TV

Strange Days (or why Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell deserved better than we gave it)

We’re only just past the solstice, and yet the internet is already awash with “Best of 2015” posts, listicles (Christ) and countdowns. And as I am an easily-herded nerf, I thought I might as well get in on the act – but with one slight difference. I’m not going to talk about the 10 Best Things I Watched (one of those would almost certainly start a fight. I’ve already come to near blows with one friend about it, and I can probably do without setting myself up for a scuffle with the entire online world…). I’m going to talk about the one thing that really stuck, and to suggest that – if you haven’t already – you give it a look.

Yes, I’m going to bang on about the TV adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR NORRELL.

Sorry, but as I’m the one with the metaphorical microphone here and it’s my name on the url… my rules.

To come entirely clean: when this was announced, I was… shall we say, cautious? It’s my favourite book. I remember buying the book when it came out (on the day it came out, if memory serves. In Waterstones on Gower Street. What an oddly specific thing to remember) and loving it – but I also remember that it took me months to get through, partly because I was afraid if I fell asleep reading in bed at night, the hardback would fall on my face and break my nose.

I mean, I’ve not got a great nose, but I’m kind of used to it by now.

To summarise: it’s a big book.

And it’s not just big, it’s dense. It’s a whole world, intricately bound up in real and borrowed history and its own mythology… and its footnotes.*

How the hell do you turn that into a television series?

I dodged all the promo I could: the interviews, the trailers, the production stills. Everything. I think I saw one teaser for it and then shut my eyes and stuck my fingers in my metaphorical ears and sat there shouting “LalalalalaI’mnotlisteningIcan’thearyoulalalala” until the first episode.

Whooof.

I say again: whooof.

IMG_3170

Somehow, writer Peter Harness managed to take this enormous, complicated, footnote-heavy** beast of a thing and unspool it, line by line. Somehow (and I can only assume this was by Actual Magic) he gave us a story which felt like being inside the novel to watch – even with the cuts and shuffles and conflations that have to happen in the process of an adaptation.

The experience was the same, even without the pineapples or Jonathan Strange’s hallucinated candles-inside-heads (which you’ll just have to read the book to understand. But when you do, know those candles are the most perfect depiction of living with manic depression I have ever come across.) It looked wonderful, too: the fairy ballroom at Lost Hope was as desperate and menacing as anyone could have hoped, and Hurtfew Abbey’s library was the library I’d always dreamed of.

Could anyone have made Vinculus as wild and as wily as Paul Kaye did? Would Childermass have been a more businesslike man-of-business, bound more tightly to his cards than to his master, in the hands of someone other than Enzo Cilenti (whose Yorkshire-ninja eyerolling was an utter, utter joy)? Doubtful.

Lord & Lady Pole, Lascelles, Drawlight, Arabella, Wellington, Stephen, Major Grant (a character drastically different from his novel-self… and yet somehow still *right*) – all felt as though they had simply strolled off the page, complete in themselves. How much work must that have taken, somewhere in the background, to make it look so easy?

Then, to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Where do you even start? Perhaps by noting that Mr Norrell seemed a lot… nicer, in his own way (sympathetic, perhaps? Although he still had his moments…) than book-Norrell***. But in the hands of Eddie Marsan, his journey from the solitary last magician in England to the wild-wigged Norrell of the final episode was a joy. The same was even more true of Bertie Carvel’s Jonathan Strange, who became – through war and loss and madness and magic – who he was always capable of being. I’ve always had a lot of time for the Strange of the novel, and so he was the one I was most nervous about. And yet… this Strange? What a Strange he was. I could go on about him, and how right he was, for days, but I shan’t. Ask me sometime over a drink.

This tremendous, sprawlingly neat (neatly sprawling?) adaptation deserved better than it got. I’ve seen a handful of award nominations, particularly in design and effects categories – and there’s another thing. It wasn’t awash with effects, but when they were there, they were good. Really good – but it should have found a wider audience. Was it because there was magic (and therefore must be one of those “fantasy things” – insert a Childermassian eye-roll here)? Was it because it was period (and therefore must involve Mr Darcy-alikes sitting around discussing a maiden aunt’s health and copious subtext)? Was it because it built, rather like the novel, enveloping you and wrapping its raven-winged world around you?

