North and South… again.

I finished it. Twice. It’s actually been a while since I’ve finished that, I’ve just been mulling over it for the past few days.

So, um… Real, true-to-life review:

Overall, you might have guessed, I loved it. The beginning was a little hard to get into, sometimes I was flat out bored with all the religion and strike stuff, but by the riot scene I couldn’t put it down, and I didn’t. The ending… rushed. I unfortunately read the footnote that said Gaskell was meeting a deadline, and it colored my reading of the ending. I was expecting an Austen-type pay-off, where they grow old really quickly and we get to hear about all their fat babies and happiness and such. That didn’t happen. But it was still good; don’t get me wrong. My favorite part is the discord… Thornton’s jealousy is just too fun. Not a "perfect" book (whatever that is), but awesome.

Oh, I have so many things to say. I love forewords because they always give you one or two of the easier themes to think about before you start the book. This one mentioned Mr. Hale’s femininity and Margaret’s rejection of her own sexuality and blah blah Victorian ideals. I noticed particularly in the beginning that N&S has a lot to do with gender and control: enough to give any Sophmore English Major a field day. I remember only writing about those themes for years, until I moved onto… slightly different things. The two themes mentioned are a good place to start, but I’ve added a few of my own. The first time I read the book I did it so fast, that I had to do read it again. The second time I read it, I had specific things in mind. Here’s what I was just dying to explore/notice/want to know/find out WHY? WHY did they act this way??? I suppose you can call them "themes":

REBELLION
Everyone rebels in this book. Thornton, Margaret, Mr. Hale… Margaret’s face looks naturally high and mighty: intrinsically rebellious. Thornton rebels against his upbringing, and then his role as an uncaring manufacturer, and all the time everyone rebels against each other. There’s this great part where Mrs. Thornton mentions a riot that happened when she was still married to the late Mr. Thornton, and she picks up a rock to drop it on the crowd, should she need defend herself. In my head, she’s also pregnant and barefoot, but I’m pretty sure that’s not in the book. It makes me wonder… The foreword makes the point of restricted Victorian society, but the book makes rebellion a good thing? It’s almost a personality strength. It’s very exciting. Everyone rebels in some way, and everybody loves the rebellious streak in others. The whole book is founded by the single manly thing Mr. Hale has ever done– his rebellion against the church– and it is done in the girliest, saddest way, and no one, not even his friend Mr. Bell, really truly believes in him.

THORNTON AND JOB KARMA
Since it’s the start of the Industrial Age, we have some very basic ideas of capitalism running against the whole British gentlemen society thing. Very interesting to watch, but wait; what was that about capitalism? At the beginning, Margaret asks why there are so many down trodden, and Thornton actually replies that their spirits and bad postion are "the natural punishment of dishonestly-enjoyed pleasure, at some former period of their lives." So a boy spends his money on doughnuts at age nine, and that’s why he never gets higher than a clerk? Might as well tell panhandlers to get a job, and support tax cuts for rich people. I really wanted to find out what exactly Mr. Thornton thinks, and I suppose what most Industrialists think, about what they were doing. I think it changes in the course of the book, not exactly because of Margaret, but Margaret at least puts him in the way of growing as a person.

MARGARET AND SEXUALITY
The foreword mentions this. The miniseries sneaks it in, when Margaret says "I’m not ready to marry anybody." Margaret has a lot of masculine attributes, and she lives in this little sexless world where her father is more feminine than she is, but they are both alike. The foreword suggests that Margaret refuses Thornton because she doesn’t want to give up the power she has as a sexless being.

Sure, I believe that. And Thornton has his own problems with sexuality: around thirty and still married to your work is a good indication. But you know what else I think it is? I read this great essay once that said Mr. Knightley was subconciously holding back from romance until he could actually support his wife. I think there is something of that in this book. Mr. Thornton has definite obligations to his mother and family, and has dedicated himself to obtaining a respectable, comfortable position. Margaret has obligations of a different kind: she has to take care of her fragile mother and father who rely on her completely. I think Margaret rejects Mr. Thornton because she knows she can’t leave her father. She doesn’t even allow herself to think about romance, and when it comes up… it grates against her conscience. Once Thornton is awakened to the idea (and it only takes him a threat against his life and the life of his love), it’s hard, fast, and permanent. A "hand on the plow" situation, definitely. But Margaret… she’s harder to understand. I think it’s because she still has obligations to her family.

