Featured List

Jen's Gems 2/27/13

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

- In case you've missed it elsewhere this week, check out this AMAZING Bag End Bonsai!

 By Chris Guise, found via NerdApproved

There's something magical about miniatures that will always fascinate me - and I can't get over all the details Chris included!

This is more than just a miniature diorama; it's a living sculpture. The tree, grass, and moss are all alive and growing:

Be sure to check out all of Chris' process photos, from placing the bricks to hand-turning the tiny brass doorknob on a metal lathe. (Seeing how something was made always makes me appreciate it that much more.) So, so cool.

- Laura S. wrote to me to show off her twin sister Kelly's t-shirt designs, and I can see why!

How great is this Harry Potter shirt?! (Available at RedBubble in any color you like)

And this one made me laugh out loud:


Kelly has lots more fun mash-up shirts at her RedBubble portfolio, so go check 'em out! I'm really hoping her designs start hitting sites like Woot or TeeFury, though, where they're more affordable. (RedBubble is great, but kinda pricey.)


- Caitlin T. surprised me this week with this GORGEOUS watercolor ACEO:


SQUEEEE!

I went nuts for him as soon as I saw it, and managed to wheedle the original out of Caitlin through excessive and utterly shameless begging. :D Now I can't wait to see this little guy framed and on my office wall!

If you like him as much as I do, be sure to check out Caitlin's other work on DeviantArt - it's a mixture of sweet watercolors like this and simply stunning nature photography.


- Disney just announced a new line of Haunted Mansion merchandise, and WOW. Dizgeek jackpot!!


This gargoyle candlelabra should be available sometime next month.

This wine stopper won't be out 'til June, but it's definitely going on my "must-buy" list:

Fans will recognize this guy from the Mansion's iconic queue stanchions. I can remember petting the bats' smooth metal heads as a child, and to this day I still get a kick out of giving them a little pat as I walk by. :) John and I aren't wine drinkers, but I plan to find a nice bottle or brass candlestick to display it on. 

Head over to the official Disney blog to see the rest, including an intricate music box, hourglass, and more. SO MANY GOODIES.


- And finally, this isn't so much a Gem as a question regarding the show Primeval

 Does it get better? 

Because John and I have just *barely* managed to make it through season 2 on Netflix, and now one of the few remaining good characters just died, and the writing and plot holes and ridiculous clich├ęs are actually getting worse, and...yeah. Does it get better, or should we give up now? I mean, I WANT to like it, since the show's premise is so darn cool, but oh, the writing, it hurts us, Precious. IT HURTS US. 

Anyway, feel free to chime in in the comments. And as always, I welcome your Netflix recommendations!

Posted by Jen at 12:30 AM Labels: , , , , ,

67 comments:

  1. I stopped watching Primeval halfway through season 3; it wasn't any better at that point. By the time I quit watching two major characters had died and one was "different." Maybe someday I'll go back and finish it, but not for a while. I was hoping it would get better for the same reasons you said--the premise was great and I thought the effects were really good, but then it just got bad.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can't speak for everyone, but I LOVE Primeval. I might feel different if my favorite characters died, but Connor and Abby both survive through the whole thing, so I am happy about that.

    My only complaint is that they haven't made any new episodes in about two years. There was a Canadian spin off that takes place in the same Universe, called Primeval New World, with Conner showing up in the first and last episodes, but it ended on a cliff hanger and was then cancelled. I've heard that they are looking for a new station to continue it, but I don't like getting my hopes up.

    Anyway, I'd say keep watching, because it is awesome. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. The picture you posted for the TV show is pretty awesome but I've never heard of the show! Now I must Google and see what the heck it's about and, depending on what others say, read all the synopses online or start watching it myself. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I LOVE that bonsai Bag End! I may have to replicate it myself. I have ridiculously non-green fingers, except for bonsai trees for some reason, so I'll be giving this a go ^_^

    Also, I await the verdict on Primeval with baited breath. I barely got through the first two episodes and I want to know if it's worth pursuing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Heh heh - Primeval gets much worse, but you'll keep watching out of a terrible fascination. It's the one show where my man and I continually press the pause button to splutter about some incidence of stupidity. And now there's a spin-off Canadian version which is even worse! Yep, we're still watching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "but you'll keep watching out of a terrible fascination."

      That made me laugh. That's where I am with Glee right now. This season it has totally jumped the shark, yet I can't stop watching because of what you just described.

      Delete
    2. Yes, this! I've watched all the episodes on Netflix (granted, I tend to watch these things while working in the studio, so its not 100% attention) and almost didn't keep going after season 2. It was one show I had to stop watching for awhile cuz it just wasnt keeping ANY attention... I then went back and finished it up. I'm glad I did, wouldn't want that nagging "wonder what happened" hanging over my head, lol.

