19 Jun 2013
in Reviews, shows
Tags: 3x8, analysis, art, beauty, Borgias, Caterina Sforza, Cesare, culture, drama, entertainment, episode, fiction, film, Frederigo, historical, Lucrezia, Mattai, Micheletto, Michiletto, murder, review, reviews, romance, sexuality, sforza, shows, showtime, spoilers, Tears of Blood, television, The Borgias, TV, villains
Well, it is high time we got back to celebrations and heartbreak, isn’t it?
Dear Caterina: I must say, I’m a little disappointed in you. I’d have expected you to realize the Pope would make money off all the Jubilee Year pilgrims at the same time he was figuring out how and have had your relic plan ready by the time it started. Also, I think it would have gone over better if you’d let them come in to see and then you all were equally shocked and blessed by the “miracle.” (Plus, of COURSE you add a miracle to it-always miracles! Why did someone else have to say that???)
Dear Lucrezia: Cannot wait to see what you’ll do next. I assume you and Cesare have some sort of code you concocted as kids you can use?
Dear Michiletto: Goddammit! He just had to twist that knife, didn’t he? I think what you need is some time away thinking about how many people you can kill before Lucrezia poisons them all.
Dear Cesare: I thought you rode in with a group of your army guys, yes? Why did only you and Michiletto go in the cave? Where the hell were any of them when you came out?? That part felt a little off to me, but hey-if that’s what it takes to feel the love of God, sure. Great calls on all the coding things. I do love to see your Cesare-needs-to-cut-a-bitch face, but just let Lucrezia kill this one, okay? You boys already got the last king for her.
Dear Frederigo: Great pitch, creepy presence, and dastardly plots=excellent villainy. I give you an A. If you want to keep it though, I’m gonna need to know what you’re getting out of Caterina Sforza. I had assumed you’d want a hostage and inside knowledge of the Borgias on your own account, but since you’re in a league, I’d like to know why.
Dear Herb Lady: How does everyone know about you?? You’re like, the go-to royal get-out-of-jail-free card, only by “free” they mean someone else dies or gets otherwise eliminated. How did that happen?
Dear Mattai: Ya know, if Jews could just sabotage anything they want…I can’t even finish that. Whatever, this episode needed some fire and I’m in favor of Jews living equally anyhow.
19 Jun 2013
in Reviews, shows
Tags: historical, analysis, fiction, work, villains, beauty, culture, Borgias, television, TV, reviews, shows, showtime, Cesare, Lucrezia, drama, entertainment, art, review, film, Michiletto, The Borgias, episode, spoilers, Micheletto, Vanozza, Alfonso, Rodrigo, 3x7, Lucrezia's Gambit, Rufio, Frederigo, Farnese, king of naples
Glorious, bloody brouhaha. Bring it, Borgias!
Dear Rodrigo: Again, I love the hat! Also, how you make Vanozza laugh about Farnese now. It’s all very full-circle. Send Giulia some honey as a wedding gift. (Also, apparently her husband she was staying away from and needed punishment for avoiding originally died sometime?)
Dear Cesare: I LOVE how without saying it you still Told Dad Off for not giving you more power and trust in the first place, because then he could’ve kept some control and now you’ve got another leader-type to satisfy better. How nice of you to warn Machiavelli. Was expecting you to point out that last time you guys had Benito it didn’t help with Caterina at some point, though.
Dear set people: Last episode we heard that giant statue was of a bull, why was there a horse head this time? Eh?
Dear Lucrezia: Never trust people who care too much about their lap dogs. It’s just a good rule of thumb. On the other hand, we can totally overlook that lack of a nemesis thing for awhile, cause now not only have you got one, but he’s another king of Naples you get to fight with! Excellent!
Dear Alfonso: Stop whining.
Dear Rufio: Don’t you dare call yourself Michiletto’s double, you are not good enough for that. Fuck you.
Dear Michiletto: What were you about, letting Cesare just wander into an obviously infested house?
Dear Frederigo: Thus far, you are an excellent nemesis. Do not let me down.
