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Summer recs

WHOOO I haven't updated here in a long time *blows dust off of blog*

I don't think there's much point in talking about what I have been doing lately; I'm unemployed, so I really don't have much to do except read books, watch TV series, listen to audios and browse the net. The weather's been awful for the past two weeks, so I don't even go outside much. :/ It's all very distressing. I should go to a museum or something, but my circadian rhythm is fucked up beyond belief and my small number of friends are either working or out of town most of the time, so... books and internet it is.

So like... important fandom things!

I watched In the Flesh, a BBC Three drama about... well, zombies. But only technically. It's set a couple of years after the dead rose from their graves and started attacking people, as scientists have developed a medicine that helps the dead restore cognitive function and makes it possible for them to be re-introduced into society. The series follows Kieren, a young PDS-sufferer (Partially Deceased Syndrome) as he returns to his family in a small, conservative town in northern England, and has to confront the reality of his new existence, an estranged younger sister who was a part of the volunteer forced that hunted down PDS-sufferers in their rabid state during the Rising, and the circumstances of his death.

It was a long time ago I watched a series that actively made me yell, curse and simply engaged me emotionally to the degree this show did. Apart from being beautifully shot with an interesting premise, In the Flesh isn't about zombies; it's about the dynamics of oppression, ethics, guilt, mental illness (depression and PTSD), complex family relationships... It's engaging and by no means a simple show to watch, as you as a viewer is forced to examine your own feelings about what's happening on the show.

Did I mention Kieren (and other side characters) is queer? And it has amazingly well-written female characters (and just well-written characters overall)? I am in love. My DVD hasn't arrived yet but when it does I'm definitely in for a re-watch.

Big Finish-wise, I'm almost all caught up on the main range... welp.

I went to the library a couple of days ago, so these past couple of days I've mostly been reading. Will probably make a separate post about that, but: notably, I've picked up a lot of Norse mythology books. desecrets and I talked about how there seems to be way too few books out there based on Norse mythology with female protagonists, or where the goddesses play a main role - which sucks, because it's not like Norse mythology lacks interesting and badass women.

This also prompted me to borrow ALL of Peter Madsen's Valhalla again (a Danish comic retelling of the Norse myths) and I think I love it even more than when I was young, or when I did my last re-reading a couple of years ago. It's just... really really good and solid intertextual fun, that manages to both radically transform and pay homage to the source material, and I'm sad that the complete series is only available in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian. Because it's my favourite Norse mythology thing and most people will never read it. :'3

This entry was originally posted at http://regndoft.dreamwidth.org/215188.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 3rd, 2014 12:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, so that's what In The Flish is about – people have been talking about on tumblr, but all I got was "zombies". I still don't think it's my kind of show, but it does sound interesting.

...that post made me feel guilty about my not-to-museum going ways. My city has so many interesting ones, but I never go (I always find it hard doing things I want to when unemployed – you'd think you have time now, and I didn't/don't even have as little money as many other people on unemployment, but being unemployed kind of sucks the life out of you).

Anything good among those Norse mythology books? The comics sound cool.
Jul. 3rd, 2014 08:08 pm (UTC)
Watch an episode and see? It's very well-written, but that doesn't really make a difference if it's just not your kind of show, which I get-- it's very much a drama series with focus on character relationships. And while there's definitely some humour it also focuses on a lot of heavy themes (well, it's a show about death, in a way, so how couldn't it).

Uggh yes, I visit museums pretty seldom these days, ever since I turned 19 and had to pay the entrance fee. >___> Even though at least two museums have exhibitions I'm interested in atm, and I've missed several I wanted to see because time/money/laziness. And yeah, the money thing in particular is hardly encouraging (with my strange sleeping schedule I'm also half-worried I'm going to fall asleep in the museum if I go...).

