Well, On to a New Who

January 6th, 2010

After having viewed the second half of the end of Russel T. Davies and David Tennant’s finale I’ve been feeling a little better about it. I still wouldn’t downgrade it to merely “farty” as Colin suggested, but it is less crap when viewed as a whole. My primary complaints remain however.

There was no real payoff for the Master making everyone on earth the Master, unless you count the “Master Race” pun, which still makes me want to punch RTD in the face. So I guess I’m not counting it.

The whole thing could have been edited drastically. I know they’re saying goodbye to someone a lot of people really loved, but the end sequence where he sees

again was a bit much, especially when it happened at the end of the last series already. And did they need the lighting bolts/junkyard confrontation in the first episode? Not in the end as it turns out. What is the point of being able to shoot lighting bolts that cause explosions when it just gives the guy you shoot at indigestion anyhow?

At any rate, it was not as bad as all that, almost pleasant in the end, and I did think that the acting was well done, when decent lines were there to make it possible. On to Smith/Moffat, which I have high hopes for, though it’s hilarious to see people complaining that Smith is not attractive. Because everyone wanted a piece of Pertwee and McCoy back in the day…

That Dr. Who Episode Was Poop

December 29th, 2009

It was gratifying to see that others felt the Christmas episode of Dr. Who was . . . lacking. I know that this is a show aimed at children, but it has a large adult following, and I think that everyone, children and adults, appreciates plot pacing and structure on some subconscious level. When you set aside the bad dialog, the thin plot, the “master race” pun(!), and the grating Obama references (I wanted to punch Russel T. Davies at several of these points, not the least of which was when, in the documentary that BBC America showed afterward, he seemed to think that using Obama was particularly savvy of him) the editing left me wondering if scenes were cut severely in the editing room. Scenes just sort of ended, switching in mid stream. If they came back, I could have considered it an editing choice, to increase tension, but they would just drop what was going on and switch to something else. Did Davies develop narrative ADD?

I could forgive all of this if he hadn’t come off as so unbelievably smug in every interview I’ve seen, cackling gleefully about how good he is and how amazing we’ll all say he was. Everyone has a bad episode from time to time and it would have just been an unfortunate way to end a run on a show. Instead, I am now questioning Davies writing as a whole. Perhaps he needs to fall on his face again so that he remembers that people don’t love things just because he wrote them but rather because he wrote something good? He certainly isn’t deserving of being declared Master of geek science fiction. Of course neither, to my mind, does the infantile wish fulfillment of Mark Millar who appears on io9’s list as well. In fact, that list shows that things are looking a bit weak in the realm of science fiction.

Thank you public television!

September 14th, 2008

Public television has delivered the greatest show title of all time. I can’t speak for the show itself yet, as I’ve only been watching it for two minutes, but it is “Grannies on Safari.” How can you go wrong? Seriously. Right now I’m watching them argue over who saw a shawl in the market first.

This is the height of television. The apex has been reached and all there is now is to brace for the long decline.

Oh, slight delay. They’re on “safari” a Holocaust museum. I’m not sure I know what to say.

Watching the Detectives

August 20th, 2008

Waiting for law school to start up, and pottering around around getting moving stuff done, I’ve ended up watching a fair amount of History Detectives on PBS. The show is about people investigating artifacts from the past to see if they have any historical significance. You questions like, “Was this rifle owned by Herman Goering?”

The show, once you get into it, can be fun, but I don’t understand why they chose “Watching the Detectives” by Elvis Costello for the theme song. On the surface, sure, it makes sense. Yet, when you look at the lyrics of the song, you start to wonder. I’ll just grab a scrap.

They call it instant justice when it’s past the legal limit.
Someone’s scratching at the window. I wonder who is it?
The detectives come to check if you belong to the parents
who are ready to hear the worst about their daughter’s disappearance.
Though it nearly took a miracle to get you to stay,
it only took my little fingers to blow you away.

It seems a little dark. The show often borders on goofy. Even when the story is about something dark, they keep it light. Every time the heavily edited theme comes on, mangling one of my favorite Costello songs, I can’t help but laugh.

Two Thoughts

July 22nd, 2008

First: This is not good when you are a candidate who has been getting mocked for a lack of knowledge about the internet. Blocking ‘net’ in words hardly seems a sensible filtering policy.

Second: Twin Cities Public Television has a channel for children, which I don’t get as I don’t have cable (yeah…). At 12:30 in the A.M. they are showing Curious George, which seems to me to be more than tacit admission that they think of the channel a the stoner at night. I’m probably reading into this too much, but while I’ll buy that kids want to see the adventures of a curious monkey, I don’t think they do it after midnight.

Extra bonus side association: Has anyone fed George after midnight? I’d be interested in the results, though he probably just flings poo.

We Could Be Heroes

March 1st, 2007

Ok, and now it’s time to put off some plotting. Nothing so satisfyingly avoids making outlines as writing short snippets that don’t lead to any fiction whatsoever.

I’ve been watching Heroes, and while it’s been good in some ways, it’s constantly skirting the “Ok, I’m done!” stage. In the end, if I do give up, it won’t be the plot holes or the weak characters. Now, in case you haven’t been watching this show, it has some impressive plot holes. I’m talking plot holes so big that I could mess with Texas, and Texas could then step through the plot hole to mess back. Mohinder, one of the ostensible main characters, is so boring and inessential to the plot right now that they stuck him with one of the villains to try to spark things. It’s like they are trying to see how amazingly stupid they can write a man who supposedly has a PhD in Genetics, (which I’m pretty sure they don’t just give away, at least not without being asked nicely) before the collective collapse in the audience’s suspension of disbelief creates a rift in space and time.

I mean, this is a show where characters can phase through matter, and fly, and have super healing, and turn invisible, and all manner of oddments, and I’m standing in front of the screen screaming “Oh, my fuck! He can’t be that dumb!” When that’s the biggest threat to my suspension of disbelief in a show based on comic books, you know you have problems.

And still I watch. Here’s what’s killing me.

The plotting. The plot for most episodes is the structural equivalent of watching a blind smack addict drive a pinto around the Black Rock Desert. I don’t care if the pinto has been redone as an art car. I don’t care that being blind is a tragic, and that it’s not his fault. The man is on fucking smack!

I can deal with not knowing where the plot is going, the mystery of it is part of what drew me in, but I get the feeling that the writers don’t really know either. Half the time I feel like I’m watching them try to write themselves out of holes that they write in the other half. Hmmm… this is turning out longer than intended. More on it later. Back to work with me.

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