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This time around I decided to start with my favorite of the author’s books, and that would be Vile Bodies. It’s easily Waugh’s funniest book, and probably his most scathing. But it’s scathing in such a very British way, so it really mostly just comes off as being delightful. The first three chapters alone remind me of how much is really going on in this book, to the point where I’ve started to wonder if I should maybe re-think the way I’m handling the way I do this whole thing, because with the way the themes come together in the end, it’s difficult to cover it in the way I did in Faulkner February. Anyhoo, I’ll think it over. But for now, I’ll just continue on.
The first three chapters of Vile Bodies are a really wonderful introduction to the book, to the characters, and to Waugh’s style. We meet a lot of characters in the first few scenes, all of which take place on a boat from France to London. Some of these ridiculously named characters will show up again later on in the story, particularly Mrs. Melrose Ape and her Angels. The character was Waugh’s downright pissy response to the now much reviled Amy Semple MacPherson, money grubbing evangelist of the 1920s. But, most importantly, we meet the Bright Young People who populate the bizarre world of Waugh’s book, and their not quite Bright Young Person BFF Adam Fenwick Symes, who was in Paris finished his book, an autobiography.
As soon as he steps foot in London is when the story really starts. Adam’s book is confiscated by customs (along with several other books) for being too vulgar, and burned. This is a problem, since he’s already spent his advance, and now that he won’t be getting the rest of that money he won’t be able to marry his fiancee, the wealthy Nina Blount, one of the Bright Young People that are splashed all over the pages of London’s tabloids.
The way people interact with each other in this book is initially startling for many reasons. First of all, it’s very British. Like, if you were trying to think of the most stereotypical way to portray English people, you’d really just want to look at this book. But I guess that’s kind of the point. They’re all so cold and empty with one another, even with people who are supposed to be their best friend, even the people they’re supposed to be in love with. And even from the onset, Adam seems a little bit lost in this world of British aristocracy. All of his friends are children of Lords or Parliament members, and he doesn’t seem to quite fit in.
His first exchange with Nina is strange, and will fuel all kinds of “are they really in love” debate in coming chapters. He calls to tell her that he has no money and can’t marry her, but even before he gets to that point the conversation is not remotely what you’d expect to hear from a couple, especially when one has been away. She doesn’t even recognize his voice as she puts on a show of having a servant to answer her phone (even when it’s really just herself pretending to be a servant). He then tells her he can’t afford to marry her, and she just says, “Oh, Adam, you are a bore.” And then they agree to talk about it a party later that night.
And by this point it’s important to realize that Waugh’s book takes place just a little outside of reality, as if he’s trying to say that the world of the young, wealthy, and bored isn’t quite reality either. So many characters are ridiculously named. Miles Malpractice. Mary Mouse. Lord Throbbing. The book was published in 1930, and was a sort of look into the future (an eerie one, even, as we’ll see in later chapters) as though Waugh was trying to say that things were just going to get more and more ridiculous. I don’t know if they’re more ridiculous, but they certainly aren’t any less ridiculous. The Nina Blounts and the Agatha Runcibles of Waugh’s world are the Lindsay Lohans and Paris Hiltons of today. When regarded that way, it’s easy to see that Waugh’s work is just as important and relevant today as it was then.
Six Ships I Love:
1. Josh/Donna (The West Wing)
2. Jeff/Annie (Community)
3. Jessica/Hoyt (True Blood)
4. Charlie/Claire (Lost)
5. Matt/Harriet (Studio 60)
6. Mason/Daisey (Dead Like Me)
Three Ships I Liked, But Don’t Anymore:
7. Jack/Kate (Lost)
8. Leslie/Mark (Parks and Rec)
9. Rachel/Jessie (Glee)
Three Ships I Don’t Like:
10. Sawyer/Kate (Lost)
11. Bill/Sookie (True Blood)
12. Jeff/Britta (Community)
Two Ships I Am Curious About, But Don’t Actually Ship:
13. Britta/Abed (Community)
14. Chance/Emma (Human Target)
1) Why do you dislike #11 so much? (Bill/Sookie)
Well, Stephen Moyer is a terrible actor, so it’s pretty hard to like Bill when he’s doing anything. He treats Sookie like property, gets pissy when she doesn’t do exactly what he wants her to, and treats her like a child. And Sookie, who is supposed to be this sassy badass, just takes it.
2) Who is someone you know that ships #13? (Britta/Abed)
Nobody specifically, but I know they exist in the fandom. Every ship in the Community fandom has at least one follower.
3) What would be your ideal scenario for couple #3 (even if the show isn’t on the air anymore)? (Jessica/Hoyt)
Jessica goes to Hoyt and confesses that she killed that guy, and Hoyt forgives her and helps her cover it up and cope with her first kill. And then they’re together forever.