Quickly: THE WOMANLINESS OF MR HALE
I think it affects a lot of areas of the novel, especially how Margaret feels and acts, but I also think that Hale is the perfect mediator for the debates between the North and South. He is part of the South, but also part of God as a clergyman, and his feminine-male perspective makes him just sort of neutral. He’s the perfect person to erradicate animosity when the debates become to heated, and he looks at the industrial age favorably from a romantic/educated perspective. He likens the mill to a genie from Arabian Nights.

But mostly, what I set out to do was find out, once and for all,
DO THEY REALLY LIKE EACH OTHER????
I mentioned before that Margaret in the mini-series is hard to read. I couldn’t figure out what her face was saying: does she like him before he proposes? Who knows? I got the book to find out why, and read it… and still didn’t know. I had to go back, read it again, and then map out the whole proposal scene and afterwards. I still can’t say for sure, but what I think is this:

As I said before, Margaret doesn’t allow herself to even think about romance when she needs to take care of her family. But I think the same sort of awakening that happens to Thornton could have happened to Margaret before the proposal at the riot scene, perhaps even despite her obligations, if there wasn’t interference from outside parties before she even had time to think. In the book, Margaret is concious but unable to speak when Thornton’s sister gossips about Margaret throwing herself at Thornton. She hears it all, and is immediately acquainted with the harsh, outsider’s opinion of her deeds that puts her conduct to shame. Of course she has to react against that, and therefore takes up the view that she did it for purely altruistic reasons. Poor Thornton’s proposal, though it comes from his heart, only sounds like a confirmation of what she heard from his sister.

When she finally gets to think it over, she says "I could not have been so brave for any one else, just because he is so indifferent to me — if, indeed, I do not positively dislike him." It kind of kills me that I can’t quite figure out what kind of tone she says that last part. Should we take from that sentence that she is in denial of her own feelings? Either way, it is at least suspect that she changes her tune when Thornton shows up, and says that she could do it for any man in the crowd. That’s pretty much all the evidence I have in the way of "does she like him before he proposes," besides the fact that she cries harder at one point when she thinks of him. I know that I cry harder when there’s something I really care about mentioned. It’s kind of a litmus test.

After the proposal, the first indication is a throwback to Pride and Prejudice. "I just can’t stand the thought that he thinks ill of me." What is with that? It hard for me to wrap my head around that idea everytime I come across it, and these women are always loving men because they don’t want to be thought ill of. What is up with that? Rejection as reason to gain respect/love? Reputation as mask for actually caring? I don’t get it.

Meanwhile, Thornton is going through his whole up-in-his-head jealousy phase, which I totally love and totally relate with. I love it when you get so in the character’s head, you feel the thoughts whirl around. It feels so much like your own head, with own thoughts whirling around… I suppose it’s comforting. Also, Thornton challenges himself to not only keep on loving her, but to test his willpower by returning to the house when he can, even though he wants to avoid her. I understand that, and I understand when the author calls it a "stinging pleasure" to see Margaret. I feel like a lot of my life is centered around those two motivations: forcing myself to do things I don’t want to do, and the "stinging pleasure" they create.

