The Commute: Amanda Knox, three pilots, and History of Wolves

History of Wolves Emily Fridlund

This is what I listened, watched and read on the train this week:

Wrongful conviction with Amanda Knox

Well my first pick, season two of this podcast,  certainly puts my misery into perspective. I've been obsessed with the Amanda Knox story ever since I read the excellent Rolling Stone article a few years ago on her trial and conviction, and was glad  to see the Netflix documentary drive the point home that the girl is innocent, and the prosecutor Giuliano Mignini bat crazy. Wrongful Conviction covers the same territory and let's Amanda speak for herself in a voice that is clear as day. It's fascinating to hear somebody who is telling the truth speak. It can be frustrating to see that people cannot distinguish between facts and lies. But you have to remember that we don't get many opportunities to hear somebody speak the truth. Think about it. Al lot of the chatter on the news, media, social media is spin. And spinning ever more out of control. Things are polished, photo shopped, unsaid, hidden, or plain old lies.
Amanda sounds like a pragmatic person, with a smile in her voice even talking about the horror of Meridith's murder, distant sometimes, but the conversation becomes moving when Amanda explains how in the beginning, in jail, she was sure, even after two years (it took so long to get to trail) that people would get it. Till she realized that the facts don't stand a chance against a compelling story.
Sounds familiar and timely no?
But in the end, the message is uplifting, do yourself a favor and watch the docu, get angry and then listen to Wrongful Conviction to make it better.

Impostors, APB and 24: Legacy

Not enjoying the cold, these past few days, but love that things are heating up on the screen. The 100 started again, Homeland, the Americans, and Better Call Saul are coming (GUS!) and if that isn't enough, new show drop at alarming rates. Riverdale is my new fave, and this week I checked out these three to see it the would stay on the roster. Watching pilots on the train is the best, I don't want to waist my favorite shows by treating them so carelessly. The better the show, the more ritual you need around it.
Anyway, all three were free on iTunes.
ONE: Imposters. 
It covers the same ground as The Catch, and that is already silly show, but I love silly shows that are still watchable. Imposters, is already the third con-man show this year (Sneaky Pete the other)* don't think that is a coincidence, think about it... The con goes like this: Maddy, or whatever name she takes, a pretty girl marries helpless chap and flees with all his money. The cast is fresh, and promising ( More about that tomorrow...)
Perfect afternoon show, silly, no high stakes, a touch of darkness, not too involving, fun.
Two: APB.
We know all about the carnage that is supposed to happen in  Chicago, sigh. In APB the overworked and underfunded police force gets help from tech billionaire Gideon Reeves (Justin Kirk) after the death in a shooting of his partner. He manages to take charge of the 13th District and inundates them with gizmo's and all kind of tech goodies to get results.
There are some works of art that will forever color how you see the world. If you ever read James Ellroy politics and celebrities are ruined for you.
If you ever saw The Wire the police will forever be a lazy bunch, with only the occasional high flier, obstructed by their superiors, in every which way.
So watching a show where police gets the CGI treatment and suddenly becomes this high functioning entity, with apps and smart cars, nah, I don't buy it. This seem one of this shows that I scratch my head about,  wondering why it is so successful.
Three: 24: Legacy. 
One episode in and there is already controversy about the Islamophobia and misogyny. What I want to know, can the show continue, without Dammit? I don't know. Dammit was essential. But seriously 24 is always been a fascinating case study; is it OK to watch Jack Bauer do unspeakable things just because he is right? Why is something so wrong so damn fun? The problem is not so much 24, as American society where entertainment and reality have blended seamlessly. Here in Europe it is still strange that actors, reality clowns, etc are taken so damn seriously. Watching a show, knowing it is fiction, can provide release. But watching a show, not maintaining that distinction between reality and fiction gets very murky indeed. The makers promised the storyline would go from something the 45 Pres would endorse to something much more Hillary-like (do we get a woman action hero?! Where is Kate who was so awesome in 24's London outing)
Anyway apart from all this mess, I liked  Corey Hawkins as the new lead, Eric Carter.  I like that he is a soldier, Erica and his wife Nicole were immediately sympathetic. For a moment I got confused when Miranda Otto appeared. Is this a crossover?  Did she go from the Homeland CIA, to her second change at CTU. She's bad, people, she's bad. But no, they look exactly the same, but are not. I don't know. I am keeping an eye on her.
It will be interesting to see Homeland and 24 go head to head and  compare how they handle terrorism is this very strange age.

History of wolves Emily Fridlund

Linda is 14, weird and lonely. She lives in an ex-commune with her parents, near a lake in Minnesota. She becomes obsessed with her neighbors, who seem perfect from afar, but when she starts babysitting for their son she senses something isn't right.

So happy I have found my first great read of the year. A lot of times when a debut is this good, people are surprised about the impeccable mastery of style. But it is often with a debut, when the writer is still unencumbered, where magic freewheeling with words happens. There is a lot of attention to atmosphere, Emily Fridlund conjures the Minnesotan chill so perfectly that the evening London fog seemed balmy to me.
It is a slow build, full of menace, and that predatory teenage angst that was so good in Megan Abbott's Dare me.
I'm only half way through, and will come back to this one. But will go for bat for it, It's great.