A Year in Review (part 2): 2008 Reviews

As promised, here’s the second half of yesterday’s Year in Review post. Check out all the film, television and book reviews written by The Hathor Legacy contributors in 2008. Enjoy!

Film Reviews (alphabetical by title)
A League of Their Own
Anita and Me
City of Ember
Dark Knight
The Duchess
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
I’m Not There
Iron Man
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Nim’s Island
Quantum of Solace
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Super Skinny Me
Wall-E (more here)
You’ve Got Mail

Television Reviews (alphabetical by title)
(including both individual episode reviews and show reviews; beware of spoilers)
Alias (more here and here)
All Saints (AUS) (more here)
Army Wives
Battlestar: Galactica (more here)
The Big Bang Theory
Burn Notice
CSI: Miami
Degrassi: Junior High
Desperate Housewives
Doctor Horrible (web)
Friends (more here and here)
Gladiators (AUS)
Grey’s Anatomy
How I Met Your Mother
Joan of Arcadia
Justice League (more here and here)
Mad Men
M*A*S*H* (more here)
Mystery Science Theater 3000
October Road
One Tree Hill
Robin Hood (UK) (more here and here)
Rock of Love
Samantha Who?
Scrubs (more here and here)
The Street (UK)
Vicar of Dibley (UK)

Books (alphabetical by author)
Daughter of the Bright Moon, Lynn Abbey
The Somnambulist, Jonathan Barnes
Zulu Heart and Lion’s Blood, Stephen Barnes
All the Windwracked Stars, Elizabeth Bear
Red String (comic), Gina Biggs
In His Sights, Kate Brennan
The Dubious Hills, Pamela Dean
Slammerkin, Emma Donoghue
Thin is the New Happy, Valerie Frankel
The Next American Century: How the US Can Thrive As Other Countries Rise, Nina Hachigian and Mona Sutphen
Obsidian Butterfly, Laurell K. Hamilton
The Society of S, Susan Hubbard
Alina, Jason Johnson
Sex Detox, Ian Kerner
The Explorer, Francis Parkinson Keyes
Lisey’s Story, Stephen King
Un Lun Dun, China Mieville
The City, Not Long After, Pat Murphy
Falling Woman, Pat Murphy
Nadya, Pat Murphy
Note to Self: On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits, Samara O’Shea
The Last Oracle, James Rollin
Lavinia, Ursula K. Le Guin
Edenborn, Nick Sagan
Idlewild, Nick Sagan
The Thirteenth House, Sharon Shinn
The Single Girl’s Manifesta, Jerusha Stewart
Dirty Girls on Top, Alisa Valdez-Rodriguez
“Urchins, While Swimming,” Cathrynne M. Valente
Farthing, Jo Walton
Buffy, Season 8 (comic), Joss Whedon and Dark Horse Comics
Dirty Blonde and Half Cuban, Lisa Wixon
The Brothers Bishop, Bart Yates

Novels by Terry Pratchet
Mini-reviews of Barry Hughart’s Master Li series, The Shattered World by Michael Reaves, and Pigasus by Pat Murphy
Mini-reviews of Michael Reaves’ The Burning Realm, Gail Carson Levine’s Fairest, and Ilene Schneider’s Chanukah Guilt
On re-reading Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book and Anne Rice’s Cry to Heaven
Some discussion about Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight here and here

And, last but certainly not least, check out these 20 on the 20th interviews with Paul Taylor, author of Wapsi Square and Gina Biggs, writer of the comic Red String.

Happy reading and a very Happy New Year!


  1. says

    FYI, I think I’ve found the key to the massive and multiple-levels FAIL of Heroes, much noted around the blogosphere, particularly the chronic and increasing mistreatment of the female characters, the dubious treatment of the non-WASP characters, and the Stuification of the male characters. I came across this by chance, reading a snarktastic takedown of the penultimate and concluding wrecking of the once-really-quite-good Marvel Ultimates series, and in the course of the surrounding discussion it came out what the commonest element of these two disasters – and at least some of the decline of Smallville, too – happens to be.

