Posts Tagged ‘TV’

MTV’s Teen Wolf: Well, Of Course I’m Watching It

Of late, those of us who follow the Paranormal/Fantasy genre are being catered to pretty extensively.  Writers and TV and movie producers are slapping together more fodder for our obsession with the lives and loves of various creatures of the night than we can shake a stake at (pun embarrassingly intended).  The fact that much of it is shamefully predictable—the obvious work of copycats trying to jump on an apparently lucrative bandwagon—doesn’t temper this insatiable greed for sharp-toothed diamonds amid all this rough.

The genre flooding does take some of the fun out of it, of course; there isn’t much I’m reading/seeing that I haven’t read/seen before.  Most of the time I’m saying to myself “wow, what an Anita Blake wannabe” or “okay, clearly that guy’s the Edward and the other one’s the Jacob”, possibly even “oh, no, he’s being so rude to her, they’re arguing constantly, wonder if they’ll end up being soul mates?”  Sigh.  If only that stopped me, but it doesn’t.

Which brings me to Teen Wolf.  I told myself very firmly that I wasn’t interested, and proceeded to watch both the pilot and the following episode.  In my defense, there is good stuff here!  Tortured main character Scott is a little too pretty to be believable as a dork, but he does have good chemistry with best friend Stiles and that helps.  Slight nods (including that name Stiles) to the show’s fun 80’s movie predecessor in cliche Mean Boy Jackson, who bullies and threatens Scott, and beautiful, bitchy Lydia, with her intense dedication to the line that divides “winners” and “losers” (two words she repeats way too much).  Honestly, her superficiality would’ve felt more real if it was conveyed through actions and attitude instead of blatant dialogue.  However, in fairness, she is created from the character Pamela from the original film, and all the winners/losers talk was the way Queen Bees expressed themselves back then.  As the TV series is only loosely based on the movie, I assume that Lydia’s character will develop more subtlety as the show progresses.

MTV leaves the movie behind in order to add some comfortable metaphysical staples and give the show the currently required edge.  Such as dark and lovely Allison, a somewhat mysterious yet likable new girl.   Smart move—I don’t know how many ‘shippers would be inspired by a female romantic lead named “Boof”.  Tucked into place for conflict are the local werewolf hunters (Vampire Diaries’ “Founders Council”, anyone?), one of whom is Allison’s father; and sexy-scary werewolf sire Derek, who lurks around smoldering at everyone and is possibly a murderer.

Clearly, MTV is sticking with the formula that the world now knows we like, and that probably means I”ll keep watching.  At least until June 26th when True Blood returns, because naturally basic cable cannot compete with HBO.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I’ll watch both.

Doctor Who Series Six: Strong Start Shifts to Anticlimactic Episodes

Anyone who has read my last Doctor post knows that after the two-part series beginning, I was left on the edge of my seat.  These last two episodes have helped me to settle back…possibly step away for a snack, or play on facebook with the show on in the background.

I might be exaggerating.

Last week I didn’t write anything about the episode The Black Spot.  While it was a decently entertaining episode, it didn’t contain much to satisfy my leftover burning curiosity.  The Siren was a nice, new monster; a good example of the way DW can take an ancient story and turn it Sci-fi.  Amy and Rory were endearing as always—unless you count the part where Amy gave up trying to save Rory, right after he said he chose her because she’d never quit.  It seemed more like he came back on his own due to his stubborn refusal to leave her side.  Plus, the doctor really doesn’t know CPR?  Honestly??  After all this time saving humans, it never came up??  I mean, he’s not required, right, he’s not “the Doctor” because he has a medical degree.  Still, 900-years-old, all that brilliance…never come across the directions in a restaurant bathroom somewhere?

Anyway, I was already impatiently looking past The Black Spot, because I knew the episode coming next was called The Doctor’s Wife.   I hadn’t watched any previews, so you can imagine what I was thinking:  time to find out about River Song and the Doctor, once and for all!  Obviously, I was pretty far off.

Looking at it that way, it’s probably my own fault that I felt let down.  And to be fair,  no season of Doctor Who can consist entirely of nail-biters.  One could even point out that many of the eps on my top ten list are either silly or sappy, and not scary at all.  Still, perhaps a by-product of having the Most Exciting Series Premiere is an abnormally high set of expectations for the following weeks.  Hence my increasingly pronounced feeling of disappointment since then.

Now that I’ve recognized my own accountability, I’ll see what I can draw from The Doctor’s Wife.

I suppose it is a unique concept, that the Doctor should finally be able to speak to his beloved machine and get a response.  (Makes me wonder if this is some kind of male fantasy:  if his boat or car could suddenly assume a female body, she’d be his perfect mate.)  Matt Smith’s grief and anger when he realizes he’s once again missed a chance at reconciling with fellow Time Lords was palpable and it was nice to see a little of the dark, out-of-control Doctor in him that was common for Tennant.   Then there’s the appreciated return of the Ood, although interesting that this time an Ood can be possessed by evil intent and his eyes will be green instead of traditional red.  Red eyes on an Ood always meant  it was hitting the fan until now.

My problem is that both eps offered very little in the way of the big hints I need.   The creepy woman that opens a hatch in places where hatches do not exist shows up for Amy again, and the Doctor is still getting negative and positive results on her pregnancy.  The monster called “The House” who eats Time Lords and Tardises shows an unhealthy interest in Amy, which disturbs the Doctor and shows us that she is still really weird.  But there’s nothing about Amy’s child with the regenerating abilities.  Previews of future episodes show Sontarans, which just means more time with no answers, but then there seems to be a woman explaining the living matter inside the space suits.  That is important.

I do feel impatient, and I worry more that the season is chopped in half.  Call me crazy, but I feel a cliffhanger coming on.

Series Six: Most Exciting Doctor Who Premiere Yet! (SPOILERS through Day of the Moon)

I should’ve choked on the words in that title, but I absolutely stand by them.  RTD fan or not, I am on the edge of my seat here.  Let me clarify—I love RTD’s premiere eps, but never has one scared the pee out of me and left me with a billion questions this way.  I can’t help but be impressed.

First?  I was not expecting body bags.