If I had time, I would also want someone to explain to me the whole STRIKE, and RELIGION thing, and the gist of the DEBATES WITH BESSY since I don’t care enough to figure it out for myself. But I love one last thing and that is:

DAMN THAT NIGHTINGALE WOMAN AND HER STUPID CHARITY
A footnote said that Gaskell met Nightingale and said, (not real quote) "it’s great that she like’s humanity, but I’m not sure that she likes people." Gaskell was a big advocate for the individual compassion over common-good love, and that makes Mr. Thornton a really interesting character. I don’t think he thinks in societal terms at all: he doesn’t notice that he’s reached a high station in his town, and when Margaret disgraces herself, he instantly skips over the whole social-disgrace part and makes it about her love for someone else. The greatest part where this comes into play is when Thornton starts talking about his "experiments": ie, the helpful things he does for his workers because he recently made friends with one and then many of them, and hides his love by tentatively setting out business proposals. He’s telling Mr. Bell about the soup kitchen he made, and Mr. Bell is wants to give him some money for the cause. Thornton is supremely uninterested. Thornton says, he doesn’t want any charity, he doesn’t want it talked about, he doesn’t want an institution made and obligations to form because it will get all blown out of proportion and stop being about the individuals. He just wants to practice his "experiments" to better form relationships between master and workers. Really, he just loves his new friends and wants to meet more of them.

There’s this great part that explains Thornton so perfectly. "He had tenderness in his heart — a ‘soft place’ as Nicholas Higgins called it; but he had some pride in concealing it; he kept it very sacred and safe, and was jealous of every circumstance that tried to gain admission. But if he dreaded exposure of his tenderness, he was equally desirous that all men should recognize his justice…"

Fantastic! Justice as a veil for tenderness! It totally works that way.

Okay, and I swear ONE LAST THING: THORNTON AND WOMEN.
Austen men are always so independent, with no parents to look after. But Thornton is always making friends with the subordinates. First his mother– a very strong relationship there — then Mr. Hale, then Margaret, and even after Margaret, Mr. Higgins. It’s interesting that he surrounds himself with womanly and ultimately subordinate characters. I mean, doesn’t Mr. Thornton have any male friends? Most of it is play-acting for a successful marriage, but I think also Mr. Thornton must have someone to love. He seems a little starved for affection, poor boy. And he looks for it in an effeminate clergyman, his stuck up daughter, and the strike-leader working man of his mill. There’s something in that.

Elizabeth Gaskell is also an anomly as the newest member of my group of favorite women writers: she was married. Ooh, a writing career AND a husband? Is it indeed possible? It makes me wonder how that affects her writing. I’m not sure if I see much of a difference, except for Thornton’s yearning for the "gentle, restrictive" womanly love. Sexual, anyone?

North and South

North and South

I am sad to say I had absolutely no idea of the existence of this mini series and book before a few weeks ago. Imagine my surprise, when tooling around Netflix, to find a movie manifestation of the logical equation Pride and Prejudice + Bronteesque North Country + Cotton Mills and Industrial Age = everything that I love wrapped into one.

What an awesome show. Middle Class girl from sunny, Austenesque Southern England, leaves with her family to go to Milton, a Northern Industrialized town whose main profit is factory work. She meets John Thornton, an mill owner, who is a hard working, no frills, self-made man. Their difference of opinion creates an electric atmosphere, and is fuel for many drawing room debates. Of course, he loves her.

This guy Thornton, though, is a little intense. The first moment we see him, he is running full speed to catch an employee who was breaking the rule of not smoking. He beats up the employee right in front of sweet, sheltered female love interest. Hilarious! Meet your love interest, sir! She will never love you for this. You are an asshole!

It doesn’t help that the guy who plays Thornton later goes on to play someone not only quiet, sullen, and emoingly loving from a far, but actually evil. It’s Guy of Gisbourne from Robin Hood. Oh, Guy! I’m so surprised to see you here, or anywhere, and you are so severe looking. Sneering is definitely a professional sport to this guy. And yet he is the main guy. Here he is sneering and loving.

I have become very admiring of his nose. It is just so interesting from so many angles: straight profile, bumpy forward, long and thin, and a great sneering droop at the end. Thems British gots good noses. I will add him to my list of favorite noses, which include Mark Strong, and Julian Sands from Room with a View.
This is Mark Strong from Stardust and RocknRolla. The second one is not that flattering, but I love the nose/bridge/eyebrow combination.

There’s also Julian Sands, whose nose is better than the creepy people he plays.