Maybe the scheduling had something to do with it: it ran through the late spring, despite feeling like it really should be something to watch in the winter, when the wind was howling outside and the rain was lashing against the windows****. I can only assume it ended up where it did so that the episode featuring (an absolutely immense take on) the Battle of Waterloo ran the same week as the anniversary of the battle itself – which is a lovely nod to the history, true, but perhaps served the endeavour a little less well.

Whatever the reason, it feels like JSAMN should have had more. More coverage, more viewers, more love. It certainly earned it. It felt like it was a labour of love – the feeling that is stitched into certain books and films and shows; a feeling that can’t be faked. I wish that had been better repaid – or perhaps I should say, more widely repaid, because as far as I can see, the people like me who loved it really loved it.

So, I’ll hang my fangirl hat back on the peg for now – as I say, ask me about everything this adaptation did right sometime, and make sure you’ve not got anywhere to be for a while. In the meantime, in this endless, grey, wind and rain-lashed winter, do yourself a favour: whether you’ve read the book or not (and I can’t urge you strongly enough to do that, if you haven’t) find the box set of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, either on DVD or Blu-Ray or from the BBC Store or wherever else you buy your media. Turn off your phone. Draw the curtains and light a candle… and watch.

And I’ll see you on the other side of the rain.

 

###

 

*It seems pretty apt to include footnotes on a JSAMN post, so here’s something I discovered when I was re-reading the novel on a never-ending train journey through Yorkshire this autumn: if you want to find the women in the novel, look for them in the footnotes and they’re everywhere. Women as magicians, women as pupils of the Raven King himself. Women of importance; women who matter. Because, for the most part, where do women throughout history end up? In the footnotes.

** So. Many. Footnotes.

*** I suspect the hand of the author: in this case, Peter Harness. I rather wonder if he doesn’t have a soft spot for Mr Norrell and his books. Don’t we all?

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****Rather like today, come to think of it

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The Answer is Always Dean.

Running in (and, sadly, out again) to wave and say hello, and yes, I’m a very bad person because I’ve still not updated the blog.

However.

Hopefully this will put me in your good graces for a while. Especially if – like every right-minded person in the world – you know that Dean is by far the better of the Winchester brothers. And this is why.

You Know What You Love…

I have a Shiny New Thing. I do. Once Upon A Time.

I watched the pilot last week, and completely fell for it. It’s both terribly, terribly sweet and really quite dark. However, the reason I’ve fallen quite so hard and quite so fast is this:

 

Rumpelstiltskin.

He’s always been one of my favourite fairy-tale characters (his story, The Juniper Tree & Baba Yaga being the three I love… most)  so I wasn’t quite sure what to think when I spotted Once Upon A Time. But it’s brilliant. And having checked the writer roster, I can see why I’m enjoying it: given my unashamed love of Lost, Tron: Legacy and – basically – anything Jane Espenson touches, this one was a pretty safe bet.

If you’ve not come across the show – and without giving anything away – it’s two interlinking stories, set in two different worlds: the world of fairy tales, and the real world: specifically the town of Storybrooke, Maine, with actors playing roles in both.

Rumpel, and his decidedly creepysexy real-world counterpart Mr Gold, are both played by Robert Carlyle, who looks like he’s having an indecent amount of fun.

 

If you’re already watching it, you’ll know exactly what I mean. And if you aren’t, you should really think about starting…

Please.

Generation Kill

I don’t watch an awful lot of television these days – with one or two honourable exceptions, I tend to wait for big shows to make it onto dvd and blast my way through an entire series in a couple of weekends. I put it down to having an incredibly short attention sp… what was I saying?

Anyway. My latest discovery is twofold.

Firstly, that somewhere along the line, I’ve become quite a fan of modern war films.

This is something of a surprise to me–because however much I waffle on about guns–or write about them–I’m very aware of the fact that this is in a fantasy context. If you dropped a gun in my lap, I’d probably back away…. extremely…. carefully. Because I’m not crazy. (Although yes, I have handled a few. And discharged them. Insert usual disclaimers about proper environment, qualified supervision etc etc etc). Real guns scare the living bejeesus out of me, as well they should. So. To get back to my point: wasn’t expecting to discover I actually enjoy war films.

This leads me on to the second part of my discovery: Generation Kill.