I wanted the episode to start where The Impossible Astronaut ended, with Amy shooting the little girl in the spacesuit.  Should’ve known that just isn’t how Moffat rolls.  Instead, Amy is run down in the desert by Canton Delaware, who was a friend last time I checked!  The image of his men throwing that body bag in front of Amy was powerfully evocative–shocking, with an extra touch of horror.

But the orphanage was just ridiculous.

Amy and Canton (friends again, his defection just another twisty trick from the Doctor) are looking for the little girl in an orphanage, and find a dimly lit building with a haunted caretaker.  You just know the aliens are inside, and it’s all downhill from there.  There’s graffiti on the walls in  blood red:  the words “Get out”.  The caretaker doesn’t know how it got there but Amy sees the same words on his wrist.  So not good.

Then Amy’s in a dark room with rows of empty beds (had a quick, pleasant flashback to Nine in Series One, the hospital scene in The Empty Child…aww, I loved Nine).  The door shuts and she can’t get out…that’s when she sees that her hand is blinking red like an answering machine in the 80’s.

Did I mention that the Doctor implanted a recording device in their hands to keep track of alien sightings?

Last week in The Impossible Astronaut, we learned that looking away from the aliens causes a person to forget having seen them.  The device is supposed to solve the problem.  But here’s what makes it interesting, what, actually, makes it positively ingenious.  When Amy met the alien last week the audience might have been omniscient, but this week?  Oh, we’re stuck in Amy’s head.  That means if Amy sees an alien, we won’t know until that light is blinking—and if Amy misses time, so do we.

Fear builds in quick flashes—Amy runs to the window and sees her arm covered in ‘crap, I saw an alien’ tally marks, but just a second glance shows the marks all over her face; scores of sleeping aliens are hanging from the ceiling (funny when the Krillitane did it in School Reunion, not so much this time); some weird lady talking through a hatch in a door that suddenly has no hatch—by the time Amy went into the little girl’s room, I’ll admit, I was scared.  Deliciously so.

Other highlights?


There’s another Badass-Extreme moment for River Song.  Amy’s rescued in a room full of aliens (reminding me of Nine and Captain Jack saving Rose from the middle of the Dalek fleet in The Parting of the Ways), which have been revealed as the Silence.  River guards the Doctor while he stalks around being brilliant, and their banter sizzles.  Great stuff, but she’s best when she starts taking the aliens out one by one, spinning gracefully as she rains destruction on their enemies.  Much like the Doctor, I’m getting kind of attached to her.  They had their first kiss and it was both awkward (the Doctor flails his arms and acts as if he’s never been kissed before by anyone, never mind River) and sad (River realizes that his first kiss with her must be her last with him).

The romance of Amy and Rory took a few harrowing twists and turns this time as well.  Rory and the Doctor arrive at the orphanage too late to find Amy; all they find is her little red recorder, which is somehow still recording her although no longer physically attached.  Rory tells her he’s coming for her and the Doctor explains that she can’t hear him.  Rory, looking less than friendly, responds with, “She can always hear me, Doctor. Always. Wherever she is and she always knows that I am coming for her, do you understand me? Always.”

Sweet, but Amy takes some of the wind out of his sails by  pleading for the Doctor to come rescue her.  Later, a desolate Rory is holding her device when she starts talking about someone with a stupid face that she loves…you can see his spirits lift until she says, “My life was so boring until you dropped out of the sky.”  Even I thought she was talking about the Doctor.

Luckily Amy is rescued and she refers to Rory’s stupid face.  All is well again, until she starts talking about last week’s mystery pregnancy.  She told the Doctor she was, now she tells him she isn’t.  The audience knows that Amy saw a picture of herself holding a baby in the creepy little girl’s room, but she can’t quite grasp the memory.  When the Doctor asks why she told him instead of Rory, she admits she had worried that the pregnancy would have been affected by her time traveling, whether or not her child would come out with a ‘Time Head’.  Funny, but now there is doubt again for Rory (who is naturally eavesdropping), because why would the kid have a ‘Time Head’ unless the mom messed around with a Time Lord?  Only it turns out Amy knows he’s listening, so then she must’ve been just messing with him.  Right?

Except for this mind-blowing ending:

Questions, questions, questions.  The aliens here were the Silence and now they’re defeated.  Can that really be the end of it after they spent the entire fifth series hinting about  ‘The Silence Will Fall’?  That would seem anticlimactic and so seems unlikely.  Amy is and isn’t pregnant; that girl is always weird.  There’s a little kid out there who regenerates and the suggestion is that Amy is her mother.  So Rory still has something to worry about after all?

I’m excited.  I’m intrigued.  And I’ve already said I’m impressed.  This series is going new places, and this time I’m going with it.

Bring it on, Moffat.

Syfy’s Being Human: “You’re the One that I Haunt” (SPOILERS)

It’s late and I’ve got to be up early, so expect some stream of consciousness writing.  Per usual, if you haven’t seen both BBC’s entire first season and Syfy’s to date, I’m about to spoil the hell out of it for you.

Sally vs. Danny:  the final showdown was tonight.  Anyone who has read my previous posts on the subject already knows that I think Annie and Owen, for the most part, have blown this pair out of the water.  In the contest of cool special effects, however, the prize belongs to Syfy.  Last week’s possession was impressive; this week was as well with Sally’s frightening impression of “The Grudge” and her transformation back, plus her angelic appearance when Danny is finally able to see her for himself.

I’ll also reluctantly admit that the BBC original might have left something to be desired in their simplistic handling of Annie’s final fight back; perhaps with Annie’s powers in general.  We are on Season 3 of the BBC version, and although Annie has progressed in her abilities, we still have yet to see the extent of her powers.  Sally progresses much faster, and here she uses her new-found power to try and force Danny to slit his own throat.

She’s also a little meaner than Annie.

Anyway, Danny shows up to burn the house down and Sally traps him inside with her.  Josh and Aidan arrive in time for Aidan to go all vamp-scary on him and Josh to helpfully (if surprisingly easily) put out the raging fire.  Josh also plays the good angel on her shoulder, since Sally is on the fence about letting Aidan take Danny out for good.  In some ways, this was more satisfying than Annie insinuating what Mitchell and George are capable of before threatening Owen with a secret that sends him running to turn himself in for her murder.  Maybe Syfy can’t match BBC with the emotional aspects, but at least they keep it interesting.  I also have to respect the choice to keep Sally a more traditional ghost:  ordinary humans simply cannot see her (until they lose their minds, like Danny) and she touches no one.  I still don’t see why not, because if she learned in either the first or second episode how to touch physical things, wouldn’t she be interested in some physical contact (I’m thinking about hugs or something, relax) with her roommates at least?  I guess she’s met enough ghosts this season that it hasn’t been an issue.  She also hasn’t bonded with Josh and Aidan all that deeply, which might be another factor.

