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Living Loz
Radio gaga... 
22nd-Apr-2009 03:41 pm
Liveblog of this week’s episode of Ashes to Ashes.

Is it just me or have they applied some retroactive continuity there? I don’t remember the plotpoint of Alex being lost? She got shot, I remember that. But then, I thought; wasn’t she in hospital?

I find myself wondering if the opening ‘82 sequence is a giant metaphor? Sort of ‘alright, so we started in the shit... but look, there’s a chance for escape. Except for Chris. Never for Chris.’

They’re Gene’s boots. Alex gets the lovely task of cleaning Gene’s boots. Granted, I’d find that hilarious if it were Sam, so, I guess I cannot complain. Only. Wow.

Grange Hill! Oh man, how many people grew up with that theme tune?

Emo!Gene is emo.

Marshall’s hair makes me want to cry.

Ash always, always has Gene referring to himself in the third person. It cracks my shit up.

Oh, Chris. I still love you, man. “I’ll toss you both off.” “No, thank you.” The gentle way he says it! Marshall is severely underused in both LoM and A2A. I always get the feeling he’s sneakily the best of them all. John had his ability to convey great emotion, Phil has his gazes, Keeley has mastered cool detachment, Dean manages to make an unlikeable character relatable, Monserrat pulls off sweetness minus naivety, and Liz was soft with an inner core of steel, but Marshall? He gets those tiny inflections and expressions most would never think of; making a caricature a well-rounded character.

Still hating the look of the show, even though I know it’s authentic.

Princess Leia. Hah. Kind of makes you wonder if Gene ever remembered that ‘building a deathstar?’ comment.

This is the Gene I know. “No one knows anyone, Bolly. The great lie of this life is we pretend we do.”

Unfortunately, it’s also the Ray I know. The one thing I loved about A2A s1 was that he was now likeable. Not so likeable this episode.

And Tender!Gene is tender.

Viv’s hair is short, but still awesome. Meanwhile, I love Viv.

Huh. That thing with Chris picking up the receiver. Reminds me of that short bit in the end of LoM 2.08. Significant? Red herring?

ACK. ACK. MARSHALL. This is high on the list of things I never wanted, nor needed to see. He’s brave. Very brave. And there I was lamenting him having to dodge up his hair. You know, they wanted to show him in his underwear in LoM, but the scene never made the cut. LoM writers = obsessed with naked!Chris, y/y? There is no n.

It was more of the same, but Alex was somewhat likeable and they seem to know where they’re going, so, tentative ‘that was good’? Yeah.

22nd-Apr-2009 08:08 am (UTC)
How could you possibly not have mentioned the totally desirable Roger Allam as the new boss? I have had a serious case of lust for that man for the past 13 years and to see him mingling with the Glenister is almost more than my heart can stand. Not to mention the naked and sweaty trailer for next week. Wouldn't it be nice, just for once, to have a senior police officer that Gene could respect? I hope he doesn't turn out to be a bad guy; flawed is okay, but totally crooked - no thanks.
22nd-Apr-2009 08:20 am (UTC)
I am not intimately acquainted with Mr Allam's other work, to be honest. Seen him around, but never really noticed him. Also, I didn't get to see next week's trailers; I tend to avoid them. I like having no idea what I'm getting myself in for (hence, naked!Marshall was a shock.)

I agree that it would be a shame were he totally corrupt, though. We've had that.
22nd-Apr-2009 11:31 am (UTC)
His TV work has been a bit hit-and-miss but I remember him as a particularly virile 'Scottish King' in the 'Scottish Play' and he was the original Javert in 'Les Mis' so there's a fairly melodious singing voice, too. (Both on stage alas.)

Fingers crossed for a senior officer who actually has some redeeming qualities, then. I think it's a brilliant bit of casting, but I'm biased.
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22nd-Apr-2009 11:02 am (UTC)
It was better, as an episode of tv, which is encouraging, I think.