      Delete
    3. I was that way with lost. great premise, interesting first season and then - horrible ending. Yet I watched right up to the bitter end as it got worse and worse, maybe hoping for something more.
      I gave up on glee though. And I'm a *huge* fan of musicals. Smash is much better imo, so far.
      And yes! Those tees need to get on teefury. Such a horribly addicting site...
      ~erin kristine

      Delete
  6. Give up now. I too wanted to like Primeval so much, being more or less addicted to British sci-fi. But in the end, it only served as an excuse for my husband and I to run around the house dramatically shouting "it's the anomaly!" in bad British accents. Which got old rather quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is season 4 of Primeval available on Netflix yet? There was a delay in shooting it and last I checked it still wasn't available to US viewers.

    If not I say give up. Season 3 is worse than season 2 (I know!) and leaves the characters stranded at the end.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'ts acceptable to finish out season 3. That wraps up some of the arcing plot. After that though, walk away and pretend it didn't happen.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Regarding Primeval, I think it depends what you want...

    I only watched it in the last few months, and went through all five series pretty quickly. To be fair, I quite enjoyed all of it, although I agree there were a certain amount of plot holes and bad lines that should probably have been editted out - I never took it too seriously, and just had fun with it.

    I was a bit worried after the end of S2/beginning of S3 that the remaining characters wouldn't be able to carry the show very well, but actually they do carry on developing the characters who are left, and bringing more in, so, from a character point of view I think it does maybe get a bit more interesting. There's actually quite a high turnover of characters throughout the whole five series, compared to some shows, but they make it work quite well.

    In short, there is still daftness, and some bits that are a bit cringy, but I found enough to enjoy (and I don't think there's much that's quite as bad as the future!seals in series two that looked like Jabba the Hutt and kept kidnapping people just to roar at and then never getting round to eating them, while the entire team ran round in slow-mo... that was probably the low point for me!)

    Beth W

    ReplyDelete
  10. I also wanted to love Primeval, but you're completely right, and I gave up after they pretty much killed everyone off (or sent them back in time). It's ok Jen (pat pat), you don't have to like it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Does Primeval get better? I have no idea. I quit not long after the point you're at and for pretty much the reasons you mentioned. It's like nobody on that show knew how to write women. Drove me crazy.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sorry, no, it doesn't get better. And that's coming from somebody who loves the show. It's a guilty pleasure that I watch despite the bad writing. And Cutter was the best of them, though I have a soft spot for Connor as well.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh Primeval... I would say jump to series 4 and 5, that's when it gets addictive. I tried to watch from the beginning after falling into a deep geek-crush with Andrew-Lee Potts as Hatter in Alice but it was just too bad. I gave the reboot a try and really got into the show. I'm also really looking forward to the Canuk "extension" coming state side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gahhh I LOVE Andrew-Lee Potts as Hatter (I loved Alice, but he made it an obsession for me)!!! I was reading all these terrible things about Primeval from the other comments, but now I feel like I have to give it a try just to see him!

      Delete
  14. Stop watching Primeval. It's not worth the pain. And it only gets worse. I'm working my way through Fringe season 1 right now. It interesting enough for me to keep hoping it gets better but some episodes are cringe inducing. I liked most episodes of Terra Nova. It's on Netflix but it doesn't go past season 1. My all time favourite on Netflix was Lost. Other than that, most of what we have in Canada on Netflix just blows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved Terra Nova, and I was pissed when they canceled it after one season. I got through the first episode of Fringe and wasn't a huge fan, but I do want to go back to it eventually.

      Delete
    2. Fringe definitely gets better. It goes from being an X-filish-creepy-thing-of-the-week type of show to having an in-depth, on-going storyline that makes you want to keep watching.

      Delete
    3. Stick with Fringe!!! I dearly love that show. Season one was a little rough but... oh my. Season two will knock your socks off. And then season three... That show is AMAZING.

      Delete
  15. I gave up after season two. Two many extreme changes and not enough continuity. It made me sad because I really enjoyed the series up to that point. I get that it's the BBC's m.o. to just change things and expect the audience to accept it or adapt it. But I'm an American. I need to be eased into such things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not a BBC show - it was shown on ITV in the UK, a commercial channel. And I don't think I made it past 2 episodes let alone 2 series.

