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Hikari last won the day on March 13

Hikari had the most liked content!

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About Hikari

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    Detective Chief Superintendent

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    Ohio, USA
  • Favorite series 1 episode
    The Great Game
  • Favourite Series 2 Episode
    A Scandal In Belgravia
  • Favourite Series 3 Episode
    The Sign of Three
  • Favourite series 4 episode
    The Lying Detective

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  1. It might have been between seasons of Sherlock that I discovered the long-running BBC series MI-5 (called Spooks in its home market but for obvious reasons, the name was changed for syndication to America). Is anyone else familiar? Over ten seasons, commencing in 2001, it followed the ever-changing group of 'spooks' based at Thames House under the command of Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) and collectively known as 'Five'. "Five" functions the same as our FBI, concentrating on terrorist threats to security at home, whilst their fractious rival cohort across the Thames at Whitehall, MI-6, like our CIA deals in international terrorist threats to the security of Britain. There is sometimes a lot of overlap between the two agencies, with British citizens getting involved in terrorist organizations abroad and foreign nationals infiltrating Britain to commit terrorist acts on domestic soil. Much like our two security agencies (and now we've got Homeland Security as a Cabinet-level agency, too), it's often hard to say definitively who has jurisdiction and there's a ton of inter-agency political infighting and brinksmanship. Events of 9/11 made it seem dicey whether the show could actually go forward at all, since probably at least half of it deals expressly with Middle Eastern terrorism. In this world, the two greatest threats to the United Kingdom today are al-Queda and 'The Americans' . . chiefly, the jingoistic cowboys of the CIA, egged on by the American President, whoever he is. Incidentally, our Ben appears in a small guest role as a nervous junior Five officer under interrogation for suspected treasonous activity in a Season 2 episode. Sherlock and international stardom was still some 8 years in the future. Five and its sister agency Six tend to recruit the brightest and the best from Cambridge & Oxford and other universities. The ideal candidate is fit, multilingual, prepared to work all hours, cool under pressure and doesn't have many personal attachments. They have to be comfortable operating in an often grey area between what is 'legal' in the eyes of the law, or ethical/humane in the eyes of society . . and what is required on an operational level by one's government. These spooks are patriotic as a default, but I think it'd be really tough to reconcile a religious faith and adherence to tenets like 'Thou shalt not kill' and 'Thou shalt not bear false witness' with the requirements of the service to one's country in this capacity. To enter the security services is to enter a world where 'truth' and 'good' are situational, where the end does justify the means and where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. In short, if one is not prepared to adopt easy lying and false identities as a lifestyle, even to one's partner, parents & children . . if one is not able to kill another person without hesitation if the operation demands it, often using resourceful means. . in other words, to live within the grey areas . . one is not equipped to do this job. Few are, and for officers in the field, sometimes the life expectancy is not long. Yet what these security services personnel are, at a fundamental level, are soldiers in the service of their country. If we can accept that soldiers on the battlefield are not held culpable for killing in combat out of necessity, should these officers be labeled monsters for fighting the Cold War to win for their nation? The trouble with Mary's past is not just that she was recruited by the CIA and had to kill while on assignment for the United States government, but that she had committed civilian crimes before that and afterwards, was a mercenary doing 'wet work' for cash. At least, I think that this is implied--that she'd become a loose canon for sale to the highest bidder, including the terrorists she'd been fighting against while in the CIA. I guess the fundamental question one has to fall on to one side or the other is: Is murder ever justified, and if so, under what circumstances? Mary had fallen on the wrong side of that line . . Sherlock