October 20th, 2010

Gorgon Love

Dramatic Win

The aftermath of last night's chess game--look at the time on the clock;

I was playing white and that was my one second left. Normally, I don't like the clock, but I have to admit it was pretty thrilling this time. Maybe if I'd lost, I'd just be complaining about the clock again to-day, but I don't know. It's not often both players start running out of time simultaneously. It was interesting when we both noticed and started making really quick moves. I didn't even realise I'd gotten a checkmate until a couple moments after his time ran out. It's a guy I don't think I've ever beaten before, too, so it was an all kinds of satisfying game. He was ahead of me for a long time by two pawns.

I also got around to watching Sunday's Boardwalk Empire last night, my favourite part of which was how great this scene looked;

Those blues and purples and damn, just look at her hair. This is, of course, idealisation turned up to eleven for a prostitute with a slashed face in a 1920 Chicago brothel. The paint on the walls isn't even chipped. I just wish the show had a sense of fun to match its pretty, artificial look. This particular scene basically dragged on for the whole episode--James, caring for her because they seemed to have some kind of subtle new bond and some gangsters slashed her face in the previous episode because of him, tells her a boring story about a boating trip he took when he was a kid before she kills herself at the end of the episode, which I saw coming but was hoping they'd avoid. It's such a cheap route to giving James motive for revenge and freeing him up to possibly get back with his wife. I mean, I have nothing against melodrama, I guess. I feel like I might just not be plugged into the acceptable forms of melodrama in modern television. It just seems so goddamn mopey. Tell a joke, people. Have multiple facial expressions. Something to indicate life a little bit.

And on the same token, the show's had this irritating tendency to indulge in sobering insights into oppressed groups. Coupled with the prettiness and melodrama, I find it intensely grating. Last week, it was a black gangster telling a Ku Klux Klan member a long, very boring story about how his father was mistreated by white people before finally getting around to doing some interesting violence to the Klansmen--which isn't even done on screen. This week it was a tangent into how dwarves in the early twentieth century were people, too. It was kind of nice seeing a lot of good dwarf actors get work, but I really don't need tedious lessons in acceptance from a show that is apparently self-consciously artificial.

I did really like the resolution between Margaret and Nucky at the end of the episode, though, and what it revealed about the nature of the friction between them throughout the episode. I also really loved Margaret's snake hat;

Gorgon chic. I guess a woman who's supposed to be heartbreakingly poor probably shouldn't have something like that, but this is a fantasy. I only wish the writers would figure that out.

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