Socks, US Presidents, and a Little Blackadder

Except for that brief period that made up my adolescent rebellion phase, which lasted a mere 25 years or so, I’ve always been a conservative dresser. The Uniform—khakis, a solid coloured shirt with one of those little polo player logos, Velcro trainers, and black socks—never changed. But a few years ago, I had a life-changing epiphany: (a) I was in a rut, and (b) I was old enough and secure enough to wear whatever I damn well pleased.

The black socks had to go.

My admiration for the first President Bush increased considerably when I later learned that he’d come to the same conclusion.

So here’s a glimpse of How We Live Today:

[Insert chorus of David Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” here.]

But this posting isn’t about the contents of my sock drawer, fascinating though that topic may be. I’m just using it as an excuse to post a scene from the third series of Blackadder, one of my all-time favourite comedies. That series is set during the Regency, and this time around, Blackadder is a scheming butler to the dim-witted Prince Regent, played by Hugh Laurie.


A Series of Unfortunate Events — New Trailer

No, that title is not simply a description of the horrendous things that have happened in the last 11 months. Instead, it’s a hopeful sign that 2017 might not be as foul and depressing as much of 2016 has been.

But this trailer leaves me a bit uneasy. For me, the world of A Series of Unfortunate Events has always been a mix of gothic and high Victorian. While there’s some of that in the trailer, the look here owes a lot to Pushing Daisies, a series I loved, but, for me at least, not the best template for the gloomy atmosphere that haunts the works of Lemony Snicket. And the humour in the teaser lacks the wonderful subtlety of the books. It all looks too bright and too simple.

Will I still watch it? Of course I will! But my expectations have been diminished.

The eight episodes of A Series of Unfortunate Events will be available on Netflix on Friday, the thirteenth of January 2017.