19 Jun 2013
in Reviews, shows
Tags: 3x6, analysis, art, Banquet of Chestnuts, beauty, bees, Borgias, Cardinal Sforza, Cesare, culture, drama, entertainment, episode, fiction, film, fireworks, Hannibal, Hannibal Lector, historical, humor, Lucrezia, Mads Mikkelson, Micheletto, Michiletto, murder, pope alexander, Pope Alexander VI, Relics, review, reviews, Rodrigo, shows, showtime, shroud of turin, spoilers, television, The Borgias, TV, villains
This episode is building, all plot, and only one thing made me take the time out to review it instead of going straight on:
Dear Pope Alexander VI, BEEKEEPER!!: This should totally be the new thing-everyone must buy my personal honey or no forgiveness! All crusaders must pay for a stock of my honey-it’ll keep you blessed in the Holy Land! Unforgivable suicide, you say? Bury them with my personal honey and I’ll make it Purgatory! Keep coming back and anointing their graves with Vatican honey and they’ll get to Heaven just as soon as I get some Treasury fullness! Plague around and people dropping like flies? Get Vatican honey and I’ll let you fly away like bees! See, Rodrigo? I’m coming up with money ideas for you-wear the beekeeper hat more and I’ve always got your back. Ahhhhh, I am satisfied.
But also, now that I’m here, Dear Cesare, your time has finally arrived! Am so glad to see you enjoying it so thoroughly.
Also, Cardinal Newbies, just HAD to battle it out for who has the best “spear” already, eh? And try to be as sneaky as your predecessors. *shakes head* Perhaps you learned nothing from the Banquet of Chestnuts, but in case you forgot-secret writing is Always Problematic. Battles of Spears always have Losers. Also, if the Pope wants relics, he’s gonna get relics, don’t stand in his way, fools. (Cardinal Sforza is a whole different thing, just because he got to deny the Shroud of Turin doesn’t mean you Cardinewbies can go around trying to deny him things.)
Dear Overly Symbolic Fireworks: I think you should be an option on all TV shows now. Need to liven up a bittersweet love scene? Get the Overly Symbolic Fireworks in-it’ll be festive without losing or mocking the drama! Need to keep the flames going between a couple who haven’t got enough screentime for anything sexy? Fireworks activate! Endless possibilities, you guys, endless.
Dear Michiletto: Of all fictional characters, I would most like to have you help me babysit children. Also, I reeeeally want some kind of crossover where you get to hang out with Hannibal Lector (Mads Mikkelson version), because you would be his perfect friend. Of course, he’d probly be sulky that his perfect friend is gay, the opposite of fancy, and actually liked having a master, but let’s be honest: He’ll want to eat you, you’ll want to fuck him, you’ll ENJOY his mindfuckery and he’ll enjoy your torture-it’s just a match made in Heaven. Plus, you’re both masters at being behind the scenes, quiet persuasion, and the quiet speeches. Yeah. This is happening in my head now.
18 Jun 2013
in Reviews, shows
Tags: 3x5, analysis, art, beauty, Bianca, Borgias, Cardinal Sforza, Caterina Sforza, Cesare, culture, drama, entertainment, episode, Ferdinand of Naples, fiction, film, Francois Arnaud, historical, Lucrezia, Machiavelli, Micheletto, Michiletto, review, reviews, sexuality, shows, showtime, spoilers, television, The Borgias, The Wolf and the Lamb, TV, villains, writing
This is a hunting episode, with quarry enough for everyone! That like never happens. Yet it is still believable! And cruel as well as convenient! Huzzah!
Dear Cesare: The real name of this episode could’ve been Cesare Borgia-wooing is easy! Of this season, actually-you woo them even when you’re really uncomfortable with it! I’m so happy you found a wife you actually are comfortable with.
Dear Charlotte Bride: You’re kindof too cute to be on this show or in this family. I’m really excited to see how you handle your first big curve and I’m all ready to give you a PANTHER! to either celebrate or swipe at your reaction. In the meantime, keep on keeping Francois Arnaud onscreen without clothes.
Dear Machiavelli: You need to show up more. Period.