      Delete
  16. Primeval is a terrible show made from a great idea that they take absolutly no where. After watching 4 season (no I don't know why), I can honestly say it doesn't get any better. In fact it gets worse. However, there is a Canadian spin-off called Primeval New World that is currently in it's first season. It's looking pretty good after 13 episodes.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think Season two of Primeval is a good stopping place. Season three was meh. Seasons 4 & 5 weren't that great.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have been trying to figure out how to subtly pocket one of the HM bat stanchions for years. But, much as I plan, I can't get my evil mastermind skills to come up with something better then, "sneak cordless drill into park." Hrm. Maybe the wine stopper will tide me over. (Even if I too don't drink wine.)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Give it up, woman. The only way to survive watching the rest of Primeval is to intersperse every watching with an episode of Alys Fowler's 'The Edible Garden' to wash out your poor brain and allow it to calm down after screaming obscenities at the writers. Assuming there ARE writers. I've never been able to confirm their existence...

    ReplyDelete
  20. Must agree that it is a good time to give up on Primeval, much as I have a little crush on Andrew-Lee Potts :) Primeval New World has been okay so far since it still has him in it BUT just been announced that it has been cancelled after this first series. Hoping Revolution will have some eye-candy for us beleaguered UK viewers

    ReplyDelete
  21. Haha, yeah I can't offer any advice about Primeval. I loved it when I first saw it, but I think you've already made it further than I did. The story arc with Stephen got ridiculous and the whole part with whatever happened to Helen... I just had to stop so I could still remember what I liked about the show with some amount of fondness.

    Also, I just looked it up on IMDB and the only original cast members on the volume 3 cover are Connor and Abby, so now I think I'm glad I stopped when I did.

    ReplyDelete
  22. LOL Yeah, I think the short answer to the Primeval question is NO. But I did go back and watch the rest anyway. ;) Then again I watched Lost World so I'm obviously a sucker for unabashedly bad TV. (It's the stuff that THINKS it's good when it's really bad that I don't watch)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I stopped watching after season 3, because there's a complete story from 1 to 3 then 4 changed a lot of things again as it does a time skip. I started to watch the beginning of 4 but it didn't catch me. I marathoned 1, 2, 3 and was happy.

    Also if you love Connor and Abby, season 3 has some great moments with them. If I were going to buy the series, which I keep debating, I think I'd just get 1 and 2.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I actually liked the later seasons of Primeval, after they hit the new universe and got rid of Cutter. I liked him, but by the end I was ready for him to be gone. Connor and Abby are my faves!

    I'm sad to hear about the Canadian version since it had actors from Eureka who I happen to love.

    They're both silly and personally I think you have to watch them because they're campy. Any other reason will mean disappointment.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Good to know everyone's thoughts on this show. I recommend going back in time, and discovering the show Eureka, and watching every episode from start to all too soon finish.
    Jan

    ReplyDelete
  26. I watched two eps and gave it up for lost. :(

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting the info on the Bag End bonsai! I want to re-create it, and I had some ideas, but this will make it so much easier. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I nominated you for a Shine On award! :)
    http://michellelindah.blogspot.ca/2013/02/shine-on-blogs.html

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm not sure if it's on American Netflix, but the BBC show "Misfits" is on the Canadian Netflix, and it is just awesome! My husband and I just started watching it. It follows a group of young offenders who develop powers after a freak lightning storm. It's raw, hilarious and British. All good things. Oh ya, and super powers! So super amazing, then.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Haven't tried Primeval, but I just got into Lost Girl and I can. not. stop. it's basically a Scooby Gang crime show, but with supernatural fae-type characters. It stars a succubus, and all that implies, but it's developed really well, with great characters and is very self-aware. Give it a try!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I stopped watching after season 3. I really wanted to keep liking it, but I Just couldn't manage to get into it. Which is really such a shame because that show should've been right up my alley. Netflix is worth every penny for us because it gets us watching some great stuff! We discovered both versions of Being Human on it. Surprisingly (because this NEVER happens to me) I liked the American one better.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh my goodness, the Bag End Bonsai is pure awesome! I am suddenly discovering a hitherto unknown desire to work with bonsai, just so I can make hobbit holes.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I don't know anything about Netflix, but if you can find "Doc Martin" from BBC, grab it and go. We downloaded from something called "The Box" onto DVD and it is fantastic. Not sci-fi, just really good stories, well-written and well acted. Also the series "Kingdom" starring Stephen Fry. I'm a big fan of British TV because they seem to remember that storylines can be entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  33. If you are getting tired of this show, you should definitely watch Sherlock. Actually, you should watch Sherlock anyway. The writing is fantastic, the actors rock, and it is just all-around awesome :D
    -Kate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES!!!! Sherlock is amazing! Each series (season) is only 3 episodes long, but each episode is 1 1/2 hours long. That allows them to get into really intricate storytelling. Series 3 won't air until fall 2013, but series 1 and 2 are on Netflix.

