THE COMMUTE: The hate watch and how sad Keanu made it better.

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

Books to read on your commute, podcast

Apple tree yard

I have to warn you, there's a bit of hate-watching coming up. Now normally I try to reduce the amount of that, life is too short, but once in a while...  Apple tree yard, a BBC show, seemed to be successful and discussed, here in the UK, is based on the book by Louise Doughty and is one of those psychological thrillers where a women lost in her life, falls down a rabbit hole, of lust, crime and shame. 
Alright, two rather creepy people hook up. Creepy in that British way, were folks get so repressed that everything doing with a good old bang, seems at the same time forbidden and icky. She is Yvonne Carmichael played by Emily Watson, a prominent scientist studying the humane genome, married to a fellow scientist. Her lover acts sketchy as hell, he is called Mark Costly ( Ben Chaplin) and he soon has Yvonne convinced he is a spook, working for MI5. 
Now, if you are like me, at this point, halfway episode one, you are trying to guess what will happen. Will he blackmail her? Does he need information about her work? In the first scene Yvonne is being transported in a prison van.  What did this Mark do to her?
But by the end of the episode the story shifts. These two repressed individuals really get off on doing it outside, wow that is so 1980 retro. They go at it against the wall Apple tree yard alley, we even get that :" Take off your panties." line earlier in a bar. Do people really still go for that old thing? Afterwards sans underwear Yvonne goes to a work party, and there is the plot, she gets raped by one of the colleagues.
And that whole thing, it isn't called Apple Tree yard for nothing, hooking up outside, comes back to bite her in her naked ass. So, the guilt trip that was Fatal Attraction is still happening. Now the female lead gets punished for her illicit affair?

I felt disappointed at this point. From the first scene it is easy to take it from there,  the rapist must be dead. That is it? Please let that not be the only thing?
During the four episodes I kept hoping for twist and turns, but the ones that were presented were very shallow ones, the story cruises in one big straight freeway lane to it's conclusion. It has been noted how Yvonne's rape, and the aftermath, full of shame, fear, despair is realistically presented.  Rape is often used as a cheap ploy in entertainment, but, you will have to been asleep for decades to not get by now how it affects a victim. Devastating. And still difficult to prosecute. But to make a point, you first have to put the viewer in Yvonne shoes, or at least build some empathy. It didn't happen for me.  To me its seemed like Apple tree Yard was making a point for the less informed. A point, doesn't constitute a good story and certainly not a thriller. 
Apple tree yard felt middle aged, but not like middle age is now, just stuffy, dated, out of touch. I don't know who the women are that got all hot and bothered by the illicit affair, ( I'm guessing that we are supposed to at least feel some titillation ) aren't they watching Fifty shades, getting spanked right and left? 
Let me stop here. This is the kind of show I finished just because I expected something to come, and it never did. Not even in that last minutes. If you know what I am talking about, that was not a twist, and no it wasn't chilling either. ( For those who seen it, why is she writing all that awful irritating crap then? Remember when Amy in Gone Girl did it, but it was meant to be read, so it underscored the fantasy created by her? That didn't happen here.) Very murky stuff.


Not ready yet with the hate-watch. 
Hate may a strong word for this thing. Let me state here that I have watched several episodes of Notorious. I would tell you why, but my husband won't like it. I tolerate that show well, just so you know my standards. I don't think the writers of that show have any clue what is going on plot wise, but everyone is believable enough, and they move and talk, and have good hair, a oops now someone else is the murderer, you know, it's a How to get away with murder wannabe, that kills time, grabs your attention while you finish your tub or ice-cream.
Doubt is not that show.

I dismissed it in one minute. Funny how that happens. Katherine Heigl, Sadie a defense attorney, is introduced by having her bike as an even crazier person than the standard bike carrier to the courthouse. Her co-litigator has to say it. Maybe we blink and missed it, maybe we sneezed so we need the unnecessary exposition. "You know you are crazy."  We know! We get that, she arrives all sweaty, changes in to her lawyers outfit, right there, outside, and proceeds to interrupt the DA who is talking to the press and all I could think, why? I bike a lot myself,  and have no respect for someone who thinks endangering herself and her fellow road users means she is fiery and cool. I don't buy it for a sec that a lawyer at a respectable firm would be like that. Sweating through her fancy white skirt. At least white doesn't show. But any other day, imagine where her sweat stains are.
Then her colleague Albert ( Dule Hill) leaves his dog tied to a pole for ten hours, and everybody acts like that is a cute thing.
So it is that kind of show, where the writers think they are writing kooky, but it is just irritating. 
The rest of the law firm are transplants from other shows, literally. Dreama Walker plays the same Iowa girl she did on Don't trust the B--- in apartment 23, Kathleen Chalfant plays the same sassy cynical broad she did on the Affair, they didn't even bother to change her name, Elliot Gould is confused as always, and poor Sophia ( Laverne Cox) has to answer the question posed by her client, a schizophrenic who pushed somebody in front of the metro: "Are you a man?" With all the exposition going on, I am afraid the writers feared people at home would get disoriented by that one.
One example why this is poorly written and researched show:
At a certain point, the partner of the woman pushed in front of the metro has to answer the question if he thought that the perpetrator seemed crazy. ( this plays into the defense hand, it will get him in a psych ward, and he will avoid prison.) The man looks surprised. Then immediately answers affirmative. You tell me the man who's wife was killed by the schizophrenic doesn't realise this answer will help the defense? The DA didn't prep his testimony? He doesn't want this guy to go to jail. At least he would reluctant to answer that question. But no, the writers where more concerned proving that insanity doesn't warrant a prison sentence. Doubt takes itself quite seriously. 
Just watch the cast interviews on iTunes.
To come back to Notorious, Sadie then falls for her client, a dreamy doctor, ( Danny? Danny oh no, he is bad now) who is accused to having killed his girlfriend 16 years ago. 
" He is such a good man." Sadie dares to say.
In Notorious where the same kind of problem is driving the show, the male lead is accused of murdering a woman, he and the female lead, Piper Perabo, are just very old friends. But I guess being the sweaty road nuisance that she is, Sadie doesn't have much luck with the guys, and will grab what she can.
The Good fight it is.

The nerdist podcast

I needed something uplifting after all that. And what is better than hearing sad Keanu, being lively and enthusiastic on the Nerdist podcast with Chris Hardwick. Chris is the master of getting people to chill, and getting Keanu to abandon his wooden shtick is a great feat. I am just joking. Do yourself a favor, they discuss John Wick 2, films he directed (?!) what attracts him to roles. What he would tell his younger self (save River, dude). A breezy hour full of dedication, deprecation and kick-ass shenanigans. 
They even discuss the army of Keanus that people were forming on Reddit. 
Think about it, an whole army of Keanus. Excellent!