John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

This week in the arts

In the visual arts, I watched six DVDs this week:

I wrapped up the first season of Cougar Town this week, and you know, I’m not feeling a lot of love for this series. It's not unfunny, and it's certainly true that the series improved once it move away from the original "older woman sleeping with younger men" formulation, but I'm not particularly fond of any of the characters and I don't really care what happens to any of them. I've willing to keep going with it for now, but at this point I don't really see myself sticking with it for the entirety of its run.

The second season on The Wire gets off to a slow start — I'm four episodes in, and basically nothing has happened — but it's fascinating nonetheless. I like the Port of Baltimore setting and the new characters, and I'm really interested to see where it's all going now that the crew is back together.

Parks and Recreation just gets funnier and funnier as it goes on, and April's crush on Andy is kind of adorable.

At some point last week I found myself waiting on a number of DVDs, so I grabbed the 2009 BBC miniseries of Emma. I liked Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller as Emma and Knightley, and I liked the technique of dramatizing Emma's fanciful imaginings, but overall I think this was my least favorite of all the Emma adaptations I've seen. Four episodes is just too long, I think, and I didn't care for the actresses who played Harriet Smith and Mrs. Elton. But the bigger problem was that I thought it played its hand too broadly regarding Knightley's attraction to Emma.

In the literary arts, I finished three books, sort of.

Buffy fandom pal Lady T mentioned on GoodReads that she intended to read John Mullan's What Matters in Jane Austen?, a collection of scholarly essay about various aspects of Jane Austen's novels. That sounded pretty interesting to me, given that I've been reading so much Jane Austen of late, so I decided to read it too. In retrospect, it's not the kind of book that benefits from being read all at once; I think I would have liked it more if I'd read an essay here and there rather than cover-to-cover. That said, I did come away from it with a better understanding and appreciation of Emma, which has always been my least favorite Austen novel.

I downloaded and read American Legends: The Life of Sitting Bull for the same reason I did War Shots: because it was a rare instance of a work of history showing up in my Kindle daily deals emails. Unfortunately, it wasn't that good. It's an adequate overview of Sitting Bull's life, but doesn't go into much detail.

The "sort-of" book I finished this week was Jane Austen's unfinished novel The Watsons. It's very brief — only five chapters — but it's fun stuff. It's too bad more she didn't complete more of it.

Tags: author: jane austen, reading: books, tv: other

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