Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Library Haul Today

A Conspiracy of Friends by Alexander McCall Smith - source

The Sound and the Furry by Spencer Quinn - another in the fabulous Chet and Bernie series. source

Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith - source

Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore - source

The Pigeon Pie Mystery by Julia Stuart - source

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - source

The Master by Colm Toibin - source

Lexicon by Max Barry - source

There's supposedly 'a storm a'coming' for Sunday into Monday, Tuesday, so of course a haul of books from the library was called for. How many books did I bring home? Oh, about a million. (That's why I didn't picture them all.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday's Forgotten (or Overlooked) Television: YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS with Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Howie Morris and Carl Reiner

As you know, the oh-so-brilliant Sid Caesar passed away last week, so this week I'm celebrating his genius by sharing (by the grace of youtube) a few favorite 'skits' from YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS featuring not only Sid, but darling Imogene Coca, the always frenetically frantic Howie Morris and the gruff and buffoony Carl Reiner at their very best. I know you've probably already seen them all, but what the heck. Watch 'em again. There's absolutely no such thing as too much laughter.

And just in case you want to read a bit more about YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS, I'm including a link to a previous post from 2011.

Invitation to Murder - Part Two - Couldn't find Part One, but I think this is self-explanatory.

The Continental Express

Le Honore de Julle

From Here to Obscurity - Part One

From Here to Obscurity - Part Two

Since this is Tuesday, don't forget to check in at Todd Mason's blog, Sweet Freedom, to see what other television, films or audio/visuals other bloggers are talking about today.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Saturday Salon: Let's Go to the Museum. Contemporary painter Karin Jurick

Karin Jurick - source

Karin Jurick - source

Karin Jurick - source

Karin Jurick - source

Karin Jurick - 'Day Dreamers' - source

Karin Jurick - 'How Bourgeois' source

Karin Jurick - source

Karin Jurick - 'O'Keefers' - source

Karin Jurick - source

Karin Jurick - source

Karin Jurick 'Celebrity Sighting' - source

This is the wonderful work of American painter Karin Jurick - newly discovered by me (I know, where have I been?). Couldn't wait to share it. I love these paintings of museum goers and their attitudes, the paintings within paintings. A separate world.

Quote from Karin Jurick's blog regarding the last painting - 'Celebrity Sighting': "I love this story - record crowds have been 'flocking to the Frick Collection' to see the Dutch painter, Carel Fabritius's oil titled 'Goldfinch' - which is the inspiration for the novel by Donna Tartt. It is a wonderful thing when masses of people are interested in art and get to the museums.'

I couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday's Forgotten (or Overlooked) Television: MAPP AND LUCIA by E.F. Benson - the television series

Since I've been spending my waking hours very late into the night reading up a storm I've hardly had time to do much of anything else. I'm the sort of person who will, occasionally, seized by a mad literary passion, bury herself in a book (or in this case, books) without coming up for air except as strictly necessary. 

I'm now on the last few pages of MAPP AND LUCIA, the fourth book in my library anthology and fully expect to finish it up today and then I might be able to return to my senses. At least until I get my hands on the two remaining Lucia books.

In the meantime, I've learned that the series based on E.F. Benson's books is NOT available for viewing on youtube as I was originally led to believe - che vergogna. 

But the entire series IS available on DVD - at very reasonable prices. 

From the little I've seen online, Geraldine McEwan is perfection as Lucia. 

Nigel Hawthorne is equal perfection as dear Georgie Pillson

And Prunella Scales adds to the perfection quotient as Miss Mapp.

Just a little taste of the series. 

Don't forget to check in at Todd Mason's headquarters: Sweet Freedom, to see what other forgotten or overlooked films and/or television other bloggers are talking about today. We are an eccentric bunch.

"Au reservoir!"

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Book Reviews: QUEEN LUCIA (1920), MISS MAPP (1922), LUCIA IN LONDON (1927) by E.F. Benson

Cover art by Natasha Ledwidge for The Folio Society

All I knew about the Mapp and Lucia series of books by  E.F. Benson was that they were a kind of comedy of manners in the dry English style (you know how they excel at that sort of thing) and I vaguely suspected that if you attempted to read them when you were too young you wouldn't like them because you wouldn't get it. That's exactly what happened to me. I tried reading about Miss Mapp and Lucia years ago when I first heard about the series, but to to my dismay, I just couldn't get with the program. The rather arch and utterly dry humor passed me by. I mean, nothing much happens in these books, except day to day living, and there are certainly few characters (if any) to warm the cockles of a reader's heart.

