The Caretaker and the Doctor

3a7b59c4c7eaf45746d30e0f2ce748d1Just another in the long line of names that the Doctor has given himself or been given by himself (as is the case with the Dreamlord in Amy’s Choice). The funny thing is there was a little bit of Amy’s Choice in this episode in the way that the Doctor and Danny Pink were vying for the attention of Clara and she was forced to choose one or the other.

Sure it wasn’t a choice between two romantic interests, but it was a choice and there was the Doctor masquerading as someone else—so I thought back to that event.

The end result was the big difference here. The male lead did something aggressive, attacked a dangerous alien head on to by them time, to prove himself. Whereas Rory kind of died in a dream to help prove his. I really like season five, but I hated season five Rory. I think, given how he turned out, it’s okay. But watching it back then I wanted nothing to do with him in any of the stories.

I feel the opposite about Danny Pink. I’ve been waiting for the moment when the real Danny Pink would step into the TARDIS and fly off with the Doctor and Clara. I had kind of hoped it would just happen as it did before, two teachers from Coal Hill School flying off into the Time and Space with the Doctor. That’s how the show first began in 1963, it seems to be a fitting way for it to continue fifty one years later.

The monster in the episode was kind of an afterthought. For a split moment at the beginning I thought I was seeing the eye stalk of a Dalek and I got upset. Glad that wasn’t the case. There seems to be a lot more of the episodes where the monster doesn’t matter as much as what we learned about the people in and around the TARDIS and I like that trend. The show can still be dark without having the feature larger than life aliens every week.

There’s not a whole lot to say about this episode. I liked it and I think the season, so far is showing promise.

One thing I would like to point out for those who watched The Thick of It, the show that Peter Capaldi was previously on. Chris Addison who looked like this last Saturday night:

uktv-doctor-who-s08-e06-chris-addison

Previously looked like this getting dressed down by Malcolm Tucker:

malcolm-tucker

Something inside me wants to believe that they will make reference to this. Even if it’s just the smallest thing when the two characters meet on screen. “For some reason, you’re face just makes me want to yell at you.”

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This is What a Male Feminist Looks Like

Can we talk about male feminists and the idea of what it’s like to be a man who supports women’s struggle for equal rights?

Yes, I know I haven’t watched or commented on the last episode of Doctor Who, yet. My blog, my rules. It’ll happen Tuesday.

There’s been a thing that’s been bothering me for a while. We know that people of all walks of life join all different kinds of movements. Women aren’t exclusively the only feminists out there, but when it comes to men there seems to be a wide opinion of what they’re after, who they are and what one might expect.

ByOsWCrCAAA1rxL A friend of mine posted this article about the after effects of Emma Watson’s speech to the UN. There was a comment on the article about how cute the guys are. It just seems odd that after so much push to be seen as more than their looks we have women still making comments like that.

But it’s not uncommon.

When you go to the subreddit /r/creepypms on Reddit the picture at the top is of an over weight slimy looking guy riding away on a bike. The idea that only these kind of men are belittling women and that the supportive guys and the guys that are relevant look a certain way. Slender, with copious wrist bands, messy hair, white—it seems that there’s a bit of a trend.

Sure it’s not a one hundred percent thing. For example:

louis-ck

Louis CK is the shit. He’s also pretty vocal about women’s issues and raises two daughters who he talks about extensively in his stand up. He’s not the standard of attractive that we have come to expect and as a guy who is also not what would be considered “attractive” by most; I feel like we need to do more to make things both sexes do about feminist more about what they actually do, not holding up signs on Twitter with deep, contemplative expressions on your face.

And this isn’t to say that those men don’t believe in the cause they’re holding a sign up for. This isn’t me trying to act like this is a game only for certain men or some kind of exclusive club. Just call it a symptom of being considered creepy for doing the same things that “attractive” men do without consequence. You start to see things differently when you support something that does something counter productive like this or spends time dumping on Beyonce because she’s not the right kind of feminist. You still see the movement as important and relevant. But you see that there are those there willing to be self serving even if it hurts the movement or those who might not realize that what they’re saying and doing works against what should be their true goal: equal rights for all.

Simple Lesson: If Someone Wants To Talk To You…

phone-off-hook-de-45542603At some point in the past year I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t want to deal with people who are just going to be flakey with me. I used to make excuses for them even when I had sacrificed my time and convenience to meet up with them only to find out that they hadn’t showed up (again). I used to think they were busy when I didn’t hear back from them for weeks even when they were on Facebook that same day complaining about how bored they were.

