And so another year has ended and a new one begun. As usual, I’ve been too busy watching television to write anything about it, but I figured I’d try to make at least one post about the new shows of the year 2017. I watched 32 wholly new shows this year, only two of which I dropped, and as 30 would take me way too long to write up, I figured I’d draw a random line and make a list of the top half of the ones I stayed with.
If you are ever forced to take a chemistry class, you will probably see, at the front of the classroom, a large chart divided into squares, with different numbers and letters in each of them. This chart is called the table of the elements, and scientists like to say that it contains all the substances that make up our world. Like everyone else, scientists are wrong from time to time, and it is easy to see that they are wrong about the table of the elements. Because although this table contains a great many elements, from the element oxygen, which is found in the air, to the element aluminium, which is found in cans of soda, the table of the elements does not contain one of the most powerful elements that make up our world, and that is the element of surprise.
– Lemony Snicket in The Ersatz Elevator,
Book the Sixth of A Series of Unfortunate Events
Sir Brian had a battleaxe with great big knobs on. He went among the villagers and blipped them on the head.
– A. A. Milne, demonstrating with his poem Bad Sir Brian Botany how to excel at opening lines.
To me personally, this will always be one of the finest graphic novels in existence, putting Don Rosa up there with the likes of Alan Moore and Art Spiegelman. Of course, my opinion is coloured by a multitude of particular factors — by having read this excellent saga doled out in tiny chapters over the course of half my childhood, by before that having already spent my entire living memory immersed in stories set in this universe, by being a person who loves continuity finally being given the backstory of one of my favourite characters in what was (and is) usually considered a continuity-devoid universe …
But in fairness, a lot of these factors can be boiled down to me being the exact target demographic when I first read The Life and Times of $crooge McDuck. In age, and in interests. And one can hardly hold that against it.
Happy New Year! So, for the past two years, this weblog has basically been dead, or (at best) some kind of shambling ghoul-esque state of not so much passing on as passing on and on and on and on …
Clearly, the days of me finding the time to list and minireview every new TV show I watch are long gone. But I still watch exuberant amounts of the stuff, so here is a little write-up of my favourite three new 2016 shows, as well as my wife’s picks (as she watches the vast majority of them with me). I’ll try to name-drop other new shows that I think are worth checking out as I go, ’cause, well, why not.
The first time around, success. The second time, ambition got the better of me, and the third time around, I did not fare much better — though in that case, I blamed spending all year on moving and remodelling. In 2016, alas, I did not have such a great excuse, and so the miserable result I now have to show is mine to bear without the convenience of mitigating circumstances.
That said, I’ve been enjoying having these little lists to revisit throughout the year, so I’m making another one. Mostly just carrying failed goals over from last time, of course. Fingers crossed!
Now Cupid being more and more in love with Psyche, and fearing the sudden austerity of his mother, returned again to his tricks, and did pierce on swift wings into the heavens, and arrived before Jupiter to declare his cause: then Jupiter alter that he had eftsoons embraced his dear relation and kissed his hand, began to say in this manner:
‘O my lord and son, although thou hast not given due reverence and honour unto me as thou oughtest to do, but hast rather soiled and wounded this my breast (whereby the laws and order of the elements and planets be disposed) with continual assaults of terrene luxury and against all laws, yea even the Julian law, and the utility of the public weal, hurting my fame and name by wicked adulteries, and transforming my divine beauty into serpents, fire, savage beasts, birds, and bulls. Howbeit remembering my modesty, and that I have nourished thee with mine own proper hands, I will do and accomplish all thy desire. But still thou shouldest beware of spiteful and envious persons, and if there be any excellent maiden of comely beauty in the world, remember yet the benefit which I shall shew unto thee, by recompense of her love towards me again.’
– Apuleius’ Metamorphoses, Book VI,
in J. Arthur Hanson’s translation.