Thursday, September 1, 2011

Care for some reviews?

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For the 4th of July holiday Lisa and the kids were out of town while I was stuck here working. That was also the time when Netflix stopped streaming Babylon 5. With no family to fill my evening, and in dire need of another series to watch, I picked up the Aussie/American Farscape. I fell in love, and have streamed an episode or more each night. Last night, to my sorrow, I finished the 88th and final episode.

While the original story is a clear ripoff of one I wrote in 1986 (goodness knows how they got a hold of my 6th grade binder), it quickly blossomed into a complex, imaginative, sexy drama. Well done. Well done indeed. And while I know there's a follow-up miniseries, I happen to think the finale was the perfect ending for the show.

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Better off Ted is another series we just finished watching in its entirety. It is laugh out loud funny, well written, and charming. It was also knocked off the air after only two seasons. Shame on you TV viewing America.


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My buddy Fred sent me the 1st half of Doctor Who - Series Six. Possible SPOILERS ahead.

"The Impossible Astronaut"/"Day of the Moon" was the two part season opener, and while the former was the stronger of the two, they were both great. I loved Matt Smith's performance and the fact that (writer/producer) Steven Moffat dared to finalize the (apparent) future of the show. Not that he won't wiggle out of it, naturally, but it was fun to see down the road - even if we eventually turn off down a side street.

I thought "The Curse of the Black Spot" was lame, lame, lame, and in retrospect I shoulda/coulda/woulda fast forwarded the whole dang thing. OTOH, "The Doctor's Wife", the episode written (mostly) by Neil Gaiman, rocked. I love the notion of the TARDIS interacting with the Doctor, and I'm pleased to see a bit of the mythology expanded upon - a pretty neat trick for a show in it's 48th year.

There was nothing terribly original about "The Rebel Flesh"/"The Almost People", but you know what? I loved them both. I thought the atmosphere was creepy and the acting and writing sharp; so sharp that I failed to comment on a well used sci-fi staple (dopplegangers come to life) until after the show was over. I do hope, however, that the 'ganger is NOT the explanation for "The Impossible Astronaut".

I wasn't bowled over by the mid-season finale, nor the long-awaited reveal of River Song's identity. I agree completely with the green girl's assessment of the (new era) Doctor as being very aggressive, vengeful, and egotistical, at least by Doctor Who standards. I am sick of the whole "the universe quakes before me" vein of the show, and I'm glad Moffat outed it.

As for the 'reveal', I guessed it five minutes into the program (when Rory tried to recruit River) and told Lisa, who I'd actually suckered into watching it. When we were done with the episode she held my foreknowledge up as evidence that it was poorly written. I disagree. Sometimes I just know how *I'd* write something and wager that my notion is on par with the pros.

Call it my own egotistical Doctor moment.

3 comments:

Fred Oftencold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred Oftencold said...

I thought that the finale was exceptional for a couple of reasons.

One was the injection of humor, the Sontaran nurse cheerfully telling his young patient, that "perhaps we shall meet on the field of battle, where I shall destroy you for the glory of the Sontaran Empire."

And then the good dialog, "good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many".

And then there was Amy finally coming to understand what a special fellow she married, as we hear when she tells her infant daughter about the man who's coming to rescue her. It's not The Doctor, it's The Last Centurion.

And finally, I've enjoyed that the writers have had Rory grow and mature, from almost comic relief to occasional if reluctant epic hero. It reminds me of the Hobbits change from the beginning of the LoTR to the end.

fugufish said...

I've been catching up on Farscape, Better Off Ted and Dr. Who as well.
I started B5 but only made it through Season 1.Also, finally finishing BSG on Netflix. Another quirky, short-lived show that you may enjoy is "Pushing Daisies". I recently started Breaking Bad since it just arrived on Netflix.