Friday, February 5, 2010

Watched any good books lately?

What are they reading in Mad Men, The Sopranos, True Blood and Skins - and what does it mean? We read between the lines

In the same way that Captain Kirk never took a loo break, the depiction of reading on TV has traditionally been considered anathema. Who turns on their telly to watch someone buried in a book? Remember that moment in Seinfeld when the characters pitch "Jerry", their (anti)-sitcom-within-a-sitcom to NBC? George stresses that one thing the characters will be doing a lot of is reading. "Reading?" shoots back the network exec in disbelief, as shocked as if George had suggested masturbating; reading is, after all, the very antithesis of drama, of getting out and doing stuff. It's an almost morbidly introspective thing for telly folk to be doing and not terribly exciting for the viewer, either, who might be tempted to switch over to the ten pin bowling.

read on

Back to basics, as the werewolf howls again

Back to basics, as the werewolf howls again

Forget vampires and zombies – they're just corpses. Werewolves are alive and howling

Vampires and zombies have been hogging our attention so much of late that we could be forgiven for having overlooked the other class-A monster lurking on the sidelines. But now it's getting ready to reclaim its rightful place in the horror pantheon, shoulder to shoulder with the walking undead. Werewolves are go!

Although they may not have taken top billing for a while, werewolves have never been entirely absent from our screens and pages. Who is Harry Potter's favourite professor of defence against the dark arts? The werewolf Remus Lupin! Who plugs that gap in Bella's heart when her beloved vampire Edward goes awol in the second episode of the Twilight saga? Step forward Jacob Black, who shapeshifts into a wolf! The Underworld films are nominally about vampires, but who are the vampires fighting? Lycans! Which is just a fancy name for werewolves, also known as loups-garous, lycanthropes, skinwalkers or plain old wolfmen.