Supernatural by Eric Kripke

Season_Five_Title_Card

Supernatural was  broadcasted for the first time on the 13 of September 2005 by CW. In France, It was two years later (slow, did you say slow?). So I am a regular of this show for the last 7 years (Don’t get me any younger), and as I said about a certain British series, adaptation of the adventures of a famous detective, Supernatural is a show which has never betrayed me (For the Sup. fans, I think my remark is priceless… sweet betrayal…)

It wasn’t a crush, it wasn’t love at first sight, but the building of relationship … Why do I use love vocabulary ? Because the first criticism I always heard concerning my interest in Supernatural was : « You watch this show because of the pretty boys! » … So, I will be clear on that. I won’t tell you Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki are not charming, you would call me a hypocrite. Yes, like their set buddy, Misha Collins (in the cast from season 4), said concerning the confirmation of season 10 : « the underwear models are back » … I will answer something sensitive : it’s not their fault! and mine neither! Unfortunately, actors’ plastic isn’t a guarantee of quality for a Tv show (or a movie, a theatre play or a radio broadcast… well, for the radio… 😉 ).

TV-GUIDE-jared-padalecki-and-jensen-ackles-33998141-3000-2120

Jensen Ackles (Dean), Jared Padalecki (SAm0 and Misha Collins (Castiel). Underwear models… someone could talk 😉

I have witnesses ; Supernatural has a male audience too… And I will tell you why : the quality of the show !

Season 6 - my favourite DVD cover until now

Season 6 – my favourite DVD cover until now

So, as I said, it wasn’t love at first sight with the first episode, but the rising of a certain interest… This horror show had potential. It starts with Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki), a Stanford student with a busty girlfriend and good marks. Sam doesn’t want to go to a Halloween party, not his cup of tea, but finally say yes. What he has in mind is an interview the next week with a prestigious law firm which could certainly seal his destiny… When you see the lovely couple Sam and Jessica are, you tell yourself, « Well, the ideal victims of a basic monster movie ». All the more when, back home, you notice something creeping in there apartment while they are asleep… except… Sam kicked the ass of the something in the dark, which revealed to be a someone, his brother Dean (Jensen Ackles) who must have never learn about doorbell… The fight between the brother must raise a red light; the law student is not what is seemed to be, as his bad boy of a brother. Sam has previously broken all ties with his family, but Dean came to announce him their dad has disappeared « on a hunting trip »…

 21-deanlove35I could tell you about the rest of the episode, but I don’t want to spoil the pleasure of those who will discover Supernatural (Obviously, thanks to this article). So, I will continue with what everybody knows, that Sam and Dean are hunters, monsters hunters, like their dad, because their mother has been killed by a demon while Sam was 6 months-old and Dean 4 years-old. Nothing new under the sun ? Of course there is!… First, Supernatural recreated its monsters. For example, vampires aren’t afraid of garlic, crucifixes (they are not shiny either) and their set of teeth has nothing to do with Count Dracula’s… The ghosts are most like the good old fashioned ones, but they could have their originalities too. Eric Kripke, creator and show-runner until season 6 (if I am not mistaken), as his writers peck in the mythologies of the world. So the boys will meet Asian demon in this good all America and even meet with some pagan God not particularly benevolent.

After watching"Scarecrow" (1.11), you won't ever look at one in the same way.

After watching »Scarecrow » (1.11), you won’t ever look at one in the same way.

Then, there is two qualities which make the show. First, the relationship between the brother. Of course, it’s life and death matter, even if they are not the talkative type – One day, I will count how many time a problem between them ends by a punch – but they have depth, contradictions. Sam is finally not « Joe College » as his brother called him, and Dean is far from simply being a bad boy who makes fun of the police and obey his dad like a good little soldier… They sometimes act against sense; they have these qualities I love in a character (especially a certain gentleman-burglar called Arsène Lupin 😉 ), they are humans. They make numerous mistakes, they are not always fair with each other… But everything without Pathos ! As I said, no risk to finish on the shrink’s sofa (except when the hospital is haunted), but a good fight to release the tension, and back to hunting. All the same, Dean’s sense of humour (often dark, often uses in desperated, deadly situations) is a way to release the tension.

supernatural1

Sam and Dean with a important character of the show; The Black 1967 Chevy Impala.

Precisely, the second quality of the show is mixing the genres. During 9 seasons (soon 10…), the creative team offered us all registers from comedy to drama. Some episodes are like antic tragedy (the hero facing his fate, which he can’t beat; but fight it anyway like a devil … maybe not the perfect word, but you know what I mean!), and others are pure comedy (The French Mistake, where the brothers are sent in an

John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), le père absent.

John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the absent father

alternative reality where they are two actors, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, playing two characters called Sam and Dean Winchester whose life is only fiction… You could tell Dean didn’t like make-up at all ! Such a plot it’s quite daring, and it’s one of the best comical episodes in the show).

Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver), la vraie figure paternelle de la série.

Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver), the real father figure in the show.