      Delete
  34. I loved Primeval. Only caught it sporadically on BBC America as it came across the pond so by the time season 3 came along, I couldn't remember what happened in season 2. (and I definitely missed a few episodes of 2)
    But I really enjoyed seasons 3 and 4, big fan of Connor. I think it was worth the ride.
    Also, want to agree with above, Eureka was Awesome! So sad to see it end.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I would like to recommend a show that you can watch on Netflix. Its a Canadian show called "Lost Girl" about a succubus who discovers she's a succubus in the first episode, and then has to learn how to live in both the Fae and Human worlds. NSFW but super hilarious at times, with really awesome action and cool characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. This exactly! I just got stuck on "Lost Girl" and now I think about how long it's going to be until I can get home from work and watch the next episode.

      Delete
  36. Jen, I think you just need to suspend belief and watch the rest! Some episodes are good, others less so - but there is some nice development of Abi and Connor.

    Di

    ReplyDelete
  37. I personally love this series. The second half of the third season is actually one of my favorites. We get a new protagonist who I adore. He's just amazing. Now the fourth season is where I struggle the most, but the show picks back up in the fifth. If you can keep going, I would say to hang on. I love this show, even when it's at its lowest. There's always something to hang on for... Usually Connor :-)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Primeval is a terrible, awful, no good, very bad show. I have watched every episode and it really gets much worse. At the end of Season 2 you think it's going somewhere with the creatures of myth/legend that they allude to.... it does not. That being said if you keep watching it, it's like a terrible drug and you can't stop and you can't look away; I almost feel like I deserve a badge for surviving it, my sister (and fellow crap scifi watcher) quit on me.

    ReplyDelete
  39. How much fun would it be to combine the bonsai Hobbit house with the Hobbit House cat litter tray? It would grow! And smell bad, but grow!
    Also, run while you still can. Primeval just gets worse. I recommend Eureka, Warehouse 13 and Star Trek Voyager for the fun and cheesy factor.

    ReplyDelete
  40. You need to come to TUCSON ARIZONA
    We have the largest museum in the US that is entirely dedicated to miniatures! I have been volunteering there since they opened, which is about three and a half years ago.

    It's huge. And really AWESOME!

    The Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures

    ReplyDelete
  41. I can't tell you whether Primeval gets better, but I can recommend a series that is on Netflix that you and Jon might enjoy: Being Human. There is a Syfy (sic)(sic, sic, sic) version and a UK version, and we have only seen the UK one, which we heartily recommend. Premise: a ghost, a vampire, and a werewolf share a house, trying to keep things together. The first four seasons, or "series" for the UK, are on Netflix, the fifth is currently filming/showing in the UK. Enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Total TOTAL thumbs up for Misfits!!!!!! Awesome show - you won't be sorry!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES. I've watched more episodes since posting my original recommendation, and oh my. I can't stop watching! I love love love Nathan.

      Delete
    2. I wish it was available on US Netflix!! I've only been able to catch it late nights on LogoTV and stay up far to late for "one more" episode.

      Delete
  43. You must watch Jekyll, a 6-part series. James Nesbitt is brilliant. Doc Martin is also good as a commenter above mentioned. Midsomer Murders take place in lovely little English villages...

    ReplyDelete
  44. My experience of primeval was that it was very much a mixed bag, and became progressively more mixed as time went on.
    The individual plots of many episodes were surprisingly fun for me, and i say that as someone who's only positive experience with monster flicks was the tremors series (beyond campy, and delights in it). There are some great quips, and connor and abby are very entertaining as characters (right up until the plot arc eats them and they drown in melodrama).
    Whenever they start to get into the overarching plot, things start to fall apart for me; tho. Quite often the characters' moral alignments are so obvious they may as well wear nametags ("Hi, my name is Unsuspecting Villain"), and the show sort of depends on the audience maintaining a high level of scientific ignorance, which is never a good sign.Some of the plot arcs they set up probably would have worked ok if they'd allowed themselves 3 times the space to make them happen, but cramming a full US season's worth of plot arc into 5 episodes means that you have to strip down the character development to its bare bones and pray that no one notices the plot holes you don't have time to fill. It says something about the show that becker was on for 3 seasons and by the end we still know almost nothing about him.
    I watched through the end for the one-off episodes, but i still can't separate the moments of fun from my ongoing frustrations with the plot.