  Oh, the sneering that man Thornton is capable of! The story is textbook P&P. We have our pride, our prejudice, our misunderstandings. Every time I say things like, "this is the part they go to the Lakes" they do! Poor bitch proposes at the end of episode two, with two episodes to spare. They have a heated tet e tet, and he storms out, very much like tape one of P&P A&E. We even have the motley crew of side characters, mostly living with Thornton instead of the girl. We have our silly Miss Bingley, our Lady Catherine De Bourgh and Mrs. Bennet wrapped into one. The mom, Mrs. Thornton, is the best: she’s this singleminded, old-world Northern woman; Mrs. Bennet if she were made of wrought iron and eats small children for breakfast. She has this one track mind of making her son into a tradesman, and judges everyone else accordingly. She’s clinging, and unfeeling, and scary as hell, but also she cares deeply for her son, and expresses true emotion when she possibly can spare it. You learn to love their relationship.

A typical cheery mother-son talk. I would be really scared to, but I extra want to be her friend.

Even though the stories so similar, I laugh to think of Elizabeth looking out of the Thornton household, which sits right in the middle of the bustling, ugly, loud cotton mill, and thinking "and of all this, I could be mistress!" Surely, the expression would take a different meaning.

Thornton does all the typical Darcy things, but with a degree of marked disdain. He looks out windows, rests on mantles, judges wrongly, and also helps her selflessly from social ridicule. But you learn that the sneer he always has is strangely without pretention like Darcy’s is. You get the idea that is just how his face is made. Out of everyone in the show, he is the easiest to read. Just imagine his sneer as an expression of ever-enduring love, and you’ve pretty much got it. At one point someone asks, "have you heard what they are saying about Margeret?" and he says pointedly, "I don’t care, and neither should you." Then he walks upstairs, looks out the window and goes:

"Grrrrrr. I sooo care……"

He so cares a lot.

And his squishiness abounds! Not only is it a story about strikes, but it is the most congenial strike story ever told. The strike ends badly, and people are hurt, but when do you hear about the boss ever later making friends with the strike ringleader, teaching the man’s son to read, and building a helpful stew house together? Hilarious! Pretty soon, he’s sitting down with his workers in a lets-all-hold-hands communist way. Oh, the things men do for women. Like grow hearts and make friends with poor people.

I have to put the Thornton/Margaret relationship side by side with Darcy/Elizabeth. Though I feel great allegiance to the second, I find this version refreshing. When Thornton proposes, he is not blinded by his own self-conceit; he doesn’t put forth his feelings in that horrible, demeaning way that Darcy does. And Margaret is not quite so mean as Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Darcy are both masters of the drawing room debate, they are incredibly intelligent and witty, and it’s fantastic to watch them spar. But they are also consumed with themselves, and unaware of outside circumstances to a fault. It’s nice to see two people who actually see a bit of the other side, no matter how little. It feels more… real.

I’ve decided to buy the book first chance I get. I’m excited about it most of all because the one thing I couldn’t understand in this movie is what Margaret is thinking. Isn’t that strange? She’s only the protagonist. But the woman who plays her has this damn blank expression, so when she looks at Thornton, I think "she must like him. No, wait, that can’t be right. Is she angry? Sad? Sleepy?" until I finally give up and settle on nothing.

And why is Thornton always in a state of undress? He’s always undoing his bowtie, rolling up his sleeves, even in the prescence of ladies. He’s the only one walking around outside hatless. One time he picks his hat up, and then puts it back down. They probably think he looks stupid in his hat, which is a top hat, and sadly, I have to concur. Not that I’m complaining. Mmm, glimpses of arms and throat are possibly the closest to sex we’ll get in a period drama. Here he is emoing it out while Mr. Bell tries to tell him not to be a dick about Margaret. The stance he is in is either "I don’t want to speak to you" or "I shall dance away my troubles in a box similar to a go-go cage."