killed CAM without authorization so he had as well. Seeing as he brought a gun to the encounter, it was premeditated murder, not operational. Would we feel differently about it if Mycroft, having assessed the threat posed to national security by CAM had had him taken out by one of his legitimate agents? Does it make a difference? Sherlock overstepped himself but maybe he just hastened something that would have happened to CAM in the near future anyway. CAM never got punished for any of his crimes against humanity--until SH appointed himself executioner. Despite his many gifts which would make him an excellent operative, he does have one major failing that could be fatal, and was, nearly, in Scandal . . his uncontrollable urge to Show Off that overrides any instinct to discretion. Executing Magnusson was strenuously out of character due to the violence, but even canon Sherlock often appointed himself judge and jury when it came to deciding to what should happen to a miscreant. I can't recollect any instance in Conan Doyle where Sherlock Holmes ever killed a person. Perhaps ACD, with his devout Catholicism and his vow to 'first do no harm' could not bring himself to write his hero as a killer, even in the service of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. In the final story "His Last Bow" Holmes and Watson *are* on Her Majesty's Secret Service, and it is implied that this is a role which Sherlock Holmes has been engaged in since his abrupt 'retirement' from the consulting business and quitting Baker Street at the tender age of only 50. and one he plans to continue. So the 'beekeeping in Sussex' is, while a hobby SH does dabble in, also a convenient cover story for his actual activities for the Crown. No matter what century SH is living in, he's too valuable an asset to the Crown and to humanity in general to let rot in prison or execute, even if his actions *technically* warrant some sort of consequence. At times like these, it's ever so helpful to have an elder brother who '*is* the British Government. The clandestine operatives that have to commit murder for Queen and Country are supposed to remain under the radar and avoid having their fingerprints on the scenes. Because they do tread on morally suspect areas at times, and if caught by the civilian authorities, sometimes have to be disavowed, just like Ethan Hunt.
  2. Seconded. I don't really see how anything in the final season can be construed as 'playful', unless one is a psychopath. Mark Gatiss dressed up like the Gorton fisherman . . eh, rates a half-smile from me. After an initial reaction of disappointment to TEH--specifically *the criminal waste* of Sebastian Moran as a character--Really, what a squandered opportunity!! Moran, Moriarty's chief henchman and lieutenant is just as scary as his boss. He blithely assassinates people with his airgun, doesn't just hide in a rented room and press a button on a computer. Perhaps--this Mary is supposed to be the 'Moran'? How similar the names--Moran, Morstan--I did quite like some of the bits. The Sign of Three is great craic . . and the first bit of HLV is as well . . 'Billy' is sublime. But it all goes off the rails and never recovers.
  3. Re. Janine Someone mentioned before, don't know which thread now, that before Sherlock cultivated Janine without her knowledge as a useful tool for access to Magnusson, *Mary* had pipped him to the post, and a long time prior, as a matter of fact. J. was maid of honor at Mary's wedding, a role usually reserved for one's closest friend, if one isn't choosing (or doesn't have) a sister or other close female relative. John admits when proposing to Mary that 'it hasn't been long', ie. that they've been dating. Maybe they knew each other for a couple of years at the surgery before becoming a couple . . but just how long Mary has been cultivating Janine is a mystery. How would those two ever have organically become friends, with their very disparate careers? Janine seems quite a bit younger as well, so how many social circles would there be that overlapped between them? Yet, here's J. in the premier supporting role in the female side of the bridal party. There are some other bridesmaids too . . then all those wedding telegrams with well-wishes for 'Poppet'. For an 'orphan' who's only posing as a nurse named Mary Morstan, she's collected a lot of pals. There was the ex-boyfriend interrogated by Sherlock . . bit of low-hanging fruit for our Mary . . She was really going deep underground cultivating this younger and rather vapid set of social acquaintances. So--she targeted Magnusson, because it surely was not sheer coincidence that her 'best friend' just happens to be CAM's