Reviews Doctor Who “The Beast Below”

The Doctor and Liz Ten in the Beast Below
The Doctor and Liz Ten in the Beast Below

The episode felt like the first one with Eleven. This is a good sign as both Moffat and Matt Smith get to their feet about who Eleven is. There was very little Ten here.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Starship UK. There were so many odd old-tyme things that it really set the stage. Their budget may have been cut, but the props department really worked their creativity on this episode. The set reminded me a lot of “The Idiot’s Lantern,” but darker, drabber, and aboard the Starship UK. Continue reading “Reviews Doctor Who “The Beast Below””

Reviews Doctor Who “The Eleventh Hour”

Amy and the new Doctor
Amy and the new Doctor
I don’t think I’ve talked a lot about Doctor Who on this blog besides my love of Donna. I think it’s most important to note that the Doctor is never my favorite character; in fact, sometimes he’s my least favorite and I think he’s a jerk. I’m not particularly attached to any Doctor or any actor playing him. (Except that Catherine Tate would’ve been an awesome Doctor, but I digress…)

I think this episode’s biggest flaw was also it’s greatest power with fans. Continue reading “Reviews Doctor Who “The Eleventh Hour””

Life Advice of Sookie Stackhouse: Reviews Club Dead and Dead to the World

Life Advice of Sookie Stackhouse
Life Advice of Sookie Stackhouse
I did it. I read the next Sookie Stackhouse books, both Club Dead and Dead to the World. Yes, yes, despite my outrage at Living Dead in Dallas. My excuses went from already owning it to being sick and wanting to read something that didn’t tax my brain too much.

For those of you following me on Twitter, you might’ve noticed my #LifeAdviceofSookieStackhouse tag. As I read these novels, I couldn’t help but think Sookie was attempting to give me advice on life. Her advice ranged from fashion — mostly due to Harris’ obsession with detailing everyone’s outfits — to boyfriends — write it down when you get hurt due to them — and wisdom passed down from her grandma — situations were even grandma would swear. I find the idea of compiling all of Sookie’s advice, both good and bad, pretty hilarious.

Pearls of wisdom:

On friendship: When you dump a body together, that creates a bond.

On playing hostess: When hosting a vampire, he’ll love watching Buffy: the Vampire Slayer on tape.

On lust: If there was an international butt competition, Eric would win hands down — or cheeks up.

On fashion: Ash green tracksuits can be prim-but-sexy when accompanied by a bow in your hair & beaded sneakers.

On patriotism: Bad should be stopped; bad should be overcome. That’s the American model.

On feminism: A woman — any woman worth her salt — could do whatever she had to.

But getting back to the books: Spoilers ahoy Continue reading “Life Advice of Sookie Stackhouse: Reviews Club Dead and Dead to the World”

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Recap

The Olympics were awesome.

Jason and I drove up to Vancouver on Monday to my friend Sarah and her sweetie’s home. (Unlike all those suckers who waited in long border crossing lines on the weekend, we breezed through.) They were fabulous hosts and we had a lot of fun with some geeking out. I made these chocolate souffl√© cupcakes with mint cream as they are gluten-free for Sarah and the cupcakes were a delicious hit. We went out to awesome Thai food that night and explored some of the highlights of Vancouver Olympic Nightlife. Including standing in a large crowd watching ice dancing and everyone getting emotional. (Jason and Brad were so stoic.)

The next day, we got up early and I was a bad guest who can’t handle the morning and black tea on an empty stomach and got sick. Fail. But I was all better by the time Jason and I trudged off to find the bus to take us to Curling! We just followed the masses to the arena.

And to our complete surprise, we had 1st row tickets! Like you had to be banging a curler or disabled in order to get better seating. We saw Canada vs China (Canada killed them); Norway vs Great Britain (Norway had fabulous pants); Sweden vs Denmark; and Switzerland vs France (they were closest to us). It was awesome and a lot of fun. We drank overly expensive crappy Canadian beer and tried not to yell “Sweep.” (It’s rude to yell while the stones are moving as the players need to hear each other.) I did find it interesting that a lot of non-English speaking teams’ skips mixed their native language and English while making calls.

Some lovely older Canadian women tried to explain curling to us, until we informed them that we knew all about it and had even played it before. They said we could be honorary Canadians for the day. I was also amused by the guy next to me over explaining curling to his 10-year-old daughter when she asked questions. She got on her cell at one point and informed whoever was on the other line that curling “was kind of interesting, but boring.” Adorable.

Then Jason and I went to forage for food near the hockey arena. We ended up eating sushi and watching Canada destroy Russia in hockey. (Poor Ovechkin!) There were a few very loud guys yelling every time Canada scored. We were afraid sushi chefs were going to lose fingers.

We then went to see the Slovakia vs Norway hockey game. It was awesome. Again, I was surprised that we had 5th row tickets. We were to the left of the player’s benches. There were some crazy puck bunnies (hockey fangirls) trying to get the Slovakian players to notice them by throwing themselves as the players during warm-ups.

Only six minutes into the game, one of the Slovakian players was checked to the head and neck and went down. The EMTs came out and hauled him away. And then they cleaned the blood off the ice. It was weird because no one said anything over the announcements the entire time; even after, they only ever announced the penalty the other guy got.

