Hidden Gem

I am, as Regular Readers are aware, a huge fan of gloomy Scandi detective shows.  My latest binge was The Killing (on Prime), which I devoured, all twenty hours of it, over a couple days last week.

*Disclaimer:  I know that Denmark isn’t regarded as a Scandi country.  As far as I’m concerned, any country on the western shores of the Baltic which has damp, freezing, miserable weather, gets dark at about 4pm, and features actors speaking a language which sounds like a chicken with its throat half-cut, is a Scandi country.  Also, if the heroine detective — they’re all heroine detectives;  all the men are idiots, clowns or bad guys — is halfway between plain and ugly, and the plot is dense and contains about five different story lines, then it’s a Scandi detective movie.

As was The Killing, in absolutely every respect.

However, in this show I saw something out of the ordinary:  a woman with quite a large part, who was not halfway between plain and ugly.  Let me introduce you all to Marie Askehave:

In the TV show, she has coal-black hair which shows off those startling blue eyes to perfection:

Also, she’s one of those women who doesn’t do well in still photos — in a movie medium, though, she’s captivating.

The show’s good, too.

Lest anyone thinks I’m going overboard about plain-to-ugly Scandi female detectives, here’s The Killing‘s lead, Sofie Gråbøl:

…and that’s a studio pic — she looks far worse in the show.

No Surprise

There are really three elements to the story of Netflix’s share price collapsing and their market cap falling through the floor.

The first is the simple stuff:  Netflix’s offerings are dire.  I think there should be an award for the guy who can scroll through their movie menu and find something he really wants to watch, in under 30 minutes.  Speaking for myself, I find myself looking for movies on Netflix linger than I actually spend watching any.  This is because Netflix’s own movies are about 10% decent and 90% utter trash.  The 10% includes the brilliant After Life  (Ricky Gervais).  The 90%?  Oy.  They run from endless permutations of women finding themselves while reconciling with a dying parent / sibling / whatever, to mindless celebrity pablum (“my Scientology experience”) to cartoonish rubbish action movies featuring female superheroes, and woke “dramas” riddled with angst.

After a while, I either turn off the TV altogether, or else take the option of Netflix’s other problem:  I go to another movie outlet.  Not that Amazon Prime is much better;  in terms of content, they’re about the same as Netflix:  10% decent, the rest ugh.  Even worse are Prime’s options, in that they’ll show you the first season of a show for free, but then you have to buy the rest.  Fuck that.  There, Netflix’s offer is at least consistent: subscribe, and everything’s “free” thereafter.  Hulu and Roku throw in atmosphere-destroying commercials, so forget that shit as well.

I rather like Discovery+, especially their true crime documentaries, while New Wife likes all the shows about Alaska, and some of the real estate shows.  But that’s pretty much it, because I absolutely refuse to subscribe to any other of the streamers like Britbox.  Thank gawd for Turner Classic movies, because I think I’m nearing the end with Discovery+.

Netflix’s third problem is a common one in the business world:  over-demanding shareholders and accountants.  You see, once a startup company reaches a commanding market share, further growth becomes increasingly difficult if not impossible, especially if new players enter the fray with similar offerings.  None of that matters to the shareholders and finance people, who have grown used to and got rich from annual gains of 25% in market share and / or the share price, and who want that gravy train to last forever.  It can’t, of course, even absent stupid business decisions (like embracing wokedom).  Market growth is finite, and expanding markets by getting into bed with evil yet populous societies like China or Russia have risks that could (and do, and have) endangered many, many corporations and organizations(Apple, NBA, coff coff ).

So there you have it:  a classic case of corporate hubris.

And I see that Disney is starting to see its own ass, too.

Quote Of The Day

From the Divine Sarah (Hoyt):

“You know, the more I look at the left, the more they resemble evil fantasy novel characters.”

One has to think that if a fantasy writer wanted to create their next evil villain, they’d look at (say) Gretchen Whitmer and think, “Nah, nobody would believe that.”

More Difficult Choices

Last week’s post on aircraft provoked more comments from Readers than just about any other piece at this blog.

So this week I’m going to do something quite different.

The scenario:  you are going to do a road trip in Italy which will more or less follow the old Mille Miglia race course.  It will not be a race — in fact, you will end up driving quite slowly, stopping to enjoy all the wonderful views and other attractions along the way.  The only stipulations are a.) that you are in your early thirties, and b.) that whatever car you choose for the trip will be mechanically sound (i.e. no breakdowns).

To make it even more interesting, whichever car you choose will involve a mandatory traveling companion of similar vintage, and your choice therefore requires you to pick not only the car, but the companion as well.  You may not choose or substitute any outside the pairings as listed.

Choice #1:   1958 Lancia Aurelia B24 and 1958 Sophia Loren

Choice #2:  1968 Morgan 8 and 1968 Grace Kelly  

Choice #3:  1967 Austin-Healey MkIII and 1967 Gina Lollobrigida


Choice #4:   1965 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider and 1965 Suzanne Pleshette   

Choice #5:  1959 Corvette and 1962 Ann-Margret 

Choice #6:  1958 Mercedes 300 Roadster and 1958 Elizabeth Taylor

One choice, and one choice only.  Enjoy the trip.

Update:   I fixed the date of the Corvette, and of Ann-Margret just a little (she would have been 18 in 1959, shuddup you pervos).

Also: what part of “you’re not going to experience car trouble” was not clear?

Drinking Game

I’m past the age of playing games whose sole intention (and outcome) is getting shit-faced drunk.

However, I had to chuckle at Tom Utley’s suggestion:

Earlier this month I invented a game to cheer myself up through these short, chilly days of January. I’m not claiming it will work for everyone, but readers may care to give it a try.

The rules are simple. All you have to do is award yourself an imaginary £10 every time you hear the words ‘mental health’ uttered on the radio or TV, or read them in the media.

Poor Tom can’t actually make it a drinking game, because he writes for a newspaper and no doubt some scold will go after him for encouraging reckless behavior.

I, however, am under no such constraint.

Giving yourself money is a pointless exercise;  but if you turn it into a drinking game and substitute “down a shot”, I can guarantee hours of joyous inebriation.

Other such puke-inducing phrases can be used, such as “circle back” (during Jen Psaki press conferences) and “state of emergency” (unless used in an actual emergency e.g. tornado or hurricane), “safe space” and so on.

Feel free to add your favorite puke-inducing phrases in Comments.