I will add that the performance is perfect, and, I am about to praise Jensen Ackles. In Dean part, the comical moments are often his (even if the rest of the cast just go to their heart content : « I lost my shoe » ; those who have watched Baraka (3.3) will understand, for the others, here – spoiler free). So, watching Dean Winchester (a character who could make Rambo looks like a pussy), screaming like a girl and running from a Yorshire, because he is under a malediction, it’s priceless (Yellow fever 4.7). On the other hand, in the most dramatic moments of the show (Winchesters’ life is far from quiet and peaceful), he could make you cry a river (No, I won’t confess I cried watching the final episodes of season 2, don’t insist!), and you just believe it. As I say at the beginning, even re-creating itself, the show never betrays it spirit. Despite their contradictions, Sam and Dean remain the same, and evolve, as the plots evolves itself.

1119917_10151831068537323_938086976_o

Another positive point: After nearly 9 years of good service, Sam and Dean are not anymore hunting the demon who has killed their mum… It would have been quite long, wouldn’t it ? Their quest has changed : the crisis, the trials they face get

Crowley, mon démon préféré (qui porte le nom d'un célèbre occultiste britannique)

Crowley (Mark Sheppard). I have to confess I have sympathy for the devil.

settled eventually (Careful, it’s rarely fairy tales style, they get of these ordeals a little more damage, a little more combative too). Some shows drag on at leisure concerning their initial problem (because « some people » doesn’t want successful show to stop) and it becomes unrealistic (yes, monsters are not realistic too… or are they ?) and, let’s face it, boring. Supernatural deals with this, because, once the original monster iced (as Dean could say), another took his place. So the show keeps a continuity (still linked to the boys life and past). I won’t say more about it – Spoilers, sweeties ! 😉 

Supernatural is much more than Dean’s favourite sentence (no, not « son of a bitch »… honestly!) : Saving people, hunting  things, the family business. Supernatural, it’s a whole universe perfectly mastered by the writers… an a musical universe too… Oh, yes, I have to talk about that later…

to be continued 

photo promo de la saison 2... Aucune idée du pourquoi du pylône (trouver plus grand que Jared Padalecki, peut-être...)

Season 2 promo shot.

The Supernatural Book of monsters, spirits, demons and ghouls par Alex Irvine

book  of monsters

« The Universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine. » Arthur Eddington

Voilà un livre qui est depuis des années sur mes étagères… J’avais lu le Journal de John Winchester sans vraiment être conquise, et ce livre des Monstres, esprits, démons et goules a donc attendu… à tort ! C’est vraiment un beau travail de la part de l’auteur et croyez-moi j’ai lu assez de livres de mythologie (et d’essai, recherches, doctorats… à propos de vampires, sorcières, revenants et autres loup-garous) pour vous dire que ce n’est pas simplement une collection de textes à propos des monstres spécifiques à Supernatural. Alex Irvine part de textes « sérieux », notamment sur les vampires, il cite des témoignages datant du Moyen-Age, que je connais bien pour avoir fait des recherches. Pour chaque monstre, il cite les origines mythologiques avant de justifier les variantes de la série. 

Le livre est écrit comme s’il était le journal tenu par Sam et Dean (je ne les ai jamais vu tenir un journal, mais comme tous bons chasseurs, ils doivent le faire). C’est à la fois très bien documenté, et en même temps irrévérencieux. Ce qui fait que ce livre se différencie des textes habituels sur cette bonne vieille « cryptozoologie »… C’est à la fois intéressant et amusant. Je ne pense pas que cela soit réservés aux habitués de la série, je pense même que ça pourrait donner envie de la regarder à certains… 

En prime, un exorcisme complet (on est jamais trop prudent 😉 ) et de très jolies illustrations.

Une très bonne surprise… 

English Review of this book : HERE

 

La mort s’invite à Pemberley de P.D. James

Voilà une lecture qui me tentait tout en m’inquiétant… Comment ? un crime à Pemberley ! Cela fleurait le crime (justement) de lèse-majesté ! et P.D. James le reconnait bien volontiers, et s’en excuse auprès des mânes de Jane Austen… Vous pensez, oser faire entrer le meurtre dans l’univers si policée de la demoiselle… Quoique, d’autres l’ont fait et si vous avez envie de découvrir Jane Austen détective, les romans de Stephanie Barron sont faits pour vous…  Mais ici, ce sont Elizabeth et Darcy qui se trouvent face à un cadavre, et à un possible meurtrier qui vient tout droit de leur passé… 

SetWidth620-Death-comes-to-Pemberley

la couverture de mon édition en v.o

Résumé : Rien ne semble devoir troubler l’existence ordonnée de Pemberley, le domaine ancestral de la famille Darcy, ni perturber le bonheur d’Elizabeth, la maîtresse des lieux. Elle est la mère de deux charmants bambins et Jane, sa sœur préférée, habite tout près. Cette félicité se trouve soudain menacée lorsque, à la veille du bal d’automne, un drame contraint les Darcy à recevoir la plus jeune sœur d’Elizabeth et son mari, que leurs frasques passées ont rendu indésirables à Pemberley. Avec eux s’invitent la mort, la suspicion et la résurgence de rancunes anciennes. Tout en restant fidèle aux personnages du roman de Jane Austen, P.D. James imagine avec brio une suite – policière – à Orgueil et préjugés.