4) Which is your favorite episode for #1? Try to pick just one. (Josh/Donna)
Probably 17 People. So much good snark, so many good revelations, and “If you were in an accident I wouldn’t stop for red lights.” Perfect.
5) How long have you been following couple #6? (Mason/Daisey)
I started Dead Like Me when it was in syndication about three years ago, and I started on season 2, so I missed a lot of the great buildup from the last half of season 2. But I caught up and they’re just wonderful.
6) What’s the story with #8? What made you stop liking them/caring? (Leslie/Mark)
They had good chemistry, and it was always nice when Mark did sweet things for Leslie, but in the end it kind of doesn’t measure out to how thoughtless he can be toward her. Tom was right when he said that Mark’s an idiot and Leslie can do better. And then Ron started being the one who did sweet things for her, but instead of them being undercut by him being a jerk, he’s always sweet, even if he masks it with a gruff exterior.
7) Which ship do you prefer, #2 or #4? (Jeff/Annie or Charlie/Claire)
Right now, Jeff and Annie, but probably just because Community is still on the air and we’re really only at the beginning of the ship.
8) You have the power to make one ship non-existant. Choose from #10 or #12. (Sawyer/Kate or Jeff/Britta)
Well, Sawyer/Kate don’t exist as a couple anymore. The finale made it clear that the Jack and Kate and Sawyer and Juliet were the people that were meant for each other. So I guess Jeff/Britta. They’re awesome as friends, but they just don’t work romantically.
9) What interests you about #14? (Chance/Emma)
Emma won’t take any of Chance’s crap, which is probably what he needs. But now that it seems Catherine probably isn’t really dead, he belongs with his true love.
10) When did you stop liking #7? (Jack/Kate)
I wouldn’t say I stopped liking them. I mostly always shipped them as the lesser of two evils just because I hated S/K so much. There was a string of a few episodes that made me ship J/K hardcore, but it didn’t last long. So I didn’t stop liking them. I just went back to being lukewarm.
11) Did your waning interest in #9 kill your interest in the show? (Jessie/Rachel)
Not at all. I liked Jessie/Rachel, but I still ship Puck/Rachel above them. The nonsensical character assassination of Jessie pissed me off, but not enough for me to not want to watch the show.
12) What’s a song that reminds you of #5? (Matt/Harriet)
Have a Little Faith In Me, the song that played during their argument montage at the end of K & R pt. 1. Perfect.
13) Which of these ships do you love the most?
At the moment, Jeff/Annie. But Josh/Donna is my all time favorite ship.
14) Which do you dislike the most?
15) If you could have any of these two pairings double date, who would it be?
Matt/Harriet and Josh/Donna. They’re both Sorkin pairings, so the dialogue would be AMAZING!
16) Have #2 kissed yet? Elaborate if you’d like. (Jeff/Annie)
Yes, twice! Let’s hope there’s a lot more kissing down the road.
17) Did #4 have a happy ending? If the show hasn’t ended yet, do you think a happy ending is likely? (Charlie/Claire)
Well, yes and no. I mean, Charlie died and Claire went crazy. But they found each other in the afterlife and were able to move on together.
18) What would make you start shipping #13? (Britta/Abed)
Some kind of indication from the writers that it would possibly happen. There have been a few cute moments, but at the moment I have a hard time actually visualizing them in a relationship, so I’d need to see that the writers could do it.
19) If only one could happen, which would you prefer – #2 or #6? (Jeff/Annie or Mason Daisy)
I guess Jeff/Annie. Mason/Daisy will probably always have a certain layer of fucked up/not getting their act together-ness. Jeff and Annie could actually work.
20) You have the power to decide the fate of #10. What happens to them? (Nick/Sara)
I don’t want them to get together just because they’re significant others both died on the island. I just want them to stay buddies.
No, this isn’t an article about how Battlestar Galactica was so fucking amazing that no other television show could ever measure up. While that’s not entirely untrue, that’s not why it’s ruined television for me.
It’s ruined television for me be because everywhere I look I see cylons.
Or total douchebags who totally deserved getting tossed out the airlock.
But mostly cylons.
It’s nice to see that so many actors from the show have been able to find work. So often a show I love will end, and it will be YEARS before I see some of the actors again, and even then it’s in small, insignificant guest roles. So, yeah, I guess it’s a good thing that all these guys are still able to find work.
Except for the fact that, you know… I can’t help but see deceptive cylons everywhere my television screen looks.
Okay, not everywhere. I’m pretty sure there are no cylons attending Greendale Community College, and Olivia Dunham has 99 problems, but a cylon ain’t one (and, in all honesty, universe hopping shape shifters? Might be scarier than cylons.)