Moving on to the delectable story of Aidan, Celine, and Bishop.

I’ve mentioned Mitchell and Jonie before, after the episode Dog Eat Dog when I was taken aback by Bishop’s past love with the human woman, Jane.  I’d assumed that this relationship was an echo of Mitchell and his human gf Jonie, since the story with Bernie turned out so differently, as did Aidan’s return to Bishop.  In tonight’s episode, I found out I was wrong, and I can’t help but enjoy the way the relationship was handled.

Jonie, Mitchell’s strong-willed love from the 60’s, is replaced with Celine (70’s?  I couldn’t be sure, but I thought that’s where the haircuts and leather jackets came from) and through flashbacks we see an intense love affair in Aidan’s past.  The story is still very different; Jonie saw through Mitchell and realized that he did not want to kill with Herrick any longer, even as he kidnapped and threatened her.  Thus, she ended up helping him to stay clean.  This is why, when she sees him later as a dying patient in his hospital, she is able to once again force him to find focus and get back on track.  I just adored Jonie.

Celine, however, is shown begging Aidan to turn her, and allowing him to drink from her.  Not cool, when you consider he’s an addict, but her scene with Bishop made me like her just as well.  Bishop has kidnapped her and basically blood-raped her in order that Aidan will believe she has abandoned him.  I couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t just kill her, until he explained in a gorgeously perverse manner that he preferred knowing he had her under his thumb.

Mark Pellegrino was so hot in that scene.  Evil, but hot.

Right, focus.  But Celine impressed me when she not only proved she knew Aidan, but saw through Bishop as well.  The big moment comes after Bishop tells her that Aidan will always return to him.  Despite being pinned to the wall by a blood-drinking psychopath and clearly terrified, she looks him in the eye and tells him Aidan will also always leave him again. Very badass.

About the big ending, of course I knew what was coming.  Last week after watching Going Dutch, I worried that the writers would show both guys as being emotionally attached to Sally.  My worries were unfounded; they kept it real.  Syfy fans, you have no idea how heart-wrenching that same scene was in the BBC version, where the roommates had already been through so much together.  I cried both times I’ve watched it.  But when Sally’s Door showed up, it was more like, ‘Hey, you did it…Bye!’

The emotional part comes when Bishop bursts in through the window (or was it the wall?) and stabs Aidan.  Now Josh gets to cry, and although I didn’t cry with him, at least they’ve bonded enough that I believed him and felt something.  Their friendship is one of the best parts of this show; maybe it’s even the heart of it.  I am such a sap.

BTW, I know Syfy does things in the cool, over-the-top way that we Americans tend to prefer, but what was up with Bishop’s grand entrance?  On BBC, Herrick simply knocks on the door (making George scream like a little girl because he thinks the knock comes from Annie’s Door) and when Mitchell answers, Herrick grabs him, yanks him forward and stabs him.  He wasn’t invited so he couldn’t come bursting in, and the fact that he couldn’t reach him very well explains how he missed the heart.  So how did Bishop get in, how on earth did he miss when he was right on top of him, and why did he act like the sun was hurting him when we’ve seen both Bishop and Aidan outside many times?  No sunglasses = burning vamps??  I wasn’t thrilled with the rule-breaking, just for the sake of drama.  Seems sloppy.

Oh yeah, and Nora’s still pregnant, though she knows nothing about Josh’s true nature.  Joy, rapture, way to freakin’ go.  I suppose she finds out next week, hopefully in the same crazy way that Nina did in season 1.  I won’t give it away (for once) because in the original, it took me by surprise.  Here’s hoping Syfy fans have the same experience.

Syfy’s Being Human: Bishop Just Got Better (SPOILERS–from BBC as well)

Tonight on Syfy was the best episode yet.

Bishop is suddenly at a whole new level, and I think he took the show with him.  I’ve mentioned in past posts that I was disappointed in this seemingly softer Vampire King.  In Going Dutch, I was delighted to find out I’ve been tricked.   Bishop has been playing his own version of trust-me-I’m-not-so-bad with Aidan, but because he wasn’t hiding any of the things Herrick hid from Mitchell (werewolf cage-matches, the room of trapped humans), I assumed he wasn’t hiding anything at all.

Now I admit this episode was  a complete revelation for me partly because I  missed something important in the Bernie episode.  I never saw the part where Bishop asks Seth if he “took care of the boys”, leading Aidan to blame and reluctantly kill Bernie.

So much for empathy towards human children.

No matter.  Bishop’s gloves have now completely come off.  Meeting with the Elders for their final judgment, he absolutely shines.   He calmly admits that mass murder and slavery are two options for his Vampire Supremacy Plot, causing Aidan’s brain to explode.    The Dutch demand that he go underground and have Aidan cull the clan,  Aidan volunteers to rein him in, and Marcus bursts forth with a power sharing dream that is clearly the wish his heart makes—doom and betrayal all around, but nothing wipes the smile from Bishop’s face.

That’s because Bishop has a surprise for everybody in the room (and me on my couch).  He’s poisoned the Elders with juniper-laced blood and serenely explains his plans while decapitating all but the one that a panicked Aidan manages to save.  Here, finally, is the charismatic, psychopathic Bishop that I’ve been waiting for,  reminiscent of Herrick’s malignant genius for the first time.   Suddenly I can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.

Yeah, Bishop owned the episode, but there were other honorable mentions.

The exorcism (borrowing slightly from BBC’s Season 2, but not much) was a nice twist for Sally and Danny, since Danny can’t see her and torture her à la the terrifying Owen.  Having Sally thrust herself into the exorcist’s body and face him as such was startling in a really good way.

For me, however, special effects are dessert, but dialogue is the meat and potatoes.  So I loved the simple little scene with Josh and Aidan in the hospital, where Josh worries about his friend and tells him about his own awkward reaction to Nora’s pregnancy.  I enjoy their connection; there is at least an echo of Mitchell and George here.