PA. Why? Was she actually still a sleeper agent the whole time? Did she actually fall in love with John or--a more blood-chilling explanation: did she cultivate him too, as an asset? Surely the person closest in proximity and feeling to Sherlock Holmes is a useful person to know. A lesser bit of wonderment is--what exactly does she do at the surgery? Is she a nurse or is she just a receptionist? I don't suppose it'd be hard for a CIA operative (I don't necessarily say 'ex-operative', either . . ) to fake up a nursing credential, but working in a medical clinic it would become apparent pretty quick if she didn't actually know what she was doing. So, all the more reason to suspect that Mary in fact chose to work at *that* particular NHS clinic because the (late) Sherlock Holmes's best mate/confidante/business manager/publicist worked there. Her duties at the surgery would not otherwise seem to be a good fit for her considerable skill set. Before we 'knew' Mary's proclivities, when we were intro'd to her at the engagement dinner, she seemed like a 'creative' type, not a nurse/receptionist in a government-run clinic. That was Amanda's own style informing Mary. So many other things they could have done with this character, wholesome things, like adding a sassy gal who knows a skip code and has a memory like a steel trap to the detective business as the Girl Friday/co-investigator. Or they could have paid homage to the original Mary, John's lovely, traditional, yet surprisingly independent-minded wife by having her modern counterpart do something nurturing of her own like baking artisanal breads or running a nursery school. Mary is unmasked in HLV, but so many threads are left dangling, because it doesn't seem like Mary had really given up the covert espionage business at all but had just gone a bit dormant. We see she still had all the kit. I still don't understand why Mofftiss felt compelled to make Mary a ninja assassin, especially if they were going to introduce 'Euros'. How many sociopaths can one small doctor collect around himself? For me Sherlock jumped the shark when Sherlock came face to face with John's wife in her assassin gear and took a bullet in the chest. Subsequent events were both the writers and John Watson losing their minds, in my opinion. In comparison with that, the rather anti-climactic 'reveal' of 'How Sherlock Did It' (the Fall) is the height of rationality. Very funny how Mofftiss hewed strenuously to the laws of physics in that instance but threw caution to the winds in going all Arkham Asylum with the 'reveal' of Euros and Redbeard. I did like the device of Sherlock explaining (or, condescending to) 'Phil', his former antagonist and audience stand-in, who, like many of the audience had wasted three years of his life heatedly divising, discussing and discarding 'theories' during the explanation portion. I guess we can take Sherlock's dismissive, 'aren't you lot silly'? attitude as indicative of the writers' attitude toward their fans. I don't believe it's a writer's responsibility to pander to his/her audience's expectations . . but I do expect well-written material that holds together and still lets the audience have their dignity. I always understood the gay subtext in the episodes was just a tease for humor, not a promise that 'more' was on offer . . John Watson has always historically been a hetero character and Sherlock Holmes is not tuned to the carnal frequency. But the issue of Mary and Euros and the toxification of the the Sherlock/John relationship . . those I did object to. The whole last season and most of HLV felt like a two-fingered salute from Mofftiss to the viewers to me.
  4. Freddie Jones as Harry Field, Sr. wins my award for 'Top Guest Star' of the whole series. I would have liked to see more of Harry, Jr. (Trevor Byfield). Trev appeared in the "Counter Culture Blues" episode of Lewis and . . the years have not been kind. His appearance was pretty shocking. The episode with Morse and Lewis on the church roof was "Service of All the Dead" (Season 1:3). That was the one with the dead kids in the coal shute. Very tough episode apart from that bit of humor with Robbie. Ghosts in the Machine is a favorite of mine, too. That was our boys at the aristocratic house with the French nanny. I vaguely remember some stolen artwork there? FYI, I have just discovered that all the episodes of "Lewis" are available on YouTube. I own the DVDs but my remote decided to puke out of the blue and I can't get it to work. A DVD is stuck in my player, too. So I guess I need to get a new remote. In the meantime I was in the mood to watch "Dark Matter" after "Jupiter" was featured at the DoE's funeral.
