True Blood – Season 1, Episode 7

April 30, 2009 at 1:44 am | Posted in TV Review | 1 Comment
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Wanting to know what terrible thing Uncle Bartlett had done, I tuned into episode 6 of True Blood as air-ed in New Zealand – on Prime last night. Warning: plot revealed.

April 29, 2009 by Show_Hanger

2009 True Blood Episode 7 (season 1).

Uncle Bartlett doesn’t last long; post-coitus Sookie (Paquin) tells vampire Bill (Moyer) one of the reasons she has never been comfortable with sexual intimacy. It turns out Uncle Bartlett (Wilbur) had some unwholesome thoughts towards her when she was young and had her sit on his lap. In the flashback Sookie hears the thoughts and flees to her grandmother. Later Bill fatally fangs Uncle Barlett and dumps him into the swamp.

We find out that Tara’s mother’s demon – mentioned last episode – is a real one, and we see a Southern exorcism. The exorcism appears to be successful, but the old witch tells Tara (Wesley) to come back when she is ready to get rid of hers. The demon is successfully transferred to a possum – which is immediately drowned! – don’t watch this episode if you like possums!

Thes episode ends with an old fashion house burning. Some of the young men of Bons Temps find that having not one but four vampires in town is too much. So during the day, while the vampires are sleeping, the ‘boys’ firebomb their house. Sookie is left thinking that Bill is in one of the four coffins that are dug up out of the hot debris.

Oh yes, there is the obligatory sex scene involving Jason (Kwanten) – Sookie’s estranged brother. His addition to ‘V’ is so strong that he steals their recently deceased grandmother’s jewellery to fund his habit.

I am turned off by the direction and treatment of the series, and probably won’t both to watch anymore episodes; so this will probably be my last posting this series.



Monet and the Impressionsts

April 24, 2009 at 2:50 am | Posted in Exhibition Review | 1 Comment
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I finally ‘got’ the impressionists. After seeing their work in various places around the world – and being impresssed – it was in my home city of Wellington that I finally got ‘them’ – the trick is to step backway way back

April 10, 2009 by

Exhibition Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
New Zealand

Most of the paintings were by Claude Monet; Works by Paul Cezanne, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Utagawa HiroshigeI were also on display. The collection comes from Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, who are renovating part of their gallery. Instead of putting the works into storage, they are touring the world.

The exhibition is set out chronologically: one decade at a time. With a separate section for when Monet was doing a series of the same scene; one of the Japanese influence; and another of odds and ends. This allows the viewer to see the style develop – moving ever further away from a photographic quality, towards a – well – impressionistic quality.

Te Papa are to congratulated for exhibiting the paintings in a space and configuration that allows the viewer to get ‘away from the paintings’. Clever use of ‘broken walls’ allows the viewer to get 10-15 meters away from a painting. When I did this, the paintings really came alive. The painting of Charring Cross Bridge resolved from a misty out of focus work into a briliantly defined bridge viewed from a great height – it was likelooking at it from a helicopter on a clear day. Likewise the painting of Rouen Cathedral became this remarkable piece of architecture, as opposed to a rough unfocussed old building.

The painting I would buy, if I had the money and large enough room is Meadow with haystacks near Giverny; and if I could not have it I would have Meadow at Giverny. Monet was able to capture and reproduce the effect of a low setting sun casting its rays (and causing shadow) through trees into a field or meadow; just breath taking.

The other painting that really grew on me was Cap Martin, near Menton. at first the relationship of the main elements in the painting clashed – the mountains were out of focus, the path was more of a steep bank, and the little town seemed indistinct. Then I inadvertantly looked at it from another ‘room’ and it all resolved.; it was like those magic eye puzzles. Suddenly, the steep bank became a shallow flat clay path, the clouds floated above the mountains casting their shadow on the slopes below, and the town occupied a place at the base of the mountains, edged by a river.

One oddity was the self-portrait by Cezanne looks like New Zealand’s own Sir John Trimmer!

At NZD 15 per adult, you would be silly not to go.


True Blood – Season 1, Episode 6

April 23, 2009 at 1:39 am | Posted in TV Review | 1 Comment
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Wanting to know if Sookie’s grandother really had been murdered, I tuned into episode 6 of True Blood as air-ed in New Zealand – on Prime last night. Warning: plot revealed.

April 22, 2009 by Show_Hanger

2009 True Blood Episode 6 (season 1).

The end of Episode 5 – showed Sookie Stackhouse’s grandmother – Lois Smith – apparently lying dead on the kitchen floor. There were no plot flips at this stage; she is dead and this episode is arranged around her death and burial.

We are introduced to a number of Bon Temps traditions; like the wake. Well this really an afternoon tea of sorts where the neighbours and the curious come round with food. This is all very tiring for her grand daughter, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), finds it too intrusive – their presence in her home and in her thoughs; the visitors say one thing and generally think other things. The final straw is her brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten) – blames Sookie for the death of ‘granny’; the current police theory is that the serial killer is targetting women with close associations with vampires; maybe Sookie was the intended target. Her friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) has to send all the visitors away.