Dear Lucrezia: I’m sorry you couldn’t kill him yourself, really I am. I do love the fact that you can let go and let Michiletto take care of you. You, Michiletto, and Cesare make the perfect dysfunctional threesome. I can’t even stand it. Also, your last dress with the slitted puffed sleeves? Gorgeous.
Dear Michiletto: Hoops of steel, you say! I believe you, good sir! I ALSO believe you are already exactly as loyal as the servant in “The Frog Prince” whose heart broke when he lost his master to the witch’s curse and so wound a band of iron around his chest to keep it together so he could go on living long enough to find his prince again. EXACTLY. I didn’t know I could love you more, and yet I do.
Dear King Ferdinand: These are the shrieking eels. Keep them around on purpose and eventually SOMEONE’S gonna have to get eaten by the eels at this time.
Dear Nurse: Thank God you apparently take Giovanni out of his room mysteriously late at night, but…seriously, where on earth are you going?? It’s not like he has an actual bathroom or anyone asking to see him that late with Lucrezia gone or…anything. I don’t understand it. It was distracting.
Dear Bianca: I really wanted to start this review by saying, “Scriptural dirty talk FTW!” but…then you just got so pitiful and wrenching. It was an excellent progression and you executed it really well. Go haunt Juan Borgia for me for awhile, okay? I feel like you deserve to do more. Also, I think you’ll be glad to know, you did manage to get your husband back for what he did, with a little assistance.
Dear Cardinal Sforza: I’ve always loved your ‘Cardinal Sforza is practical’ to ‘Cardinal Sforza can connive with anyone, bitch!’ arc, but never more so than today. Today, you are officially an honorary Borgia. All caps off to you, and I can’t wait for the day when you’re carrying around a vile of poison in yours. Perhaps it has already come and we just haven’t seen it yet.
Dear Caterina Sforza: You continue to make me love you. Don’t ever let up.
13 Jun 2013
Tags: analysis, annotations, art, beauty, books, comedy, culture, entertainment, funny, historical, humor, images, language, literature, Mark Twain, misc, miscellaneous, pictures, Plutarch, writing
12 Jun 2013
in Book Discussion, Reviews
Tags: analysis, beauty, Becoming Mr. Brooking, books, Compromising Prudence, culture, drama, Edwina Tolliver, entertainment, essays, fiction, Graham Hatterly, historical, Horace Tolliver, humor, language, literature, Marguerite Butler, Musa Publishing, novels, regency romance, review, reviews, romance, romance novel, romance novels, series, sexuality, The Mad Hatterlys, writing
Becoming Mr. Brooking (The Mad Hatterlys 2)
By: Marguerite Butler
Musa Publishing 2011
A regency romance novel review
When Graham Hatterly decides to consider sponsoring Horace Tolliver’s botany expedition, it seems like a simple business arrangement. Then his secretary Mr. Brooking takes ill and light-spirited Mr. Hatterly decides to travel in his stead. Undercover, of course. Hard-pressed to provide for any guest, Edwina Tolliver finds herself saddled with housing and entertaining “Mr. Brooking” throughout a flood. As Graham learns more about the Tollivers, his own expedition grows into much more than Becoming Mr. Brooking.
This book is like strawberry cheesecake. It fulfills all the sweet, cheesy expectations of this type of story, yet somehow makes it seem fruity-fresh and organic. I believe it’s the inherent likability of the two leads. They are charismatic characters with chemistry who transcend their roles. Yes, Graham Hatterly is the gadabout playboy, but his issues are treated as real faults, not dramatic allure. Edwina Tolliver’s different-from-society behavior highlights a character I’d like to befriend, rather than a stereotype or the folly of normal society. Her temper is particularly admirable. Their interactions include everything you’d want in awkwardly-close-environment encounters, while progressing in natural ways and for good reasons.
Basically, this is a light, quick read that made me laugh, while the characters made me smile. I’d like to read it again. Plus, we spend more time with people from Compromising Prudence (http://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/compromising-prudence-the-mad-hatterlys/) in a way that builds on the family dynamics of the “Mad Hatterlys” rather than being simple cameos. So far, this is a fun family to discover.
