Who I Am:Oh hi! I'm proper.
When I went to post this, I realized that the above line was the only thing I had written for this section. Helpful!
I am: wordy, geeky, fantastically enthusiastic about what is often bad TV, an enormous Shakespeare nerd, a sometimes-writer of short stories, a sketcher of anatomically accurate hands and bones, extremely critical of what is often good TV, and so bad at platform games that Xexyzl nearly cried laughing when he saw me try to play Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
My screen name comes from a monologue in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night wherein Viola, the protagonist, realizes that by presenting herself as a man she's inadvertantly made another woman fall in love with her and likely ruined her own chances at a relationship with her male employer. (Pro tip: Shakespeare loved stories about ladies crossdressing.)
Disguise, I see thou art a wickednessI love the monologue for all sorts of reasons, especially the way it complicates ideas about gender, identity, and disguise; Viola identifies as both the deceiver and the one harmed by deceit, as both man and woman, and as both victimized and responsible for the actions she's taken.
Wherein the pregnant enemy doth much;
How easy it is for the proper-false
In women's waxen hearts to set their forms!
On the internet we're all liars, we're all disguised, and we all admit enormous truths we might otherwise not.
Also, some of us review TV shows.
What I already know about The Prisoner:Most of this will probably be wrong. Anyway!
The Prisoner is a drama/mystery show set on... an island? I think? In black and white. The main character is a guy who wakes up on the island and is like, hey, why am I here, what's happening? He's referred to by a number. I don't know if he has amnesia or not.
There's an overlordy kind of guy who... is in charge? I guess? Everyone has a number. What's he doing there? Who knows! Can he leave? Probably not! I'm guessing there aren't any Lost-style polar bears, but I can hope.
There are... mysteries, I guess. Wow, I thought I knew more about this show than I did. I have the vague impression people are really nicely dressed for putzing around on a prison island, but I could be wrong.
The main guy has dark hair? The mood is eerie. I have a vague memory of someone standing on a hill overlooking an ocean.
I don't think there are any ladies. I'm not expecting a lot of violence. Or sex, come to think of it.
The main dude might be law enforcement? I think maybe he's supposed to be respectable?
That's it, I'm tapped.
What my relationship is to this genre of media:I don't actually know for sure what this genre is! Mystery? Big plotty mythology show? I watched Lost for a while, then bailed out. I tolerated The X-Files pretty much all the way through, although once Mulder was gone I sort of gave up.
I love odd sci-fi, and I... think this counts as sci-fi. Usually I watch sci-fi with more superheroes and explosions (and space!), but I love things like Journeyman and anything to do with time travel or multiple universes. The more complicated the convoluted the continuity, the better, as long as I can pretend it makes sense. (I love Primer graphs.)
What sort of media I like and dislike from this genre:WHAT GENRE IS THIS. D:
Weird quasi-sci-fi involving mysteries that I like: Primer, Journeyman, early Heroes, The Cube, early Outer Limits/Twilight Zone, the 90's revamp of Outer Limits, The Fades, Pi, any post-apocalyptic show where everyone is grungy and traumatized.
Weird quasi sci-fi involving mysteries that I dislike: Lost, most of the Big Serial Mystery genre shows following Lost (due to the high rate of narrative failure), pretty much any within-10-years recent show involving aliens aside from Battlestar Galactica, any post-apocalyptic show where everyone is showered and well-dressed.
The Prisoner: Episode 01
Oh wow I was wrong, it isn't black and white. It's ULTRA 60's.
Hey hey what are you saying bro. WHAT'S HAPPENING.
Resigned. Okay. Oh wow that's a cool file system.
Oh my god this is like the weirdest cheesiest Starsky & Hutch cop show intro. SMOKE IN THROUGH THE DOOR KNOB!
[Redacted for being a reaction to the next episode.]
...am I watching the right show?
OH HEY XEXYZL PUT ON THE WRONG EPISODE.
XEXYZL PUT ON THE WRONG EPISOOOOOOODE.
Yeah good job Xexyzl, I'm now spoiled for like 15 seconds of the second episode. WHATEVS.
ARRIVAL. God damn this is swanky. Also waaaaay more colorful than I was expecting. STOP CUTTING, EDITOR, I'M TRYING TO WATCH.
That is the most amazing telephone ever. "No number, no call." Okay, so the one thing I knew going in was that everyone has a number. He... hasn't gotten his yet? This is way less shady and organized than I was led to believe.