    Jeph Loeb. It all makes so much sense now – on one level. (On the level of “Why does anybody with authority keep letting him run once-decent projects into the ground in the same hacktastic ways, over and over again?” nobody has a good answer, though there is much and sometimes ribald speculation, along with the not-entirely-validated-by-past-documentary-evidence sympathy defense, arguing that his quality only went down with his late son’s illness – which still doesn’t explain let alone justify the serial misogyny…)

  2. MaggieCat says

    It’s a wider spread problem throughout the writing staff of Heroes, if this response to a viewer’s question from writers/producers Aron Coleite and Joe Pokaski is any indication:

    “Can you please explain why virtually every romantic relationship on this show ends with either the death or disappearance of the female character? Simone, Eden, Charlie, Caitlin, Yaeko, Maya, and now Elle — in fact, the only exception I can think of off the top of my head is West/Claire.”

    Wow. We were concerned when we read your question Amanda. To quote the philosopher Tommy DeCarlo, of Boston, “It kinda took us by surprise and made us realize,” Amanda.

    But then we started to think: Yaeko? Caitlin? I don’t think we killed either of them. And you forgot to mention the deaths of Isaac and D.L, as well as the long life of Angela, Tracy, Kimiko, and Heidi. Now it’s our turn to put you on the couch – “Top of your head?” Can you explain that language, “Amanda?”

    The end just sounds defensive and snotty, although I’ll admit I’d be far more inclined to take that as a joke had if the beginning wasn’t so clearly disingenuous and a desperate attempt to avoid the question.

    You can’t cite Yaeko and Caitlin as ‘women that weren’t killed off’ when they clearly fall into the Disappearance category. Using Kimiko and Heidi as examples of long life is equally ridiculous considering how few casual viewers could even tell you who both of them are since they were only in 7 episodes combined, with very little screen time to boot. The only thing MORE absurd is mentioning Tracy since she’s only existed for one season and they have ether actually or effectively killed off three separate characters/personalities/entities played by Ali Larter now. I know there are a lot of blonde women to keep straight, but is it really too much to ask that writers remember when a character was created during the season she was introduced in?

    They have been made aware of the problem, and they clearly don’t care. Trying to turn things around on someone who asked a simple and fairly obvious question is just tacky icing on the cake. I’d feel very annoyed that I was giving the show a lot of leeway after the first season if I wasn’t becoming more and more convinced that the promise I saw was almost entirely Bryan Fuller’s doing.

  3. says

    Coleite at least is also part of the Ultimates debacle – and reportedly he got the gig from Marvel on Loeb’s recommendation. (The particular offenses consisted of a) creating Yet Another SHOCKING!!!1! New Twist which both made no sense in itself and completely destroyed previously established events and characterizations, b) treated the main gay characters horrendously, depowering them and going right up to the bleeding edge of fridging them, which came off as a big slap to readers old and new, c) casually destroyed a bunch of existing and new characters in order to d) make a belaboured, obvious point about how “Drugs Are Bad, Kids!” which was tired and galling when it was used in later Buffy, let alone in how many PSAs about steroids…and really, making it the centerpiece of the story about your gay heroes?)

    Loeb was the nail in the coffin after a run of steadily decreasing quality/coherence (the last couple years they seem to have interpreted the series’ concept of “not the old Marvelverse continuity” as “yay! we don’t have to bother with series continuity editing AT ALL!”) , but with 2 out of 3 of the last 3 very bad Ultimates writers being from Heroes (I don’t know anything about Kirkman) – and the badness being the same incoherence of plotlines/characterization and the chronic depowering of already-Othered characters – there’s a big blinking Venn set sign there.

    (Thom Young addresses the fact that some of the Heroes women were killed, and some just depowered in various ways – another big issue in comics fandom, and a particular pet peeve w/Loeb & co – in that Sunday Slugfest piece I linked to. The length of his list is what pretty much clinches the “no coincidence” part, for me. But there’s a lot more evidence than that, for those with time & patience. “Jeff Loeb screws up another character” is a cut description given without further explanation on SD, that time for turning a previously good-aligned chara into a vile rapist for no reason, and a sword-swinging Amazon character into a pruriently-sexy victim… and the fact that he doesn’t seem to even know *how* to write a female character who isn’t bitchy or inappropriately sexed-up has been noted by LOTS of readers, including on general fan boards not particularly progressive ones.)

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