TV

Who can save Who now?


More than three million people have stopped watching Doctor Who. How many of those remaining are newly-minted anti-fans, we don’t know, but the BBC will find out when they get the merchandising and DVD sales figures.

I managed to make it through the season ender, but it wasn’t easy. Or particularly entertaining. It’s another “cosmic fly-swatter” story, where they’ve invented something new that’s orders of magnitude more powerful than necessary to explain its impact on the story. And since they blew the effects budget earlier in the season, the phenomenal cosmic power looks like it was actually copied directly from a Seventies DW episode.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to find a mop to clean up the stupid that leaked out of my television onto the floor.

Half-Baked


FYI, quick-cooking oats and quick-cooking oatmeal are different products. Only one is suitable for cookies.

The same applies to hiring writers and directors for science-fiction television shows. If you know what I mean and I think you do.

This week’s Doctor Who seems to have been constructed by scribbling down the ending, then drunk-browsing TV Tropes pages until they found somewhere they could call a start, throwing in everything they found along the way. I feel pretty safe in saying that, since the credited writer has exactly two previous credits on IMDB. For a teen drama. Seven years ago.

Doctor Seuss


I had better things to do than watch Doctor Who this weekend, mostly involving cooking with my sister (homemade pizza, Guinness beef stew, stuffing w/gravy, homemade pizza, two kinds of cookies, tangzhong dinner rolls, Japanese curry, homemade pizza).

Yes, she really, really likes my current pizza recipe. Leftover stuffing and Cheesecake Factory bread got combined with some Boar’s Head teriyaki chicken into Irish-style chicken & stuffing sandwiches, another of her favorite things.

Anyway, there was no trailer last week for this episode, so I was going into it cold. Just watched it, and y’know what? I’m still cold.

“But now,” says the Doctor, “now that you’re here,
the word of the Morax seems perfectly clear.
Unless they hire writers who know how to plot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

I’ll grant them this: if you strip away the lecturing and the SJ rubbish, there’s the germ of a cheesy Seventies DW episode in there somewhere.

Schoolhouse Rock, episode 6


Am I a bad person for wishing the cast of Doctor Who had turned this week’s episode into a Bollywood musical?

I got bored around the time the spoiler died, mostly because I honestly don’t give a flying fuck about the partition of India and Pakistan, and the writer clearly thinks I should, having the Doctor play Woke-ipedia with the number of displaced and dead, etc. As the fishwrap I linked to last week puts it, this fits in with “Doctor Who’s new direction under new showrunner Chris Chibnall to increase diversity”.

Silly me, I thought your job was to increase entertainment. Y’know, for ratings, merchandise sales, loyal fan-base even…

Anyway, I just finished watching it after pausing on Sunday, and it was: preach, preach, preach, power-walking villains, preach, preach, extreme close-up, power-walking “heroes”, moral lesson, awwwww.

And how many people are playing collect-the-dead on Earth now, anyway? Do these retired demonic assassins compete with Missy and Testimony? Do they take turns?

Next week? Amazon Prime… In Spaaaace! They’re the villains, of course.

Best thing about this week’s episode? Young Umbreen was stunning.

The Peter Principle


My mental picture of how the writers were hired for the new season of Doctor Who runs like this:

“And last but not least…”

“Peter”

“Any powersSF experience you want to tell us about?”

“Nope. I don’t have one. Just saw the ad and thought it looked fun.”

“You’re in.”

Finally got around to trying to finish “Rosa” on the re-recorded version. Bailed at the “lucky winner” scene. Oh, FFS.

Found this week’s “Arachnids in the UK” better, with some nice characterization for Graham (apparently tight close-ups are this season’s theme, kind of like Missy but less murder-y), but I set it aside sometime after not-Trump told Yaz’s mom “you’re fired”. I’ll likely finish it, but seriously, ya had to go there?

Leaper Colony


I wish I were kidding.

“Trapped in the past, [The] Doctor Beckett finds himherself leaping from life to life, putting things right that once went wrong and hoping each time, that hisher next leap will be the leap home.”

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Doctor MacGyver


Wow, I’ve really missed the “throw away perfectly good guns and make effective explosives out of sheer coincidence” trope.

Not.

Also, could you maybe tell the cameramen to back off a foot or six, to get more into the shot? Or are you just saving all the budget for later in the season?

On the bright side, the moon did not hatch into a giant spider that laid an egg the same size and mass as the moon.

Too late, Dish!


Yesterday, I discovered that Dish Network stopped carrying TV Japan at the beginning of the month, replacing it with a really lame channel called Family Gekijyo. Today, my mail contained a letter from Dish:

Great news, on April 2, 2018, DISH is launching a new Japanese Pack! This will replace TV Japan. TV Japan has decided to remove their channel from your Dish TV programming line-up.

The new Japanese Pack will include the following channels:

  • Family Gekijyo: the international version of this popular Japanese channel is being created to offer general entertainment programming including, live action series, anime, documentaries and game shows. Plus, news programming to come!
  • MLB Network: this channel is the destination for baseball fans and offers live baseball, original programming, highlights, and insights and analysis.
  • Bloomberg Television: this channel offers the latest global business and markets news.

Translated to English: “we didn’t offer TV Japan enough to renew their contract and had to scramble to find something, anything, to replace it with. We know it’s crap, but we hope to string you along with two unrelated channels and a $5/month discount for three months so we don’t lose that sweet, sweet $25 you’ve been paying.”

Too late. If I can get it through Comcast Business (unclear if their TV offerings are the same as the consumer Xfinity), I’ll dump you completely. I could replace you with DirectTV, too, but that would be more of a hassle.

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”