So cute driver lady is expecting French, Poles, and Czechs. I... don't remember enough about 60's era politics to know how important this is. I like their "be seein' you" gesture.
Is this a village of ex-spies? The CHARMINGEST VILLAGE of ex-spies. Oh hey the be-seein'-you gesture again!
Map of the village: THE MOUNTAINS THE MOUNTAINS THE MOUNTAINS. lawn labour exchange the sea MOUNTAINS MOUNTAINS MOUNTAINS.
Dude did they expect him to sleep longer? BESEEINYOU. I feel like he should have woken up to a welcome packet or something.
This is the most charming creepy village ever, can I live here? Also where the hell do all of the service people come from? Do they live on-site?
WELCOME TO YOUR HOME FROM HOME. Thanks, creepy doll! SIX. He's number SIX! Ahaha he just says yes. Is your number six? Yes. Sure. Why not.
Why are we playing All Around the Mulberry Bush. Why why why why why why.
Awwww number 2 has a butler for some reason. WHAT IS THE ECONOMY OF THIS PLACE. Hooooly crap floating black orb ... chair. Okay, that's a chair. THAT IS THE SILLIEST CHAIR. WHO BUILDS A ROOM LIKE THAT.
Ahahahahaha projectors. Projectors and egg chairs and an umbrella to push buttons with. MORE MAGIC CHAIRS. "I'm sorry, I can never resist that." Don't apologize, bro, if I could make chairs magically rise from my living room floor I would do so too.
Six is great at snap decisions. "Is your number six?" "Yes." "Coffee or tea?" "Tea."
"I suppose you're wondering what you're doing here? ... A man like you is worth a great deal on the open market."
Ahahaha he has one of those ancient bicycles. FOR SOME REASON. Just hanging out in his lair.
Man his shoes are noisy. Click click click click.
Are those baby photos of him? Are those... what? Oh wow that's creepy. "A nice guy, Chambers. And so taut." ...taut?
Ahahaha poor bastard. TRUMAN SHOW. "The time of my birth is missing." 1928. Ohhh 60's.
"Sooner or later you'll tell me. Sooner or later you'll want to." I like this guy. He calls people taut and is, uh. Creepy and fantastic.
"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered."
"We have everything here. Water, electricity." YOUR STANDARDS ARE KIND OF LOW.
Democratically elected councils... amateur theatricals? What the fuck, I want to move here. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN NEWSPAPER. "We also have our own graveyard." And a... citizen's advice bureau? This is almost like one of those movies decrying 90's suburbia, all the creepiness of perfect lawns and structured communities.
They have an old peoples' home. STOP WITH THE MULBERRY BUSH SONG.
They really went all out with the set dressing, didn't they? Everything's in that great little font. Okay WHERE DO THEY IMPORT ALL OF THIS FROM.
"Here is a warning --" Six jerks around to stare at the announcement box. "-- possible light intermittent showers later."
More weird old bicycles. "They had a choice. Wait. Wait! BE STILL!" WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE FUC THAT BALLOON THING JUST ATE HIM WHAAAAAAAAAAAT
Also that guy looked like Gilligan from Gilligan's Island. WHAAAAAAAAAAAT.
"What was that?" "That would be telling." Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat.
"Well. How do you like it?" I don't know, the services are great but that giant fucking man-eating balloon is kind of inconvenient.
A still tongue makes a happy life. all the people by the people for the people. Questions are a burden to others. Answers a prison to oneself.
Xexyzl: "Are you writing down all of the signs?" Me: "Yes." Xexyzl: "Damn it, I should have thought of that."
[Note: Xexyzl insists the sign reads of the people, not all the people; he's probably right, but I genuinely can't see it. My eyesight is terrible, but I maintain that there's also some kerning weirdness there.]
Oh, wow. "What you were, what you want to be... any family illnesses... any politics --" CRASH BANG SIX RUNS AWAY. Six doesn't like politics. Or... maids, I guess? Probably he resigned because of politics. OR MAIDS.
OH NO THE SPEAKER PLAYS APPEALING CLASSICAL MUSIC. THE CLOSET IS SPACIOUS. THE LAMPS ARE LOW-HANGING. OMG A LAVA LAMP. SIX IS DISPLEASED.