Anyway, the rest of the game was great. It was 3-3 until the 3rd period when Slovakia scored another goal to win it. The crowd was going nuts the entire time. Though it was funny how people cheered for almost everyone or, you know, waved their Canadian flags. Slovakia was definitely the better team, overall. Two or three pucks ended up flying over the glass into our area and then at the end, a player tossed a stick and three rather large men fought over it. The guy who got it’s girlfriend was embarrassed by his behavior.

Oh, hockey, you are awesome sport.

If the photos weren’t enough, there’s video too. Video I took on my phone. Curling is so much easier to video than hockey.

We had a great time, lovely hosts, and everything went pretty smoothly. Winston missed us a lot.

Homophobia in the Sookie Stackstackhouse Books and True Blood’s Response

I really thought my vampire thing was over. I read all Anne Rice’s books through middle school and high school. And I’ve been completely obsessed with Buffy: the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel for years. Like let me sing you the musical, go out cosplaying, and attend fancons obsessive. Then my friend Gretchen insists I watch True Blood.

Both Charlaine Harris’ The Southern Vampire Mysteries books and the True Blood TV series have their flaws. They aren’t high literature by any means, and clearly fall into the category of beach-reading for the novels and trashy-TV for the show. The actors constantly drop their accents and Harris goes on and on about Sookie’s less-than-stylish outfits. And I’ve take to randomly calling out “Buuhill!” and “Ssucky” in mockery.

The first season of True Blood basically follows Dead Until Dark‘s plot. I whipped through the book knowing what was going to happen around every corner. Some of the little changes I liked better than others. When I got the second book, Living Dead in Dallas, I stumbled a bit with it, and likewise, I felt the second season stumbled. I’d been warned this was the weakest book in the series.

But what I couldn’t get over was the homophobia in Living Dead in Dallas. This book made me forever grateful for Alan Ball’s flimsy second season fixing the missteps the book took. Neither are gems, even in the vampire-porn genre, but True Blood‘s Season Two isn’t as offensive. Continue reading “Homophobia in the Sookie Stackstackhouse Books and True Blood’s Response”

Top 20 Movies of the Decade

Inspired by my friend Kyle’s list and everyone else’s, these are my Top 20 Movies of the Decade. Every movie on this list was made between 2000-2009. Looking at my list, I definitely stopped watching new movies during my college years and pre-having a car. You won’t find any horror movies on the list as I’m easily scared. I like road-trips (6 movies), superheros/epic fantasy (8 movies), strong women leading/co-leading roles (15 movies), and LGBT characters (7 movies).

Transamerica Kill Bill Vol 1 Brokeback Mountain Juno Lost in Translation Capote Ice Princess Watchmen The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Hedwig and the Angry Inch Bend It Like Beckham Batman Begins The Royal Tenenbaums The Golden Compass Star Trek Milk The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Little Miss Sunshine Iron Man Secretary Continue reading “Top 20 Movies of the Decade”

House, Why You Gotta Be That Way?

House M.D. PosterBe thinking about what to post here. Been thinking about it too long instead of just writing. Just writer, stupid. So I fall back on what I like to talk about: TV.

A random blog comment stirred my thoughts about House, M.D., which is a show I massively fell in love with (Seasons 1 and 2), almost gave up (Season 3), and won my loyalty again (Seasons 4). (It’s in it’s fifth season for those paying attention.)

House, M.D. is a medical show about the cranky, but brilliant diagnostician Dr. Gregory House. House is an unapologetic bastard. He’s also a cripple and walks with a cane. When he’s not tripping people with it, that is. House is by far my favorite character, perhaps because I am a little envious of his ability to put everyone on edge.

He has underlings — doctors by their own right — but who want the experience of working under an asshole a genius. In Season 1-3, it was the ducklings: Cameron, Foreman, and Chase. But ducklings grown into ducks that still hang around the pond with Foreman as lead. In Season 4-5, House hires Taub, Kutner, and Thirteen. Then there’s House’s best friend and fellow doctor, James Wilson, a rather needing man who prides himself on being there for his cancer patients. And Lisa Cuddy, the competent and hot doctor who’s also the hospital administrator.

As a show, House, M.D. is incredibly formulaic. There’s a patient –> a diagnoses and treatment –> fails –> new diagnoses and treatment –> looks like they’re getting better –> fail again –> House has a brilliant moment where he diagnoses the patient correctly and most of the the time, no one dies. The End. The medical factuality of the show varies.

Of course, the patient, the diagnoses, and the routine is not the point of the show. It is merely the window dressing. Granted, a good patient story is always more entertaining than one that that you don’t care a lick about the patient or even remember what was going on.

House, M.D. is a story of character studies, specially a study of House himself. The patients can related in ways. (Certainly not in the same manner as Grey’s Anatomy where every single patient is a direct link to the pain and joy and psychology of the characters.) Mostly, patients serve as the backdrop. The backdrop so Wilson can hold House’s guitar hostage and delete his TiVo. Or so Cuddy can yell at House while having hot sexual tension with him. And so Cameron can hold the hand of the dying and heal from her dead husband.

This is not a show where the A Plots really matter. This is a show built around B Plots. B Plots are what most House fans watch for. They don’t care how many time it’s not Lupus. They want to know Taub’s wife still loves him or if House is really addicted to Vicodin. (House and his Vicodin are one hotly debated issue that any and every fan will gladly go on a rant about.)

The world loves the asshole anti-heroes like House (see Iron Man and Anthony Bourdain), but building a narrative based on B Plots is why House, M.D. has endured as a show. And why it’s a little different than just a typical procedural. And if you have a thing for character studies, you might really enjoy the show.