The Arrow of Time

Fear not, I shall not be attempting to explain entropy nor trying to convince you that it is far more likely that the entire universe (including you and this blog post) were created in the last nanosecond than that all you remember and believe actually happened.  Not that GofaDM is one to shy away from difficult subjects, but as most readers will have realised by now the main difficult subject not shied away from is me (me, me, me, me).

Some, with frankly too much time on their hands (and who were not reduced to catatonia by the existential angst engendered by my opening paragraph), may wonder why the previous post – which was ostensibly about a cup of tea I had 8 days ago (talk about mining the minutiae of life for content) – took so long to be written and published.  You might expect me to blame “the man” – “he” does make a convenient scapegoat (at least until someone provides me with a private income) – but I cannot do this and retain my hard-won reputation for searing honesty (which is, of course, such a cornerstone of this blog).  No, the actual reason is far more shameful – well, for the purposes of this post we will all pretend it is shameful, in reality I think I may have reached an age where I have out-lived my shame (they say the eyes are the first to go, and it may be that shame is next).

I have been rather seriously addicted to a television show called Arrow, which I have been watching on bluray via Lovefilm.  I should not be addicted to this programme – for one it is about a super-hero (not a genre I favour), though he lacks any super-powers that cannot be provided by a lot of training and a modest suspension of dis-belief.  It is also peopled entirely by unfeasibly good-looking people and our hero is a billionaire built like a brick outhouse with a lot of issues in his back-story.  He conceals his identity using a hood and a lot of eye-liner (and some sort of vocoder) which is not the least believable of options, but I do feel the hood is very impractical.  I’ve tried cycling in a hoody, but it massively compromises your peripheral vision, makes it very hard to see behind you and muffles your hearing (though does keep your ears warm).  Undesirable on a bike in traffic, potentially fatal in a vigilante with a bow (though does, I suspect, maintain a link back to Robin Hood which I presume was the original inspiration for the comic).  Added to this, in flashbacks our brick-outhouse is saddled with a wig so dreadful, I struggle to keep a straight face.

Despite all of these issues – which mean I should hate it (it ticks almost all the boxes)  – it is absolutely brilliant and I’m not at all sure why.  The action sequence are very well done and just about retain a grip on believability (injuries, damage and dampness are pretty well conserved), the characters remain somewhat believable (no skin-tight lycra or capes – yet) and for some reason I do care what happens to them.  It also rains a lot in Starling City (the fictional setting – though sadly the only city named after a once common garden bird encountered to date), which might help it to seem more relevant to those of us in the UK at the moment, and our hero does have a tenuous link back to Nottingham (as do all the best people, obviously).  However, I do start to worry that I am rather more susceptible to “bread and circuses” than I have previously liked to believe.

I added it to the list, despite its unpromising nature, as I saw it in a list of very good TV shows you might have missed in 2013 in one of the broadsheets.  So, I am hoping that it does have some merit – and the inevitable conversion of my brain to mush is not well-underway.  My next admission, I fear, lacks even this limited basis for hope.

Lovefilm, as I’ve mentioned before (just check if you don’t believe me), does constantly bully you into selecting new stuff to add to your rental list.  In a moment of weakness, I added a TV series based on the fairly poor movie Teen Wolf to my list – I can only assume I did this to have a good laugh at its awfulness (if so, it has had the last laugh).  This boasts a cast even younger and prettier than Arrow (actually it does share one cast member) and was made for MTV – so I am a very long way from the target demographic.  This I also love and find worryingly addictive.  I really can’t explain why, I just found myself caring about the main protagonist as he is written as a fairly decent chap.  I think Teen Wolf, along with Arrow, just has a very strong narrative arc – and I am a sucker for a good story.  Alternatively, I seem to be starting my second childhood indecently early and frankly, I haven’t finished playing with the first one yet!

In attempt to retain my imagine as a cool, liberal intellectual (yes, I do realise that I am the only person to have this image of me) I should point out that almost all my other TV viewing over the last week was made up of BBC4 documentaries on art (Ancient Egpyt and the Rococo) and Scandi-drama The Bridge.  The Bridge has far fewer pretty people and no super-powers (though Saga does come close at times) but is one of the best things on TV (ever) and the second series more than matches the first – again down to compelling story and well-drawn characters you care about.  However, I cannot watch more than one episode in any 24 hours period – my reserves of joie-de-vivre can only take so much.  So perhaps my inner adult is hanging on in there – for a little longer at least.   Perhaps some more harrowing theatre will help to feed him (or her).

By the way, readers should feel free to sample Arrow and Teen Wolf for themselves, but if they are as trashy as I fear they might be, please don’t tell me: let an old man keep his (de/il¹)lusions!

¹Delete as appropriate

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