Now that I'm a woman of a certain age, I'm ready for Mapp and Lucia - I guess my cockles are warmed enough. What I didn't get then and certainly do now, is that these books are primarily about the style of writing which is delightfully involving and about the creation of a claustrophobic world which the reader can view through a prism while thankfully not having to live there. Benson's style is enchanting in its detail and in his understanding of character and setting. But I suppose Mapp and Lucia are books you have to grow into. I'm now ready to be enchanted.

Oh how I love these books! So declasse of me to show enthusiasm, I know. I'd be poo-pooed out of the village of Riseholme, for sure and definitely out of the village of Tilling. Despite that, I'm having a great deal of fun reading about these two rather intimidatingly impertinent well-to-do women who spend their lives driven to get the better of their equally impertinent and well-to-do neighbors while sniffing their noses and rolling their eyes at the general riffraff.

Both English villages featured in these books are enclaves of festering emotions and gossip, not to mention, snobby social gatherings at which one had better have a very good reason for not attending. A lovely time is had by all even if not too far beneath the surface there roils the ever-present scent of spite and malcontent. Let me say first and foremost, that these are not very pleasant people. Oh, they think they are, these villagers ready to condemn at the drop of an incorrect fork, they are expert at fooling themselves. Never has pretense and self-justification been so adroitly used by so many to excuse so much bad behavior. That's part of the reason you can't really dislike them as much as you might. They think they're nice enough. And after all, it's mostly about manners and social custom - isn't it?

I have four Mapp and Lucia novels (an anthology from the library) which I am gobbling up each evening while stormy snow and ice rage outside. Perfect Mapp and Lucia weather. The novels are: QUEEN LUCIA, MISS MAPP, LUCIA IN LONDON and MAPP AND LUCIA. There are two more awaiting me once I finish: LUCIA'S PROGRESS (published in the USA as THE WORSHIPFUL LUCIA) and TROUBLE FOR LUCIA. Then of course, there's the television series available on DVD. So I expect to be visiting the England of the 20's and 30's for the next few weeks, depending on what other books I can squeeze in between. (I don't want to end my sojourn with Mapp and Lucia too quickly.)


In which we first meet Mrs. Emmeline Lucas aka Lucia walking home from the train station after a brief trip to London - a London which of course she takes pleasure in disdaining. She sends her car on ahead with driver and luggage, knowing that that this will set Riseholme village tongues wagging. Where can Lucia be? Just one of her little tricks.

 Lucia derives pleasure from ruffling the waters of her small village. It might even be said that this 'ruffling' is what makes her life worthwhile. She is as self-important and sanctimonious a character as you will ever meet and yet she would deny to the death, that she was either. Prone to innocuous attacks of baby talk (gak!) with her 'second in command', Georgie, her obsequious neighbor, a simpering (but likable) male neighbor who shares Lucia's incipient pretensions and keen eye for putting one over on their neighbors - though in this, it's usually Lucia who leads the way.

"I count it a privilege to be able, in my position, to set an example."

Besides playing Beethoven (only the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata) and bits of Mozart on the piano accompanied by Georgie, Lucia also enjoys the pretentious bantering of a few Italian phrases with her hubby, the erstwhile poet, whom she calls Pepino for no reason that I can see other than the wish to make herself seem...I don't know, overly cultured? Well-traveled? Neither of which she is. (Lucia will get her richly deserved language comeuppance later when she meets someone at a dinner party who actually speaks Italian - come inbarazzante.)

Lucia sees herself as the head of all that is proper, culturally worthwhile and important in her village. She is the acknowledged Queen of Riseholme, a woman who can be gracious to her 'subjects' - until they step out of line.

Not to say that nothing much happens in Riseholme, there will be the hilarious episode of the Guru and the yoga lessons, followed by the invasion of a London fortune teller and the requisite seances, followed by the worldly opera primadonna Olga Bracely who will move to Riseholme and challenge Lucia for supremacy over the village and Georgie. There will be more lies, pretensions and sniping. Fun to be had by all. And though the Queen of Riseholme does get her many richly deserved comeuppances, one can't help but feel sorry for her in a kind of sneering, roundabout way. She is just so deliciously ghastly.

