Tuesday, 16 June 2009


Also good: DVDs. I have joined one of those rental things. I did this once before but had to stop because it was while I was teaching and I had no spare time. (I find that I rather miss teaching, though it's a perverse time of year to think that.)

1. Raffles! I used to love these books as a teenager. Raffles is a gentleman thief; he steals things in order to keep playing cricket for England. His sidekick is Bunny, a round-faced young man who was his fag at school. They wear evening dress with capes, and rob country houses while wearing white gloves and top hats. I recommend these highly; for one thing they're from the era before jerky distracting camera work, and for another Anthony Valentine is oddly compelling in the lead role. I can't find a DVD of Dr Syn (or was it Dr Sin?), the smuggling clergyman of Romney Marsh, although I know there was a TV adaptation of that too.

2. Pulling. The first series was a bit meh. The second series and the final special are very funny.

3. The Larry Sandars show. Excellent stuff.

4. My So-called Life; disappointing so far. Maybe because it's very hard to feel any sympathy for the Claire Danes character, who keeps saying tasteless things about envying Anne Frank.

5. Firefly. I thought I ought to watch this if only to get the in-jokes in xkcd and google demonstrations. (If you watch this google wave demonstration there is a bit where it talks about real-time collaboration which I guarantee will make you shudder and feel ill with the sheer possibilities for endless endless talking.) Also I went to see the film Serenity in the cinema with a friend who was expecting it to be an intellectual anti-war polemic because he'd heard it mentioned on Radio 4; I don't think he was terribly impressed but I thought it was great. Anyway, it's really excellent, like a sort of Western (with horses and shoot-outs and everything) set in the defeated American South but in space! I can't believe they cancelled it after one season.

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