Speaking of connection, I don’t think I’ve talked much about Rebecca, but I do like her.  She’s a strong character, portrayed sympathetically by Sarah Allen (possibly the best female actress on the show IMO).  She gets to kill Marcus, with the added incentive that she found out Bernie died because of him.  I liked the fact that she’d been given a heart, and that Aidan went through so much with her.

Complaints from the BBC fan (you knew I had some):

Just a few questions.  If the exorcist is saying ‘let the spirit be filled with light and love’, why is Sally in so much pain?  Is she actually evil then?  Why did she completely disappear before a commercial break, only to be back in the same position and in pain again in her next scene?  If she’s being exorcised from the house, where is her Door?  When Annie was forcibly removed in Season 2, she was dragged into a Door and it slammed shut.  In this version, if you move on naturally you use a Door, but exorcisms make you sick until you disappear?  And since I did bring up that demon-spawn Owen, let me firmly assert that Danny is still a very watered down version.  Watching him fearfully tell Sally her death was an accident (though he did try choking her right after he said it) reminded me of how much Owen enjoyed killing Annie and getting away with it.  He didn’t mean to do it exactly, but he was awfully glad that he did.

On another note, next week they show her getting all psycho-ghost with Danny and the other roommates are concerned.  This is one sticking point for me; the roommates haven’t had much bonding time with Sally this season–she mostly whines at them and they argue with her.  If they try to show them as being attached to her the way George and Mitchell wept for Annie at the end of Season 1, I will just gag or maybe vomit on my TV.  I don’t want to do that.

Have I mentioned that I hate, hate, hate that Nora is pregnant with Josh’s child already?  They barely know each other.  Yes, I am aware that this is a realistic chain of events, but I’m just saying that I prefer the courtship of George and Nina by far.  When Josh and Nora had their serious conversation at the end about the pregnancy and Josh mentioned that he was worried about genetics, I worried that Nora would attempt to reveal what we only just found out from Nina in Season 3 about her family history.  Fortunately, she didn’t go into detail.  That’s good, because damn it Syfy, you have to save some of the mystery!  Most importantly, will Nora turn wolf this season, or at all?  I’m starting to wonder if the next season will resemble BBC’s version or if they will split off completely and form their own tangent.  And the pregnant woman on the table was gross.

Still.  Best episode yet.

Speaking of Jason Dohring…

I’m watching an episode of Moonlight for no real reason at all, except that it came on after Syfy’s 11 pm showing of Being Human (3 eps in and I am loving that show ).  It’s late, though; I have to be up in about 6 hours  but I bet my brain won’t let me sleep anyway, which gives lying prone in the dark little appeal.

So here I am watching this show and feeling a little guilty for making fun of it so mercilessly when it first came out.  I know I wanted to be a fan; vampires and Jason Dohring—no, better, Jason Dohring AS a vampire—I expected to be peeing myself  with excitement every time it came on.   Instead I think I tried two episodes and gave up. And I made fun of it a lot.

I’ll be blunt.  I didn’t like the stories, I didn’t like the main character or give a crap about his point of view, and I didn’t think Josef got enough screen time for me to keep watching just to enjoy Dohring’s wry delivery.  Sophia Myles didn’t enter into the equation, since I wasn’t a Doctor Who fan until 2008.  Now that I know who she is, fantastic American accent.  🙂

Josef: Vampire experts. Beautiful – now we have the food mouthing off about the farmer.

Not a bad line. I’m wondering if I was just a little less open-minded about vampire fiction at the time, it being pre-Twilight saga and Being Human (enter vamps that can day-walk with only a little squinting or sparkling).

Ha-ha, Sophia just said ‘phone’ with an English accent.

Oh, well.  Moonlight is long gone and I don’t feel like chasing it just to find out once and for all if it was worth more than a two-ep attempt.  I’ll just keep hoping that Dohring picks up another chance somewhere else.  Until then, we’ll always have Logan Echolls.  😉


Since When Does “Sex and the City” Suck?

Disgusting pun certainly not intended.  The title is not the actual question I should be asking anyway.  Rather, what ever happened to my affection-bordering-on-obsession for the show?  I ask, because since the addition of the last two movies (the 2nd of which I’ve yet to even see) and after having caught most of the viciously cut reruns on TBS (or worse, the massacred and thankfully short-lived ones on the CW), I find myself having made an almost complete 180 degree turn to a new opinion which actually approaches disdain.

Maybe I just answered my own question, but I’ll start at the beginning anyway to be sure.

I first watched Sex and the City when I was living at home, and therefore still able to afford HBO.  There I watched each hour-long episode, filled with all the sex and profanity that only an HBO program can offer, and I fell in love.  For me, it wasn’t about 4 rich, self-satisfied, Manhattanite snobs.  It was about the pain and fear and humiliation that a single woman sometimes  suffers while she struggles not to settle for less than true love or maybe just to be herself without giving in to the mores of society.  It was about the way that women can support each other through it with compassion, understanding, and humor.  For all that the show was supposed to be comedy, it was the more serious moments that defined it in my eyes.

So, was I a “Carrie”, a “Miranda”, a “Charlotte”, or a “Samantha”?

I could never decide.  Throughout the six seasons, I ended up relating to each of them at one point or another.  Though I consider myself more of an Aidan girl than a Mr. Big one, I understood what it was like for Carrie to be desperately in love with someone with whom she would never know where she  stood.  I knew what Miranda felt, watching her best friend deeply involved with a man who had broken her before and almost certainly would again, how frustrating not to be able to protect her from herself, and the painful fights it could cause.  I got how Charlotte tried so hard to hold onto her childhood ideals of romance and a Prince Charming, until she finally realized that a perfect facade had nothing to do with what really mattered to her.

And, as for Samantha…I’d rather not say.  My family reads this blog!  😉

The finale of this show was one of my all-time favorite finales, despite having never been that much of a Mr. Big fan.  Like I said, I saw him most clearly through Miranda’s eyes at the time, as someone who was always going to care for himself just that much more.  Weirdly enough, I was able to see him  more clearly as Carrie did once I sawThe Way We Were with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford.  I only became interested after  she’d compared her relationship with the movie in the episode, Ex and the City.  From there I imagined Big as Hubbell, drawn to Carrie’s intensity and seeming to wish the entire time that he wasn’t.  The only difference is that as far as I can tell, Katie loved Hubbell because despite his tremendously attractive yet completely shallow trappings, his writing proved that he also had a soul.  I don’t know what Big had ever done to prove that he had one, but maybe Carrie was more easily impressed than Katie.