MISS MAPP (1922)

I'm now nearing the end of this second book in the series, which takes place in another of those outwardly calm little enclaves of good manners which England is noted for, this time it's the lovely village of Tilling. Here is where Miss Elizabeth Mapp, a spinster of a certain age and 'a fine figure of a woman' sits at the window of her picturesque cottage with a pair of binoculars watching her neighbors to-ing and fro-ing, speculating what they might be up to. The slightest little shift in the day-to-day is grist for Miss Mapp's perpetual mill. Speculation, surmise and one-upmanship are her life's blood.

But prone to over-doing things, she is not immune to being buffeted about by the vagaries of life. In other words, she too is prone to receiving comeuppances right and left. Comes to mind: the alarming episode of food-hoarding revealed when the secret panel in Miss Mapp's tea room 'pops' open in front of her guests to reveal an avalanche of canned meats, dried apricots, bottles of bovril and bags of flour secreted away in anticipation of a coal strike, and the time her overly enthusiastic curtsy - I'll show them a proper curtsy - in honor of the Prince of Wales (supposedly passing by in a train), causes her to fall on her keester in full view of the neighbors, and then of course there's the outrageously funny incident of the duel between Captain Puffin and Major Benjy, but wait, I'm getting ahead of myself as usual.

The thing is, dear Miss Mapp never learns from these little awkward events. She just shakes herself off and pushes on through completely unaware that her neighbors may be laughing at her for they, in their turn, can be just as badly behaved. There are no heroes here.

These are books which take the art of bitchiness to Olympian heights.

Speaking of raising bitchiness to Olympian heights: I finished LUCIA IN LONDON at 4 a.m. this past morning and am still reeling from the utterly delightful and yes, bitchy genius of it.

Pepino's great aunt has died and left her great nephew a bundle of cash and a house in London. Pepino is Paul Lucas's affectionate (and affected) nick-name as you may know since that is how dear Emmeline aka Lucia refers to her compliant hubby.

So brushing the dust of dear old sweet and muddle-headed Riseholme village from their bespoke shoes, off to London go Lucia and Pepino in their chauffeured limo, servants sent on ahead in preparation. This is the same London which Lucia had been known, in the past, to disdain for its lack of the finer things which Riseholme so amply provided - that sense of peace and contemplation of the higher arts, and so on and so forth. The trip is supposedly a short sojourn while the happy couple decide whether to sell their inheritance or keep both houses open while they swish back and forth. Though truth to tell, Lucia has already made up her mind to cut a dash or make a splash or however that goes, in London. And we know that as her mind goes so goes the...well, you know how that goes.

Will London society welcome her with open arms? What do you think?

But back home in Riseholme there is discontent among Lucia's neighbors left behind in the limo's exhaust. Even Georgie, her obliging neighbor and 'second in command' is not happy with Lucia's 'worldly' behavior. Her eagerness to embrace London and by implication, the London high life which she had in the past sniffed her nose at, is certainly bewildering if not belittling to Riseholme's way of thinking. They are being left behind to fend for themselves, rudderless and clueless.

But thanks to opera primadonna Olga Bracely who has affectionate regard for George's sensibilities and Riseholme gossip and who, by the way, has serendipitously leased a house across from Lucia's London abode in the fashionable enclave of Brompton Square, all is not lost.

For Olga will be the first to invite Georgie to stay in London after Lucia has done nothing but find excuses as to why she can't invite him. In fact she hasn't had time to write or call anyone back in Riseholme except for one letter to Georgie (failing to mention any invite). Yes, dear Lucia has been seduced by the Big City.

On Lucia's first and only trip back to Riseholme after settling in in Brompton Square, she invites several London guests down for a weekend and shamefully ignores her village 'friends'. But, to her chagrin, Georgie and Olga get the better of her in a big way and Lucia's weekend falls terribly flat.

At any rate, this is probably my favorite of the three books I've read so far because Benson does such a brilliant job of laying bare Lucia's character and still, somehow, makes you tolerate her with - dare I say it? - a feeling of affection. Yes, she's dreadful, but still you want to know what happens next. How Benson does this is pure genius as far as I'm concerned.

In fact the high society mucky-mucks Lucia meets in town, the duchesses and marquises and barons and Princesses and at one point, the Prime Minister who invites her to Checquers, his country house, are not immune to Lucia veneration. The keener eyed among them are wise enough to Lucia's rampant social climbing ambitions and snicker at her pretensions but can't help respecting her grit and gumption, her zeal to conquer. They form a club of Luciaphiles to watch over Lucia's frenetic activities, shaking their heads in admiration.

