Electronica

Sometimes I wonder if I’m truly a Luddite at heart. I have no problem turning my phone off overnight, I don’t need to be able to access the Internet 24/7, and I only feel truly naked if I leave my house without my watch – analog of course.

I am very suspicious of electronic copies of things. Give me a hard copy any day. I still buy CDs. I still buy books. And while I can see the benefits of google docs, I can’t think properly without a pen in my hand.

But I do not stick solely to the physical, hold in your hand version of things. Yes, I have an iTunes account. It’s the only way to buy ‘singles’ these days. And I will read the occasional ebook.

Every so often there is the apocalyptic article about how one or other traditional form of entertainment or media consumption is dying. This week it was books.

  
The tweet links to an article in the Chicago Tribune that says Americans are reading books, paper based page turners, just as much as ever. That ebooks haven’t taken over yet. All I can say to that is 

Der

This year I have read one series of ebook, five books in total. Normally I would read none.

  
I started with Not Famous in Hollywood by Leonie Gant because my read harder challenge dictated that I read a book by an author with the same first name as me. And boy are there slim pickings for someone named Leonie. But once I’d read that first one I had to read them all. I even had to go out and buy an iTunes card because I ran out of money by the third book.

These books are what I consider perfect ebooks.

They are interesting, funny, have a decent romantic plot line, and cost less than five dollars each.

I read ebooks when I want something light. They weigh nothing in the hand and should weigh little on my brain. If I’m reading something heavy I want to feel that physical weight too. It seems silly to cry into a screen, it doesn’t soak up tears as well as paper pages do. Nor does it make that satisfying thwack on the bed or ground if you grow your device down in disgust at a character’s actions. More likely than not you’re just going to be doubly mad as not only did something terrible happen in the boo, but you also cracked your screen.

Anyway.

This series by Gant follows an Australian (though she hardly acts like it) personal assistant in Hollywood as she sees to her clients needs and becomes entangled in murders that happen around them. The main character Trudie is the perfect balance of funny, needy and friendly. And the love interest, a cop is the right mix of condescending, confused and conscientious. The mysteries themselves are not overly predictable and all the supporting characters make this series really readable.

Now if only she would write more.

Survivors Ready?

  
I both love and loathe Australian Survivor. 

I only manage to watch about one in three episodes, because really Channel 10, who wants to watch the same formulaic plot three nights in a row. I don’t care about the people enough to see them outwitting and outplaying over multiple nights. At the beginning, when it was only two nights back to back, that was ok. As personalities emerged I didn’t mind seeing them undo themselves. Though tribal council is always the most cringeworthy part and therefore the worst of any episode.

There have been a lot of problems this season. 

Three tribes is too many for starters. Kind of has the same problem as the three episode a week format; I don’t care by the time we get to the last one. Swapping people from tribe to tribe so many times is also daft. You want some of the favourites to get through, so many changes makes that almost impossible.

How many hidden immunity idols can there be? One per tribe, fine. One every second week, not fine. 

The thing that most bothers me is the pretty girl clique that has formed and seems to be running the show. It’s like a really bad version of Mean Girls. The sheer joy they seem to derive from the manipulating and plotting is particularly nasty. It makes me mad that they are getting ahead and if they win it will ruin the whole series.

What has made survivor a worthwhile watch this time is Twitter. I don’t know how I managed to watch TV like this before its invention (though survivor was a lot less gimmicky (and less produced) back in its beginnings and therefore I didn’t need the commentary of complete strangers). What I need is a TV that can have the show playing on the left hand side of the screen and the Twitter hashtag feed down the right. Could someone get on inventing that please?

The tribe has spoken.

Take out the trash

Now that I’m spending a lot of time at home again, mostly on the couch, I’ve come up wi a plan for TV viewing. It’s pretty simple really. Instead of watching trashy movies all the time, I alternate between trashy movies and those a bit more high brow. Or basically I watch a rom com and then something not a rom com.

I started with The Intern which was a lot better than I expected, then The Queen, Bride Wars followed by The Iron Lady and then I was up to another rom come. So I started watching Life Happens.

  
But I couldn’t stick with it.

Now, I love a good trashy movie. Predictable plot, stereotypical characters, a happy ending. Win, win, win. But it shouldn’t be cliche or boring. And if I could have written it, it can’t be good.

And so it is with Life Happens.

I probably only watched about half an hour. Just enough to get to the complication and be mad enough at the characters that I didn’t care about what happened to them. Kristen Ritter annoys me anyway, I don’t think she can carry a film, the only things I’ve really liked her in were those where she was a supporting character, Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars spring to mind. Perhaps she is only good on TV. And the whole problem that the film is based around is Kate Bosworth’s fault and so she just annoyed me from the start. 

I think what rom com filmmakers need to learn is that you need more than dramatic irony to carry a plot. 

I guess I’ll just have to try and find a better one.