Now I just can’t be bothered to try and keep communication with people who don’t care enough to try and initiate conversation with me or at the very least talk back to me when I speak to them.

I wish that I could say that I learned this earlier in life, because it seems like a really simple concept to grasp. “Does someone want to talk to you? Gasp. Then they will.” We jump through hoops trying to decide how much a person wants to talk to you, usually if they do want to they just will.

It’s that easy.

Your time is better spent on people that want you around, right?

Unconditional Love

Google-CokeCan we stop worshiping companies now? Is that too much to ask? No it really doesn’t sound like much, but people don’t seem to get the concept. In a world where people generally don’t trust the government, an entity charged with protecting them and creating order, it’s funny how willing they are to throw their lot in with the likes of those that are just out to make money.

It seems like the American public especially is really into the idea that they have to pick a side and stick with it, even when that side does wrong. People still defend Microsoft after their tremendous failure with the X-Box One, this isn’t coming from some kind of bias, Microsoft literally tried to kill the used game market and squeeze everything they could out of their customers and it bit them in the ass. We’ve got people defending iPhones that bend when they’re not supposed to bend. We’ve got people who ran out first day and bought Sims 4 (actually I could spend all of the time writing this talking about the video game market. Since the launch of the two new consoles we’ve seen a switch more to online only game play (Titanfall, Destiny) and we’ve seen less emphasis on intricate stories. On top of that the games coming out seem to have massive hype machines with nothing to show for it.). I know that was a wrong break, but the problem with Sims 4 is that the game doesn’t have most of the features that launched in Sims 3 and 2. Why you might ask. Because Electronic Arts the company that publishes Sims can nickel and dime the consumer with add-ons that give users features that they didn’t have to pay for before.

And yet we stand behind these things and defend them to the death. You’ve never seen a rallying of people ready to explain why what they have is the best thing ever until you’ve spoken to a video game fan (even the pompous PC ones who like to think they’re above the console war, yet never let a chance to talk about how they’re better than all the consoles pass by).

Really the issue is that we’ve created and environment where they don’t have to advertise about what they are or what they do. They’ve gained little cults of personality who swarm around them and do their bidding. Google is a great company that does great things, but they can do no wrong when you hear some people tell it.

Do we really thing these kind of consumer-brand relationships is safe? It’s okay to love your products and what they do for you and how they make you life easier, but you don’t have to love them unconditionally.

Feminists never stand up to other feminists. Except they totally do.

For those opponents of feminism that claim that the fact that the group doesn’t call out the wrong in its own ranks discredits it here is a piece where we see just that being done.

Stop believing the force put behind these movements to discredit the “unfavorable” movements that people don’t want to see happening around them. It’s a bullshit notion. A groups right to equal rights isn’t dependent on a few bad apples.

Going on a Time Heist

57258Now I don’t want you to think that I forgot about reviewing this episode of Doctor Who, but I do want to keep it very short. I didn’t love this episode and it seems like mostly a filler, but at the same time I didn’t hate it either. The mystery was generally neat and like I keep saying, they’re using time to effectively tell stories now that don’t just include a trip back to the past or forward.

Time is more than a means to move characters to interesting places. It’s integral to the plot.

That’s what the episode did right. It didn’t really do much wrong, but it didn’t really do anything amazing. It did actually make me jump once when the monster was around the corner and she turned to see it. But jump-scares are a dime a dozen.

There’s something to be said about Moffat and his love of the best or biggest thing in the universe. Karabraxos is the biggest most secure prison. The Library is the biggest, best library that has every book in existence. There’s probably more examples of this peppered throughout his writing tenure on the show. Some might mind this, but I really don’t. Show me the biggest and best and for the love of all that’s holy don’t confine the show to Earth.

Probably the most interesting person this go round was Miss Delphox who was played by Keeley Hawes. She was part Dolores Umbridge, part sexy business woman and they played her controlling demeanor off of the Doctor’s in kind of a twist ending when you find out that the Doctor was the person who set the heist up all along and she was the person who owned the bank all along.

Though they kind of need to let up on this stuff where the Doctor plays tricks on himself. That is getting a little old.

“Selfie” Review: John Cho and Karen Gillan’s new Sit-Com

selfieIn a world of the aging situation comedy (Two and a Half Men) and the mysteriously popular situation comedy (Big Bang Theory) it’s nice to have something to laugh at on Network TV. After season three of New Girl grew stale (I still haven’t watched the very ending of it) I thought I was done with everything on the over the air channels except for Supernatural and Originals.