I’m digressing.  Quite a bit, really.  Fun, though.

Ahem.  Anyway, I love anything that can excite my emotions and draw me in, and Sex and the City fit that bill.  Yet with the loss of my HBO connection, I’ve had to resort to basic cable and clearly you get what you pay for.  There are simply too many things that have to be cut.  Storylines are hinted at instead of told because there isn’t enough time and obviously the erotic or profane elements have to be left out.  If you look at each little loss singularly it isn’t a big deal, but put them together and you are left with stories with giant missing pieces, characters censored to the point of emptiness (with weird voice-overs), and the show’s trademark bad-pun humor (that was always there; I just never liked it).  Those who watch this hacksaw version for their first  exposure to the series can be forgiven for not being overly impressed.

Then there are the movies.  When I heard about the first I was excited but had to admit I couldn’t imagine a storyline that actually needed telling when all the ends had been tied so neatly in that fantastic finale.  So I saw it and liked it, but it clearly wasn’t on the same level.  I love angst, and Carrie’s annihilation by Big certainly touched my heart, but I wasn’t thrilled with the situations that got them there in the first place.  Honestly, would you have believed during the series that Carrie would throw a wedding and completely forget about Big in the planning?  Isn’t that what she wanted to accuse Natasha of in Season 2?  And while it is realistic that Miranda would turn into a negligent workaholic and Steve whining and lonely, it is also disappointing, and seemed a tired echo of what they’d already gotten through when they were first dating.

With that in mind, when the second movie came out, I tried and failed to be interested.  What on earth could there possibly be left to say?  The trailers convinced me that it wasn’t anything good.  I love Aidan, but everybody is supposed to be happily married at this point, and as bad as Big used to be for Carrie, she was always far worse for Aidan.  Nobody deserves to be #2 to their only #1.  Not to mention that for the first time I was turned off by the fabulous excess for which the girls are famous.  Timing is everything, and 2010 was a rough freakin’ year.  Yet let me watch 4 rich chicks  parade around in the desert in their Manolos, a somehow necessary escape from perfect lives, since God knows when you already have success and true love, you get bored.  I wouldn’t know anything about that.

The point is, none of this should take away from an incredible six season show, and it’s a shame that somehow it has.  Financial situations being what they are right now, I’m guessing I’m not the only one who had to step down from HBO.  Yet in my most Carrie-like fashion, I can’t help but wonder if the DVD set wouldn’t be a nice addition to next year’s Christmas list.  With my own access to the real deal, maybe I’ll finally be able to remember Sex and the City as the phenomenon it really was, instead of the half-hearted pun-fest it artificially became.

My Top Ten Episodes of the New Doctor Who

So I thought I’d make a list of my favorite episodes, from Davies through Moffat.  (Makes sense, I’ve never seen any of the others.)  I’ve tried to give a reason for each without giving too much away for those who haven’t seen them (but there are some spoilers), and then added a little dialogue.  I also completely cheated, by including two-parters as one episode, thereby giving me an excuse to list more favorites.  😉  So what, come at me, bro.

1. Dalek – Series 1, Episode 6, written by Robert Shearman – This was the first episode where I realized I’d crossed the line from ‘watching this because my roommate put it on’ to being an actual fan. Hats off to the dalek for looking more ridiculous than any villain I’ve ever seen in my life and still managing, by the end of this episode, to impress me as a hard-core, death-dealing badass. Shearman and Eccleston convinced me in one intense, dramatic hour that this plunger-wielding trash bin was serious business.

The Doctor: What’s the nearest town?
Henry Van Statten: Salt Lake City.
The Doctor: Population?
Henry Van Statten: One million.
The Doctor: All dead. If the Dalek gets out it’ll murder every living creature; that’s all it needs.
Henry Van Statten: But why would it do that??!!
The Doctor: Because it honestly believes they should die.

2. Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways – Series 1, Episode 13, written by Russell T. Davies – This might actually be my favorite episode. Daleks wiping everybody out, Captain Jack’s last stand, Rose’s inability to give up, and then of course, the Bad Wolf was amazing. The part where the dalek shoots and she stops it with her hand?? “All things must come to dust…I want you safe…My Doctor.”

Rose: No, I didn’t mean that! But it was… it was a better life. And I – I don’t mean all the travelling and… seeing aliens and spaceships and things – that don’t matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. (to Mickey) You know, he showed you too. That you don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand. You say no. You have the guts to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away, and I just can’t–

 

3. New Earth – Series 2, Episode 1, Davies – I don’t know if this is a fair choice, since I thought the ending was kind of ridiculous. Honestly, you just spray the vaccine cocktail on one person and then it gets passed along by touch? Lame. But Cassandra, and by that I mean Billie Piper and David Tennant as Cassandra, was just too much fun. Hilarious ep, very entertaining, and for me, sometimes that’s enough.

The Doctor: You were supposed to be dying.
The Face of Boe: There are better things to do today. Dying can wait.
Cassandra: Oh I hate telepathy. Just what I need; a headful of Big Face!

4. Tooth and Claw – Series 2, Episode 2, Davies – Of course I would like a werewolf ep, and the guy in the cage really did scare me when he was talking to Rose, and when he was changing and they were all chained up. I was impressed that this family show could actually freak me out that much. Good stuff!

Sir Robert: Nevertheless, that creature won’t give up, Doctor, and we still don’t possess an actual weapon!
The Doctor: Oh, your dad got all the brains, didn’t he?
Rose: Being rude again!
The Doctor: Good, I meant that one. You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have – arm yourselves!

5. Love and Monsters – Series 2, Episode 10, Davies – Even though the Doctor and Rose were barely in this one and the ending was kind of sad and disturbing, I couldn’t resist the character Elton, who was charming and loveable. The “I said not Blue!!” part was pretty funny, too. 🙂


The Doctor: [Upon appearing from the TARDIS. To Elton] Someone wants a word with you.
Rose: You upset my mum!
Elton: [glances at the Abzorbaloff] …great big absorbing creature from outer space, and you’re having a go at me?
Rose: No one upsets my mum.