  5. You'd be surprised . . Years of honing my ear on British television dramas and films have made me able to decipher most accents of the UK. I do confess that Scots does still mystify me at times. I hear that goes for British residents of 'down South' as well. In the Morse episode "Who Killed Harry Field?", one of my personal favorites, at the top of the episode, Morse tells Lewis that he will get to conduct the next interview. Robbie is very pleased--until he finds out that 'conducting the interview' means translating Geordie (or Scots, maybe, I wasn't sure) from Morse's car mechanic into 'English' that Morse can understand. LOL My favorite Geordie joke of all time goes like this (paraphrasing a bit because I can't find it again, of course): If Jesus Had Been a Geordie Jesus was enduring Crucifixion and the disciples were standing around at the foot of the cross. Jesus called out, "Oi, Peter . . ", then again, this time more loudly. And a third time. Finally Peter went over to see what He was on about. "Aye, Master, what is it?" The Lord replied, excitedly, "O'ee Peter, Ah ken see ma 'oose from 'ere!' **** Peter wasn't actually at the Crucifixion but I had to chuckle because there's a scene in the third ever Morse episode that has Sgt. Lewis and his boss up on the rooftop of a church. Morse is terrified of heights and he's white and sweating and clinging to the wall, having a panic attack. Meanwhile his sergeant is gamboling around the steeply pitched roof in dress shoes like a spring lamb in a pasture. Lewis: Whoo, what a view! Ye can nearly see Scotland! ***** Unless Russell Lewis can contrive some reason for a young police recruit from Newcastle to come to Oxford in 1971--using Kev's own birthday for Lewis, Robbie is barely 20 at that point (perhaps an intra-jurisdictional police mentorship scheme or a cricket tournament) there is no interface between Robbie and Morse until 1987. It is my fond wish that they would 'meet', accidentally--neither will remember it, so it can't be an official introduction. I used to think it could happen, but then I'm still waiting for Endeavour to buy the red Jag (which I call 'Her'). He looked at Her in the pilot and I got all excited. Thought maybe after he got promoted to DS he could afford the payments and Thursday might help him out with a downpayment by way of congratulations. But Fred has his own money woes. I hope E. gets that car before we have to leave him, or I will be Seriously Put Out.
  6. Showrunner Russell Lewis has said that Series 8 will be the end of Endeavour but . . never say never! In the world of the show, only six years have passed (1965 - 1971). In reality it's been 10 years. Roger Allam is incredibly in-demand as a stage actor, which is why there were only three episodes last time, not 4. Roger was the lead in a play, so production had to either start late or finish early to accommodate him. He sported a huge bushy beard in the play . . very unlike Fred Thursday. I had rather hoped that they might make it to 1974 -'75, as these years were significant for Morse from the original series. 1974 was the murder of 8-year-old Mary Lapsley, the case which Morse has never really gotten over because he found the body. The case and his contentious relationship with 'Dawson' is covered in the 'Second Time Around' episode. 1975 was the year he finally made Detective Sergeant, according to what he tells someone in 'Absolute Conviction'. I wondered if he wasn't pulling our legs there because someone of Morse's ability wouldn't languish at Det. Constable for a whole decade . . but maybe it was the Masons. In 1971, our Robbie would be a 20-year-old police cadet up in Newcastle. Poor sod doesn't know what's coming in his life! "Lewis" is done and dusted, I'm afraid. I'm still hopeful that the actors might be tempted back for a Christmas special. I have an idea: a Robbie - Laura wedding, with Hathaway as best man. It is never explained what exactly Lewis and Hobson's status is. Together, obviously but no peep about an actual marriage. I always felt gypped on that score. Neither Lewis nor Hobson is particularly religious but Robbie is the marrying type, not the 'shack up with my bird' type. And I think Laura would want a tiny bit of wedding fuss after waiting so long to get married for the first time. Maybe they'd even find a nice girl for H to settle down with. They could call it a 'vow renewal', explaining that they just had a registry office 'do and never really told anyone but now that they are celebrating 7 years of togetherness, (yes, it's really been that long since Season 6) they decide to throw that big white party they never had. Ma'am is the matron of honor and Haddix can be the bridesmaid. So twee, you think . .but wait! Of course there must be a dead body at the wedding. Or a couple of them. I would be perfectly fine to have a reboot of "Lewis" without Hathaway. The genius of his character was that he was the perfect, snarky #2. After he got promoted to Inspector, he completely lost his signature snarky spark. Shades of Morse: fell into police work and, despite real aptitude for it, hates it and always wants to be elsewhere. Constantly whinges and threatens to quit, to go on pilgrimages in foreign countries. Never does quit and just ends up getting promoted up the ladder until he's old, crabby and dies of a heart attack. DS Haddix was a lovely person and had real potential. Let Lewis mentor her instead. They could even say that H has left the police force to run for Parliament, haha. I don't foresee Lozza winning his bid for office but I wish him luck if he really wants to dive into that fray. Apparently the Hollywood movie career went nowhere--probably because the niche of posh, super-tall, blond, slightly strange-looking English dude has been filled by Paul Bettany and we really can only have one of those at a time. L. invoked a Victorian version of Hathaway in his portrayal of Lord Palmerston, P.M. and he was quite droll. He had released a rock album and was touring and the music career looked pretty promising . .and then Covid hit. I will watch his political aspirations with interest.