But it has had quite the effect on one of my very, very favorite shows Human Target. Tricia Helfer (Six) guest starred on the very first episode. I totally didn’t trust her, even though I sympathized with her. Yes, it really was Six all over again. I was happy to find out that she was a lying liar whose life was in danger because she had cheated on her husband. I breathed a sigh of relief, glad that the show had meant for me not to trust her, and that it wasn’t just that I was… what’s the robot form of racism?
Then Gaeta popped up and some sort of non-specific software dude. Okay, Gaeta wasn’t a cylon. But he was a pissy little traitor who totally deserved both losing a leg and getting tossed out of the airlock. On Human Target he was in two scenes. One at the very beginning and one at the very end. Unfortunately, I was so consumed with not trusting him and believing that he had to be the one really behind the contract on the hacker’s life (despite the fact that he was the one who hired Chance and co. to protect said hacker) that I almost couldn’t concentrate on the glorious ludicrousness of Chance FLIPPING A PLANE UPSIDE DOWN. Almost.
Later on in the season, Grace Park (Boomer, Athena) showed up with ridiculous hair as some kind of boxing expert. This actually kind of worked though, because while Eva Khan (KHAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) was duplicitous, she was actually being duped, and in the end we felt sorry for her. Thanks to playing two cylons who have varying degrees of guilt and contrition about the things they’ve done, the feelings Park brought out during the episode worked. Still, at the end of the episode when Chance got into the car with her I just kept thinking, “NO CHANCE!!! SHE JUST WANTS YOU TO IMPREGNATE HER WITH A CYLON/HUMAN HYBRID!!!!”
And it’s not just Human Target. Michael Trucco (Sam Anders) has been guest starring on Castle recently, and the show didn’t really help the issue by intentionally casting suspicion on him. Of course, he was revealed to not be the dirty cop. But since he was a cylon, I still believe it was him, and I just know he’s going to break Starbuck’s heart….. did I say Starbuck? Beckett. I meant Beckett.
I don’t watch V anymore, but I watched the first few episodes in the fall, and was unsurprised to see Rekha Sharma (Tory Foster) appear as a possibly untrustworthy FBI agent. As soon as I saw her I thought, “Oh, she’s a V. And she’s double untrustworthy because she killed Cally.” Well, turns out I was right. Well, about the V part. I don’t know so much about the second part. I don’t think there’s a Cally there to kill. And really, aren’t the Vs basically cylons anyway? Well, except that there seem to be a lot more of them. And they’re lizards instead of robots. Which means they aren’t half as awesome.
When flipping through the channels in the winter, I landed on Heroes thanks to Gossip Girl being on hiatus. I was surprised to see Kate Vernon (Ellen Tigh) on the show. She was the ex-girlfriend of the villain, Sammuel (who was very attractive in a kicked puppy kind of way), and she’d been kidnapped by him. And you know what? I was worried for the bad guy. Although, Ellen was the smart, enlightened one of the final five, so I may have just been worried for him because Ellen Tigh was fucking whore.
I didn’t even trust Lucy Lawless when she showed up on frakking Flight of the Conchords, for gods’ sake!
Sometimes casting a cylon does work. We weren’t supposed to trust Tricia Helfer’s Carla on Burn Notice, so the fact that she’d had a major hand in the destruction of the human race didn’t really effect my trust in her. She was fucking with Michael Weston. I hated the bitch already.
I think the only cylon I would really, completely trust is Leoben (Callum Keith Rennie). Because he was one sexy cylon. And he only wanted Starbuck to love him. 😦
Claire really, really can’t catch a break. Just when it looked like she was going to be one of the gang, they fucking leave her behind again.
Maybe if she took a shower they’d like her better.
Well, at least it wasn’t Jack leaving her behind this time. It was all Sawyer. And Jack seemed pretty not happy about it. So at least my heart wasn’t screaming “NO JACK WHY ARE YOU ABANDONING YOUR SISTER AGAIN!?!?!?!”
And, okay, so in the end it was probably a good thing that she wasn’t on the sub, because there ended up being a whole lot of death happening there.
But it’s the principle of the thing.
At least things seem to be going better for her in the sideflash. She and Jack had something very much resembling the brother/sister scenes I was hoping for, and Jack invited her to stay with him, which is just too wonderful for me.
Adorable scene right this way.
I won’t go into all the death that happened last night, because I kind of still can’t believe it all happened.
In my mind, Frank Lapidus is riding a Dharma Shark to safety.
Or a Jimmy Buffet concert.
I was going to start a whole new blog for Faulkner February, but I figured that would be insanely wasteful or me. So I’m going to do it here. Maybe that will give me the kick in the ass I need to keep updating this blog. Who knows? Maybe before Faulkner February even starts I’ll do a few movie posts.