You know that part in P&P where they are getting married, and Darcy smiles big for the first time, and it kind of ruins the whole movie for you? That doesn’t happen here. Severe Thornton has at most small sheepish smile throughout the movie, and at the end his smile progresses to a little bigger and a little sleepy with contentedness. At the end she’s all "I am trying to keep face and be civil," and he’s all "shut up already." It is so cute.

This movie makes me love it, and also makes me consider rewatching Robin Hood with more reverance. He’s incredibly sexy here, not bogged down with too much leather, long hair, and eye liner as he is in the British series. Though I’m not used to the Victorian garb. Every once in a while I look at his bowtie and remember that quote I heard first from a Woody Allen film.

"It’s the truth that you should never trust anybody who wears a bow tie. Cravat’s supposed to point down to accentuate the genitals. Why’d you wanna trust somebody whose tie points out to accentuate his ears?"

Dexter Season 2: Why I love serial killers

Watching a lot of Dexter has changed me. Well, you could say altered. I’ve been doing things I don’t normally do, like:

#1 Making jokes about serial killers.

Why is a serial killer a good neighbor?
Because they always have an array of heavy duty power tools on hand.

#2 When Dexter finally ties some one up and starts to kill them (it’s less frequent now), I laugh and giggle and go, "Oh, Dexter. That old stick again," in manner of hearing Freddy play my favorite song that he used to play for me way back when.

#3 When meeting a new person, I ask, "what is your name, and what serious mental disorder do you have?" Every time there’s a new girlfriend, new love interest, new minor character looking to stick around, I have to say, "oh, no" and hope for the right ones to back away slowly. Seriously, the amount of people with sociopathic urges on this show: It’s supposed to be, what, 20 in the country (says Dexter). The way they parade around Miami reminds me of the time in Queer As Folk where every man Bryan looked at, no matter the age or apparent sexuality, suddenly turned gay before his eyes. He had the Midas touch of Gayness, and no wonder, with his sassy mouth and bedroom eyes. But Dexter has a different touch it seems.

#4 I’m so obsessed about this show that I’ve started to call my addiction to it "The Dark Passenger" (enter creepy woo sounds now).

Poor Dexter. And this time I’m really feeling for him because we’re doing a new thing this season: Dexter has grown feelings. Even hilariouser: he’s grown feelings and he has no idea what the hell to do with them.

A friend said "Dexter doesn’t get fixed, House is always angry, and Batman never gets therapy." The last two are true, though it makes me giggle to think of the third, and the second *enter mini-rant here* (that’s why I don’t like House. Because there is no irony. He is just mean and mean and never changes, and the only time it’s different is when he’s more mean than usual. Then theres those rare moments of kindness, or underneath kindness, but that’s too easy when there is never hope for change, so I don’t see any tension in it, and frankly the meanness doesn’t impress me because I’ve NEVER seen sarcasm BEFORE EVER). But guess what we’re doing with Dexter? We’re fixing him.

Kinda.

Dexter is duped into a lie about being a heroin addict, and now uses his narcotics anonymous classes to heal his other addiction. Hilarious!

Other things to enjoy about season 2:

#A. Oh, the emotional healing! Poor broken Dexter. We travel in his past, and he gets angry, sad, he reaches out, he tries to overcome his hurt. In a more extreme world I would be Lila. I don’t really blame her. At a critical moment in Dexter’s life, he turned to her for comfort: you just can’t come down from a high like that easy.

#B. Dexter enjoys sex now! Yay, sex! I was wondering how this show got on Showtime with an main character uninterested in sex, but we’re fixing that, too!

#C. More hilarious inner monologues! I’ve noticed that my own inner monologue has started to take on a low, sarcastic monotone, but Dexter’s is always funnier. Here’s a tidbit:

"Apparently, the new me is entangled in love triangles.
I’m that guy.

…And the inner voices are back again."

#D, And the always hilarious, smack down serial killer style. Unlike the original smackdown, a showboating elbow to the stomach by a man named the Rock, the serial killer version sneaks up on you. It’s quiet, methodical, completely in the shadows, and it smarts more than the first because no one knows, and no one will ever know but you and him. Fantastic. Dexter lashing out at enemies is a true sight to see.
 