Today's Memoranda: "Arrived today, made very welcome." Ahahaha that's maybe the creepiest thing yet. DUDE. DUDE NO CHECK THE PAGE FOR TOMORROW. That thing will tell you the future! You don't even have to write in it!
Destroying the speaker doesn't remove the background music! TERRIBLE. Poor confused maid.
"We have a saying here. A still tongue makes a happy life." Yeah.
Okay, so some people try to escape, but they're always brought back, often killed.
"What are you afraid of?" "Nothing. I've said too much! What time tomorrow? [weeping] I know what you must think of me! Put yourself into my position - they offered me my freedon in exchange!" " Exchange for what?" "Gaining your confidence."
"With that knowledge in your head, you really believe they'd let you go?" Six, buddy, that's just what Creepy Two said to you.
AHAHAHAHAHA SEE-SAW OBSERVATION ROOM. OH MY GOD SILLIEST.
"Bit slow, get you there in the end... in an emergency, we walk."
Six just said "be seein' you". No hand sign, though. Uh. Uh is gardener guy the same guy as electrics guy?
A CAR! OH GOD A BALLOON! RUN AWAY SIX! OH FUCK OH FUCK WHAT AN OMINOUS NOISE THAT THING MAKES.
OHHHH THE STATUES ARE WATCHING YOU BRO. THIS IS VERY DOCTOR WHO.
BRO BRO BRO THE BALLOON IS GONNA EAT YOU
OH GOD BALLON IS THERE TOO
ahahaha silliest, silliest phones.
"Attention Post Fourteen. Yellow alert. Yellow alert. Yellow alert." Yellow = dude is trying to run away? Yep.
That seesaw survellience thing is the beeeeeeeeest.
Suddenly a beach! And a buggy! YES CHASE THE BUGGY LIKE A DOG, SIX. "Number Six heading for outer zone in... our vehicle. Orange alert."
OH GOD A BALLOON
OH GOD RUUUUUUUUN
OH GOD DON'T PUNCH IT YOU IDIOT
Dude I legit can't tell if the white blobs work for them or not. They seemed not to when they were all outside and Creepy Two was yelling BE STILL, but those techs didn't seem afraid of the blob?
...hi, grandma. What are you doing in this show?
Cobb! Who are you? Oh wow Six has a very nice whispery voice when he wants to. "I was in Germany." Huh.
Six mostly looks pissed at the indignity of wearing loose, comfy pajamas. HOW DARE THEY MAKE ME DRESS COMFORTABLY. I DEFY YOUR WARM STRIPEY ROBE.
...oh jesus a pink hallway full of dudes in blindfolds. Can we go back in there, I am curious about the creepy pink hallway.
MORE LAVA LAMPS. Soooo 60's.
Where does this place get their funding? Everything is huge and super modern and, just, seriously, who imports all of this. (Awwww punchcard computer.)
Oh gosh Six makes expressions like a QUIZZICAL PARAKEET. HEADTILT! STARE! EYEBROW! "What about my old ones [clothes]?" "Burnt."
"The amnesia case, Cobb! He's jumped out of the window! He's dead!" SUSPICIOUS DRAMATIC ZOOM IN
oh my gosh
oh my gosh look at that hat they gave him
SIX DISAPPROVES OF YOUR STRAW HATS
Six, stop being a dick to the service people, none of this is their fault.
...there is a lava lamp and a GIANT PROJECTION SCREEN OF LAVA LAMP BLOBS.
Noooooo there's a new Number Two! I liked the old Number Two! He was CREEPY. COME BACK.
"I didn't walk out. I RESIGNED." Um. Buddy. That's pretty much the same.
"Good luck, Number Six." "Number what?" Dude, you've been answering to Six for ages. Someone asked if you were Six earlier and you immediately answered yes, despite having no idea what they were talking about. "I am not a number. I am a person." You can be both!
"On arrival subject showed shock symptoms followed by accepted behavioural pattern. ... Subject proving exceptionally difficult, but in view of his importance, no extreme measures to be used yet." I love that New Two says that while Six is still in the room. I'm not won over yet, though. I miss Creepy Two.
Lady. Lady in the hat and stripey cloak. Who the fuck are you? Your lipstick matches your hat! "He was a friend of mine. We met... .... ...some time ago." Six, that's a ridiculous place for dramatics.
"Did you know him long?" ".... ....No. Just a short while." SIX HAS MET HIS ABSURDLY DRAMATIC MATCH! That was a great pause, why did you pause like that, hat lady?
