Let’s get our head away from the hung parliament for a while! What populist fictional entertainments have you been enjoying lately in your preferred medium that are essentially just gussied-up melodrama or heroic quest or action mayhem? What are the aspects of that fictional setting/narrative that most strongly appeal to you?
Related questions: what is your preferred medium – page, video/film, audio or live on stage? What is the subtle distinction between tosh and trash? What escapist entertainments do you enjoy that rises, in your estimation, above the tosh/trash level?
I’ve been catching up on many years’ worth of David Suchet’s superb characterisation of Agatha Christie’s Poirot every weekday afternoon for the last month or so – most enjoyable melodramatic crime procedurals, with the superb attention to detail in the casting, costuming and sets making it a superior brand of tosh – it’s as enjoyable to watch for the little details as it is for the plot itself.
I went to see Inception with the family last weekend, and I can’t quite decide whether it’s just tosh, total trash or a hybrid. I enjoyed it well enough while I was watching it, probably more so because unlike some others I didn’t worry too much about trying to keep track of the nested layers of narrative, but I haven’t had many moments from it jumping up into my memory over the last week, so it failed to make a lasting impact.
The Spartacus: Blood and Sand miniseries is very trashy tosh with action mayhem galore. A bit too Peckinpah with the slowmotion blood sprays etc for my taste, but the action scenes are well choreographed and the melodrama is enjoyable as much for the nitpicking opportunities as for the woefully over-simplified plot.
Then of course this week I saw the first episode of the third season of True Blood – tosh and trash so deeply intertwined it’s hard to discern the edges. I loved the snappy dialogue in this first episode of setting the scene, but I hope that they don’t let that overwhelm the meatier aspects of our melodrama in subsequent episodes. Plus Lucy Lawless and John Hannah being mongrels!
In reading, I’m catching up on Pratchett again – the Guards novels especially. His slyly cynical take on politics and social change is just what’s needed at election time.
Categories: arts & entertainment