I’ve said before that he’s basically a vigilante, but this time we are actually making him out to be a vigilante. There’s even a superhero inspired by him in the show. Bonus features: occasional references to Batman. I mean, they were both born out of tragedy, right? It was bound to happen.

By the end of the first season it was hard to believe that he didn’t have feelings, but now it’s all a matter of just what to do with them. He keeps on making mistakes, and i want to say, "give him a break! He just got these things, alright?"

Oh the psychology, mystery, emotional damage: just the sort of things I love best about Batman. Only, a little different. He is the serial killer of the story. Sometime he does stuff, and I say, "you realize that you are the three parter story of cop shows on sweeps week? You are the scary voice that menaces the good guy, the embodiment of unstoppable evil? you know that, right?" And sometimes he does know that, and plays into the stereotype.

Hilarious.

PS, I thought of some more examples of what series do to characters. For some reason, no matter the advancement of real or imaginary technology, Two-Face always regains his scar-tissue and Barbara is stuck in that goddamn wheelchair. Meanwhile, Metropolis has flying cars and the Justice League takes weekly trips to planets outside our galaxy. We can’t work out the kinks of plastic surgery?
 

Dexter

You know how when you play a whole bunch of Tetris, you suddenly feel like the world is a tetris screen? Or when you finally end a gangster movie marathon, and you’re wondering why you don’t have a gun strapped to your ankle and that no one is giving you enough respect? Well, I just watched four episodes of Dexter.

For those of you that don’t know, Dexter is a tender-hearted family drama about a forensic blood spatter specialist working in Miami who moonlights as a sociopathic serial killer. It’s on Showtime, so it’s not like we allude to the fact that he kills one person every show, but don’t worry folks, he’s a nice serial killer. Typical tv show code of ethics: he may enjoy chopping up people into pieces, but he only does it to bad people, NOT the innocent. What a fucking softie. His pathological need to kill is the only thing separating him from vigilantism, and even that is arguable.

I wasn’t too much into the story at first. I mean, the guy is a sociopath; he can’t NOT be isolated. Needless to say there isn’t a tight knit Baskstreet Boys type group of supporting character surrounding him.  While watching the show, I suddenly missed the Dead Like Me days where each character was connected to other, but living their own lives, so when one got boring you could tell yourself that the next, more interesting character is just part of the same character-conglomerate that you are ultimately interested in. Hm. That’s confusing. I mean that George gets a little too whiny now and then, but you’re distracted because Mason is doing something funny, or Rube something endearing. So you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about one character, but it’s alright becfause they all love eachother and they are so much together that it’s almost like one big ass, multi-dimensional character.

I digress.

It’s still interesting to see a sociopath at work. If this is really how sociopaths are. If that is even a thing. Mostly, I’m talking about the part away from killing people. The part where he acts normal, fakes the normal responses, seems like a nice person, a normal nice guy.  After about four episodes I noticed something about his daytime self. Check this out: lab rat geek of the office, nice to the point of chivalry, a little awkward, a little clueless, a bit of a doormat, red hair…. Dexter is totally Jimmy Olsen. His job in forensics is completely comprable to nerdy photography kid at the daily planet. Dexter is always running into the "big kids" conversations to ask what is going on. True, Dexter does this sometimes because the cops are investigating a murder that he himself committed, but who knows? Maybe that’s why Jimmy does it, too.

And I’m pretty sure that nearly everyone on WB’s Smallville could be considered a sociopath. Come on: overly nice but empty inside? You watch every actor on that show with their dead eyes, and wonder if they have any real motivation at all. Maybe they are doing things they don’t want to do just to appear normal (*ahem, Chloe marrying Jimmy) or just don’t know what human emotions are (what is sad, Clark?). All of seem to have something of it. And the person who has been quietly killing people for years while no one expects a thing? My money’s on Chloe. She probably started to strangle puppies in high school when she found out that Clark didn’t like her that way, and probably moved up from there. And has finally settled into a semi-stable existence where she can live her day life successfully without anyone finding her habit of hacking human into pieces. It would just be the kind of thing Clark would miss.

