Apr. 19th, 2016

laura_seabrook: (Default)
I watched a lot of shows while a friend was visiting from New Zealand. We saw all of Sense8, This is Not My Life, and The Expanse.

Sense8 is a netflix series (as is The Expanse) and follows a "cluster" of eight people who share more than is normal for humans to share. I loved its visual lushness and the fact it was set in eight different cities. The plot is simple and slow moving, but you don't notice that at the time. I also liked the fact it has a trans woman character played by a trans woman. They're making a second season now.

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This is Not My life is a 2010 New Zealand show which has many similarities to the classic The Prisoner show from the 60s. In the first episodes Alec Ross awakes one morning to find that he doesn't know who or where he is and doesn't recognize his wife or children. b In fact he may not be Alec Ross at all, and other people in the town get "replaced" and no one seems to notice. If a resident causes problems they have mandatory "counseling" or end up at WELLNESS, a generic physical and mental health centre.

There are reasons behind all of this and they become apparent as the first (and only) season progresses. I found the episodes well written but agonizingly slow. The result is like a car crash in slow motion, but the overall execution is brilliant in its detail. All the house and office interiors are deliberately minimalist and bland and people's clothing mirrors that. Apparently the story might be developed in a US setting as well.

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The Expanse is an SF story set in a future where humanity has spread throughout the solar system. There are four factions: Earth, Mars, the Outer Planets Alliance, and the Belters (who live and work in the Asteroid Belt). There are three streams of narratives that intertwine around a series of mysterious and incidents that threaten to start an interplanetary war. This would have to be one of the most realistic SF series I've ever seen, and could plausibly be in the same universe as Firefly. There are lots of nice touches and attention to detail that make things believable. My friend and I joked that the same gas powered forklift was used across the belt, but that's the silliest it gets.

REMEMBER THE CANT!

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