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Sunday Items, Post #34 - Laura Wise

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July 12th, 2015


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01:10 pm - Sunday Items, Post #34
Item the First: I have been emotionally compromised by Episode 5 of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, so much so that during the viewing I literally found myself shouting "FUCK YOU" to Norrell, Lascelles, and of course the Gentleman at various plot-points. Master Danger was alarmed and came over to make sure I was all right... BUT I WASN'T.

Bertie Carvel's Jonathan destroys me, that's all I can say.

Item the Second: It is sometimes said (see Barry Schwarz and the Paradox of Too Much Choice) that Too Much Choice is in fact paralyzing. I can attest that this is true for me. Yesterday I received the last of my technology/TV upgrades in the form of an Amazon Fire stick -- basically, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus and Netflix and PBS Online streaming on my TV. (I have lo these many months watched the streaming services on my laptop.)

I can confirm that setup is so easy that a tech idjit like myself can still manage it in a few minutes. I then sat in front of the television for an hour, unable to choose what I wanted to watch. I can't decide, I finally said to myself, head in my hands. There is too much.

So I didn't watch anything and instead went back to reading.

Item the Third: I am now dreaming of gentlemen in 18th-century (and early 19th-century) banyans, which are rather like dressing gowns but worn loose and flowing. (See this image of a deeply stylish man, who is also wearing the cap common for gentlemen who have doffed their wigs for the moment -- which I imagine is roughly analogous to a modern woman home for the evening taking off her bra. ;) Read more in this blog post.) This series of visions can be blamed on Jonathan Strange looking like this, but I'm also feeling thinky about excess fabric and movement. Anyhoo -- banyans.

What are you feeling thinky about today? I hope it brings you joy!

(20 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:rahirah
Date:July 12th, 2015 05:37 pm (UTC)
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I am enjoying the miniseries, but regretting that they made the Gentleman With the Thistledown Hair so one-note grim rather than terrifyingly whimsical.
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From:laurawise
Date:July 12th, 2015 10:04 pm (UTC)
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I can't tell if it's Marc Warren's performance or if it's just that the Gentleman's actions are so legitimately awful that in seeing them performed whimsy still feels like a dagger, but he does seem worse here. Then again, he fairly creeped me out in the book too. ;)

Cheers and a good week ahead to you!
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From:paratti
Date:July 12th, 2015 05:43 pm (UTC)
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Massive ((Hugs))
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From:laurawise
Date:July 12th, 2015 10:05 pm (UTC)
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Thank you! This episode traumatized me -- but then I am a Strangeite through and through. ;)

[hugs hugs]
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From:wildrider
Date:July 12th, 2015 07:38 pm (UTC)
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Bertie Carvel's Jonathan has won me over completely (even if he isn't ginger!). He is a lovely, lovely Jonathan, right down to the ironic, self-mocking smile.

The fellow playing Lascelles is amazingly perfect, just evil enough -- and Childermass, ah! All so good in their roles.

Norrell is even meaner and darker and, well, SMALLER than in the book. Stealing the correspondence is even worse than outbidding Bell at the auction & making Strange's book disappear. I'm not comfortable with some of the other changes (especially turning Jonathan from a respectable widower who goes mad on purpose to, well, just a madman - and a criminal).

But on the whole, it is lovely. I'm tempted to pay out and watch the rest of it now instead of waiting....!

Banyans. Yes.

I have a cat here who is carefully watching the air just over my head, and I wonder what she sees...

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From:laurawise
Date:July 12th, 2015 10:08 pm (UTC)
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I agree on the brilliance of Carvel's Jonathan (MY SWEET BOY), Cilenti's Childermass (SO AWESOME), and Heffernan's creeptastic Lascelles. :)

Marsan's Norrell reads absolutely darker and meaner to me, too, but I wonder if it's because with the mini-series I am so TOTALLY a Strangeite that even when he's reasonable I assume it's for some self-centered or nasty purpose. We will see.

Cheers and hugs to you!
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From:wildrider
Date:July 13th, 2015 12:27 am (UTC)
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((hugs!)) Yes, I'm eager to see the rest! (I, too, am a Strangeite, and have always been!)

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From:stateless82
Date:July 12th, 2015 10:54 pm (UTC)
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Someday!