Superherodom itself is called into question when I watch Dexter because the plotline runs frighteningly close to Type A superhero story. A man, born out of tragedy, is taught "unbreakable rules" by his godlike father figure, before the father figure dies and leaves the man to bear the weight of the morals alone. Sounds pretty typical. These morals though, are "you can kill people Dexter, to control your impulses. Just make sure it’s not an innocent person." ……Um. I don’t remember Thomas Wayne mentioning that one. Seriously, in Dexter, we have flashbacks of Dexter being taught as a child how to cover his tracks, how to kill successfully by the father figure. And then the father figure says "hide who you are. Don’t get caught. Kill only bad people." Jeez. Easy on the high morals, there, sir. No matter what this father figure is selling, I’ve pretty much decided that killing bad people is wrong.  But isn’t this just a more extreme version of vigilantism? I realize that I find superheroism wrong about 1 out of every twenty times I think about Superhero ethics. They are just a construction to make us feel like superheroes are fighting a big Cause, but imposing the view of one man on a wide populace? Isn’t that a bit like dictatorship?

But then I got more interested in the show. Why? The courtship. Yes, that’s right, I can find romance in nearly everything. Dexter is being courted by this serial killer who is the master of serial killers. They have a funny little attraction where Dexter thinks about him all the time, and the killer leaves Dexter little notes, and dolls, and freshly severed limbs. Dexter built this big idea about the guy, and was worried that the real life guy will fall short — you know, normal long distance relationship stuff— but yay! The sad man he thought was the serial killer actually isn’t! The hunt is on again. Now they are back to courting, and it turns out (I’m going to ruin the first season for you) that serial killer guy is dating Dexters sister! Dexter and "Rudy" stand together a lot now, and Rudy sends longing looks Dexter’s way. It is very cutesy. Rudy has a big serial-killer-crush on fellow sociopath Dexter, and I can see why: Dexter does look very cute in his Going Out to Break In To Someones House to Find Evidence and Possibly Kill Them Shirt, which is long sleeved and fitted. Strange, this guy Rudy? When I found out he was the serial killer, I suddenly found him more attractive. Don’t judge, judgy.

RockNRolla

What a hilarious movie!

It’s in the cinemas right now, so I’ll try desperately hard not ruin it for you. Basic plot: thugs looking for money in London, get into weird shit blah blah blah GUY RICHIE! He just doesn’t disappoint. Sometimes I think about the weirdness of the video game industry when the public goes, "that was a really good game. Make another one just like it." and it works. You can put a hat on Prince of Persia and call it good, just as long as there are different levels. But maybe the movie industry is closer to that mentality than I thought, aka Guy Richie. He makes the same goddamn movie every single time. Snatch was Lock Stock when they played musical chairs with the actors and threw in Brad Pitt (do we all want to throw in Brad Pitt?). And this one is just the same. But you know what? We’re fine with that. Lock Stock was a very good movie, and I would like to another one just like it.

So don’t bother yourself with the plot. Chances are you won’t understand it, or even understand most of them through the accents. I wasn’t too impressed at first, since this one seems a lot more corporate, and they didn’t have all that "bob’s your uncle" stuff that was in the first two. But, unilke the first two, RockN is FUNNY. Literally laugh out loud joke a minute funny. It was funnier than Pineapple Express, the self acclaimed comedy of the summer. And you see Gerard do humor, and Septimus from Stardust (I love him), and… it’s just great. A new cast revives the same old story, except exit "poker" and enter "realty." Weird substition, I know.

Watching too many Guy Richie movies kind of skews my idea of small time crooks in London. I mean, all these movies are about guys who steal from other guys who steal from other guys who are friends with the guy that stole his brother’s friend’s previously stolen goods. It makes me think that theres just like five crooks in the London underworld, passing around the same damn VCR. Talk about inbred.

Watch it!