Based on the book by Rolling Stone writer Evan Wright, who was embedded with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion of the US Marines in Iraq during the 2003 invasion, the series went out on HBO a few years ago (and before Alexander Skarsgard became better known for ripping hearts out instead of shooting people through them…)

It’s occasionally uncomfortable to watch: made all the more so when you remember that although it’s been filtered by two media, this is a real story with real events and–most importantly–real people. It doesn’t help that after a while, you find yourself increasingly remembering “Catch-22“…

On the other hand, it’s funny as hell: dark and snappy and with dialogue that’s pin-sharp (and apocalyptically sweary) and I absolutely love it.

Get some.

To the Shock of Miss Louise

I was never much into horror when I was a kid. My best friend, Becky, and her older sister were hugely into it – they’d seen every Stephen King adaptation going by the time we were 12, and I remember reading the copy of It she’d lent me… or trying to, anyway.

I think I got as far as page 24 before I had to close the book and put it in a drawer. On the other side of the room. Under another book. And then put a cushion in front of the drawer. Just in case.

I wasn’t exactly a robust child.

The aversion to horror evaporated soon after: literally, overnight, when I saw “The Lost Boys” for the first time.

I can’t remember quite why, but we (my parents and I) were staying with my aunt & uncle overnight. The house wasn’t that big, and my parents were sleeping in the spare room, while I had the sofa in the living room. I was 13, and my aunt put a video on.

No prizes for guessing what that was.

After everyone else had gone to bed, I remember opening the living room curtains and looking out of the window at the night. My aunt’s house was opposite a large area of open ground – a sort of common-slash-playing field – and I stared straight at the dark. To this day, I have no idea what I thought (hoped? feared?) I was going to see. And yes, I do feel like an idiot every time I think back to it. But I was 13. We’re all idiots when we’re 13.

The thing about “The Lost Boys” was how immediate it felt. As a teen horror-avoider, I was vaguely aware of vampires in the sense that they lurked in mansions wearing big black capes and… stuff. It wasn’t scary. It wasn’t particularly interesting, either.

But my encounter with these particular vampires coincided with my American phase. I had pictures of American landmarks stuck on the ceiling of my room, and was planning my roadtrip. Beyond that, even: I had it in my 13 year-old head that America really was the city on the hill (yes, not only was I an idiot, I was probably the only teenage girl in Wales to be obsessed by JFK). So suddenly, I was seeing vampires in a whole new way – a way that dovetailed with the stuff I did care about.

Blew. My. Mind.

I fell in love with the Frog Brothers’ comic shop; with Santa Carla’s boardwalk (my husband, all too aware of my love for the film, is convinced this is why I love Brighton’s pier as much as I do…).

I fell in love with the cave David & his boys carved for themselves, all candles and Jim Morrison posters (along with vampires, my love for The Doors was another infection that stemmed squarely from the film). I fell in love with the utter amorality and absolute freedom the Lost Boys stood for. And I was quite taken with the bikes, too.

I was completely oblivious to any subtext – there’s the usual vampire themes rattling around in there, but being a film of the 80s, and a West Coast one, there’s more than a hint of gang mythology in there (the dinner in the cave smacks of a hazing, and the attack on the Surf-Nazis on the beach is a gang initiation if ever I saw one). But that was what made it frightening – particularly so. Not because this was the first time you saw the vampires for what they were, but because you saw them through Michael’s eyes. These were his friends: the people he thought he belonged with… suddenly become truly monstrous. When you’re a teenager like I was, the idea of belonging is so important, the desire to belong so all-consuming that it made Michael’s dilemma even worse. Lose your soul or lose your friends… you’d actually have to stop and think about that, wouldn’t you?

“The Lost Boys” was my vampire gateway-drug. After that, I convinced my dad to buy me the first three of Anne Rice‘s vampire books. We were on a ferry, and the newsagent-slash-bookshop happened to have all 3 of them in the wire spinner-rack outside. I knew enough to realise that if my parents were to pick one up and really look at it, I’d never be allowed to get the rest… so I went for broke. I read them back to back through northern France. I still have those same copies, broken-spined and dog-eared and smelling of teenage rebellion.

I scoured bookshops for vampire collections (chief among them, Parragon’s 1994 edition of The Giant Book of Vampires, edited by none other than Stephen Jones… Sometimes, I wish I could go back and explain to my younger self just how amusing I find that. She wouldn’t get it: how could she?) and smuggled them into the house, under the nose of my by now disapproving mother. I watched every vampire film I could get my hands on – and even waded my way through a not-terribly-well-dubbed version of “Der Kleine Vampir“.