Not any prose, sadly; I didn't have much time to look around, so I just picked up the Poetic Edda and two text books (one about Norse goddesses, what their roles in the myths are, and how come they've been side-lined for so long despite having been pretty damn important (the answer is: sexism!), and the other is about ritual sacrifice in Norse religion).
Jul. 3rd, 2014 02:19 pm (UTC)
Oooh I've never heard of In the Flesh, but is sounds really neat! I'll have to track it down.
Jul. 3rd, 2014 07:45 pm (UTC)
Yes!! It's really really good; the writing, the casting, everything is top-notch. It's pretty short too, only nine episodes (season 1 started out as a three-episode mini series before they knew if they were making more) so it's not one of those super long shows that sometimes feels like more effort than it's worth to get into.
Jul. 3rd, 2014 03:06 pm (UTC)
I've not seen 'In the Flesh' but I've read stuff about series 2 and I though "Aha - it's not about zombies is it?" but then zombies rarely are.
Jul. 3rd, 2014 07:25 pm (UTC)
Aha, true-- stories about zombies are usually stories about, idk, the fear of disease. Or capitalism. ~*Man struggling to survive against insurmountable odds*~, driven to commit extreme acts by instinct. In In the Flesh, being undead is very much about being part of a minority-- although unlike many stories that use fantastic elements as allegory for oppression, In the Flesh also has characters who belong to real minorities.
Jul. 4th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
Yes, it is unusual having the characters be part of real minorities as well as the fantasy thing. 'Night of the Living Dead' had a small kick at racism as I recall.
Jul. 3rd, 2014 07:53 pm (UTC)
I really want to read Peter Madesn's Valhalla, but I don't read any Scandinavian language, so :(
Jul. 3rd, 2014 08:34 pm (UTC)
I am SO SAD it's only available in Scandinavia. Considering that the series was finished a couple of years ago (yup, it took about 30 years to finish) and subsequently released in hardcover collected editions, I was sort of hoping foreign publishers would be interested again, but nope. :( I know someone did scanlations at some point, because there are some in the tag on scans_daily but I have no idea where they were posted originally, or if they ever did the whole series.

But yes, it's a shame, because it's a very fun series-- a lot of liberties taken, as it was launched as a children's series and so tends to be lighter than a lot of modern retellings (not to mention the original myths!), but it still manages to retain the essence of the characters while simultaneously re-inventing them and the stories they operate in.

(Valhalla!Thor is like... my favourite Thor. <3)
Jul. 3rd, 2014 10:12 pm (UTC)
DROP EVERYTHING I FOUND A TUMBLR POST WITH WORKING LINKS TO THE 11 FIRST ALBUMS IN ENGLISH. I haven't checked whether the files work (and there are 15 albums in total, so sadly the complete series doesn't seem to have been scanlated) but!! IT EXISTS.


Jul. 4th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
Jul. 6th, 2014 10:53 am (UTC)
Oh god, In the Flesh has basically destroyed me. I seriously haven't been so obsessed with a show in years.
I started watching it because I like The Walking Dead and thought "Oh, a new British zombie show, that might be okay". I didn't expect it to be so flawless and devastating.
It's so much more than a zombie show, it's actually more like a beautifully written kitchen-sink type drama series and Kieren has become my favourite TV character in recent years.

I'm so pleased to find another fan and I love what you've written about the show. :) *keeps fingers crossed for news on a third series*

Edited at 2014-07-06 10:54 am (UTC)
Jul. 6th, 2014 11:24 am (UTC)
Ahaha I checked it out because it seemed like it had lots of things I'd like in it (read: queer representation) despite me not having particularly positive (or negative, really) feelings about zombies. I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR HOW MUCH IT RUINED ME. Everyone-- literally every character, both major and minor-- are well-written and at least slightly layered. It's one of those rare shows where everyone actually feel like real humans, and you can understand most of them to a certain degree.

Aaaahhh series three. On one hand I need it. On the other I worry it will be as devastating and series 2, and if it doesn't happen I can at least pretend everyone lives happily ever after. :P
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )