Reviews Doctor Who “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone”

Amy, the Doctor, and River in The Time of the Angels
Amy, the Doctor, and River in The Time of the Angels

I wanted to wait to review the two-parter until both episodes had aired. I think I’m much more suited for speculation on the rest of the season based on the aired episodes, not for speculating on the second half of a two-parter. Also thinking too much on a two-parter just spoils the fun. Especially on a dramatic, scary chase through the woods storyline.

Another review — perhaps by a wiser person — pointed out how this episode and Moffat’s Doctor Who universe is a fairytale. Usually, the Doctor plays the breaker of the fairytale. He’s the one to point out that magic is science (“Shakespeare Code”) or that a magical roadway to paradise is the worst traffic jam ever (“Gridlock”). But not here. Here the Doctor seems just as absorbed into the fairytale as everyone else — Amy, River, the Angels, and the Church.

The fairytale aspect spoke a lot more strongly in “Flesh and Stone” than it did in “The Time of Angels.” Continue reading “Reviews Doctor Who “The Time of Angels” and “Flesh and Stone””

Sprinkles from around the web: Interesting links 4/23-4/29/10

Sprinkles from around the web

Here’s a collection of links I found interesting or relevant from 4/23-4/29/10:

Art & Graphic Design

50 most stunning examples of data visualization and infographics. These are just downright cool. I love infographs, and completely respect them as they’re hard as hell to make.

Chris Ware Takes Aim at Corporate America in Rejected ‘Fortune’ Magazine Cover.

[…T]he real joy of Ware’s work (and probably the reason it was rejected) lies in the tiny, hilarious details like the warehouse of Waves of Grain 4 Sale, a tiny Republican tea party, a “Greenspan LubePro,” a helicopter dropping huge stacks of cash on top of a skyscraper while little figures celebrate, and many, many other shots at corporate America.

Local Seattle

Seattle Erotic Art Festival is this coming weekend. See the art, the performances, meet new people, and support sex positive culture.

Watch your speed on Elliott Ave West. The SPD’s installing speed cameras on Elliott Ave W to catch speeders. Tickets will be pricey.


Free Comic Book Day is this weekend. Find and support your local comic book shop.

Hijinks Ensue’s web comic about Joss Whedon’s Avengers’ movie. Hilarious and completely true.

• True Blood’s first webisode, Pam and Eric have tryouts for a new dancer at Fangtasia. NSFW. (Via Inside Trekker.)


Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2010. This year 31 women make the list. The highest number since Time started doing this.

Secretary Hillary Clinton announces Three Significant Women and Girls’ Initiatives at Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship. 50 nations come up with 3 initiatives to help support women entrepreneurs across the globe.


Supreme Court critical in domestic partnership case. Even Scalia says this isn’t a first amendment issue and that if you sign a political petition, your name’s going to be out in public. Bigots. (And wow, I actually agree with WA Attorney General Rob McKenna.)

“Oh, this is such a touchy-feely, oh so sensitive” point of view, Scalia said. “You know, you can’t run a democracy this way, with everybody being afraid of having his political positions known.”

I’m Boycotting Arizona. Author Tayari Jones’ awesome letter on why she’s boycotting AZ due to SB1070, the anti-immigration bill.

There are those who would argue that this is just a “Mexican thing.” Even if this were the case, I would still stand with the protesters. A “Mexican thing,” is a human thing.

Republican Governors Association embraces ‘pro-terrorist, neo-Marxist propaganda.’ Yes, the Republican Governors Association are using imagery from V from Vendetta and other anarchist/neo-Marxist propoganda. I assume V-author and known magician Alan Moore will be cursing them.

The picture and its factual basis in the Guy Fawkes story eventually became a rallying cry for supporters of Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX), who turned in an astonishing $4.07 million for the presidential candidate on Nov. 5, 2007. However, as with the tea parties, also created by Paul’s supporters, old-guard Republicans and neoconservatives came to see Paul’s campaign model as both a threat and an opportunity, then seized upon it.

Gulf Oil Spill Could Eclipse Exxon Valdez Disaster. Or as Bill Maher tweeted, “Every asshole who ever chanted ‘Drill baby drill’ should have to report to the Gulf coast today for cleanup duty.”


Nobody Can Stop Facebook Because Nobody Understands Facebook. If you haven’t heard, Facebook’s taking over the web. And if you have a Facebook account, it’s opt-out, not opt-in, to connect and share your information and your friends’ on various websites. Want to know what your friends read, shop, and watch? Facebook’s there to creep you out. I work on the backend of e-commerce marketing and sometimes use this kind of information, but this even creeps me out.

Have the nuances of online privacy become so complex that they’re beyond the comprehension of mere mortals?

Reviews Doctor Who “The Victory of the Daleks”

Doctor through Dalek-view in The Victory of the Daleks
Doctor through Dalek-view in The Victory of the Daleks

Yes, it’s only the third episode of the new season, and here are the Daleks. Either Moffat’s trying to say that he’s not going to use the Daleks as a major villain and wants to get perhaps the most famous villains into his series and out quickly; or he’s saying that the Daleks just aren’t scary enough. Not for the hide in the dark and scaring the children — and me — episodes he’s planned.

Spoilers ahoy… Continue reading “Reviews Doctor Who “The Victory of the Daleks””

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””

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.