It wasn’t all bad: watching all those vampire films meant I eventually discovered Near Dark – which I maintain is the best vampire movie ever made. It’s better than “The Lost Boys”, I admit… but while I love it, it’s never quite managed to edge David, Marco, Paul & Dwayne out. Nothing has. In such appalling affection do I hold that film, I’ve bought it three times (once on VHS, when I wore out my aunt’s copy; and twice on DVD. It was the very first DVD I bought).

If it had been the film it was originally intended to be, complete with the tweenage, not teenage, vampires and the set-up for the sequel that never happened, “The Lost Girls”, I don’t think I could have loved it as much. Perhaps if I’d seen it at a different time, it wouldn’t have had such a hold on me – a hold that has lasted 17… 18 years thus far and shows no sign of letting up.

But these are moot points. I saw it when I saw it, and it was the film it was: noisy, snarky, silly, flashy, bloody in places and heavy on pop-culture. I’ve written about my love for it before, and a lot of what I’ve said here echoes that earlier article. I’m consistent, you have to give me that. This particular outpouring of Lost Boys love stems from two places: the wonderful article on Ghostbusters from the Guardian’s site, and Damien Walter’s piece on vampire novel, “Stainless” (as well as his referring on Twitter to “The Lost Boys” as “Probably [the] most influential vamp movie ever.”)

It certainly influenced me.

Monsterwatch: Jefferson Starships

This is possibly a slightly esoteric one. God knows it took me long enough to get, and I really should be in on the joke.

Last night, the Other Half came trit-trotting into the hall, saying: “I bought you a monster!”

Believe it or not, this isn’t actually that unusual a topic of discussion in our household. Last Saturday, for instance, we spent a good portion of the evening arguing whether you could actually fit a whole human corpse inside a domestic tumble-dryer. He said yes. I said no, I could barely fit a double quilt cover into ours. (I’m not unreasonable: I did accept that you could probably fit a dismembered body in, although it’d play havoc with the motor. “My Bloody Valentine 3D” – which was the whole reason we were having this discussion in the first place – sided with him.)

Anyway. Where were we? Oh, yes. “I bought you a monster.” It sounds like the album My Chemical Romance never made. So, he holds out this… thing. It’s square. And vaguely psychedelic. And has a woman smoking something that turns into a dragon on the front (I’m going to go out on a limb and say… opium?).

It’s a Jefferson Starship vinyl.

I look at the cover.

I look at Other Half.

Other Half beams back, expectantly.

I look at the cover.

This goes on for some time.

Then… finally, it hits me.

Jefferson Starship.

Jefferson Starship.

 

 

Jefferson Starships.

Too bloody clever for his own good.

What JJ Did Next

 It seems a series of watermarked proofs were sent out, arriving at editor’s desks -– in some cases their homes -– at the same as they received a phone call from WME’s office informing them that “a package should be dropping through your door right now”. HarperCollins’ Nick Pearson was one who received just such a call at work and rang home to discover that yes, a package had just been delivered. In the US, it seems each proof was slightly different –- with words missing on particular pages for example – all of this done so that, if anything was leaked, WME would know the guilty party.

Ah, yes. Because no book deal involving JJ Abrams could ever be accused of being straightforward.

I love this story. I really do. Alright: I know JJ Abrams drives people bonkers (and let’s be honest – it’s not entirely without provocation, is it?) but I rather admire how this is all playing out.

Equally predictably, we’re talking “high concept” – although exactly what that means in this case, err… no-one quite knows. There’s speculation that it will be a particularly meta sort of book, and it’s been announced that it will actually be written by Doug Dorst, based on Abrams’ ideas.

Of course it’ll be hyped beyond all imagination – but the bit that really got my attention was this:

There is speculation that the book itself will be unusual as an object -– that it might be shrink-wrapped and contain photos, letters and notes. Publication is slated for 2012 in the US and 2013 in the UK and Byng feels he has acquired a unique property, one that will “work through all mediums, print and digital”.

Abrams is a multimedia master. Remember the LOST Experience, which ran online in parallel to the show? Or Slusho!, which pops up in both Cloverfield and Alias?

Apply all of this to the possibility of a novel designed by (albeit not written by) Abrams – one which could fully exploit the technology of e-readers and iPads…

Love him or hate him, it’s a brave new world – and Abrams might just be on to something.