  7. According to photos posted in the Inspector Morse World FB group I'm in, filming for Series 8 is currently underway in Oxford. The set will be set in 1971. Shaun looks very fetching in his mask between takes. I have decided that the secret to looking good in a mask is good hair, and Shaun's hair is righteous.
  8. Arcadia, In that case, I recommend New Tricks. Have you seen it? If it's possible to die laughing, then Mssrs. Armstrong, Waterman and Bolam will do you in and you will like it. Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) of the Met spearheads a public relations disaster for the force when she shoots a dog during a police raid while attempting to rescue a hostage. This doesn't sound funny so far but stick with me. In punishment (to be fair, the dog was charging her . .) Sandra gets demoted to the basement of Scotland Yard (literally) as the CO of a new initiative, a cold case squad comprised of retired officers. Sandra: Retired detectives . . Does this mean they have their own teeth? She consults with her former mentor, DCS Jack Halford (James Bolam), who will be her right-hand man on this team. Jack (sorting through photos of potential candidates): Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead . . well, nearly. Alive, but don't leave him alone with your kids. Dead. Would be if I got my hands on him . . . Looks like you're going to have to advertise! They collect Gerry (Dennis Waterman) and Brian (Alun Armstrong) and the hilarity begins. I avoided this show for ages based on promo clips because I thought it was going to be unbearably slapstick and twee, like Benny Hill . . it's not. There is a serious crime procedural running alongside the comedic team camaraderie stuff; it's deftly blended by great scripts and the most talented ensemble cast on television. They all handle drama and comedy equally well. Two shows with a similar aesthetic: crime dramedy featuring a strong female squad leader over a team of sometimes bumbling men: Blue Murder (UK) and The Closer (TNT). Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn, can be dark sometimes but there's humor to be had in this squad, too.
  9. Stranger Things has been quite the rage here. I have not seen it as it didn't seem to be my cuppa; paranormal stuff leaves me pretty cold, but fans like it for the sense of 1980s nostalgia. I gather it's kind of like a Steven Spielberg/Stephen King mashup, so if you liked some of those 1980s films like ET and It, you might get into this show. It stars Enola Holmes's Millie Bobby Brown, who was only 12 or 13 at the start. I'm trying to think of shows with a similar feeling to Sherlock or House. You might enjoy Endeavour (aka 'Young Inspector Morse'). He is a cerebral detective and the 1960s production design is pretty fab. Morse is the creation of Colin Dexter, who was an avid Sherlockian. We've also talked about Zen, starring Rufus Sewell. That was three films only . . I think there were plans for more but it turned out that filming in Roma got too expensive. My impression from the books is that Zen is also an homage to Sherlock Holmes. If you're willing to read anything else written by Michael Dibdin, those seem pretty good. I really enjoyed the Marple series of films done by Geraldine McEwan, though those might be a tad cosy for you. Miss McEwan (RIP) is my favorite Miss Marple. Hercule Poirot leaves me a bit cold but he's definitely more Sherlock-like in his methods. The major fun of these films is seeing all the major stars of British stage and screen popping up in supporting roles. I enjoyed Ken Branagh's take on Wallander on the BBC, but, as beautiful as the locations in Ystad, Sweden are, those stories can get very grim. The long-running Swedish television Wallander starring Krister Henricksson is closer to Henning Mankell's detective as written . .more brain work, less running around with guns. This Wallander is a classical music buff with a fondness for alcohol and aloofness. I think of him as the Scandinavian Morse. So, rather Holmes-like.
