Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus

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Thanks for this! I had given up on Luther because I got tired of the grim and darkness, but maybe I'll jump back in a little further along since you say it gets better.

It's still very dark, even in the third season, but Luther being in a better place emotionally makes it easier to handle, I think.

My wife and I actually just watched the first episode of Miss Fisher, and found it quite charming. But we have no familiarity with the books.

Have you seen The Bletchley Circle?

Yes! I'm going to do it in the next segment, probably.

On Bletchley, I'd suggest whenever it cuts to a dark place and some sort of jep, present or past, just fast forward. There's never anything new or relevant in them.

Same with the new Suchet Poirot (Masterpiece Mysteries?) Murder in Mesopotamia. Every time someone mentions the victim's history of child abuse, they run the SAME clip.

Otherwise both of these are excellent. The new Suchet Poirot is darker than the earlier series; I'd suggest starting with their disc "Super Sleuth" which is nothing but interviews with a producer/writer/? and the actors who did Japp, Hastings, and Miss Lemon in the earlier series, and explains why those characters are often/mostly left out of the new one. Apparently the new producer/etc were not as disrespectful as it might appear.

People's reactions to Miss Fisher seem to depend really strongly on whether they read the books first or saw the show. :) I adore the show myself, but I can see how the changes could be irritating to a serious fan of the books.

Sounds like I need to try those series' of Miss Marple with McEwan; thanks for the tip.

On Fisher, I suggest starting about 2/3 through the first set, and working backwards! The first episodes were excellent, with Phryne as Emma Peel in high heels with feather boas. By the finale episode ... blah.

I suggest the show first, as it gives beautiful visuals and acting to read into the books.

I love Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple too!

I need to watch that one episode where Alice comes back, but I've heard that the second season of Luther turns torture-porn-y, which gives me nightmares.

Another series I'd rather watch backwards, is Bones. It began with a wonderful character and sensationalist plots. The victim was almost always "a young woman between 18 and 25". If she wasn't pregnant, she was part of a series of rape-murder victims. Occasionally the victim was male, and the investigation led into a lot of rock music.

Later the plots got less stock, but the character deteriorated, her hairstyle becoming more and more high-maintenance.

The best episode I've seen so far, was toward the end of the first season, "The Graft in the Girl." No murder, and Bones bashes her way through all tactful warnings and proves heroically correct.

Oh, this is great!! I've skimmed over a few of these on Netflix and haven't known if I wanted to watch them; this helps a lot!

I agree w/ McEwan as Miss Marple. She is so perfect. I think the second actress in the new Marple series maybe captures the way Miss Marple was written in the initial stories - a bit more of a roly-poly affectation, coming off as a bit fluttery. But I felt like that initial characterization of book-Marple was more due to the inaccurate perceptions of the other characters, who don't catch on to her sharpness until later. So I feel like there should be more of that sharpness in the way the actress plays her, which the second actress doesn't entirely have to me. I still really, really enjoy her, but McEwan does feel like the quintessential Miss Marple. (I only watched one ep of the old Miss Marple. It was extremely 1980s and hard to watch; Miss Marple was fun in it, but I just didn't care for the show itself, so...)

R.e. snuff porn and women in jep - those are two things I seriously dislike, which is why I'm not entirely sure why I've started watching The Following. It's like an episodic slasher film, although, granted, the violence is mostly shown as aftermath (so far, anyway). But still. SO much gore and violence, and a truly annoying arc involving a woman in jeopardy (I mean, the character makes sense in terms of the story, but she doesn't do anything but be in jeopardy, which is so irritating).

I think I'm expecting it to be a bit like Criminal Minds - I used to really enjoy it for the characters and the crime-solving, but I could only watch it on DVD so that I could fast-forward through the scenes of the criminals doing their thing. The characters and crime-solving in The Following aren't as good yet, but the villain and his minions are rather fascinating so I'm willing to give the good guy characters a chance to catch up. And play Solitaire on my phone during the disturbing parts.

I had read all the Miss Fisher books first and loved them, so I find it easiest to consider the TV series to be an 'alternate universe' version. I love the actors and think the casting director did a good job.

FYI--another series/ books disconnect happens with 'Longmire'. I just go with the whole AU philosophy. However, it is becoming a bit soap-opera here in season 3 and I don't know how much longer I'll stick with it.

My favorite Miss Marple was Joan Hickson (the 1980s series). And I've always been a Poirot fan--great stuff.

