I think it’s safe to say that we are finally into spring. It’s supposed to be almost 90° today and in the eighties most of the week. Oh, wait, what’s that? Down into the forties again on Thursday and Friday evening? Hmmm. At least I was able to keep my office window open when I was working upstairs this weekend.
I posted my review of Walter Mosley’s forthcoming Easy Rawlins novel, Little Green, this weekend. I also wrote my Storytellers Unplugged essay for Wednesday and got a start on a review of Tom Piccirilli’s forthcoming crime novel, The Last Whisper in the Dark. Got back to work at a short story that I let dangle for a while. I hope to get that one finished by the end of the week. All these loose ends I’m trying to tidy up so I can focus on a novel for the rest of the year, as much as possible.
We watched Hyde Park on the Hudson this weekend. The decision to cast Bill Murray as FDR was inspired, but I was a little let down by the film. I expected it to focus mainly on the visit by King George and Elizabeth (and a good chunk of the movie was taken up by that), but the events after they went back to England sort of soured things. The movie shouldn’t be taken as a historical film. There is, apparently, scant evidence that FDR and Daisy had an intimate relationship, so all the stuff at the end is pure speculation. Murray is fine, and FDR’s interactions with the young, stammering King were the best part. At times it seemed like an American version of Downton Abbey, with the servants and staff playing the fool.
I wasn’t unhappy to see last night’s losing team get ousted on The Amazing Race. As much as I dislike the YouTube team in general, when they thought they were about to be eliminated they were mutually supportive, whereas the husband in the eliminated team was mean throughout the episode. In the exit interview he said that the race didn’t ruin their marriage, but the wife was conspicuously silent and blank-faced. It was good to see Switzerland again, though their time in Zurich was all too brief. I lived over there in the late 80s and took a trip to Grindwald and the Jungfrau one weekend, though we never got as high up as the teams did. Never got to carry cheese down the side of a mountain, either.
So, do we think Kirkland of Homeland Security on The Mentalist is Red John, a minion of Red John, or someone as obsessed with Red John as Patrick is? All three seem possible at this point. And Grace’s new boyfriend: another Red John minion? Surely not. It was fun seeing Patrick play the magician again, especially messing with the guy whose talents as a magician “sucked eggs.” The old your-girlfriend-is-really-your-sister gag has been done before, but it worked okay here, I think.
This week’s Doctor Who was a mixed bag. It felt like a mash-up of The Hunt for Red October and any number of horror films, most notably Alien. The first five minutes or so were loud but muffled, almost incomprehensible. There’s no denying that the episode was suspenseful—my wife kept at me to fast forward through the commercials, even the Doctor Who Insider segments. The revelation of the true nature of the Ice Warrior reminded me a little too much of a Dalek. It was also terribly convenient for the TARDIS to take a powder at that particular moment. The Ultravox and Duran Duran references were funny. What exactly did the Doctor do? Besides losing his screwdriver, he made an impassioned plea for reason. That was pretty much it.