“Swords & Mutton”

While I do not doubt that there are women in the world who read books like Mr. Martin’s, I can honestly say that I have never met a single woman who has stood up in indignation at her book club and refused to read the latest from Lorrie Moore unless everyone agreed to “The Hobbit” first. “Game of Thrones” is boy fiction patronizingly turned out to reach the population’s other half.

Well done to the New York Times, and most particularly to Ginia Bellafante, who have between them managed to insult and – not to put too fine a point on it, anger – lots and lots of ladies with their review of the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones.

A review is, of course, an opinion – and everyone is entitled to one. However, there’s a line between a genuine and honest opinion, and emptying the scorn-bucket:

If you are not averse to the Dungeons & Dragons aesthetic, the series might be worth the effort. If you are nearly anyone else, you will hunger for HBO to get back to the business of languages for which we already have a dictionary.

Thank goodness, then, for the fantastic response to this review posted on the Geek with Curves site – a response which manages to be entirely fair at the same time as being beautifully snarky when I would have exploded into violently pink femrage. And, for extra added bonus points, it manages to create a whole new genre: sword ‘n’mutton.

The series is hardly “boy fiction.” Where does this phrase come from?  Is it automatically for boys because there are swords and mutton?

So, NYT. You want to tell us we can’t like epics? You seriously want to say that women don’t care about fantasy – or the stories the genre gives authors scope to tell? That we’re only interested in this sort of thing if there’s a bit of shagging in it? Really?

Put it this way- in which woman’s company would you rather pass a few spare hours: one who’s read, followed, inwardly digested and understood the sprawl of stories like Lord of the Rings or A Song of Fire & Ice… or one whose favourite film was “Sex & the City 2“?

Thought so.

They Got the Mustard Out (or… It’s Not Just Us: why we love Buffy & Supernatural)

I’ve got a theory.

It could be bunnies

Sorry.

Couldn’t help it.

No, I really do have a theory. It’s that Supernatural and Buffy have a huge amount in common as TV shows – besides the obvious escapist ghosty-vampirey-paranormalish stuff. And that, actually, they say an awful lot about us: the generation (I’m using this in a fairly broad sense, but bear with me) who watches them.

Both know that their audience is familiar with horror; has grown up watching it, reading it… stealing our parents’ Stephen Kings to read in secret, sneaking viewings of Amityville Horror or the ExorcistNightmare on Elm Street and Halloween. We know all the lines. We know the twists, we know the tropes. It’s why Scream was so successful: it’s because we’ve spent our teenage years telling pretty girls not to go up the stairs, or screaming at the jock not to go and get that beer…

We were jaded before we hit 15. Christ, we were probably jaded before we hit 12.

Both Buffy and Supernatural grew out of this. They took our confidence that we knew it all and they played with it, and came back at us with added snark.

We know the rule about the blonde cheerleader in the horror movie: she’s always the first to get Monstered. Except, in Joss Whedon’s world, it’s the monsters who have something to fear.

We never believed in Ouija boards, but we sure as hell believed the story about theaxeman on the roof. Urban legends were our bedtime stories: “the call is coming from inside the house“, the serial killer on the doorstep… Supernatural (particularly the early seasons of the show) wraps this up in the small-town Americana that seemed so exotic when you’re from even smaller-town Wales.

And, had both shows stuck to this formula, they would have foundered. What they did was to become more. Look, you’re dealing with vampires, urban legends, ghosts, werewolves… you’ve got the audience suspending their disbelief even before the titles have rolled. Use it. Make the most of it. Talk about the Big Stuff: the life and death stuff, the relationship stuff, the what’s-it-all-about stuff, the free will and destiny stuff… all of it.

Both shows stepped up.

Both shows deal with death – which many of us are likely to have to face, really face, for the first time in our late teens or twenties. Major characters have to come to terms with the death of people they love. Major characters die.

They deal with growing up: emotionally, physically, practically. They deal with accepting responsibility. They deal with dreams denied and false hopes; with triumph and disaster.

They deal with relationships (has any show ever managed a more literal version of the two-sided boyfriend than Buffy, whose beau really did turn evil after she slept with him?) and with isolation–real or perceived: the real loneliness of the Winchester brothers against the institutionalised cliqueyness of Sunnydale High. Buffy dealt with doping,bullying and even that most shocking of subjects, a high-school shooting in Earshot, a Jane Espenson*-written episode. Supernatural, ever mindful of its older demographic, has covered (amongst other things) the spectre of unexpected parenthood and addiction & intervention.