"You have only so much time to give them what they want before they... take it from you." New Two said about the same thing.
Hat laaaaaady. You're pretty great. I was wrong about this show having no ladies! Thanks for proving me wrong! If y'all pass the Bechdel Test I'll... eat your hat? I bet you like your hat.
SIX WHY DO YOU HAVE A MATCHING UMBRELLA NOW.
Oh nooo hat lady is a double agent! Triple agent! Forever agent! Why does she have a cape.
Awww Six is playing chess with the Admiral on the pretend boat. Oh, wait, not on the boat, just next to the boat.
THE ELECTRO PASS! Pretty sure it's just a watch.
"What were you doing in Number Two's house?" Six is clever. She has a ridiculous cloak, though. Cloak > clever.
Ahahaha the ridiculousness of her outfit is made way more obvious by all the ladies wearing fairly normal bathing suits by the... pond thing.
OH GOD BALLOON
...dude they looped the watch blinking? They couldn't just make it blink three times? Okay, now it's blinking normally. OH GOD THE BALLOON IS FOLLOWING YOU
NO NO NO IT'LL EAT THE HELICOPTER AND GET INDIGESTION
...Six how do you know how to fly a helicopter? Whatevs, you're a spy. OH GOD YOU'RE PISSING OFF THE BALLOON
I bet eventually one of the balloons is going to pop. AND CREATE A HOLE IN THE FABRIC OF SPACE AND TIME.
God if I were hat lady and that's how they made me dress, I'd want to run the fuck away too.
New Two, you're a dick. Don't crash your own helicopter just because you don't like that Six hijacked it and ran away.
Admiral to Hat Lady: "We're all pawns, m'dear. Your move." OVERLY DRAMATIC REACTION SHOT.
Jesus this show had some budget, didn't it? Ahaha, self-flying helicopters.
"I think I'll let him keep the watch, Cobb. Just to remind him escape is not possible." Ooh. Cobb is still alive (with much better hair, and an umbrella!) -- and he has new masters? "I'll tell them there are no loopholes." Loopholes? What now?
OH GOD BALLOOOOOON
AAAAH IT'S HERDING HIM
Ahahahaahahahhaha the last shot SUDDEN ZOOM-IN OF DISEMBODIED SIX FACE
So. Well. That was totally different than I thought, honestly. I thought it would be a super serious, sober, black and white show with OMINOUS MUSIC and, like, MYSTERY and AUSTERITY. Instead it is a super ultra hyper-coloured 60's SPY SHOW kind of with the most amaaaaaaazing sets and props (I want to be Two just to have his stupid magic chairs), and clothing (the hats! the capes! the umbrellas!), and jesus that entire fake village.
Okay, so, BLOBS. I was not aware of the balloon blobs. I WAS NOT PREPARED. And I guess I'm convinced now that they work for The Powers That Be, but that one guy at the beginning still seemed kinda concerned? Like, everyone, be still! Rogue balloon!
Honestly I just kept thinking of the Lost polar bear. Like, this doesn't belong here.
Names are going to be a mess, aren't they? I liked Old Two. Why did Old Two go away? Did he screw up with Six?
Also, I couldn't make out most people's numbers. I thought that the Admiral had a two-digit one [Note: Xexyzl and Xillix insist what I saw was a bike pin], and certainly Two seems to be a position you attain, considering it's head of survellience. (Who's One?) It's weird that Six is Six -- like, certainly he has a fantastically nice position there, with the house and everything. Who was Six before him?
Predictions:Predictions... god, I have no idea. Hat lady is going to be important, obviously. And Cobb-who-isn't-dead went off to some other Village, maybe? Like the other houses we hear about sometimes in Dollhouse.
Everyone kept telling Six that if you don't tell TPTB what they want to know, they'll take it. Considering all the blindfolded dudes in the pink hallway, that seems accurate. On the other hand, they all keep saying that A still tongue makes a happy life, and that Questions are a burden to others, Answers a prison to oneself. That's some conflicting propoganda messaging, you know?
Creepy Two said Six could possibly rise in rank, and everyone seems to agree he's important. He obviously pissed off a lot of people by walking out I MEAN RESIGNING, SORRY SIX, TOTALLY DIFFERENT from his super cool spy job. Considering the way he reacted to politics, I'm guessing it was... about politics?
