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Random TV Thoughts – The Gilded Age, 1883, Star Trek PIC and DSC

The Gilded Age

The old money and new money clashes in 1883 New York. Created by Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey.

I always read/think of the title as The Gilded *C*age LOL Which would fit the series very well – everyone is a prisoner of some sort!

My favorite character is Peggy, I think she’s the best written character so far and I love her costuming. What I don’t get is Marian, ostensibly the main character/our way into the world of the series. The character is so completely naive and doesn’t seem to think of *any*thing in any depth. And the actress who plays her is terribly colorless and unassuming that combined with how the character is written and the way she’s played, it’s like she just disappears and turns into furniture or something. Also the costumes they have her wearing aren’t helping – most of them have been very pale blue or very pale yellow, and that’s when she just turns invisible, sort. And once or twice when they put her in strong colors, the actress disappears entirely – it’s like the dress is standing and moving about on its own! I’ve never seen the actress in anything else that I can remember, so I don’t know if it’s her, or just the way she’s been told to play Marian.

I’m not sure the writing is that great, but I’m having much fun enjoying the costumes, the handsome homes and locales and the ridiculous social mores of the times. And I know and like many of the actors, especially Carrie Coon who plays Bertha Russell, the wife of a a nouveau riche self-made businessman/robber baron/railroad tycoon and who has severe desires and ambitions for status in the exclusive high society of New York but is shut out by the old money. Carrie Coon has been excellent in everything I’ve ever seen her in, so I’d watch this just for her. I also appreciate her costuming – the silhuette seems appropriate to the times (which is 1882), but details are rather modern and showy and I think that is ment to show how she’s out of sync with the old money sense of style and doesn’t *get it*. I like her and her husband’s relationship, although it looks like cracks may appear due to her unrelenting ambition for status.

Christine Baranski’s Agnes Van Rhijn is also one of the main characters, and I hope she’ll get more to do.

I don’t take any of it seriously at all, and I’m having lots of fun with every episode 😀

1883

Another show I’m watching is 1883, a spin-off from Yellowstone which I haven’t seen and have no plans to. But I like historical stuff, including westerns, watching this. Have seen the first two episodes, and I’ve just started the third.

So far I like the music very much (it’s feels very familiar!), but everything else feels like I’ve already seen. And I keep getting surprised that Sam Elliot is still alive! I remember him from The Yellow Rose (1983) which I aired around that time here in Finland too and which was one my of obsessions for a while, and he seemed like 60+ even then! The other day I finally looked up how old he is because like I said “he’s still alive?!”, and turns out he was only born in 1944. Which, so was my Mom, so they’re exactly the same age…. yet somehow Sam Elliot has always in my head been two or three decades older than her! Weird. I guess some people just always look old, even when they’re young/middle-aged. Otherwise, except for the music, it’s been kind of boring going, even though I do like the main characters – the girl and her father. I keep forgetting their names.

Star Trek: Picard

So happy this one is back! Jeri Ryan/7of9 back on my screen 😀 I do like how they’re exploring the trauma both she and Picard experience, having been assimilated by the Born and then having been rescued. As great as VOY and TNG are, I prefer the way that Star Trek: Picard is doing it, rather than forgetting the whole trauma until it’s needed for an episode or two. Although Voyager was never as bad with Seven in regards to it as TNG was with Picard. I didn’t like that Q would be in season 2 when I heard about it, but as soon as John Delancie showed up, I was like “yeah, this is good, it’s good to see him, I can dig this”. Same with Guinan. I guess even though in theory I don’t like bringing in old characters because too often it feels like fan service, in reality I like it when the old, familiar, beloved characters show up. I can’t wait to see season 2 has in its sleeve!

Star Trek: Discovery

I’ve definitely liked the non-frantic pace of this season, but there’s something going on with pacing. For many episodes it feels like nothing actually happened, and that the plot didn’t move along or did it with such a tiny step, that an whole episode built around it was sort of wasted. The character moments for all the minor characters (Owosekun, Bryce etc.) have been so weirdly placed each in the middle of a dire action scene that everything just came to a screeching halt while they confessed their souls. Only Detmer’s moment in the last episode felt organic and felt believable. I’m glad the minor characters have been getting some attention, but it’s been done unartfully and it’s still not a ensemble show like the previous shows. I’m disappointed with Book going on the revenge rampage, so cliche. At least Tarka isn’t motivated by being evil. I think DSC is trying hard, but even four seasons in, I don’t think it’s found itself and I’m not entirely sure it knows what it wants to be.

Oh, and I can’t believe what happening with Culber – now he’s suddenly the Ship’s Couselor ie. a psychiatrist/psychologist? I thought he’s the ship’s boss medical doctor like Crusher on TNG?? I don’t remember it ever even been hinted at that he’s got the proper training in psychology and psychiatry to work as a Ship’s Counselor? And even if he did, how does he have to time to properly counsel patients what with all his admin duties as the boss doctor and as a doctor seeing surgical/mysterious illnesses etc. patients. It’s like combining all of Troi’s and Crusher’s work under one normal human person, and I don’t believe for a second that one person can do both jobs well. He’ll simply run out of enough hours in the day. Totally unbelievable. I guess TPTB decided that Discovery needs a Counselor, but didn’t want to bring in a new character so made Culber one, never mind how unbelievable it is, him wearing all the hats.

I do like this Michael a lot, she’s a lot warmer, more approachable and likeable than in seasons 1 and 2. I just wish so much of her character development hadn’t happened off-screen in season 3. I would’ve liked to have seen her and Booker’s adventures when she was newly arrived in the future and before she found Discovery.

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