But then nemesis takes a hand in the Lucia sweepstakes and she and Pepino return to Riseholme leaving the high life of London behind. Lucia a tiny bit wiser if unrepentant, bent on taking back the reins of leadership in Riseholme once again.

A fabulous book.

Miss Mapp and Lucia will meet up in the next installment, MAPP AND LUCIA (1931). Who will get the upper hand? What delight awaits me.

If you're not the sort to be intimidated, there's a wonderful Glossary of all things Mapp and Lucia and their world to be had at this link.

I've linked LUCIA IN LONDON to its Project Guttenberg page where it is available for online reading.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

AP Photo/Wally Fong

Sid Caesar passed away yesterday and I've only just now found out about it. A very sad day. I loved this man. We watched his SHOW OF SHOWS and later the SID CAESAR SHOW religiously when I was a kid growing up in Manhattan. Sid and his brilliant troop of loonies never failed to make us laugh until we cried or fell off the sofa or both. 

I was fortunate enough to have a brief chat with Sid (on the phone) when once he appeared on the Phil Donahue Show. I was totally awestruck and inane, but it is a treasured memory. I got a chance to tell Sid that his opera skits featuring the entire cast spouting/singing gibberish were not only hysterically funny but were, in some weird way, what got me interested in learning about real opera once upon a time. He was surprised but I think, I hope, delighted.

I loved this man.

Rest in peace, Sid. You were the best of the best.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday's Forgotten (or Overlooked) Film: ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS (2010) Starring Benoit Poelvoorde and Isabelle Carre

I've got the perfect little film for those romantics among us, what with Friday being Valentine's Day and all.

ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS is a delightful love story, a very French film (with English subtitles) which had me smiling throughout and actually laughing out loud in spots. What a captivating movie. The sort of light-hearted thing the French excel at and Americans stopped making ages ago (if they ever did).

Here, the hero looks a little like Putin.

The leading man is not handsome, in fact he's kind of homely and hapless, but homely with charm will always win the day. As played by Benoit Poelvoorde (never heard of him either) he's got the kind of rubbery large nosed face which usually lends itself to humor and only occasionally to a love story. He plays Jean-Rene Van Den Hugde, the owner of a small chocolate factory (four employees) on the verge of bankruptcy.

The adorable (but not TOO) Isabelle Carre plays Angelique Delange, a young woman who Jean-Rene has recently hired as a chocolate sales rep for his faltering company, though in fact, Angelique is a chocolatier extraordinaire and would much rather be making chocolates than selling them.

But here's the thing: Unknown to each other, Jean-Rene and Angelique suffer from the same emotional malaise. They are both uncommonly timid, afraid of life and totally, socially inept - to the point of acute embarrassment and the occasional fainting spell.

So when it's obvious that things are sympathique between employer and employee, can it lead anywhere? Neither of these two hapless beings has ever been in a relationship.

The very funny first date.

Angelique attends a Romantics Anonymous group where she and fellow sufferers bare their emotional mishaps.

Jean-Rene sees a psychiatrist who listens wisely and gives him little exercises to do. 'Ask someone out to dinner.' 'Touch someone.' That sort of thing.

What follows is an occasionally hilarious comedy of errors which proves once again that the road to true love is often bumpy and even chocolate cannot always save the day. (Though it doesn't hurt.) There are, of course - this being a 'chocolate' movie - several resolution-breaking chocolate tasting scenes which made me want to rush out and buy a pound or two of my favorite chocolate covered caramels. Though the chocolates created in the movie are of a much more esoteric sort. They're French, you know.

It's been a while since I've seen a film this sweet-natured and endearing. There are even a couple of songs included - both musical scenes low-key enough to be perfectly in keeping with the general spell of enchantment. Yes, I'm getting carried away, but you know, it's THAT kind of movie.

I loved it.

Since it's Tuesday, don't forget to check in at Todd Mason's blog, Sweet Freedom, to see what other forgotten (or overlooked) films, television or audio visuals other bloggers are talking about today.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Salon: Felix Vallotton

'The White Beach' 1913- source

'View of Cagnes from Horseback' 1921 - source

'The Family of Trees' 1922 - source

'Femme Couchee, Dormant' 1899 - source

'The Gorse in Bloom' 1923 - source

'Box Seats at the Theater, the Gentleman and the Lady' 1909 - source

'The Visit' 1899 - source

'Chateau Gaillard at Andelys' 1924 - source

'Verdun' 1917 - source

'Self-Portrait with the Dressing Gown' 1914 - source - And one of my all time favorite paintings.