And then I heard Karen Gillan and John Cho were coming to a new show, Selfie. I’ve been a fan of Gillan since she stepped in front of the camera on Doctor Who back in 2010 and John Cho provided me with a lot of laughs in the Harold and Kumar series and a show that probably no one remembers called Off Centre.

Selfie is a retelling of My Fair Lady, which was a retelling of Pygmalion (which I had never heard of until this past week). Gillan plays Eliza, a woman with questionable social intelligence who enlists the help of Henry (John Cho) to help fix her. The comedy beats seem to be well spaced out, but the show is funny and more than once I laughed hard enough that my roommate stuck his head in to check on me.

Despite what the title and the theme song might make it seem like the show makes a sincere effort at using the core material in an updated way and showing some genuine emotion. Cho and Gillan are always fun to watch and both really charismatic. The one small gripe I have is that they probably shouldn’t have bothered to try and change Karen’s accent because she’s not consistent with it and how hard is it to say she moved here as a kid and she just never started to speak like us. She already uses the slang of an American, so it makes sense.

I really want to see this show make it and see where they’re going to take it. I worry that the premise is something they will have to adjust once things get further along. If you’re not wanting to check it out on Hulu, Selife starts Tuesday September 30th at 7:00 PM Central/ 8:00 PM Eastern.

Destiny

destiny_by_ecodigital-d5vuqdxI guess this was the inevitable place for gaming to end up. We should have seen the signs, starting all the way back with Halo.

Multiplayer seems to have become all that matters. We saw people raving over Titanfall earlier this year and now we have Destiny. The spiritual successor to the “Game of the Moment” award that was once held by Titanfall.

These online only games for console seem to be the kind of thing we railed against when the X-Box One tried to make their whole system online only. What happened to multiplayer being a feature and not the whole fucking game.

I don’t know about others, but I play games for story. I play games so that I can get wrapped up in something and not be forced to interact with the jackasses that I know some other gamers are. I don’t understand when it became a point of complaint when a game doesn’t shoehorn a multiplayer in (like people did with Bioshock Infinite, using that as a complaint in a game that had a wonderfully crafted story).

Now, I have only watched the game being played. But it seems like every other first person shooter that takes place in a distance future that I’ve seen. The opening story seems like it might be interesting, but I read the rest of it and it seems to go completely to shit. It’s really hard to imagine a story where you could feel like your character was important when you’re one of thousands taking part in it. Either it’s cutting the other players out or it’s making you another brick in the wall that’s holding back the tide.

I don’t know when gamers will stop falling for the E3 eye candy. When I said that Watchdogs looked like a GTA clone, people claimed it wasn’t. Then it totally was. Titanfall pretty much showed how much Microsoft shit the bed because it still didn’t net them the sales they wanted and it was predictable because the game basically had nothing resembling a point besides online. Now we have this game that’s doing a very similar thing and people are lining up to shell out money, and I get there’s not much else out, but they’re also acting like what they’re playing is the most amazing thing ever.

Fear Makes Companions of Us All – Doctor Who “Listen” Review

I know you’re afraid, but being afraid is alright. Because didn’t anybody ever tell you? Fear is a superpower. Fear can make you faster and cleverer and stronger. And one day you’re gonna come back to this barn and on that day you’re going to be very afraid indeed. But that’s okay, because if you’re very wise and very strong fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind. It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing under the bed or in the dark so long as you know it’s okay to be afraid of it. So listen. If you listen to anything else, listen to this. You’re always gonna be afraid even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like a companion, a constant companion, always there. But that’s okay because fear can bring us together. Fear can bring you home. I’m gonna leave you something just so you’ll always remember. Fear makes companions of us all.

The Doctor 8×4

Listen, because I think we just hit a historic moment in new Who. It wasn’t the most fun episode, nor was it the one with the most happening, but it was probably one of the best episodes in years, probably the best since season five. I don’t think that it will be appreciated as such by everyone. But that’s not what this blog is for.

It’s for my opinions, so listen.

Doctor Who has been going through another transition phase. It seems like the show is all about transition phases. But I think that the fact that we’re seeing strong links back to early episodes means something. The link in “Deep Breath” happened to be the robot and it’s origins. How the Doctor had met something like that before, even though he couldn’t quiet place it–which seemed realistic. It had been hundreds of years. Then the implied link between other people in the show and where the Doctor gets his faces. That has to mean something; it has to come from somewhere.