I'm hoping for more Possibly Meaningful Hand-Signs, like the Be-Seein'-You F-shape moved out from the chest.
I'm hoping for a Bechdel pass, actually! Considering we got Hat Lady, and they seem to be willing to do female characters. Maybe Hat Lady and Maid can talk. (Although does it count as a pass if... they don't have names? No one actually has a name in this show except Cobb, I'll count it.)
Xexyl is pointing out that he knows what I was taking notes on 'cause I kept backing up the file to replay parts. WHATEVS. WHATEVS. I OBSESSIVELY DOCUMENT WHAT I WANT.
Balloons... I don't know about those balloons, man! I don't like them. I don't like that sometimes everyone in the Village has to go really still (and even the FOUNTAINS go still, what bizarre use case is that? dear water wiring guys, we occasionally need to pause the fountains for emergency balloon situations), and they... eat... people? Or just suffocate them, I mean, that's pretty effective too.
My guessez:Six was a spy who was getting pulled in multiple directions because of Politics. He is super loyal to -- England (I wrote the US first! SORRY SIX, I'M USED TO AMERICAN SPY SHOWS), obviously, and he resigned because he couldn't do the job he'd signed up to do, re: murder people or whatever for GOOD ENGLISH VALUES.
There's a lot of international stuff here -- one of the women specifically calls the Village international, cosmopolitan, etc. The first language she tries on Six is English, the second French. Cobb said he got nabbed in Germany, but Cobb is obviously a lying liar, so I don't know how useful that is. I'm guessing the Village is somewhere in the UK area, or broader Europe, just because everyone sounds kind of British. (That's a pretty Watsonian answer for the more Doyleist likelihood that, you know, they filmed in England, it was a lot more convenient to just hire mostly English actors.)
I wasn't paying enough attention to accents. I didn't hear much Northern, mostly posh South, but who knows.
They also talk about Poles and Czechs... no mention of the USSR, which is actually interesting. No mention of the US that I remember (less remarkable), not much about Africa. We're pretty much sticking with Europe.
So, the Village is... a utopian/dystopian holding place for a.) resigned spies, b.) resigned military folks, c.) whoever Knows Too Much to just be let go, and d.) a serving staff possibly comprised of, like, orphans and refugees who have nowhere else to go and can't leave anyway.
HOW DOES THE ECONOMY WORK, OH MY GOD. Everyone has credit unit cards or whatever, and apparently they have work cards, so they work? Does everyone with a number actually work? It seems like they have Number People and Support Staff People. I doubt the maids and gardeners were former spies, you know? Although the gardener guy was the same guy as the electrics guy, who either there are CLONEZ or possibly they're just brothers or something.
Probably a lot of what they eat can be sourced locally, but things like ice cream are evidently special treats (they had an announcement and everything), and they only had one flavour. So, things that like must be brought in from... somewhere. The Village is surrounded on three sides by mountain and one side by the sea, from what I could make out of the maps scene, but that doesn't say much, considering, you know, a lot of places are mountains + sea.
I think I'm focusing too much on commodities and serving staff and stuff. I think I'm supposed to be more curious about the Twos and who's running all of this, but I think mentally I'm pretty okay with the idea of ridiculous fictional conspiracy villages, I just need more information about the minutia.
OH! And it's a democracy, which is bewildering. I mean even ENGLAND isn't a democracy really (sorry, English, you have a nice sort-of-democracy on top of your monarchy at least!), and the sign in the shop said all the people by the people for the people, which is pretty American/Lockean, and they had the civic center and so on. So... it's a giant village of surveillance and spies and GIANT BALLOON GUARDS and that ridiculous spy room and SPIES SPIES SPIES, but also maids and gardeners and everyone has a little job and there's a democracy, how does that work.
Also a senior center, I can't get over how cute that is.
There are no kids, though! At least not that I remember seeing. What happens if the gardener has a kid? Or the spies? (Are there lady spies around? Who was Hat Lady in her previous life?) WHERE DOES BABBY GO
Right vs. Wrong:Things I was right about: Island, conspiracy, numbers!
Things I was wrong about: It's not black and white, there are totally some ladies, it's waaaay less somber than I was expecting (visually, at least), and it's not a US show. I have no idea why I thought it was.
Okay, I think that's it.
Xexyzl keeps making concerned noises about how much I'm typing. I TYPE REALLY FAST, OKAY. AND AM WORDY. THE VOLUME ADDS UP.