    ReplyDelete
  45. As an additional thought, for delightfully off-beat fun, i highly recommend any of the series bryan fuller did: dead like me (though i consider it the least of his creations, and don't bother with the movie), pushing daisies, and wonderfalls. If there were plot holes, i felt more comfortable ignoring them, and the characters are, almost to a one, so addictive and so cleverly written i was completely hooked in no time at all.
    Interestingly, wonderfalls has the dubious distinction of being the only show i've ever heard of that's an even more egregious example than firefly of "screwed by the network" (same network, too).

    ReplyDelete
  46. Primeval...seriously, what is with killing off every good character?? With a time travel plot, I kept expecting them to COME BACK...what is the point of time travel otherwise?? I think we are currently halfway through season 4, and just not that interested in finishing. It is sad, because there is so much good stuff, and yet...just not quite awesome. Being Human UK on the other hand--really GOOD. Watch it if you haven't already.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I've watched either 3 or 4 seasons of Primeval and it is fine. Not great, not horrendous, just fine. If you haven't enjoyed it so far then you probably aren't going to change your mind by watching more.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Oh my goodness, I love Primeval! It's definitely a guilty pleasure show though because it's kind of ridiculous, but in the best way possible. My best friend and I have watched it twice, but we like campy "B" movies. I'm kind of in love with Connor and might need to name my first son after him :P I think the show does get better by leaps and bounds, but being a big lover of the show, I might be a bit biased.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I stopped watching Primeval after season 3, (and that third season attempt was eeeexcruciating!) because I just couldn't stand how ridiculous it was! It might have been better if they camped it up, and made it a little more silly, which might have helped us get by all the holes. I remember sitting and complaining loudly to my husband just how unbelievable it was, even though I really liked the characters (well... pretty much just Connor and Abby - I couldn't stand Nick Cutter's character from the start) So in short... no, it doesn't get better. My hubby continued with the series because it is such a cool premise, but even he hasn't been all that impressed with it.
    I noticed someone mentioned Misfits - and that is FANTASTIC! I've found the latest season a bit tiresome, but that's because you truly can't top Simon! Also, one that only ran one season was the Fades, and I wish that went on longer, it was brilliant! Being Human (the Brit one, NOT the American) was also decent. As for comedy, if you haven't seen The IT crowd, it's a must!! As is the Mighty Boosh (just promise you'll try 3 episodes before giving up lol - at first it is way too much crazy to encompass, but you learn to love and quote them ;) )

    ReplyDelete
  50. Stick with Primeval - once the annoying plotline with Helen Cutter was out of the way, it did improve. The last series was great - yes it's daft and it's best not to ask too many questions, but it's still lots of fun. And seeing Connor nearly tempted over to the dark side was cool......

    ReplyDelete
  51. Primeval used to be one of the few shows my entire family would sit down together to watch... but none of us have really bothered for the past 2 series or so. I got bored of all my favourite characters vanishing and the poor/annoying plotlines. Tried watching an episode of the new series and had NO idea what was going on, so I didn't even last the full episode. It's a shame, because it had so much potential to be amazing!!! So I'd not recommend slogging through the rest of it, personally!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Watch Continuum instead. It's only got the one season so far, but is written much better and uses slightly better science. Just don't read the synopsis - it's much more fun to be surprised by the show's plot XD

    ReplyDelete
  53. I finished Primeval. Now, mind you, I was mostly watching it because I had a slight crush on Andrew Lee-Potts after watching ScyFy's "Alice" (he was the Hatter.) I can't say Primeval ever got brilliant. It got better, and the last season was not bad, but it never really made you go "that was freaking AWESOME." You might want to know, though, that Julian Bashir appears in the last season...

    ReplyDelete
  54. I watch Primeval mostly for the mythology tie ins and the dinosaurs. The characters became a little stale (really, do you need to get into trouble and be emo about it EVERY episode?) type thing, but I thought as the season ended, it got better. I will definitely watch the newest season, because, dinosaurs!

    ReplyDelete
  55. We enjoyed Saason 1 & 2 but they almost lost us after surviving Season 3. I did pop oline to get a feel for if it gets any better and my feeling is that it's worth sticking with and maybe just skip S3. As you can see the general concensus is that S3 was AWFUL. They killed off Cutter and brought in dubious replacements but fortunately they get unceremoniously cast off. We're halfway through S4 and it feels like they might be getting back to its roots. I have yet to watch an ep where I didn't get annoyed by; a plot hole, the fact that they keep running into situations with critters without weapons to defend or tranquilise, them not running through an anomaly in a timely manner, a line by Captain Obvious.

    ReplyDelete

Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>

Related Posts with Thumbnails