Chris is a sweetheart, but I always feel like he could have a smidgen more depth in terms of character development. I think Marshall Lancaster compensates for that lack in the writing with his acting.
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22nd-Apr-2009 12:08 pm (UTC)
I thought that too; but then, I always feel that. I can never truly appreciate A2A as its own entity because Sam is always going to be there as a spectre lurking in the background.

My initial assessment of Alex in this episode was that she was basically a slightly less competent version of Sam, but with tits --- I deleted that line, because I thought it was unfair. At least she was likeable.

When Gene was asked if he had ever loved his non-reaction hurt as much as a reaction would have.

I think the figure in the bed is Gene or Doctor Death.

Edited at 2009-04-22 12:10 pm (UTC)
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23rd-Apr-2009 12:33 am (UTC)
I think it was actually there trying to function the same way the opening sequence of 1.02 did --- bring a little levity to what soon was going to become a pity party --- only, since it didn't connect to the larger case, it was just sort of there.

I honestly don't even really speculate with A2A --- except for that Chris picking up the receiver thing.
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23rd-Apr-2009 12:26 am (UTC)
Likeable as opposed to last series, where most of what she did was shriek and make huge monumental errors without seeming too upset she had.

See, I love Sam. I know he's a prick, I know he's thick as two short planks in various ways, but even when he didn't think it was real he cried for June, and was upset and angry about Joni. He cared in ways that Alex never seemed to last series. Seeing her start to care is making her more likeable, but it's also increasing her similarity with Sam --- because we have another know-it-all whose sense of humour is decidedly dry, who works at getting Gene to be the best man he can be. They haven't given Alex enough of a differing personality that I connect to her as her. She is also an everyman. So --- I just miss Sam. I don't care about her and I miss Sam.

Alex also doesn't have to fight Gene as hard because he's also being dragged away from his particular brand of policing by the institution.

Oh, Matt. I always did think it was a mistake he and Ash lurked on the forum, even if it did amuse me. Just because it's television, doesn't mean it has to be crap. You can be in the ten percent that's not absolute shite, y'know. I'll invest in what I want to invest. Some people have collections, others can give you the birth and death dates of prominent figures in history, yet others write down license plates, the vast majority keep track of stats in all different sorts of sports. I know that episode 1.05 of LoM was written by Tony Jordan and directed by SJ Clarkson, and featured the line "Let me show you how clever I am."

But, no, I don't theorise about A2A either. I know neither Matt nor Ash had any idea what they were doing when they started it, and whilst that doesn't preclude it having a decent ending, it does suggest we're either going to get the same basic conclusion as LoM, or total, unmitigated crack.

Edited at 2009-04-23 12:27 am (UTC)
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22nd-Apr-2009 12:21 pm (UTC)
tender!gene is tender...

I thought that was soooo wrong. Not that Gene doesn't have a heart, just that he'd never be seen to be such a "woofter".

Meh. It was ok. I'll watch the next episode but only because it's a novelty.
22nd-Apr-2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
I've written that form of Gene so often it rang true to me. He still wasn't sobbing or overly affected; just a bit useless, really. We need to see those sides of Gene to counterbalance his awfulness. In LoM, through Sam's perspective, we got him having a wry modesty. In A2A, through Alex's, he gets to be tender and protective.

I don't think I'll ever love, love A2A, but I did think this episode was solid writing, which was more than most of last series.
23rd-Apr-2009 01:22 am (UTC)
I can't wait to see this new season. I'm all wrapped up in Season 1 which is currently playing on BBCAmerica. The problem for me is that in the Ashes universe - Sam is hardly even acknowledged. I am aware that this is a new show with it's own storylines and verses to follow, but it still bothers me because while I don't expect Gene to ever well up with tears thinking about Sam (because let's face it, NO ONE cries as beautifully as the Simm) it would be nice to know that he still thought about his former DI. ANd from what I've read this episode you're talking about mentions Hyde as well and I'd love to have a LOOK of melancholy come over Gene's face when someone talks about it. I guess I just miss Sam so much....
27th-Apr-2009 12:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know. On the one hand, I understand they're trying to distance themselves with LoM, but on the other, the entire concept rests on LoM! It's silly.
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