6. Army of Ghosts/Doomsday – Series 2, Episode 13 & 14, Davies – had no idea what the ghosts were and was shocked by that, and by what came out of the void ship, but it was awesome to see them go against each other. Beyond that, I need only 3 words: Bad. Wolf. Bay. :’-(

Rose: The first nineteen years of my life, nothing happened. Nothing at all, not ever. And then I met a man called the Doctor. A man who could change his face. And he took me away from home in his magical machine. He showed me the whole of time and space. I thought it would never end.
The Doctor: [with Rose on an alien planet] How long are you going to stay with me?
Rose: Forever.

7. Partners in Crime – Series 4, Episode 1, Davies – the mime scene with Donna was, for me, the funniest scene in any of the five seasons that I’ve seen yet, and that is saying something. The Rose cameo was so unexpected that my heart jumped in my chest.

The Doctor: …With Martha, like I said, it got… complicated. And that was all my fault. I just want a mate.
Donna: You just want to mate?!
The Doctor: I just want a mate!
Donna: You’re not mating with me, sunshine!
The Doctor: A mate! I want a mate!
Donna: Well, just as well, cos I’m not having any of that nonsense! You’re just a long streak of…nothing!

8. Turn Left – Series 4, Episode 11, Davies – this episode interested me, partly because I’d been waiting the entire season for Rose to come back, but partly because of the idea that making a different choice (especially the one between having faith in yourself or having none) would have such a drastic effect on the world. “There’s something on your back!” Delightfully creepy.

Wilfred: Sweetheart, come on. You’re not gonna make the world any better by shouting at it.
Donna: I can try.

9. The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End – Series 4, Episodes 12 & 13, Davies – Great fun to see all the companions and Harriet Jones, whom I always liked and felt sorry for in Christmas Invasion. I liked the end-of-the-world desperation that both episodes had.  Loved the reunion of Rose & the Doctor (though how could I not, being the big Rose-Doctor shipper that I am), and everything that followed for them, though it certainly took getting used to.

Human Doctor: You made me.
The Doctor: Exactly, you were born in battle, full of blood and anger and revenge. Remind you of someone? That’s me when we first met, and you made me better. Now you can do the same for him.
Rose: But he’s not you.
The Doctor: He needs you, that’s very me.

10. The Lodger – Series 5, Episode 11, written by Gareth Roberts – I was having trouble with Moffat’s Who, and part of that was Matt Smith, who I could not see as a 900 year old Time Lord. However, in this one Smith was particularly irresistible and I found myself finally and completely won over. There is also a sweet love story, and the scene where the Doctor transfers memories through a head-butt has definitely made my top 10 funniest Doctor Who scenes ever. 😀


Craig: If you ever need me out of your hair, just give me a shout. [winks]
The Doctor: [winks back, pause] … Why would I want that?
Craig: Well, in case you want to bring someone over? Like a girlfriend, or… [looks at the Doctor’s clothes] boyfriend?
The Doctor: Oh! Oh, yes, yes, I will. I will shout, something like… “I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS!”


Why Rose Kissed the Wrong Doctor (SPOILERS)

(Total spoilers for season 1, 2, and 4 in this post; there is, in fact, no point in reading this post at all if you have not watched all of Doctor Who, Seasons 1-4.  The following clip is from Journey’s End.)

You have to look at things from Rose’s point of view.  Of course, from the outside in, you might think she’d betrayed the Doctor when she’d kissed that human hybrid.  Why would she do that, you wonder?  It wasn’t his hand that she’d been holding all those times before the devastation at Canary Wharf.  Not his arms she’d thrown herself into time and time again, even most recently when they’d finally, finally reunited, after she’d worked so hard to get back to him.  No matter how much the two men look and think alike, this guy is a stranger and the actual Doctor was standing right there.  Besides, you might rightfully point out, it isn’t as if she had loved the Doctor only in that one form; that body, that man.  No, their bond had been formed and solidified before he ever had brown eyes, great hair, and a suit.  Did she forget him?  That original Doctor in Rose’s life?

So go back with her.  Remember what her life was like before Nine.  Working as a shop girl, dating a boy she’d known her entire life, having given up on college, taking care of herself and living with her mother, watching the men come and go because her father was long dead.  Anyone can imagine where a life like that would have led without the influence of extraordinary circumstances to intervene.  How did the Doctor put it?  Get up, go to work, come home, watch TV, eat chips, and go to bed only to start the same the next day.

Then this man shows up, and maybe they made a really odd pair, because you can bet she never expected to feel anything like that for him.  Compare him with Mickey, and see that he wasn’t exactly her type.  Too old, too snappish…but she knew he was special right away, and it wasn’t long before she understood the extent of his loneliness.  She saw the pain in him and realized that she could fill some of that void, heal some of that pain.  Rose was tough when she needed to be, but it would be hard to find a softer, kinder heart.

It had to be gratifying, later, to realize that she’d become important to someone so obviously vital and unique himself, not just in the world but in the Universe.  They shared things that no one else could possibly understand.  The 9th Doctor  was always aware of her, watching what she did and said, saving her when she got into trouble, celebrating with her when she did something clever, and always challenging her to be her best self.  This is a guy who saved and damned entire worlds while she watched.  Try having a relationship with someone like that, just you and that person, together against the Universe.  She knew she was never going back to her ordinary life.  Not even death in some foreign world or time was scarier than that.

Except he sent her back, didn’t he?  Because her death would be  a worthy sacrifice in her eyes, but not in his.  Better that she lived somewhere, somehow.  Better that she finished out her days with her loved ones.  He would gladly die alone, knowing she was able to live.

Now here’s where you need to pay attention, you need to really remember what happened.  This girl, this young girl, was home safe with her mother, with her boyfriend, where she belonged, right?  He’d done it; he’d rescued her, impossibly, from an entire fleet of daleks, and then sent her away in his own time machine, dooming himself to save her.

Recall now what she did about it.  The idea of leaving him there to die alone was completely unbearable to her.  She was freaking out, sick with the desperate knowledge that he was alone, sacrificing himself with no hope of rescue.  She got into that Tardis, and while she didn’t know the danger of looking into its heart, nor did she care.  She just had to get to him, at any cost.  And she did, and she saved him, saved the future human race, and, incidentally, turned Captain Jack Harkness nearly immortal.