They deal with family–family which we recognise as being flawed and imperfect and all the more real for it.

Take Buffy as a case in point: it was about friends as family. Sure, Buffy has actual blood-family (who were used to great effect several times throughout the run of the show: let’s not forget The Body, or the importance of Dawn…) but it’s her friends who become her real family, the ones she turns to.

Supernatural is about two brothers: two brothers who are barely on speaking terms in the pilot – but who are drawn closer through their shared experiences, their losses and gains. They are family, and family is all they have–and family is the burden they have to bear for good or ill.

Both versions resonate with us.

The characters become our avatars, our totems. They all have baggage, they all have strengths and weaknesses. Just like us. They talk like us. They dress like us (or, more usually, like the cooler versions of us).

We feel for Buffy and the Scooby Gang because we recognise them. We know them. We all know which of them we would be, which of them we empathise with. The same goes forSupernatural: you know which side of the Winchester line you stand on–and the writers are savvy enough to understand that, and will quite happily go meta on us, making us even slightly uncomfortable about how we see the characters.

It’s not the supernatural which keeps us watching these shows. It’s a great setting, one which keeps them from getting over-earnest (how can you, when you’ve got a demon turning everything into a musical number, particularly in such a thematically dark episode… or when your protagonists find themselves gatecrashing their own convention?) but for all the horror trappings, that’s not what they’re about.

These are two shows which use paranormal as a device to show us how we build our families, however fractured or unlikely they are; how we live our lives and align our moral compasses. They’re character shows, and these are relationships we understand and believe in.

All the ghosts and the ghouls and the things that go bump in the night are just window dressing, a facade of escapism. Ultimately, these are shows about us. We see that, and that’s why we fall for them as heavily and as deeply as we do.

You see? When we watch these shows, we realise it’s not just us.

* a perpetual blog-favourite, naturally.

Double Identities

January.

Somewhere near Ludlow.

The roads are awash, partly due to all that melted snow, and partly due to a genuine god-almighty downpour. They’re awash with mud.

More to the point, there’s so much water knocking (or more accurately, sloshing) around that it’s pretty much knocked the bridge into one side of Ludlow down.

And we’re on the wrong side of the river.

To get to the right side requires a twenty-minute detour through woods, fields and quaint little villages; up steep hills, down twisty roads and–eventually–past a windmill.

I’m beginning to feel like I’m in Sleepy Hollow.

Other Half operates on much the same sort of frequency, so at one point he looks up from the steering wheel and says: “Don’t you feel like we’re in the middle of an episode of Supernatural?”

I shriek at him to watchtheroadwatchtheroaddeargodpleasewatchtheroad (which is my default response in a car with him) and then it occurs to me–just as Kansas shuffle their way onto my ipod–that he’s sort of got a point.

And this raises the immediate question: “So who’s Sam & who’s Dean?” (side note: these links are wiki bios & may be slightly spoilery).

All family relationships aside, this becomes a more heated debate than you’d imagine. I’m adamant that really, I have to be Dean because not only do I have much better taste in music, as evidenced by the ipod, but… well, there’s no easy way to put this: I’m just cooler. Plus he’s got that Sam-scowl thing down pat. His response is that he’s Dean, because Dean drives.

This continues for quite some time round the backroads of Worcestershire… and all the while, Castiel snores in his child-seat in the back, clutching his toy bunny.

Anyway.

This sort of thing happens to me a lot. I get into these conversations. They’re brilliant, aren’t they? You find yourself arguing in an utterly irrational manner about utterly, utterly trivial details–the same utterly, utterly trivial details which are absolutely fundamental to your case and establishing your General Rightness (plus your superior level of both pop culture and self-knowledge. And stuff).

Most recently, it’s been Hawaii Five-O based, and with the ever-lovely Judo ninja, Alasdair Stuart: he’s fairly confident he’s a Danno. Other Half is quite clearly a Mcgarrett (which seems to please him). I suspect I’m basically Chin Ho Kelly, but I freely admit that much of this is based on the fact that he rides around on a motorbike with a shotgun and just looks amazingly cool doing it. Which is me all over, right?

But in a wonderfully meta piece of writing, while we’re all obsessing over which TV characters we’d be, they’re doing it too…

Geektastic. And it makes me love the show that little bit more.

But the Dean thing? I’m totally right.

So, tell me: who would you be?