Apparently it was 35.1 at Wisley today. That’s not far from us. Someone promised a storm with lashings of rain. They lied.
Not that I want to talk about the weather. It’s been hot; it continues hot. That’s the weather.
I wanted to talk about my TV watching habits.
Ever since getting Netflix and giving up the chains that bound us to broadcast TV, I have been inexorably drawn to foreign programmes. From Japanese to Italian to Spanish. I find them refreshing and original. They reek of their own cultures, something I enjoy immensely.
Take, for instance, the brilliant Spanish sci-fi delight, El Ministerio del Tiempo (Ministry of Time). Not only is it wonderfully funny, action packed with characters both lovable and dastardly, but it also teaches you a lot about Spanish history. The humour, especially, is fantastic. It never really takes itself too serious with plenty of tongue in cheek observations directed towards the viewer.
Staying with Spain, there is also the superb La Casa de Papel (The House of Paper or The Money Heist which is not a very good title at all). A thriller with more twists and turns than Galston Gorge. It makes the viewer emotionally attached to the ‘baddies’ rather than the ‘goodies’ in much the way that the characters do within the programme.
It is, as I said to Mirinda, one of the best TV shows I’ve ever seen. The script, the direction, the acting, everything about it is perfect. Even the end. I am so glad I saw it.
This then brings me nicely to what I’m watching at the moment, Korean Odyssey. This is my second South Korean TV series that deals with mythical creatures and how they interact with humans. The first one, Black, concerned a human woman who could see a black shadow around people who were about to die. She didn’t realise that this was one of many Grim Reapers who escort the dead away from the world of the living. It sounds very silly but it was actually a lot of fun and, at times, hilarious.
Korean Odyssey also deals with humans and others, in this case gods and monsters. And it is very funny, very serious and has some excellent special effects. It, again, concerns a human woman who can see other worldly things, in this case, monsters. And they are horrible! The fat sucking one is particularly ghastly. In the first episode she unwittingly sets The Great Sage free from his prison and so it goes.
Okay, don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of stuff to not like in South Korean TV. For a start they do rather enjoy a bit of schmaltz and, because each episode is an unruly 90 minutes, they also tend to repeat themselves, I guess for the benefit of the viewers who have drifted off during the schmaltzy bits. They also play the same song, over and over, to underline the lovey moments.
Still, all in all, it’s brilliantly entertaining and a great way to ignore the kilometres drifting by as I pedal my stationary bike at the gym.
Then, this week, I’ve started watching a Chinese programme called Rookie Agent Rouge. This involves a young girl (18, I think) who for reasons too complex to really go into, almost accidentally, becomes an agent for the Chinese secret service during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It takes place in Shanghai and places our fictitious heroine within a historic context. Fascinating. Mind you, while the acting, costumes and sets are pretty good, the effects are a bit poor. And the melodrama is a bit over the top.
Still, it’s shaping up to be another excellent piece of foreign TV and an insight into Chinese culture as well as a historic event I knew very little about.
All in all, I have to say that my adventures in other lands are wonderful. Long may they continue.
Above is yet another boring photo of Farnham looking beautiful on a wonderful blue sky day. Ho hum.