". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I Like Color TV! Rosewood and Razia Sultan

     . . . . Bright, brilliant, clear color that pops off the screen, one of the primary reasons we used to go to the movies in the first place.  Color was initially missing all together from television.  When sets with color reception were available, for a long time the color was muddy, and the image more blurry than not.  It took digital to make tv bright, but still, the wider the pixels the less sharp the image -- another reason I so prefer watching on my oversize computer monitor.

I remember so well my first viewing of a Simpsons episode -- it was the brilliant, varied, penetrating colors that mesmerized me. Watching Maggie Simpson crawling around in her fuchia, purple and blue milieu, defined and bright, while I sat on the floor myself, playing with friends' baby -- this is what got me hooked on tv as an adult, when I hadn't watched television for years.

I continue to gravitate to television series set in naturally colorful locations.  These tend to be lighter entertainment too, than so many of television's current prestige dark and ever darker series.  I like these darker arcs too, but lighter and brighter is a welcome relief, particularly in the sad, short, dark days of winter.

The discontinued -- on a cliffhanger, no less -- police drama, The Glades delivered its attractive characters  and dependable entertainment for four seasons in Florida.  Death in Paradise continues its high rate of homicide on fictional St. Marie, which is really Martinque and and Guadeloupe with season 7 in 2018.

Lately I fell in love with Rosewood, watching all of the first season (2015 - 16) streaming from netflix over the last couple of weeks.

Set in Miami, the characters sling outrageous zingers and ripostes at light speed,  and the action moves rips from scene to scene so breathlessly that plot holes open. Its as though no one concerned with the series believes there would ever be a season 2 -- there was, but no one knows at this time if there will be a season 3. Yet, there is something about this seemingly seat-of-the pants production that pulls the viewer in.  It's a semi-episodic series, but one that benefits from watching over a shorter period of time I suspect than spread out over the typical week-at-a-time watching season.

Very charming, very gorgeous, rather annoying, in exactly the same fashion that its eponymous character, Dr. Beaumont Rosewood Jr., a private pathologist, is irresistable, addictive and o so annoying.  Good grief! He drives a 1969 bright yellow GTO!

No wonder his drop dead gorgeous latina best buddy, homicide DI, Annalise Villa, frequently wishes he'd drown in the Gulf.

The colors, particularly Rosie's t-shirts -- where does he get them???? -- just pop -- not to mention the yellow of the GTO.  I love this show for it's color and that includes the characters..  Why is it that only on television shows set in Florida do we see latinos? Or at least get to see them and their culture as a normal, not exotic? This was something that made the Mysteries of Laura attractive as well --

Actor Michelle Hurd in Mysteries of Laura
the NYC police station where Laura and her husband worked was run by a latina, played, in fact, by the actress who was station commander in The Glades.

Rosewood's first season streams on netflix (so does the discontinued Mysteries of Laura).

But even Rosewood is dully colored compared to Rizah Sultan!

This is an Indian historical, (2015) streaming on netflix. The language is Urdu, the location 13th century Delhi, I think. It features the story of the first – only – female sultan. More than a bit fairy tale in treatment, this series can be safely be watched by children.  The sets remind me of the television fairy tale programs, such as maybe Hallmark? would put on for holidays.  I've only begun to watch this series, so we shall see.

Many of the scenes in Razia Sultana appear to come directly from the famed Mughal miniatures of the lavish courts.  The Metropolitan Museum of Arts has a splendid gallery and collection of these great works.

For now, let me leave Razia Sultan, with this observation: in the first episode our heroine shaves a living man-eating tiger with her own blade, by herself, to bring the fur as one of three gifts to her Sultan-father on the eve of Eid. Her grandmother, head of the harem, punishes Razia for these many floutings of harem women's behaviors.  However, Razia's great-grandmother -- or is she a grandmother from the other side? -- her mother, and her sister are sympathetic, seemingly not minding, certainly accepting,  that Razia's the Sultan's favorite . . . .

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