This link might have been the smallest and shortest reaching of all (it only goes back to the specials that took place before this season and season seven), but I think it was more significant.

When the episode opened on the monologue with him talking about being alone and talking to one’s self I already had a chill. The atmosphere and the tone of all this was perfectly done. I didn’t check who the director was, because I never really do, but the shooting, the lighting and all of it just mesh so well to paint a wonderfully unnerving picture.

The question of what the thing was never got answered and it doesn’t have to be. If we had gotten an answer for what the creature was in “Midnight” all those years ago the answer could have never sufficed. It could have never been as satisfying as what we remember of that episode. I got the same kind of chills here when the “thing” set up under the covers in that bed.

What the fuck was that? What the fuck did it want? It really just made me worry that they were going to pull the sheet off because in that moment I was wrapped up in every bit of the scene. Clara, Danny and the Doctor standing in that room with something at their backs. Something that has the Doctor afraid.

That was one of the most effective set pieces in the episode, but really all of them were well played out.

The ending was perfect, because I didn’t really need to see anymore of the creature. I didn’t need to see anything else. We got what we had come for. Clara was the Doctor’s dream. But she wasn’t the creature. the creature was there, three of them saw it. It exists.

Some people might call this a cop out, but I came up with a pretty easy explanation for why the thing used the word “Listen” in the beginning on the chalk board and what it all means. See, I figure that the thing under the sheet wasn’t fake at all and that it really had been following the Doctor all along. Either that or something like it had. The Doctor saw the word “Listen” because it had a special significance to him. It was part of what Clara was telling him when he was in bed as a child and the thing was there for that. It’s been following him all along. Maybe it’s a manifestation of fear itself? Maybe it’s the thing from “Midnight”. And more than likely we’ll never know.

But the episode works and it gave us more Clara and more Danny (which their budding romance seemed to be a small point in the episode, but even then I don’t think it disrupts or detracts, we haven’t seen a Companion in the new show grow into a new relationship really).

And to the question of how Clara’s memories could lead us to the Doctor as a kid, well easy. She was scattered into his timeline. She’s a part of his history. The whole “Impossible Girl” thing comes back into play. I feel like there was so much here that was going on at once and so much to speculate on and that’s why the episode will probably not get the praise that it deserves.

It seems like some that are into it like I was. Someone over at the AV club sure was. I am just liking the intelligent episode thing. I’m tired of watching dumbed down television and I appreciate this.

Doctor Who Review–Robot of Sherwood

Did I miss something here? WcLrIUwAre we no longer allowed to have fun watching this show? Because it seems that way.

I was a little late to the party and I watched this latest episode late Sunday night. I’ve been ill and it was something I wanted to do with a clear head.

People have been all over the net complaining about the last episode and how stupid it was. Doctor Who is going to be silly and over the top at times. I’ll accept more of that kind of thing in an episode that’s not part of the main story.

We see Clara and the Doctor just kind of picking random places and going to them and him taking her to see Robin Hood. The initial meeting between the two of them and the sword/spoon fight was brilliant. People will talk about how it goes back to Tennant, but really it goes back to the old Doctors and he even sword fought with the Master once.

Not sure why after being bested Robin continues to pick on the Doctor’s age.

Some of the best bits from this one for me were that initial fight (as I just said).

The Archery competition, which is kind of a staple of the Robin Hood story and it was nicely pulled off.

And the sequences in the prison with Robin and the Doctor arguing and the Sheriff thinking Clara was the leader.

Actually the bit where Clara pumped the Sheriff for information was really good—I wonder when fans will realize that Clara has character (and really has all along).

Actually, when I was searching for the below picture I found a cosplay from this episode of that red dress and I thought “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!” People work fast.  tumblr_nb8gqn9dCG1tjxct6o1_500

There isn’t much to say about this episode though, it was filler, it was silly and it was fun. I am enjoying Capaldi’s take on the Doctor and I am liking Clara more too. There does seem to be something different about how this season is being shot. It’s not a bad thing, but the camera work seems different somehow. I might have to break out the blu-rays and do some comparisons.

There’s also this mystery, the promised land and all of that. Most of the seasons of New Who have some mystery. Bad Wolf, Vote Saxxon, Torchwood, vanishing stars, the Pandorica and so on.

This one is shaping up to be really interesting though it kind of does remind me of season six’s “The Woman in the Walls” bit. I’m happy with the show and happy that we changed enough after Smith but kept some of the old flare.

The preview for the next one looks creepy. Can’t wait.