I recently took two long travel legs, BOS-SEA (~6h in the air) and SEA-BOS (~5h15m in the air). Add airport waiting time and a few early mornings on the west coast where I was the only one awake.
Of course I had planned ahead. Before I left I got two DVD sets from the library: Lilies
, on the recommendation of my parents (BBC Northern Ireland drama series, eight episodes) and Intelligence
, a Canadian drama/thriller along the lines of Spooks
(US name: MI-5).
I started with Intelligence first, mostly because it had a long pilot episode. I was sucked in immediately, by the strong lead female character (Klea Scott, who I first saw on You Can't Do That on Television some 25 years ago) and the marginal morals of the lead male (a crime boss, but less known for physical cruelty and more for drug running). Between the plane ride and some early mornings, I watched half a dozen episodes including the aforementioned pilot. And as one unable to stop myself from discovering the ending, I found that the series had been cancelled after just two seasons. I will have to enjoy what I've got, and plan to get the second season from the library.
Lilies was a bit more of a disappointment, not because the series wasn't good (it was!) but because I'd seen it already. Even though my parents had described it and I'd read about it on IMDB, I was barely three minutes into the first episode before I realized that I'd watched it previously, likely on PBS. As such, I decided not to watch it, and moved on.
For my return SEA-BOS leg, I scored an upgrade to first class and was able to use one of Alaska Airlines' DigEplayer
units. I started with an episode of CSI:NY, as I had enjoyed visiting the CSI exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston. It might have been my general level of exhaustion/disorientation, or perhaps my more sophisticated palate, but I wasn't fond of the show. I could see how quickly the show could wear on me. While I watched one 41-minute episode, I'm sure I won't add it to my DVR rotation. I might, however, watch another episode in a similar situation (commercial free, trying to conserve my own laptop's battery).
I had much more success with my second choice on the flight. Before taking off, I used the new IMDB app
on my iPhone to read the reviews of the in-flight movies (well, except the Michael Jackson movie, which I knew I would skip; I didn't like him in 1984 and my feelings haven't really changed). When All About Steve
was first released I thought I would enjoy it. Sandra Bullock has done some funny films (Mark Kermode's scathing review of The Lake House notwithstanding), although her performances have fallen off lately. The trailer of All About Steve made me squirm in discomfort, and I decided I would not enjoy it.
Other choices included Aliens in the Attic (obviously for kiddies), Juno (seen it, have it on DVD), Post Grad (I liked Alexis Bledel in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but young woman with axe to grind did not seem like an appealing plot). I did not feel drawn to watch Queen Latifah as a new york cabbie in Taxi, ditto for Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire (and had seen it anyways).
In the end I settled on watching Storm
, even though the subject matter (war crimes in the former Yugoslavia) has been done to death. The lead character was played by a woman who at first I thought was English then Australian (actually she's a Kiwi, I have a hard time telling the difference between the two accents!), and the film started with her being "wronged" for not receiving a promotion. This is a typical plot twist, but I gave the film a chance and I was glad. Between hopping around Europe (including the dreaded Brussels) and a plot twist that hinged on the turning radius of a bus (right up my alley!), I enjoyed the film immensely.
After I got home I looked up the movie listings online. Alaska Airlines states that the "Storm" shown on board is the 2006 Swedish horror film and not the 2009 German Indie. I was glad I didn't think the film was horror, else I'd never given it a chance!