  10. "God Save My Gracious Me; Long Live My Noble Me; God Sa . . .ve . . . Me!' I think the Queen is at her core a humble and rather self-effacing person, considering who she is, so that must get old. When they broke into "God Save the Queen" at PP's funeral as the State Bentley made its entrance, it really struck me that on that day of all days, she might have not wanted to intrude on those proceedings. But it's the National Anthem so it had to be played. I am not versed in all the world anthems but I think God Save the Queen is one of the few that are an ode to a leader him/herself rather than the more amorphous odes to country or patriotism. Q: After 70+ years of singing 'God Save the Queen', a period during which 80% of all living Britons were born, do you think your countrymen are going to have a devil of a time switching over to God Save the King? Particularly when it's a King that nobody is remotely excited about? Poor Charles--after having waited so long for the Top Job, the chances of him doing it more than a decade are increasingly slim. He does not seem poised to be as long-lived as his parents. He will be like the second longest-tenured Prince of Wales, Edward VII and have a short reign. Even if it's 20 years, Mummy's record will still dwarf them all. I am preferential to "Jerusalem" as an anthem but that is so closely tied to England rather than the UK as a whole, I can see why it was not picked. Evidently the tune to the American anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner goes to a bawdy drinking song popular in England back in the day, and that has caused hilarity in some quarters. This song is so notoriously difficult with its windy phrases, chewy words and octave change that it is a supreme test of vocal ability and stamina, not to be undertaken by the faint-hearted. The former British subjects that settled these lands could not give up entirely on God Save the King, so they kept the tune and changed the words. My country t'is of thee; sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing Land where our fathers died; Land of the Pilgrim's pride From every mountainside, Let freedom ring! ******** I expect that My Country T'is of Thee will shortly be cancelled as 'Pilgrim's Pride' is symbolic of the cultural appropriation and destruction of the indigenous peoples of North America by privileged white people, following in the footsteps of Columbus Day, and all Native American sports team mascots & names. It can only be a matter of time until the the continent and this country must be re-named since Americo Vespucci is just another European (white) guy taking advantage of indigenous peoples. 'Panem' is up for grabs.
  11. Carol, I had to rely on DVDs to get my Sherlock fix since I don't have access to PBS. To the best of my recollection, the DVD of Sherlock 1 hit these shores in March 2011; at least, that's when I discovered it. My Sherlock experience has been tied to the availability of the DVDs in America and not to the UK release dates, so if I'm 'off', that's why. UK broadcast schedules were not relevant to me, but had I been able to teleport myself to London to watch the premieres 'at home' (Sherlock's home), I certainly would've.
  12. Look at you! Congratulations! I have 125 posts to go, evidently. At my current rate, that is going to take me 5 years. You seem to have been super busy while I've been absent. The other night, I dug out my Sherlock 2 set and went 'round the dance floor again with A Scandal in Belgravia. We are approaching 5 years since the last episode aired. I think back to this time 10 years ago, when we here Stateside had just discovered 'the best thing on television' . The following summer, 2012, was probably the height of my Sherlock addiction. I consumed fan vids on YouTube like a madwoman and ventured into the . . .stimulating . . world of fan fiction. That was the high water mark. Having watched all the episodes many, many times, and able to quote blocks of the script verbatim, I find that all these years on, I may have overdosed on Sherlock to the point where it's become rote rather than enjoyable. I truly envy everyone who is just discovering this show, or who are still delighted by repeat viewings. I will hang onto my DVDs and perhaps share them with a newbie in the future--that would be the portal to rediscovering what was so captivating about this show in the first place. Right now, I am not feeling it any more. I need a new drug.
  13. I have not seen this posted yet but here seems to be the appropriate place. All best wishes and prayers to Her Majesty, the Royal family, the UK and the Commonwealth on the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. This week just past has been a pretty mournful one for me ever since I heard of his passing on 9 April. Elizabeth and her consort have been, like the stars, two fixed points for all of us who do not know a world where she hasn't been the Queen, with him two steps behind. With the passing of 'The Iron Duke', reminders of our own mortality are inevitable. I watched the supremely moving funeral on Saturday, and it lost no power despite having to be stripped down due to Covid. The Queen looked very tiny and frail as she sat alone in the quire. The seat beside her, normally filled by her husband was poignantly empty. The Queen is a very strong lady, and I fully expect her to be here next year for her Diamond Jubilee (?) and her 100th birthday, but it cannot be too much longer now before London Bridge follows the Bridge of Forth and goes down. If you missed the service, the whole thing is available on YouTube. I recommend the BBC coverage. There are any number of documentaries also available about Philip and his extraordinary life. Like his predecessor, Prince Albert, he truly was a Renaissance man. It is easy to see why the Queen fell for him at the age of 13 and never looked at anyone else.