'The Violin' Woodblock - source

'Le Bon Marche' 1899 - source

'Henrik Ibsen' Woodcut 1894 - source

'Portrait of Composer Hector Berlioz' 1902 - source

'Passersby' also known as 'Street Scene' 1897 - source

Felix Vallotton (1865 - 1925) was a prolific Swiss painter, woodblock artist and print maker. He was born in Lausanne but in 1900 he married and became a French citizen. His work metamorphosed into various styles over his lifetime as you can see from my selections on today's salon and he was an important influence on the graphic styles of artists like Aubrey Beardsley and Edvard Munch. During the 1890's, Vallotton, Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard, among others, were closely affiliated with Les Nabis (Nabi means Prophet in Hebrew and Arabic), a group of post-impressionist painters and avant-garde artists.

I am especially fond of his landscapes as well as his portraiture and starkly appealing woodcuts.

To learn more about Felix Vallotton and his work, please use the links provided.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday's Forgotten (or Overlooked) Book: TRENT'S OWN CASE (1936) by E. C. Bentley

Thanks to my blogging friend Joan's generosity, I was able to read E.C. Bentley's TRENT'S OWN CASE (published in 1936) and if after reading my review you feel as if you might like to read it, I'll be happy to pass it on. Though you must live in this country since I can't afford sending books overseas anymore. Sorry. Oh, meant to say: this applies to the first reader who lets me know with a comment requesting the book. In case of a tie, I'll toss a coin. Then maybe that person can pass it on and so on and so forth.

This second book featuring artist and occasional sleuth Philip Trent published 23 years after the original TRENT'S LAST CASE which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago, is, to my mind, equally as good as the first (which is usually seen on lists of the 100 Best Mysteries), though some may disagree.

The irrational behavior of his friend, psychologist Brian Fairman, plunges Trent into a race against time to save Fairman from being booked and tried for the murder of philanthropist James Randolph, an intransigent rich guy with peculiar habits. The fact that Fairman has confessed to the crime doesn't help matters any. That this puzzle also involves a lady in distress goes hardly without saying. This time out it's the glamorous Eunice Faviell, an actress and friend of Trent and his wife, who has suddenly found herself at the center of old man Randolph's unexpected attentions. This is the same young woman for whom Brian Fairman has nurtured an unrequited love for years.

The plot thickens.

A plot which includes not only murder but blackmail and debauchery (life in between wars, you know how that goes) and is, by the way, full of intriguing destinations and characters including Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Gideon Bligh (another of Trent's friends), Simon Raught, a sinister servant who obviously knows more than he's telling, Verney, the dead philanthropist's devoted private secretary who is now out of a job he loves, Eugene Wetherill, a nefarious villain and enemy of Trent's as well as a sometime lover of Eunice Faviell (whose taste in men must be seen as defective) and last but not least, Trent's sweet old aunt who is just off on a trip to the Continent.

Seeing his aunty safely on board the train, Trent catches a glimpse of a very agitated Brian Fairman who leaps aboard at the very last minute. When later, returning to England, Fairman is taken into custody for attempting suicide, Trent knows all is not as it should be.

To clear his friend, Trent is soon off to Dieppe, following in Fairman's mysterious footsteps to a small French 'commune'. The trip seems at once senseless and bizarre ending as it originally did in Fairman's attempted suicide. But Trent perseveres.What is it about Dieppe?

What I loved best about TRENT'S OWN CASE:

1) No long-winded descriptive character background to begin the book which I found slightly off-putting in the first of the Trent adventures. Though this book too refers to the murder of an unlikable rich man.

2) The brisk nature of the writing more in keeping with the 30's, which I found very enjoyable even when venturing far afield into long ago scandal and seemingly unrelated events. Obviously the first book, having been published in 1913, was written in a more flowery, Edwardian sort of style which takes a little getting used to.

3) The labyrinthian plot which drops a major clue in the second chapter or so which comes back in a flash near the end. At least it did so to me.

