I was almost amused, watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Tuesday night and seeing what they were emphasizing and what they weren’t. Yeah, it was shown as somewhat important what Hive was doing, but the focus was more on exactly what’s going on with Daisy, cause we care about that more. Hydra’s infrastructure getting blown up got only brief screentime; I suspect in fact that might even be put in there to help set up for Civil War more than anything else(that the ticker on the latest Christine Everhart clip said Talbot was retiring out of the military makes me even wonder if he’s doing to do a movie cameo). Because really, we say, never mind that, are Fitzsimmons finally going to do the do?
Famous Dances Night from last season is back, and they open the night in the style: the opening number is to “Putting on the Ritz,” and includes a Busby Berkley moment, dancing on a walk-on piano, and Val is sparkly short-shorts! Now the competitive dances have to live up to that, as well as to the famous numbers they’re based off of:
I didn’t even go to look at the promo pics for “The Singularity.” They were tweeted into my timeline, certain people demanding to know what the hell was going on. But that I’d seen two unlikely characters looking so chummy with each other…well, once it became clear that the twist of “The Team” was going to include mind control? I knew exactly what was going on. Apparently those who didn’t see the pictures was absolutely shocked by the twist, and obviously everyone was supposed to be, but I don’t think anyone who saw those pictures could be. Oops.
They’re free to do what they want, declares the opening number. They’re free to do what America wants anyway; it’s switch-up week, and the pairs as America voted on them first team up to dance with each other before being officially presented. A little flirting between Erin and her former partner and current guest judge Maksim Chmerkovskiy(though that’s nothing compared to what Bruno will do shortly!), and we’re underway:
Yesterday mom and I went to our final opera broadcast of the season: that of Gaetano Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, the completion of the Met’s staging and broadcasting of all three of his “Tudor Queen” operas four an a half years after they first aired Anna Bolena in 2011. It was a season of the familiar on the Met’s screen; they had already had Roberto Alagna and Kristine Opalais singing opposite each other in two of the broadcasted operas, and now they had Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien for the second time this season singing two points of a love triangle and seeming to be more in love with each other than with the woman involved! Although despite the title the real star was Sondra Radvanovsky singing Queen Elizabeth I. Throw in Elina Garanca, and some of the most beautiful music Donizetti’s ever written, and one’s in for an afternoon of true beauty-if, that is, you are lucky enough to be a theater where the sound is working.
Unfortunately, my mother and I were not. Instead we were in one that had continual problems with both the image and sound; they both would sometimes go smoothly for a while, then start freezing and stammering, then there would a loud burst of static and sometimes after that things would get better, but not always, and they wouldn’t stay better. During those minutes where everything was working, we could greatly admire the singing, the acting, and the drama especially during the second act, where it had better emotional effect, but then would come that stammering again and we’d be knocked out of it. The climax was intense enough that even with the sound still struggling it was easier to stay engaged with it, and yet one is still aware of how it could have been far better still, had Radvanovsky been the wall of grief and song she’s supposed to be. Also the finale wasn’t quite over when whoever was in charge of the lights thought it was and raised them!
At the intermission, as I read the Wikipedia article on the actual Robert Devereux and noted how ridiculously unlike the opera the true history was(but it’s opera; one should expect that), we also got a list of next year’s operas. Mom wants to see quite a few of them, even some of the reruns of operas we’ve seen already. I’d be for seeing some of them too, but given that apparently the sound issues were even worse when she attended the rerun of Madam Butterfly, perhaps we should look into any other cinemas doing the broadcast, and if there are any that aren’t too far away.
Back during the hiatus, I wondered why the brass at Marvel had allowed the synopsis of Marvel’s Most Wanted to come out even before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. resumed, giving away that either the show’s leads were going to have some terrible falling out with S.H.I.E.L.D. or the organization itself was going to get wiped out again, although the latter looked less likely after the show was also announced as renewed. Then we opened up the second half of the season with its conclusion, and now I’m think Marvel’s taken the next step in the art of plot twists and secrecy: giving pieces of the end away beforehand, then leaving us second guessing the entire way about how things are going to happen. This week’s episode even did this whole process within its running time.