Month: March 2013

“Girls” (HBO) – Season 2

girls 2x09 colour montage.

I just finished Season 2 of Lena Dunham’s “Girls” (HBO).

I liked Season 1. I’m even happier about Season 2.

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Best episode? “Bad Friend” (2×03)

Worst episode? “Video Games” (2×07)

Best scene? Marnie’s passive-aggressive, angry, scary Kanye West cover in 2×09:

Worst scene? The final scene of the finale, “Together” (2×10)

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Overall, Season 2 was faster, less structured and tried out lots of different approaches and storytelling experiments. Many worked. Some did not (at all), and I understand friends who say that these 10 episodes of 2013 were a mess.

I did watch episodes 2×05 to 2×09 over two days – and got very, very sad. Nobody died, and there was no HUGE melodrama. But most plots points, scenes and twists were so sombre, bitter and intense… it was the most affecting TV experience for me since “Six Feet Under”.

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What worked? (Spoilers!) Marnie, Elijah and Hannah – three truly horrible, fascinating protagonists. The brownstone / Patrick Wilson episode. Charlie’s character arc. Shoshanna and Ray’s dynamics. All of Adam’s late-season storylines. Bit characters (most parent, bosses, neighbours, galerists etc.). The music. The bathtub / snot rocket scene. All of the acting (even though I understand if people make fun of Allison Williams).

Also: I liked most sets / colours / the overall late-summer atmosphere. Much improved atmosphere compared to the grey, dusty look of Season 1.

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What did not work? The OCD (yet. Maybe this will gain complexity in Season 3). The Jessa episode, “Video Games”, and her CW-like, kitschy daddy issues. Donald Glover (mere window dressing / lip-service). Many underwhelming scenes with Hannah’s parents.

I wish there could have been more… Shoshanna. Ray. Charlie-without-Marnie. Booth Jonathan, Thomas-John (Jessa’s husband). Scenes of the characters actually working / making money. (Natalia is an underdeveloped character, too.)

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If you haven’t started watching: Here is the trailer for Season 1.

DVDs, in German: Out in late April 2013, for a hefty EUR 33,99 (Link, Amazon).

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Links / much more “Girls” texts, worth your time:

must-reads:

sets and costumes:

actors and behind-the-scenes:

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debate / criticism / discourse / angry chatter:

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bad sex? or rape? (Adam / Natalia)

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end-of-the-season wrap-up stuff (heavy spoilers!)

I also love THIS photo of Lena directing:

http://instagram.com/p/Omif4gi1Bm/

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more?

Lieblingsbücher, Winter 2013: Romane, Sachbuch, Graphic Novels

Bücher 2013 Quartal 1 Empfehlungen

bestes Buch der letzten drei Monate?

weitere Favoriten?

…und die (empfehlenswerten!) Graphic Novels:

Comic-Serien:

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gelesen, von Neujahr bis Mitte März: 50 Titel.

davon Prosa und Sachbuch: 13.

Graphic Novels: 37.

1 von 5 Sternen: 2 Titel

2 von 5 Sternen: 11 Titel, u.a.

3 von 5 Sternen: 17 Titel, u.a.

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mehr:

Underdog Literature, March 2013: 15 fresh or overlooked, off-the-wall titles

Underdog Literature March 2013 WordPress.

Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

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01: RUTH OZEKI, “A Tale for the Time being”, 432 pages, March 2013.

02: CHRISTINE SNEED, “Little-known Facts”, 304 pages, January 2013.

03: PETE WENTZ, “Gray”, 240 pages, January 2013. [Memoir of the “Fall Out Boy” singer… and “One Tree Hill” guest star.]

04: TY BURR, “Gods like us: On Movie Stardom and modern Fame”, 448 pages, 2012. [Cultural Studies]

05: SONALI DERANIYAGALA, “Wave”, 274 pages, March 2013. [Memoir about the 2004 tsunami]

06: KENT HARUF, “Benediction”, 272 pages, February 2013.

07: KATE SOUTHWOOD, “Falling to Earth”, 272 pages, February 2013.

08: MAY SARTON, “As we are now”, 144 pages, 1973.

09: JOHN GLASSCO, “Memiors of Montparnasse”, 296 pages, 1970. [Memoir about Paris in 1928]

10: DON CARPENTER, “Hard Rain Falling”, 308 pages, 1966. [Noir / Thriller]

11: CHLOE HOOPER, “Tall Man: The Death of Doomadgee”, 258 pages, 2008. [True Crime]

12: MICHAEL HAINEY, “After Visiting Friends”, 320 pages, February 2013. [Memoir]

13: ERNST-WILHELM HÄNDLER, “Der Überlebende”, 250 pages, 1992. [German, Sci-Fi / Philosophy, recommended by Thomas von Steinaecker]

14: DANIEL BROOK, “A History of Future Cities”, 352 pages, February 2013. [Cultural Studies, Architecture, Urban Planning]

15: VAHRAM MURATYAN, “Paris vs. New York”, 224 pages, 2011. [Cultural Studies, Graphic Design]

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Here are three books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: GERMAN KRATOCHWIL, “Scherbengericht”, 400 pages, 2006. [German / Austrian novel about expats in Patagonia; Perlentaucher]

02: MATTHEW QUICK, “The Silver Linings Playbook”, 289 pages, 2008.

03: CORY DOCTOROW, “Homeland”, 384 pages, 2013. [YA Sci-Fi: I’m a fan of Doctorow’s writing and activism, and I liked the first book of this series, “Little Brother”]

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…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

4 of 5 stars: T COOPER, “Real Man Adventures”, 272 pages, 2012. [Memoir / Cultural Studies about Female-to-Male transexuality. German edition here]

4 of 5 stars: MARIA DERMOUT, “The Ten Thousand Things”, 208 pages, 1955. [Dutch / Indonesian]

4 of 5 stars: ALEXANDER MAKSIK, “You deserve nothing”, 308 pages, 2011.

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