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16 November 2009 @ 10:39 am
roller derby and the prisoner  
On Saturday, we met up with friends visiting from Chicago and went to the roller derby championships, which was totally awesome even though none of the teams we rotted for won. The Philly Roller Girls fought back from a big deficit against the Rocky Mountain Roller Girls to tie the score at 111, then lost in over time. It was a great match to watch, so tense! Next up was the Windy City Rollers vs. the Denver Roller Dolls. The Windy City Rollers played with far more skill and heart, but it wasn't enough to beat the rule-breaking Dolls and the exasperating officials who somehow managed to miss all of their elbow-throwing and other dirty moves. Now that I've got a taste for it, I'll definitely be up for seeing some more derby next year.

After the derby, we went to great mustache-themed party, where I washed down many chips worth of my spicy queso dip with tasty margaritas. I considered shaving my beard down to just a mustache for it, but in the end was too lazy.

Sunday, we had a nice hike in the Wissahickon, then heading home to watch AMC's new version of The Prisoner. Given that I was a diehard fan of the original as a teen, I thought they did a pretty good job modernizing it. James Caviezel plays a man who wakes up in a strange place with distorted memories and no real idea of how he got there. He's brought to The Village, a charming town whose residents are seemingly unaware of the outside the world. Some of them seem to have grown up there, others are only pretending, and others are likely victims of induced amnesia. Everyone has a number instead of a name. He's Number Six and the village's leader Number Two (played by the always excellent Ian McKellan) wants more out of Six than just his quiet acceptance of the situation. Rounding out the cast is 313, the village doctor and Six's potential love interest played by Ruth Wilson, whom I quite enjoyed in the recent BBC production of Jane Eyre.

It's definitely less of a surreal mindfuck than the original, but still nicely stylized in it's own way. It's less clever, more earnest. I noticed distinct echoes of Lost and the film Dark City in it, both of which could be seen as descendants of the original series. The show's biggest weakness is probably the star. Caviezel is like Billy Crudup, a brooding, inscrutable pretty boy, but without any of the goofy boyish charm that balances out most of Crudup's performances. Don't get me wrong, Caviezel might be perfect for this role. I'm just not sure how interested I am in watching him.

Listening to: The Replacements - "When It Began"
traballenguastraballenguas on November 16th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
"definitely less of a surreal mindfuck than the original"

Hmm. I'm not convinced that less surreal mindfuck is the way to go. It seems like that was the (surreal, mindfucked) soul of the show.
traballenguastraballenguas on November 16th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
There was on Avengers episode that seemed to do the same thing, the one with the building with all the traps?
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: purple slapassmonkeydiary on November 16th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
Was that the one with the house that sent you back in time? Hmmm... they all blend together for me these days.
traballenguastraballenguas on November 17th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
You know, I was thinking about which one it was, and there were more than I remembered (the island where everyoe got murdered, and the mimes...). In the late 60s, early 70s, there was a lot of crap, but people also weren't too worried about experimenting. Som eof the results were really cool.
Diary of an Ass Monkeyassmonkeydiary on November 16th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I would have liked to see them take it a lot farther. And who knows, maybe they are just taking their time building to something that'll blow my mind. I just doubt it.

Television audiences these days have consumed so much pop culture that it's got to be hard to pull off a good mindfucking. There's a pretty standard "been there, done that, someone else did it better" reaction to most good twists.
traballenguastraballenguas on November 16th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
True. But The Prisoner (and The Avengers in certain episodes, as well as that UFO show) did some really crazy shit that they didn't feel the need to explain or to make sense of, and that is what made it great. It is almost better that way. Like that study that shows that crazy nonsense temporarily makes us better at solving problems - it puts your brain into "search" mode. And usually the explanations you come up with are way cooler and more bizarre than what they think of anyway.

Reading Kafka Improves Learning, Suggests Psychology Study
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: guru of badonkadonkassmonkeydiary on November 16th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
I love that study!
traballenguastraballenguas on November 17th, 2009 06:17 am (UTC)
Make you think, doesn't it? Now I need to link the one that shows that people have been getting stupider in the last 10,000 years, as our brains shrink. Perhaps because we have surrounded ourselves with monotony.
...: Watermelon Monsterwyndebreaker on November 16th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
I know one of the Windy City Roller Girls. They're considered one of the better leagues out there, so I'm not surprised they could only be beat by cheating. :)
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: Ape vs. Jet Girlassmonkeydiary on November 16th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and they were such fun to watch, completely unlike the team they were playing who kept doing dumb shit like human walls, which makes for dull derby.
(Deleted comment)
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: ballerina escapeassmonkeydiary on November 16th, 2009 10:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was all, "If you think your silly trivia questions can stop me from checking what's on the Food Network during commercial breaks, you're one step closer to being crazy!"

At least the little history of advertisements bits during Mad Men's commercial breaks were slightly interesting.