After seeing that second picture I've got some thoughts of snow and anything not summer, but they're not the thinky kind of thoughts, just deeply felt.

The streaming sounds awesome, but I wouldn't know what to watch either.

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From:laurawise
Date:July 13th, 2015 11:32 am (UTC)
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I think you'll find JS&MN beautiful to look at, if nothing else! :)

The evocation of cool clouds and autumn-winter weather is another good reason to watch it. Hugs and sympathies for the horrible heat!
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From:mamculuna
Date:July 12th, 2015 11:32 pm (UTC)
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Having finally caught up with the JS&MR TV, I shared your distress! But also love that guy with his wig off (Mr. Norrell, not so much.) Sadly, now my reading is behind, and will stay that way for a while until I catch up on Poldark (unless the second episode makes me decide not to).
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From:laurawise
Date:July 13th, 2015 11:33 am (UTC)
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There's something so fascinating about cap and banyan as markers for a man at home, so delicious. :)

I have last night's Poldark to catch up on. It too is beautifully shot, if nothing else!

Cheers for your Monday.
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From:anne_d
Date:July 13th, 2015 12:36 am (UTC)
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Item the First: Thanks for the warning - Paul went off to a politics gossipfest last night, so I waited to watch with him this evening. I will brace myself for more angst (the live version does express the angst very effectively).

Item the Second: Your woes of too many choices reminded me of little Sam Vimes in Snuff, in his mother's old nursery surrounded by generations of toys and nearing meltdown because he couldn't choose and knew there was no way he could play with all of them. Enjoy the bounty!

Item the Third: Ahhh, flowing fabric. Flowing cloaks, long flowing coats, loose robes that lead one to wonder what the gentleman isn't wearing under them...

[hugs] and a good week to come.
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From:laurawise
Date:July 13th, 2015 11:35 am (UTC)
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I hope you guys enjoy(ed) the episode! I watched it one more time and felt gutted all over again.

I have managed to avoid meltdown over too many choices, but it's a near-run thing!

Happy Monday, with thoughts of men in loose robes and images of cool weather. Hugs!
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From:anne_d
Date:July 13th, 2015 07:03 pm (UTC)
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Yes, gutted was my reaction too. Also "Jonathan, you idiot, how could you".

I have the book out from the library again; I am looking forward to seeing how well it reads now that I have the TV version in my head. I suspect I'll have to break down and buy a copy at some point, as it keeps haunting me.
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From:laurawise
Date:July 13th, 2015 07:38 pm (UTC)
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The mini-series does diverge in particulars (although not in the large shape of the plot), I think. Any way one slices it, however, we're to the Jonathan Honey No portion of the narrative. I anticipate many more tears and Oh Baby No exclamations.

Cheers and hugs!
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From:janus_74
Date:July 13th, 2015 02:20 pm (UTC)
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PBS Online streaming would be fun to have for the TV :) Hope you're feeling better too.
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From:laurawise
Date:July 13th, 2015 07:36 pm (UTC)
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It IS cool! Except that they don't have a big archive of previous shows, which is less pleasing. Ah well, at least I'll be able to watch Poldark tonight. :)

Cheers to you today, T!
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From:roguedemon
Date:July 14th, 2015 09:13 pm (UTC)
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What brings me joy? The image of your genteel self cursing at the TV screen. I want video! ;)) (((Hugs)) for the trauma.

I've been watching streaming services on my iPad and phone. This way I can walk around watching something ;). But it's good to know that the setup is easy because it's been on the list of things to upgrade in the house for a while now.

I think excess fabric and movement are essential during this season, but only you could be so sophisticated in choosing your inspiration for that. ((Hugs))
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From:laurawise
Date:July 15th, 2015 12:20 pm (UTC)
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I am not genteel, alas! Or rather, I curse like a sailor whilst maintaining an outwardly deceptive air of gentility. ;)

A friend of mine loves her tablet for the same reason you do -- the portable nature of the streaming service. (For her it's the ability to watch her beloved Red Sox.)

Hugs hugs!
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From:roguedemon
Date:July 15th, 2015 09:55 pm (UTC)
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Ah, but your writing style is very genteel! One would not expect sailor-type cursing from you upon reading your LJ. Me, on the other hand....I don't really conceal my sailor-type tendencies very well.

It's very important to be able to keep updated on your team/show of the moment while wandering around the house. :)

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