Longmire's best season was the first one I agree

I have some faith in the creators of this show, and the insights into the local reservation community are usually handled in a fascinating way so I probably won't bail out yet, but I am pretty frustrated. I watched the first season before reading the books, and maybe that helped coming to it without preconceptions. But my favorite trippy is it real or is it not mystical book that was the basis for the first episode of the second season was a very sad travesty as I felt it totally trivialized and skipped over the depth that was in the book.

Worse perhaps is that is when the train left the rails and continuity was abandon for some sort of melodrama's sake and they started doing the books plots out of order. Such as Hector doesn't die until the third season which gutted the first episode of the second season of much of its power. They blew up the whole background of the death of Longmire's wife. Maybe it is from the future intention of the author but I hope not. The actor Lou Diamond Phillips I won't argue is not a competent actor, but true to the Henry Standing Bear of the books he is not the right physical type. He has a respectful attitude toward the role at least but is Filipino-Scots Irish (with "some Cherokee" on his dad's side so a background that can be compared to all the controversy of Depp playing Tonto). The books are great, but at this point while I find the show still "worth watching" it is kind of just all right for me. This third season is still more of a mess.

I love some of the cozier ones, like "The Last Detective" (Peter Davison stars as an aging Detective Constable and is super-awesome), "George Gently" (set in the 60's, with a DS who is a little skeevy and a DC who is the pinnacle of gentlemanly grace), "Foyle's War" (even in wartime, people still get murdered - set in WWII).

I'm enjoying some Korean detective shows, too - like "Crime Squad" (Damaged detective with meta-arc about his daughter's accidental death due to police action, and his subsequent divorce and his buddy friendship with a young reporter), "Special Affairs Team Ten" (really grisly serial killers and a top-notch team led by a professor with serious issues), and "You're All Surrounded" (currently airing - ensemble cast, rookie detectives, great meta-arc about police corruption, and some fantastic acting.)

Edited at 2014-07-10 07:56 pm (UTC)

Yes, I'm going to talk about all three of those in another post. I really liked The Last Detective.

Ooh, Special Affairs Team Ten sounds really good.

You can watch all of the Korean ones for free, btw - at,, and hulu. I also forgot to mention "Vampire Prosecutor" - vampire-cop show which is delicious, violent cheese with the vamp equivalent of a DA.

The Last Detective

I adored that series, and I thought Davison was the perfect mix of truly-nice-person plus childish response to frustration, and I adored the yearning hopefulness in the face of terrible problems.

I'm really bummed that it's darn near impossible to find the books (they're all OOP.) Though I thought that the book-detective was a little less hopeful than the series-detective, I still enjoyed the one novel I could get my hands on.


Fyi, if you go over to my journal page, I've got trailers for "Crime Squad" and "Ten" embedded in my most recent post.

Has "Vera" made it across the Atlantic yet? Frumpy, eccentric, middle-aged female detective in the North of England (not Yorkshire -- further north than that!) Nice scenery, and not too graphic. There's also "Shetland" from the same author's books (Ann Cleeves). It would be a shame if the accents prevented them reaching an audience outside the UK.

Vera is on Netflix, Amazon Streaming, and Acorn, so it's readily available over here. It hasn't been shown on broadcast TV because it's only PBS and BBC America that show most of the British recent shows, and PBS is constrained by budget (they just did The Escape Artist, they're doing Endeavour right now, and are about to do the new Poirot) and BBC America is constrained by the fact that it's always been a sucky cable channel that doesn't know what it's doing. I don't think the accents are a problem.

I saw Miss FIsher the tv show first and quite enjoyed it. Now am slowly working through the books and quite enjoying them! I am, as you say, glad I saw the tv show first and then read the books as the other way around would not have worked.

Luther!! An amazing show, with an amazing lead.

I look forward to future installments of this guide. And... it may be a complete change of pace, but here in Canada, Netflix seems to have gotten Brooklyn Nine Nine. So presumably you have it too? It's light and good-tempered--cop TV more than mystery TV, really a reboot of Barney Miller--but worth checking out.

Brooklyn Nine Nine is airing here new on cable, I'm not sure which channel. I've caught a couple of episodes, and enjoyed it a lot.

I grew up watching Barney Miller -- that was a great show.

I think it's on Fox--but we're just Netflixing it. That's a verb, right?

If you're interested in period mystery shows, the 70s 'Ellery Queen' show, set in the 40s, was one of the best. Unfortunately, it was a bit ahead of its time, and only lasted for one season. It used to be available on Netflix - not sure if it still is.

We've got Ellery Queen on DVD, I really like that one.

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