Monday, July 20, 2009


I wanted to be sure I was caught up with the Torchwood crew before I left for a vacation to San Francisco Tuesday, so I took in a marathon screening of the Children of the Earth (at an undisclosed location) a week ago.

The five-hour miniseries, which airs on consecutive nights this week, is powerful, sobering stuff, and I expected to like it, but I didn't think it would stick with me the way it did. I slept fitfully the night I saw it, rather disturbed at how children, especially kids of the lower classes, are put at risk not just by alien invaders but by a society that sells them out, not out of cruelty as much as expedience. It's not unlike the careless way we treat disadvantaged children in this country by depriving them of quality schools and health care because we can't be bothered.

A few days later I discovered this article in last Wednesday's New York Times (thanks to Meg Cabot), "The Cathartic Pleasure of a Good Cry," and was reminded of my younger self. The author describes how her three daughters, ranging in age from 13 to 21, are enraptured by tear-jerker books and movies. I was like that once, eagerly awaiting new seasons of TV shows like the brutal and bloody Oz, but as I get older and watch friends have children and the people around me become more important to me, my taste in entertainment seems to be mellowing. Lighter fare that seems to promise that the world will be set right by the time the curtains falls or credits roll holds increasing appeal.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sing a Song of Shakespeare

According to this Chicago Tribune article, musicals are the dominant art form at this year's financially strapped Stratford festival. It seems a curious case of life imitating art, as anyone who's seen season one of the hilarious and heartfelt Canadian series Slings and Arrows can attest.

About 5:50 into this clip, two executives of a fictional Stratford-esque festival plot a similar scheme as they diss the Bard. Fortunately, the series, like Shakespeare, sets everything right at the end. Let's hope Stratford does too.