September 13, 2012

the new doctor who season

Filed under:, , — cwage @ 5:54 pm

WARNING: SPOILERS (AND EXTREMELY LAME NERDERY) BE HERE!

So, Cait and I watched the second episode of the new Doctor Who season last night. It was good, but there's something that, yet again, bothered me. I had a whole conversation a few months ago that was spurred by a teaser trailer for the new season that contained a brief clip of Rory (?) asking "Who killed all the Daleks?" and Doctor Who responding "who do you think?"

I'll just paste what I wrote on facebook about it, originally:

doctor who is supposed to be a good guy, right? yes, he's fallible, and yes, i realize that the doctor has murdered in many incarnations in the past. and yes, the 10th doctor and the story arches were supposed to be a very sinister (and emo) trip down a dark alley where the doctor becomes a slightly vengeful maniac, but even in those cases, any overt acts of violence or murder were USUALLY hedged by either subtleties or his hand being forced. IN GENERAL, he's supposed to be a good guy and abhorrent of violence as a means to an end. even his notorious destruction of the ultimately-evil daleks has been hedged by saying that.. welllll he didn't ACTUALLY kill them, he just locked them away.

SO .. that said: in this preview i didn't like the ballsy swagger of the "who killed all the daleks" "who do you think" line in the teaser. doctor who is not supposed to be james bond. he's supposed to be a relatively moral figure that we can look up to that uses violence as an option of last resort. MAYBE there's something i missed or in the actual plot line of this next few series it won't be so overt and they're just playing it up for the teaser, but if so? ... don't. stop. that's stupid. we already had the 10th doctor little trip down sadsack asshole alley. let's not do that again so soon.

...

I guess I should really amend all the aforementioned comments and substitute "the doctor and his companion" for "the doctor", since it's an overarching reinforced point that he needs and keeps a human companion to rein in his impulses here and there. but the combined protagonist that they represent is not supposed to be a killer, and i don't like the continued implications and swagger

My friends responded: I'm willing to bet that "Who do you think?" doesn't actually answer the question of "Who killed all the daleks?" in the way that the trailer makes it seem for precisely all of the reasons that you described. They do stuff like that all the time in trailers as misdirection or suspense-building or whatever.. Turns out? Yeah, not so much. In that episode, he just killed them. And, now, in this second episode: the bad guy? Yeah. Killed. No big woop. Even Cait, who is not as uh.. passionate.. about Doctor Who as I am, turned to me and said "I thought the Doctor didn't kill people?" INDEED. I am glad to see, at least, that I am not the only one noticing and being put off by this:

The dinosaurs, of course, were not the baddies here, with the tearjerking triceratops death scene reminiscent of The Land Before Time. But in David Bradley's Solomon we had one of the most unpleasant villains in recent memory. And as funny as the episode was, the whole thing was undercut with a darkness that was almost disturbing enough to ruin everything. The line about "breaking in Nefertiti", for instance, was laced with a dark sexuality that felt completely inappropriate.

Perhaps it was intended as some justification for the Doctor's merciless decision to leave the old letch for the missiles. But that was a hugely un-Doctorish move, and I'm not sure how I feel about that, either. Could it be intended to feed into the themes revealed in the trailer for next week's western episode – with the Doctor getting emo over the question of his mercy?

I totally agree, but as I said above -- even if they are merely allowing this as a setup for some emo retrospective, I'm not happy. Because, didn't we .. already do that?

June 23, 2009

why the muppet show should still be around

Filed under:, , — cwage @ 8:27 pm

A few months ago, I was watching Weezer's Keep Fishin' video, and I was thinking about how much fun it looks like they all had making that video, and how it would be so great if the Muppet Show were actually still around and today's pop artists could make guest appearances on it. And suddenly, I had this vision of Rufus Wainwright as the guest artist on the Muppet Show -- and I couldn't get out of my head how AWESOME that would be. Can't you just see him doing a dance number? Serenading Miss Piggy (or Kermit, for that matter)? It'd be amazing..

This is why the Muppet Show should still be around. We started brainstorming other artists that would make a good fit -- you know, the right mix of raw solo talent, charisma, and celebrity appeal that they'd be awesome/fun on the Muppet Show:

  • Andrew Bird
  • Regina Spektor
  • Outkast
  • Stephen Merrit (Magnetic Fields)
  • The Roots

Okay, now you go.. Who else?

October 19, 2006

Lost (spoilers)

Filed under:, , — cwage @ 10:17 am

SPOILERS BE HERE:

Amanda on last night's Lost episode:

09:38PM [amanda] it was like 'hey remember when we had a polar bear in the 1st season?' 'uhh...no.' 'well we totally did, let us make it eat Eko, that will be bad ass'
09:39PM [amanda] 'oh rock, can we animate it with really shitty cgi?'
09:39PM [amanda] "Yes!'
09:39PM [amanda] this Lost writers' meeting brought to you by Amanda Harasty

The Lost writers really do have it good. They have the best of both worlds: endless potential for assorted basic-but-entertaining drama in the flashbacks and backstory, combined with the freedom to have an entire episode devoted to fighting a giant polar bear.

February 2, 2006

Look Ma, No Wires!

Filed under:, , , , , , , — cwage @ 11:53 pm

Over at NiT Brittney links to Mike Sechrist discussing some of the upcoming changes in the land of broadcast TV and the spectrum it uses, which FCC has finally mandated is going away in 2009. He's promising more commentary on this topic, and I can't hold my tongue, so I am gonna go ahead and toss in my two cents.

Brittney asks "Okay, so they want the analog spectrum back, but why is this law? It seems a very odd thing to be legislating, especially if taxpayers are covering the hardware upgrade." It's a good question. Kevin, in the comments, offers an explanation, "It has to be legislated at the Federal level. No one can broadcast with significant wattage in the US without FCC approval, which is expensive, scarce, and complicated."

This, though, is not a sufficient explanation. To really understand what this is all about, I am going to try to succinctly explain the situation (and perhaps toss in a diatribe later).

(more...)