4) The various destinations, including the aforementioned Dieppe, a place I'd never heard of except vaguely in WWII history. But even more did I love Trent's happy life in the English Cotswolds:

Trent had discovered the Cotswold country as a very young man, newly land-conscious, when it had appealed to him with an irresistible compulsion. There are some places which, seen for the first time, yet seem to strike a chord of recollection. "I have been here before," we think to ourselves, "and this is one of my true homes." It is no mystery for those philosophers who hold that all which we shall see, with all which we have seen and are seeing, exists already in an eternal now...Trent in his travels, had often chanced upon a house, a town or a stretch of country, unknown to him in terms of normal experience, which claimed him as its own with unerring certainty. As it had once been on a magic day in Tuscany, driving up to Montalcino, so with that counterscarp of the Cotswolds overlooking the vale of Evesham. So he had set his heart on a long, grey, stone-tiled house, flanked by shaped yews, which stood on a terrace cut in the brow of a steep hill, with woods and fields and villages stretching away below to the barrier of the Malvern Hills, and a glimpse of the Welsh mountains beyond.

Sigh. That is just how I felt upon my one and only visit to the Cotswolds many years ago.

As I said, a very enjoyable book - perfect for a cold winter's night - which I'll be happy to pass along if anyone would care to read it.

Since this is Friday, it's time to check in at Patti Abbott's blog, Pattinase, to see what other forgotten or overlooked books other bloggers are talking about today. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuesday's Forgotten (or Overlooked) Television: BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA (1978) Starring Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict

TV Guide Cover Art by David Edward Byrd

I never did watch the new and updated version of BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA primarily because I couldn't get used to and couldn't like the new and updated version of the Cylons. Why - they look just like us! What happened to the shiny bright metal armor and little red flashing lights zooming across their visors? More importantly: what happened to the catchy phrase, "By your command." ?

So back to 1978 and here's where I ask: Is it so very wrong of me to be rooting for the Cylons?

The 70's was the era of bad haircuts, bad fashions and clunky television effects effects, not to mention, embarrassingly bad acting by homogenized actors in luridly banal plots. Looking back it's a laugh-fest. So why am I talking about BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA at all?

Well, snow is still coming down and I must be in a nostalgic sort of mood - hell, when am I not? Not that I miss the 70's much, but admittedly I did watch this show when it first came on and I must then have liked something about it. So I thought I'd do a little time-traveling since Netflix is streaming the full 24 episodes. It's always intriguing to play tag with the past.

Lorne Green starred as the fatherly figure (literally as he is the father of three of the Galatica's crew members) who heads the cast and crew of the Battlestar Galactica as it heads into the void hoping to run across the planet Earth. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself as usual. First up: war with the Cylons.

Watched the initial two part episode when all hell broke loose in space and the guys promulgating peace were taught the terrible error of their ways (especially Lew Ayres as the chief peace monger for the human race) who should have known better than to trust John Colicos as Baltar, a 'tireless worker for peace'.

John Colicos? Are you kidding me? You only have to look at this guy to know that he's up to know good now, then, and forever. And here he is working hand in glove with the Cylons. I remember him in an early episode of the original STAR TREK. He played a Klingon when the designated make-up was just lots of eye shadow, a Fu Manchu mustache and raised eyebrows. It was in one of my favorite episodes so I do remember him vividly. He was deliciously wicked. Trust him? Nope.

Soon as I saw him in the first episodes of BATTLESTAR GALATICA, I said: Uh-oh.

Sure enough he betrays humanity but that was only to be expected. At least by me.

Is there anything about the show to like? (Besides getting a glimpse of all these old actors, some like Ray Milland, Lew Ayres, Dan O'Herlihy, Barry Nelson, Lloyd Bridges and even Fred Astaire near the end of their careers. Fred Astaire? Haven't seen that episode yet. Can't wait. )

What I like:

1) The Cylon Centurians
2) John Colicos
3) The little robot dog.
4) The pilot warriors' helmets shaped something like the ancient Egyptians head gear.
5) The Cylon catch phrase: "By your command."
6) The opening sequence voiced by Patrick MacNee (Though it sure sounds like Wilfred Hyde-White to me.)
7) The gorgeous sound track by Stu Philips and Glen A. Larson

I'm currently re-watching BATTLESTAR episodes online but it's possible (indeed, probable) that I may overdose at some point in which case I will switch over to MIDSOMER MURDERS and give the newer episodes of that series a look. It's that kind of day.

Since it's Tuesday, don't forget to check in at Todd Mason's blog, Sweet Freedom, to see what other films, television or other audio/visuals other bloggers are talking about today.