Except…she still lost the Doctor.  All that effort and he was still gone and she’d never see him again, not that way, not ever.  She didn’t even know it was coming; she’d no earthly idea what he was babbling about before he burst forth with golden light and became someone entirely different.

Take a second before going forward and think what that would be like, to lose someone like that.  Yes, it wasn’t long before she realized this new man was, in fact, her Doctor.  Yet is that really so?  The Doctor himself would say that each time he regenerates, a new man walks away.  SOMETHING dies.  He is always surprised to find he still looks human, in fact.  So the man who found her, who changed her entire life, who shared so much with her that they became like a married pair, was gone.   In dreams, she must’ve still seen his face…

But it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  In this case, Rose, quite literally, had made him a new man.  When she’d met him, he’d been bitter and hard, formed by his experiences in the Time War, haunted by the shattering knowledge that he’d been the one to end the existence of his own people, filled with cutting loneliness in a world that didn’t know or care to know that he even existed.  Being with Rose had shown him differently, and loving her…for he did love her, something he’d been aware of at least since the dalek soldier had pointed it out when holding her captive in that underground museum…loving her had changed him even more.  He was happy to sacrifice himself to save someone as sacred as she had become to him…and that sacrifice made him into a happier, lighter version of himself.

Here is where things get complicated.  Her time with her first Doctor had made her love him quite unexpectedly, something she wasn’t even aware of until she thought she’d lost him for good.  Yet here he is again, except this time…well, a little more her type.  Physically.

It didn’t really help that other women kept “connecting” with him all the time.  This had started in his old form too, that floozy “Lynda with a y” who wanted to jump aboard his ship at the Bad Wolf Corporation.  Okay, so she died there.  And maybe she wasn’t a floozy.  But he’d liked her hadn’t he?  Rose had been less than thrilled.  With his tenth regeneration, she’d have more chances to feel less than thrilled.  Less rude, more charm, that was part of the problem.

Except this isn’t infatuation, this is love, and when it is mutual you know it.  Rose knew it.

So we skip way ahead to Canary Wharf, where she made that choice that women sometimes must make, when you can either follow the man you love into a scary, unknowable future or stay your mother’s child, safe and sound in a familiar world.  Rose never even blinked, not when it came down to it.  Maybe if she’d had more time to wallow over it…but it was do or die and she knew she’d rather die than lose him.  But this time she forced him to agree.  He was angry with her, because he didn’t want to be the reason she lost everything…yet he let her.  He wanted her to stay, too.

Only she lost him anyway.  Again.

And this time the separation seemed irrevocable, the heartbreak made worse by an even further closeness.  They’d been through so much…and she’d chosen him, chosen him forever.  Even if he’d already known it was never going to work, when you love someone, sometimes you take what you can get.  Not that she’d have accepted anything else.

In so much pain was she, that she followed his voice in her dreams to the literal end of the earth.  There wasn’t a choice, not for her.  Only it was just for a good bye, and a lousy one at that.  She couldn’t touch him.  She could only fall apart, and finally say out loud the unspoken truth between them.  Yet they’d be cut off before he could say it back.  Not cold comfort, no comfort at all.

The End.

Right?

Give me a break.  Who would believe that Rose, the chick who drove the Tardis back to the center of a dalek fleet, would have given up?   Can you see her doing that?  Accepting what had happened, maybe striking up her relationship with Mickey again, working for Torchwood and getting to know the father she’d never had?  I wonder if it even fleetingly crossed her mind.

Because I bet instead that she was already thinking that if they’d found a way before to cross worlds, they could do it again.  Her father was an important man in Torchwood, and she’d been the Doctor’s companion.  Surely they’d want her help.  Surely they’d be willing to help her in return.

Of course, the Doctor had said it was wrong to do it, that Universes could collapse and the Worlds, all Worlds, might just end.  He wouldn’t want her to take that chance.  He had been so mad at Torchwood; if they’d never done such things, he wouldn’t have lost Rose in the first place.  Not then, not that way.

Well, I think she’d have done it anyway and just let him be mad about it.  Let him sulk and stew, but she’d be with him again and he’d just have to get over it.  I’m betting that when the stars started going out and she realized what it meant, she only doubled her efforts.  I’m betting she’d have crossed the worlds regardless.  The fact that they needed him only meant she had to move quicker.

So she’d crossed worlds, and faced untold dangers, and rewritten history…all to see him.  To be with him.



To hold his hand.

When she thought he was going to regenerate in front of her, yet again, she’d been frantic.  She knew, KNEW, that this next doctor would be like starting all over again.  And she is only human.  Her feelings, her heart, can’t keep up with all the changes and whose to say this new Doctor would feel a thing for her?   Fortunately, he stayed himself and at long last she was able to hold him, be held by him.  Then she stood at his side:  while he watched the Tardis supposedly destroyed; when they towed the Earth back where it belonged.

So back where this started.  At Bad Wolf Bay a second time, when she realized he’d brought her back to the world she’d fought so hard to escape and he told her she had to stay there…with “him”.  This fake, second Doctor.  She had but moments to try and understand.

Here was this human hybrid Doctor…and she stared and tried to find a difference and could not, because there just aren’t any.  He had all the memories, as if he’d been through everything with her when he certainly had not.  Even the ones from before…from the first Doctor.  He had those, too.

But that’s the crux of why it is so wrong.  Because she’d been in love with the Doctor before he had this face, this body.  It was not this incarnation that she loved, but the Doctor himself, and he was saying she’d never see him again.  But he loved her and she knew it!  It was wrong.

Only he wasn’t going to even try to say it this time, not ever.  Why hurt himself with the admission?  What was the point?  In over 900 years, he’d learned something that young Rose was never going to be able to accept; love does not conquer all.  It couldn’t conquer the fact that they were different species.  He was never going to be able to settle down and grow old with Rose, much as he might have liked the chance.  She was going to grow old and die and all he could do was watch; he’d told her that, hadn’t he?

So, fine.  He could give her this, and in a way, he could give it to himself.  Some other world, where he could love her the way he wanted to, be with her properly, live and die together…and if it meant he had to watch her fling herself into the arms of some mirror-image man…if it meant he could never see her again, touch her hand, hear her voice…well, maybe he just would rather take most of the pain onto himself, rather than let her waste her life on a man who wasn’t human, whom she eventually would have to lose anyway.