  14. Hikari


    Ooh, yeah. I had forgotten exactly how Kutner left the show. Kal Penn is alive and well and helped get his guy into the White House. I think he went on to have a role in the Administration. That seems like eons ago . . . ! Despite owning the box set, I don't think I made it all the way to the end--Lisa Edelstein got other work, I imagine. After you are done binging House, you might be interested in Dexter. It's not really a 'Whodunnit'. It's more a 'Who Done It is Gonna Have It Done to Him'. Imagine if Moriarty found a way to turn his penchant for violence into a sort of wild justice . . that is Dexter Morgan. As a toddler, he experienced the worst trauma imaginable and as a result he has grown up with serial killer tendencies. But as a grown up working as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami PD (Dex loves his work) he's still moonlighting as a serial killer--only, he only targets other killers. To get under Dex's knife you have to have committed heinous murders yourself. Innocent people are in no danger from Dexter and in fact he is extremely protective of normal civilians, especially women and children. A cuddly serial killer? Fact.
  15. Hikari


    I got a good deal on a box set and am now working my way through Season 5. I had seen some of the later seasons, but not from the beginning, because I had never seen any of Rob Lowe's tenure. He left, ostensibly over a salary dispute but I think in tandem with that was his dissatisfaction with the size of his role. The show was rolled out as a star vehicle for him, on the strength of his Brat Pack movie star reputation. Out of the entire cast, only he and Martin Sheen were known stars. The first season was fairly Sam-centric. He carries a large portion of the pilot. Over time, Sam's appearances got fewer and shallower until sometime in Season 4 Sam went to California to run for Congress, never returned and was never mentioned again after he filled his own job with Will Bailey (Joshua Malina). The show shifted to featuring President Bartlet more, which was a good move, seeing as Martin Sheen is a charismatic actor, but also shifted to favoring Toby Ziegler and Josh Lyman hardcore. Sam got forced out. There is too much Toby and Josh for me since I find both of these characters like sand in my underwear. I think I would have liked the show better, and Rob Lowe probably would have as well, if he and Bradley Whitford had switched roles. Rob Lowe's mistake was in accepting the job when his character's title was only 'deputy communications director'. He should have said, 'Drop the Deputy' and I'm in. How was a 'deputy' supposed to be the centerpiece of an ensemble drama when nearly every other character except the clerical staff was more interesting and more powerful than Sam Seaborn? Sam had a sweet and goofy demeanor that was unexpected, and I miss him. I really liked him and Ainsley Hayes together. Emily Procter left to take the second lead on CSI: Miami, and I can't blame her for that. This is a political fantasy only loosely tethered to actual West Wing operations, so they can do what they like, but in the real world, I question that the 'Deputy Communications Director' and the 'Deputy Chief of Staff' would be cable news TV stars with their own groupies seeking autographs AND taking meetings with high ranking Senators to browbeat them into voting according to the President's agenda. That is a legislative function; since when is the junior speechwriter at the White House deputized to act like a minority whip? I guess I remain uncertain about to what degree the Chief of Staff and *his* staff are responsible for not just executing policy but making it. Josh and Toby seem to wield a lot of power which seems Cabinet-level. Advising the President in-house and lobbying votes on the Hill are two different functions. After the fourth season, Aaron Sorkin departed the show, apparently due to a severe drug problem. He had been in recovery and the pressures of cranking out the show caused him to relapse. I've enjoyed the nostalgia tour of a time when America had more faith in the Office of the President, but there are only a select few episodes, maybe 10, that I would think was worth revisiting. C.J. Cregg is my heroine, though. Grace under pressure, wit, and always impeccably suited. From now on when faced with a stressful, crazy day, I'll ask myself "How would C.J. handle this?"
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