10 Jun 2013
in Reviews, shows
Tags: 4x4, Alfonso, analysis, art, Banquet of Chestnuts, beauty, Borgias, Cardinals, Cesare, costume department, costumes, Crusades, culture, drama, entertainment, episode, film, french ambassador, Giulia Farnese, historical, incest, Jeremy Irons, Juan, Lucrezia, review, reviews, romance, sexuality, sforza, shows, showtime, spoilers, television, TV, Vatican, Versucci, villains
This is like the happy hour of Borgia episodes. There’s plenty of dark, alcohol-type, feelings and nefarious shenanigans about, but nothing goes too far, the plotlines are focused in tidy little dishes that aren’t really full entrees yet, and everyone knows these are the lighter ploys before someone really throws all their money on the table.
Dear Costume Department: The lighter fabric covering bosoms before leading up to a little collar is interesting. It makes me want to talk about how to cover their emotions, the Borgias are creating walls around themselves, but walls that are so explicitly tied to their emotions that it’s impossible for anyone to miss the connection and therefore it doesn’t really hide anything. I may be reading a lot into that, but it’s what I got-particularly when Lucrezia’s being congratulated in that dress on her gratifying wedding night.
Dear Jeremy Irons: You are talking to your daughter about how great her sex was, which can in no way be construed as checking she’s okay after her wedding night because everyone knows she’s not a virgin, and chortling at discovering her sex life was transformed, and still somehow-SOMEHOW, you sold me on being touchingly paternal in this scene. HOW?? Also, your flabbergasted yelling when you find out about her lack of sex cracked me up.
Dear Alfonso: Okay, I do feel sorry for you now. Exhibitionist sex is bad enough, without it being a) the only way you can get your wife to have sex with you and b) your first time. Frankly, I was impressed that you managed so easily, considering your virgin status. On the other hand, she did help you and a cousin watching is faar from the situation she was in. I think you really just mellowed me out with your awkward talk about her liking sex “the usual way.” Also, “Like brother and sister”? Wow, you’re great for setting other people up to force awkward things.
Dear Cesare: French Ambassador guy seems cool. Maybe you can subtly suggest to him that you’d like a French princess who looks exactly like your sister. I bet he’d manage it-hey, it’s no skin off his back and it’ll give him more pointed things to say over wine. In fact, you two could have a wonderful time trading pointed (but not barbed, he’s not a threat) remarks over snacks.
Dear Lucrezia: Please, please, please draw blood for the exhibitionism. What I’ve been missing since Juan died is for you to have an enemy to deal with.
Dear Versucci: Smart man! If you’re really going to hide your stolen money from the Pope, the best thing to do IS give it to the poor! They’ll never think of that. I do wonder how you navigate around in fields and rocks so well. I thought you’d been living well at the Vatican for years-did you also steal maps? Did you tour around a lot in youth and have a great memory? Do you ask directions at every stop to the next place?
Dear Vatican Librarian: I’m so glad you are back! So-did you “enjoy that”, as the Pope thought you would?
Dear Giulia: I didn’t expect you to be such a…presence in your night. Couldn’t trust anyone else to be the auctioneer? I’m glad you finally did your inevitable duty, but this storyline didn’t do much for you as the solution to getting leverage over all Cardinals in this Vatican was obvious.
Dear Cardinal Farnese: Poor, overwhelmed boy. You had a very interesting look on your face at the end-were you just shocked at the others’ behaviour or were you a little sad you missed out on the fun? Cause it kindof seemed more like the latter to me. What do you think?
Dear Other New Cardinals: This is how we know you’re new-you paid no attention to the man behind the partition! On the other hand, you know it’s dangerous to refuse Borgia invitations and you did know the Pope wanted money for the Crusades, so one can see how you might have felt that so long as you did spend the money for the right cause you’d be okay.
Dear Sforza Stealth Man: You reminded me of those weight guessers at carnivals, only with guessing the exact moment sex begins. Is this a special talent of yours?