Donc, j’étais partagée, inquiète, et en même temps impatiente… P.D. James ne m’a pas déçue ! Comme elle l’explique elle-même en post-face, arrivée à 90 ans, elle s’est fait plaisir en mélangeant ses deux passions, les romans policiers et Jane Austen… Comme je la comprends ! Et elle l’a fait avec brio. Certes, l’intrigue policière n’est pas aussi tortueuse que bon nombre de celles qu’elle a pu écrire dans le passé, mais ce n’est pas là le but. En effet, c’est le mélange des genres, sans trahir la plume extraordinaire de Jane Austen qui est le vrai défi de ce roman. Bon nombre de pastiches ont déjà été écrit, mais celui-ci à le mérite de nous montrer le système judiciaire anglais tout en nous offrant une Elizabeth et un Darcy plus âgés, plus mûrs, mais toujours fidèles à ce que leur créatrice en avait fait.

L’intrigue se suit avec plaisir, la plume de James est fidèle à celle d’Austen, et on s’attache à la destinée de personnages laissés de côté précédemment comme la soeur de Darcy. P.D. James fait évoluer les caractères, les relations est finalement, c’est encore la peinture des caractères qui m’a passionnée comme elle m’avait passionnée dans le roman original… et j’avoue avoir retrouver les mêmes affections et les mêmes inimitiés… Ce roman est vraiment maîtrisé, et une nouvelle fois, je quitte Elizabeth et Darcy à regrets…

 

mort1

pour acheter le livre sur Amazon, cliquez sur l’image

Perfect scones (in English)

The simpliest recipes are always the hardest to master, but I think this time, I have the perfect recipe of scones…

Scones

Digital Image

First, the result… for some motivation!

 

Ingredients : 450g flour, 80g diced butter (really, really cold!), 80g sugar, 2 eggs (+ 1 for glazing, that means 3 eggs), 5 tsp baking powder (this is the Paul Hollywood’s touch… And it’s quite logical, because the scones dough is quite heavy, so it’s need a lot of help to rise correctly!), 160ml of milk (maybe more, maybe less…).

To serve : A good raspberry or strawberry jam (somebody has a recipe?) and clotted cream.

Preheat the oven to 220°C and grease and line your baing tray.

Pour the floor in the food-processor bowl and add the diced butter (this is the part I am lazy… because you could do it by hand with softened butter… but it’s last too long for my taste…), mix for 2 minutes, until the mix looks like breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar, 2 eggs and the baking powder and mix delicately with a wood spoon. Be careful to incorporate all the ingredients together. Then, add the milk… Tricky part! The recipe told me 250ml, except that 130ml were enough… So, my advice is to add first 100ml, then add more, according the texture of the dough (it must be lighlty moist and sticky).

Sprinkle your work surface with flour and put the dough onto it. Sprinkle some flour on the top of it. Fold the dough un half, then turn it to 90° and repeat. This operation will add air to yhe dought and help the scones rise. but not overwork the dough.

Roll the dough to 2.5cm thick and cut circles of 6cm… You have enough for a dozen.

Put the scones on the baking tray and let them rest for a few minutes. Beat the egg with a pinch of salt to glazze the top of the scones. Be careful not to let the glazing run down the sizes: it’s not for aestheticism, but it will prevent them to rise properly. 

Put in the oven for 12 to 15min (keep an eye on them!), the top must be golden-brown.

Leave the scones to cool, the split in half and add jam and clotted cream (or clotted cream and jam); they also lovely with gratted cheese…

Enjoy !

Digital Image

Cowbridge afternoon

I spent Thursday afternoon in Cowbridge, a lovely little town of South Wales, a few miles from Cardiff. Cowbridge is full of Lovely shops, Charity shops and boutiques and it’s a pleasure to wander in them. As it was a pleasure (by a more clement weather some times ago) to visit the ruins of the castle and the gardens… cowbridge We went for tea in an old-fashioned, traditional bakery on the Main Street, cute in the kind of way my grandmother loves to visit. All traditional bread, cakes (bread puddings, custard slices, custard tarts, Welsh cakes…) Then, we do some scouting in the shop, seing some adorable cuddling toys (why Teddies would only be for children 😉 ), clothes, jewels, cups…. and ended in the sweets shop (sane remarks as previous!). I resisted temptation of shopping… I surely will not next time. Then, it was tea time, and we stopped at the Arboreal, a lovely place for eating some bites… Nice deco, friendly service, Welsh coffeee and delicious pizza…

pizza arboreal

precisely, this pizza : tomatoes, eggs, parma ham and water cress.

This was a nice way to end the afternoon, chilling in this nice coffee shop/restaurant… even with the rain making its grand « entrée ». It’s Britain, after all 🙂 …  

arboreal

Facebook link on the picture