These three series don’t belong together, but they left an impression on me.
I didn’t even watch the entire pilot episode and yet I have to say something about this thing and that is: “no thanks”.
I watched all of the movies around Hannibal Lecter and The Silence of the Lambs remains one of the scariest movies I have ever seen. But in the new Hannibal series, seeing a naked woman pierced on deer antlers with her lungs missing, then seeing Hannibal squeezing around those lungs preparing them for a meal… no thanks, I don’t need to watch this. I have no problems with gore and am a great fan of the Walking Dead for example, but naked women pierced on deer antlers and lung cooking are beyond what I want to watch. In Walking Dead you root for the humans who are fighting against the zombies, but there was nobody to root for in Hannibal, at least not in the first half hour of the pilot. In any story cruelty must serve a story purpose, here I saw none.
Pirates! Yeah, pirates are cool. Black Sails is fun and I’m enjoying it and am now in the latter half of season two. It has some nice quirky characters and the anarchy on display is interesting. One aspect strikes me very much though about Black Sails and that is the “desperate” attempt to add “strong” female characters to the story. It’s the policy nowadays to have strong female characters and I’m all for it being a girl myself, but in Black Sails it does feel kinda forced. Let’s face it, pirates is a men’s world, there weren’t that awfully many female pirates. So the writers of the series faced the dilemma how to integrate strong female characters into a pirate story. They offer us four women, Ms. Guthrie, the not so credible lady who rules the island, the pretty and witty whore (the most believable of the characters), Mrs. Marlowe who has that thing going on with captain Flint, and that strange Ann girl. All of them are interesting in their own right, but that “how do we get strong female characters into a pirate series” aspect always lingers in the background. The stories constructed around the women all seem kinda constructed and don’t flow naturally like the stories around Flint and Charles do.
I like the side characters in this series, the pain-intolerant coward, the half-witted cook, Charles’s comic relief quartermaster. They are fun to watch. The series is interesting and I wish they’d add some Alestorm music to it. Rum!
I am usually not the soap opera type, but I do confess to having watched all of the Desperate Housewives. With all the blood, gore, sex and swearing nowadays on TV it was kind of a “break” to watch a series with minimal blood and no “fuck” anywhere. But alas, the Desperate Housewives are done and gone. I started watching “Revenge” now as sort of compensation and so far it remains interesting (I’m nearing the end of season one). Its style is pretty much the same as Desperate Housewives: people are being mean to each other 😉 Madeleine Stowe as the rich bitch is lovely to watch, she’s one excellent Desperate Housewife indeed. The young lady who wants to get to her is also well played and her rich computer nerd accomplice Nolan, who has no friends, is my favorite character so far (apart from “Queen Victoria” – Madeleine Stowe). Revenge is surely a “chick thing”, just like Desperate Housewives was, but once in a while that is a nice relief among all the gore, blood and bad language. While Revenge is of course throwing around stereotypes, there is no lack of strong female characters here. And the men in the series are all wussy-boys! 😉 who cannot compete with the awe-inspiring killer smile of Madeleine Stowe. You really don’t wanna have her as your enemy 😉