Okay, that is his logic, but our Rose, our fighter, our crosser of worlds, why would she ever give in?  She’d never listened to him before, right?  Why start now?

Well, maybe she didn’t mean to.  It wasn’t supposed to be like that.  She was supposed to fling herself at him, her Doctor, the proper Doctor, and tell him that he was right; it doesn’t need saying, not when it can be expressed with one true kiss.  The kiss should have been his.

Rose would have done that, probably meant to do that.  But maybe he’d been telling her for so long that they couldn’t work it out.  He was always going to do his own thing.  And if you think she’d ever forgotten Sarah Jane and the hard lesson she’d learned at that school, you’d be wrong.  How long was he going to keep her around?  She’d been willing to deal with that later, and he said it was different with her, right? Except it didn’t seem like she believed that.  One day there’d be another Madame Pompadour and she’d be left as a dinner lady in some time where she didn’t belong…

Okay, maybe not.  And the chance to grow old with the human Doctor wasn’t enough to blind her to the fact that he wasn’t her Doctor.  So what did it?  What tipped the scales…?

Look again.  It was the Doctor.  He was looking down at her with those same sorrowful dark eyes.  He’d taken her hand, just as he’d always done, and it’d felt the same as it always felt.  He’d leaned in, he’d said…

You can’t imagine how much it would have meant, but try.  She’d been waiting, waiting so long to hear those words.  She’d said them herself and then he’d been gone…

Her reaction must be forgiven.

Veronica Mars: Way Too Hard on Logan

I recently re-watched Veronica Mars, seasons 1 and 2.  Then I watched only the parts of season 3 that were pertinent to LoVe, because lets face it, the plot that season was pretty tiresome (oh, no, rapist on the loose, that’s so different except that it isn’t at all).  With the relationship history now fresh in my mind, I realized I was disappointed in the way Veronica almost seems reluctant to love Logan back, especially in season 3.  Did she ever even say the actual words, “I love you”, in any of those 3 seasons?  I know he said it to her.    It got me thinking that perhaps, although she certainly loved Logan more than Lily did, maybe she wished that she didn’t.

Here’s a heart-breaking scene between them from season 3 that illustrates the problem perfectly:

From his side, the scene shows his unwavering dedication to her and the depth of his love, and also how well he knows exactly how she thinks.  Yet you can also see her frustration and a lot of reluctance.

Logan:  I love you, Veronica.  I love you.  Do you love me?

Veronica:  (pause)  yeah…

Real nice.

It interests me because the same impulsive, violently protective instincts that allowed him to save her ass so many times were annoyingly inconvenient the few times she didn’t need saving.  But you can’t have it both ways, right?  He’s a human being; somehow his ultra-privileged, yet totally abusive upbringing created someone who is overflowing with a need to lash out, only eclipsed by his need to be loved.  He has the confidence to step into any situation and is devil-may-care to the point of suicidal.   And yes…the arrogance  and self-destructive tendencies lead to many mistakes.

For instance, can I really blame her in that same season for not being able to get over him sleeping with Madison, the same girl who drugged her drink in season 1?  Let me tell you how it works in real life.  When the person you love most, who is supposed to love you most, whom you have trusted with your innermost self, cohorts for any reason or length of time with someone who has violated you in any way, it is as if they are helping that person to humiliate you further.  Topping it off, you aren’t left with many options about what they could have been thinking.  You can’t get past that they knew better, that they knew how you would feel and yet they could do it anyway.  Their selfishness is overwhelming, and although you have the sense that due to how important the person is to your heart, you will have to find a way around this somehow, you also can’t fathom what that way might be.  No, you have to get away from them.  You just can’t be around that person at all.

This does not mean you stopped loving them.  It doesn’t mean you can shut them out forever.  No, true, real love is not so easily slain and that is not romanticism, that is a fact.  False moves, no matter how hurtful, can’t undo the loving memories that came before.  And sometimes the heart is stubbornly faithful.  Plus, back to the context, Logan is the one who broke up with Veronica because it was tearing him up how often he disappointed her, how his love just wasn’t ever enough to make up for his volatile nature.

It never had been, or at least she’d never wanted it to be.  From the beginning she’d always begged him to tone it down.  She was afraid of his unpredictability, that barging into any situation guns (literally) blazing was going to get him killed someday, maybe while trying to protect her, making it her fault.  She didn’t live by the same rules that he did, so she seemed afraid sometimes that he might drag her down with him.  Yet just the same, there were things they’d both been through that couldn’t be forgotten.  And how do you turn your back on somebody that loves you so intensely?  I don’t think Logan would ever learn how to shut that off.  Much as he could man-whore around like nobody’s business, or destroy things around him with ease when he felt like it, I think he’d grown up wanting to be able to protect someone the way he hadn’t been protected and to love someone as desperately as he’d wanted to be loved.  Lily hadn’t loved him enough.  I don’t know if even Veronica was capable of returning that intensity.  Yet I don’t think she would’ve been able to permanently turn her back on it either.

It makes you wonder if Logan would have died young; his risky approach to life makes it probable.  Maybe that would’ve been the only way for Veronica to be released and allowed to pursue a more mundane and easygoing relationship, such as the rest of us have.  Like it or not, with him around she wasn’t going to find someone else; maybe he was hard to love but he’d be just as difficult to replace.  Any feelings someone could have for her would always pale in comparison to Logan’s (poor Piz is a prime example—the guy Veronica thought she should be with).  There wouldn’t be anyone who could know her so well.  And you could see that even apart, he’d be the one to find her when she needed him.

Besides, finding another guy who would put up with her own dangerous tendencies would’ve been reasonably challenging anyway.  Maybe she just hadn’t had a chance to find that out.  Where else was she going to find someone as smart as she was and as brave?  The White Knight is a dying breed these days.  Who else could challenge her the way he did?  And let’s face it, bad boys are always better in bed; he’d been bad for a very long time.

I think she would’ve kept finding her way back to him.  I think all these reasons piled up against her so that she was drawn to him over and over, despite her best intentions.  Swear Logan off like a drug, Veronica Mars, only to come face to face with the magnitude of his love and crumble before it.

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