Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Trains and thieves

I found the British sketch comedy series Big Train on Netflix without knowing anything about it. I was surprised to see Simon "Shaun of the Dead" Pegg and Julia "Nighty Night" Davis pop up in the cast. As with many comedy programs, some of the sketches were funnier than others. Among my favorites: the red coated fox hunters who are frustrated firefighters, and the runner who cannot quite grasp the concept of reacting to the starting gun. Some of the other sketches seem to go on forever and not be particularly funny, such as the one where Hall and Oates are deployed to a housing estate to "help" the bemused residents. The real problem with the DVD was that there was absolutely NO navigation on it. The only option was "play all." There were, I believe, 6 episodes on the disc. If you didn't watch them all in one setting, there was no way to jump forward to later episodes. The "disc menu" button only took the DVD back to the annoying commercials at the beginning of the DVD. There was also NO WAY to skip past those. Fast forwarding worked briefly, but eventually the DVD just froze up and refused to play. Very frustrating!

I'm currently listening to the audio book of Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. I had never read anything by this author, but the audio book is satisfyingly hefty, so I figured it would keep me busy for a while. If only I can keep ahead of the "overdue" notices from the library! The story is set in 1860s London in a den of "fingersmiths" or thieves. Sue Trinder is an orphan who is raised by the kindly (well, to her) Mrs. Sucksby. One of the transient thieves comes up with a scam to defraud a young heiress of her fortune, and needs Sue's help. So far, the story is quite interesting and evocative of smoky, dirty, bustling Victorian London. I could do without every other sentence commenting on how "pale" or "pink" people's cheeks are, but otherwise, it's an engrossing story.

Final Verdict on Big Train: Two Gherkins for some funny bits, but loses Gherkins for the useless DVD navigation

0 comments:

Post a Comment