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What Are You Watching? Infinite Season


Be afraid…


I’m watching last night’s Graham Norton Show and I’m quite surprised to see that Sarah Millican isn’t wearing a poppy. It doesn’t bother me at all (I only wear them on the 11th and Remembrance Sunday, if I’m out and about), but it’s incredibly unusual for anyone on British TV from about late October onwards to not wear one. As demonstrated on The Last Leg last night, which had Zippy off Rainbow - a giant sock puppet, mind - wearing a poppy.


Verdict re: The Fly. I liked it, especially the last 20 minutes, but wasn’t blown away. Jeff Goldblum and the creature effects are great, Cronenberg’s body horror/tyranny of flesh themes are as disturbing and provocative as ever, but the dialogue can be pretty cringey in places, and Geena Davis and John Getz, who play the film’s only other significant characters, aren’t very good in their roles. I also didn’t like how Getz’s sleazebag character gets to be a hero in the end.

A good film, definitely see why it’s considered a classic of the genre and wouldn’t disagree, but there are other Cronenberg films I like far better.


What? I liked that. It was almost operatic.
Agreed about the dialogue.


He was always harassing Geena Davis’s character and his heroic turn didn’t come out of any soul-searching about how he treated her. It just felt like Cronenberg and his co-writer didn’t think how Getz acted was that big a deal.

Dead Ringers featured way worse treatment of women, but at no point during the film did I feel like the film was downplaying the Mantle brothers’ actions. Cronenberg’s usually thoughtful about this stuff, I think. But that choice at the end re: Getz’s character could’ve used some more interrogation.


I understand that, but the kicker for me is how sometimes giant monsters are also a big deal.
Like he and Davis don’t really reconcile solidly at the end anyway, but he gets confronted by a situation way beyond personal divergences.


True, and that’s why I don’t think the choice seriously damaged the film or anything. It just felt out of place and unearned.


Also, felt fun to use the word operatic because the movie was adapted to an Opera and this sort of dichotomy was apparently part of the appeal.


Had to look that up - a tradition I somehow missed. Makes sense, though.


I haven’t worn a poppy for years because I believe in the past couple of decades in the UK it has become politicised instead of being a simple act of remembrance.

War is insane, period.

So instead I just make an annual donation to a Vet’s home (Erskine) here in Scotland.


Paddington 2 is rather delightful.


This past week’s The Orville was probably it’s best episode yet. Many of the funny parts were actually quite funny. Unfortunately, I have an issue that some of the characters were engaged in activities without informed consent. Considering all that is going on in the real world, it may be just bad timing.

I did like the idea of a karaoke night on the ship.


The new season of The Girlfriend Experience on Starz.
Starz’s website/app are confusing as hell - making Season 1 now Season 3 and having the same episodes for the new seasons 1 and 2 (Huh?)

The new format (two different storylines bouncing around every other episode) are ok but continue the same vein of beautiful camera work and cold, detached acting.


I agree. I am increasingly uncomfortable with the sense that there is a social requirement to wear the poppy and that it is some kind of transgression to not do so, especially given the political associations that have built up around it. I can’t think of any other such symbol where the situation is similar.

It doesn’t change my feelings on the subject - I still try and take some time on Armistice Day to mark the commemoration and think about its meaning, and also to talk to my kids about it and explain its significance and importance (as well as attending remembrance services and donating to the relevant charities) - and I tend to think that that’s all more important than simply wearing a symbol because there’s a general consensus that you should.

But I’ve still found myself challenged on it over the years, and there’s been a sense that I have to explain myself and my decision to not wear one, which is a situation I’m not comfortable with.


There is a lot of idiocy around this, but, away from that, there is more sense to be found:

The Royal British Legion told Newsbeat two years ago: “There is no right or wrong way to wear a poppy. It is a matter of personal choice whether an individual chooses to wear a poppy and also how they choose to wear it. The best way to wear a poppy is to wear it with pride.”

The Royal British Legion told Newsbeat: "The red poppy is a universal symbol of Remembrance and hope, including hope for a positive future and peaceful world, it is inclusive of all who wish to wear it, is non-political and does not depict support for war.

“We take the view that the poppy represents sacrifices made in the defence of freedom; and so the decision to wear it must be a matter of personal choice and we would never insist upon it.”

re: White Poppy

the Royal British Legion says on its website: “We have no objection to white poppies, or any group expressing their views. We see no conflict in wearing the red poppy alongside the white poppy. We do ask that the items are not offered alongside each other however as this would confuse the public.”

The one I found that was entirely new to me - and very smart, was this:

What it means: Student Tabinda-Kauser Ishaq designed the poppy hijab to appeal to the many British Muslims who mark Remembrance Sunday. She also wanted to raise awareness of the 400,000 Muslim soldiers and 1.2 million Indian soldiers who fought alongside British troops in World War One. Sughra Ahmed, president of the Islamic Society of Britain. said that the poppy hijab was a way “for ordinary Muslim citizens to take some attention away from extremists who seem to grab the headlines.”

Really like this bit too:

Meanwhile, MMA fighter Conor McGregor, from Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, came under fire for wearing a poppy pin.

He wrote on Facebook: “I know where my allegiance lies and what I do for my country. I don’t need a stupid little flower with a 100 different meanings to tell me if I do or do not represent my country. Check the facts of its original meaning. ALL soldiers. ALL wars.”

So, who’s going to have a problem with him about this?


There’s a lot of ignorance in Ireland about the role of Irish soldiers in World War I and II, which is quite disappointing. It’s assumed in many corners that because the Easter Rising took place during World War I, that we as a nation were opposed to the war, and that we were fighting English soldiers in the Rising, both of which are utter rubbish. Prior to, during and after WWI, Ireland as a whole was loyal to the crown, with massive recruitment - 200,000 Irishmen fought in the war, of which roughly a quarter died. And the soldiers we fought during the rising were almost all Irish volunteers who were being trained at home before they travelled to travel to the Western Front. And the 1916 Rising wasn’t popular at home at the time - it was the treatment of the population in the aftermath that turned the Irish as a people towards independence.

Similarly, roughly 50,000 Irish people fought in the British military in World War II, with almost 5,000 members of our own military deserting and joining up. Despite our nation’s pledge of neutrality during the war, there were plenty of Irish people opposed to the Nazis.

McGregor has every right to wear a poppy under any interpretation of the sentiment it represents.


Yeah, I noticed that myself, although it does really, really riff on similar Trek stories, even some of the scenes/dialog homage directly, I think it’s bad timing but considering it features ongoing plots, they may not have been able to postpone the viewing, I think the things that happened will be brought up again, as throwaway as it is, it has no reset button on events and the viewer is expected to know what’s gone before.

On a side note, Bortus is one of my favorite characters on TV right now, Peter Macon’s his delivery of lines is perfect. He’s so epically dry!


Bortus is great. I love the balance of him having a stressed out home life and being a highly competent officer.

And I want to hear him sing!


I started watching Travelers (Gang Quantum Leap). It’s much better than I thought it would be. Even by episode 3 we are deep in quantum quandaries with the mission of the week exploring pretty major ethical time travel issues while bringing in a much larger plot. Very impressed.


It’s brilliant. He’s got that reluctant hero, John McClane thing where everything seems a hassle but he’s an impossibly good hearted guy. His attempts to integrate himself into the crew are always brilliant. I hope they do have him sing, but I think him not getting the chance to actually sing may become a running joke instead.