Another tradition is the burial. All sorts of future plot lines are introduced: Tara’s mother claims to be possessed by a demon – is a it a real one or a metaphor; Jason has another run-in with the police; Jason’s growing dependency on ‘V’; and there is an estranged uncle – Uncle Barlett. Uncle Barlett – played by Cheyenne Wilbur – resembles Mr Burns from Simpsons.

Then when I thought they had managed to avoid it the producers bring on the sex: Tara with Sam (Trammell); Jason with who-ever; and Sookie with vampire Bill (as he is now known)!

This episode is really about the loss of innocence: Sookie’s and Paquin’s. The murder of her grandmother and the subsequent events must surely strip away much of the innocence from Sookie. Indeed, after the funeral, and once the sun has gone down she puts on a virginal white night gown and runs over to the Compton estate and gives herself to Bill (Stephen Moyer). It is a loss of innocence for Paquin too: the love scene with Moyer is very revealing – she isn’t the little girl dancing on the beach in The Piano anymore!


I was surprised that Anna Paquin’s perfoamnce in this episode had not made more of a splash with the New Zealand media – particularly the tabloid press. Maybe it goes to show how much of the media is actually run out of Australia – where Paquin is not a household name.

True Blood – Season 1, Episode 5

April 16, 2009 at 3:00 am | Posted in TV Review | 1 Comment
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Dreading what soft-porn might lurk, I made myself watch episode 5 of True Blood as air-ed in New Zealand – on Prime last night. Warning: plot revealed.

April 15, 2009 by Show_Hanger

2009 True Blood Episode 5 (season 1).

It this episode, we find out more about Bill Comptom’s (Moyer) past – how he became a vampire. Sookie Stackhouse (Paquin) stops going out with Bill – end of Episode 4 – and goes out with Sam Merlotte (Trammell) instead. Jason Stackhouse (Kwanten) continues to experiment with ‘V’ – vampire bloody – and sleeping with the women of Bons Temp.

Bill served in a local regiment and fought in the “war of southern Independence”. On his way home, at the end of the war he is bitten by, and drinks the blood of, a vampire – turning him into a vampire. Incidentally, the vampire, in the guise of a war widow, bears a striking resemblance to Sookie’s grandmother – coincidence or plot hook to come.

Sookie, returns home from her unsatisfactory date – with Sam – to find what looks like her grandmother, her throat cut, on the kitchen floor. Oh the suspense …


True Blood – Season 1, episode 4

April 9, 2009 at 1:26 am | Posted in TV Review | 1 Comment
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I managed to catch the last 80% of episode 4 of True Blood as air-ed in New Zealand – on Prime last night. Warning: plot revealed.

April 8, 2009 by Show_Hanger

2009 True Blood Episode 4 (season 1).

While they are questioning Jason ‘brain in his pants’ Stackhouse down at the police station and town hall (Bon Temps must be a small place), the ‘V’ – vampire blood – Jason gulped down to avoid arrest for pocession of a controlled substance kicks in; Jason suffers the grandmother of priapasm. Jason’s sleeping with women who are about to be found dead – as per the end of Episode 3 – is getting him into hot water with the townsfolk. I hope that Ryan Kwanten is not too type cast by his excellent portrayal of Jason Stackhouse.

The sex theme just keeps on rocking: Jason’s character is completely taken over by his manhood (maybe an attempt to cleverly not take his character too seriously) and Sookie goes undercover in a vampire bar. Paquin’s innocent characterisation reminds me of Susan Sarandon in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Sookie – Paquin – is now deliberately using her power to listen in on people’s thoughts to find the real killer before Jason is lynched by the townsfolk. So she talks Bill – the vampire, Moyer – into taking her to the vampire bar in a nearby town; “it’s not a date!” The bar reminds me of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s video for Relax – leather, bondage, …

Just when the leave-the-heroine-in-a-bad-situation ending was in danger of wearing a bit thin, we see Sam Merlotte – Trammell – basking, cat like, on the bed of the last murdered waitress.


I am starting to loose interest in this series.

True Blood – Season 1, Episode 3

April 3, 2009 at 2:31 am | Posted in TV Review | 1 Comment
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Episode 3 of True Blood air-ed in New Zealand – on Prime last night. Warning: plot revealed.

April 1, 2009 by Show_Hanger

2009 True Blood Episode 3 (season 1).

Sookie – Paquin – does not get gobbled up or ravished by the three unrully vampires we saw her surrounded by at the end of Episode 2. Bill – Moyer – makes a claim on her, and all the other vampires back-off.

There just too much sex; and I am not going to bother fitting it all in. Once again, not an episode for the not-so-old ones.

There is more character development: Why Tara – Wesley – has a chip on her shoulder – her mother is a drunk; Jason’s – Kwanten- libido leads him inevitably into trouble; Sookie is attracted to Bill (the vampire); vampires who flat together become more vampirish – wanting to drink blood and have sexual gratification with humans.

At the end Sookie walks into a murder scene – the last person seen with the dead waitress was Jason. The trend of leave-the-heroine-in-a-bad-situation ending is wearing a bit thin.


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