An Pan-Seok’s “The End of the World” miniseries (2013) appears to be an intelligent, if a little understated, Korean epidemiological thriller. I was engaged enough by the first episode to rate it a 7 out of 10, and I’ll probably keep watching it to give the show a chance.
It reminded me of Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion” (2011), though the dramatic elements here are even more underplayed — at times the first episode even felt like a documentary. It’s a bit slow, but it really looks like screenwriter Park Hye-Reon has done his homework. (The miniseries was based on the novel “Infectious Disease,” by Bae Young-Ik.)
Assuming the series retains the tone and pace of its pilot episode, I believe this would appeal to only serious fans of disease thrillers. To them, I’d recommend it.
This is me reciting a very short love poem that I wrote in college. “November, Blue Ridge Mountains, 1992” was first published in 2013 by the International Ware Veterans Poetry Archive.
November compelled us to visit the hills
Where ignorant rock and lofty pine
Were witness to our disregard
For strangeness, temptation and time.
But memories are sticky things.
Will any mountain ever let
Me dream again? Can I now
Feel rain without regret?
I received some nice news a little while ago — Jennifer Santellano will record my poem, “hens staring upward,” as part of her ongoing Youtube audio series. As I’ve shared here at the blog before, Jenny is a poet herself who lends her voice talents to help other independent writers gain exposure. (She was kind enough this past September to do a very skilled interpretation of my 2013 poem, “The Writer.”) I recommend that you check out her wonderful audio series over at her Youtube channel.
“hens staring upward” was published previously by Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine and Dead Snakes in 2015.
“Black Mirror” seems to me to be the best science fiction show on television; I’d rate Season 2 (2013) a 9 out of 10. (I’m never quite certain whether to group British shows by “season” or by “series,” as they do. I’m also a little uncertain why the fourth and final episode here, “White Christmas,” is included in Season 2, as it aired nearly two years later as a 2014 holiday special.)
I commented to a friend of mine after seeing “White Christmas” the other night that the show was “brave” — it just isn’t afraid to alienate mainstream audiences by being too dark. Not all of “Black Mirror’s” episodes have “twists,” but they typically have an unexpected plot development, and their outcomes and implications are arguably depressing.
It’s just such a damned good show, though, in terms of its writing and acting. My friend told me she wasn’t aware of anyone who had seen it and disliked it.
“White Christmas,” for example, was one of the best hours of science fiction television I’ve ever seen. It consists of three blackly tragic vignettes seamlessly woven withing a wraparound story, and it employs a sci-fi plot device that is mind-bending and brutal. I believe this is the first time I’ve seen its lead actor, Jon Hamm, and I was extremely impressed with his performance.
My only quibbles with the program are extremely minor. As with the first season, I think that not every episode truly requires a 44-minute running length. I thought two episodes (“Be Right Back” and “The Waldo Moment”) seemed like they could have been tightened up into one, maybe with tighter writing allowing for shorter segments.
I’ve noticed another minor relative weakness with “Black Mirror” in general as well — the show does not always present the viewer with likable protagonists. Occasionally, the various characters we’re asked to identify with are either slightly off-putting or even annoying. Again, “Be Right Back” and “The Waldo Moment” spring to mind. This wasn’t enough to greatly affect my enjoyment of the episodes, though.
What an incredible show.
I am honored tonight to share with you Jennifer Santellano’s skilled rendition of my 2013 poem, “The Writer.” She has a lovely speaking voice, and I’m truly grateful for the life she breathed into the piece with her interpretation.
Ms. Santellano is a published poet herself. She also finds time to help her colleagues in the independent literature community, by performing recordings of their poems. It’s a particularly nice way of being generous with her time and talent. You can find more of her interpretations at her Youtube channel right here.
Hey, gang — I received some nice news today. Poet Jenny Santellano has kindly agreed to feature a poem of mine in her ongoing video series.
Jenny is a particularly gracious creative person who allows other poets to benefit from her voice; she reads selected poems at her Youtube channel, which you can find right here. (Seriously, guys, she has a beautiful voice.)
The poem selected is “The Writer.” It was part of a trilogy of poems entitled “Three Dreamers,” which was first published in 2013 by Dagda Publishing in its online format, and then in its print anthology, “Threads.” (“Three Dreamers” was also subsequently published by Illumen Magazine, Dead Snakes and UFO Gigolo.)
I’ll be sure to post a link when the video appears.