who deeply disapproves of sex ‘n’ stuff. And by ‘unsubtly’, I mean such as through scenes like this:[Shot of a big wooden cruifix on the wall, and the sound of an organ, cut back to Charlotte who also always wears a crucifix around her neck]
Charlotte: I am a Christian, yes…
Three of her friends in unison: We’re Christians!
And yet! In the very first episode, Charlotte is so traumatised\turned-on by the sight of her dead father apparently still alive that she runs into the arms of the leader of the posh twatty boys, immediately sleeps with him and breathlessly declares – in what is surely a new triumph for realistic dialogue – “wow… is it always that good?!”. Post-coital bliss isn’t long lasting, however, as she absent-mindedly plays with the crucifix around her neck before seemingly remembering her whole identify and snapping back into pious, now-really-quite-indigent mode.
(It’s the equivalent of me getting halfway through my own Christmation before remembering through that, wait – dammit, I knew there was something – I’m actually an atheist! And do bear in mind, any TV series that gets me going on for this long about unfair portrayal of Christians has to be pretty damn bad…)
Anyway, if after Trinity you’re desperate for some actual good storytelling, then I wholeheartedly suggest Abbi’s NaNoWriMo novel. Already it’s proving an absolute pleasure to have another instalment ready to read each morning, and the donation required for access goes entirely to children’s charity Barnardo’s. So just go and do it: donate, read and enjoy!