Category Archives: Uncategorized

This River Isn’t Flowing For Me

Doctor Who Time of Angels 2“Time of the Angels”, the 4th episode of the new series of Doctor Who brings back one of my personal favorites of the new monsters; the Weeping Angels.  In the episode “Blink” from the 3rd Series with the 10th Doctor and Martha Jones, Steven Moffat introduced these eerie beings that move in an instant, but quantum lock when they are looked at by a sentient being.  “Blink” was such an awesome episode, that we were all dying for their return.  And they do, but with some missteps.

The biggest misstep for me is the return of River Song.  In “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead”, River was a great character.  She knew the Doctor and had a journal of her adventures with her even through he didn’t know her.  “Forest of the Dead” was her last.  In “Time of the Angels”, she’s back as a past incarnation of herself.  And this past River is really obnoxious.  She’s brash, and very forward with the Doctor.  Yes, I know they were married, and he’s trusted her some really important things (like his name), but seeing her in this episode really makes you wonder what he saw in her.

Doctor Who RiverI know Moffat has a plan for River and the Doctor, and we will no doubt she her again.  In SitL, River mentioned several adventures that it turns out Moffat has all planned out, and this story is the first of those mentioned.  I just hope it’s not this incarnation again.  It’s almost like she’s a Time Lord that doesn’t change appearance, only personality.  And it really bugged me that she had that journal.  Sometimes I don’t deal too well with all the “timey-wimey” stuff, and all this with River and her journal just makes my head hurt.  I could handle Blink because I could see the progression from beginning to end.  This whole thing with River having all the Doctor’s future in a journal that he can’t see while she gets to jump around his lives like nothing’s different from one to another?  I don’t like it.

I’m really looking forward to the next episode, and hope we get a lot more Weeping Angel action.  They’re who I really want to see more than River Song.  And Moffat better have something good set up with the “eyes aren’t the windows to the soul, they are the door” thing, or I’ll be really disappointed.

She’s Got Some Guts!

Doctor Who Beast Below“The Beast Below”, the second episode of the new Doctor Who series is one that takes the Doctor and Amy to the far future, where humanity has been forced to leave the Earth, and whole countries become space ships searching for a new home.  Of course, they land on Britain’s ship, where the Doctor immediately pulls Amy into mystery and adventure in an underworld that is dark in more ways than one.

This episode is a good example of why I enjoy Steven Moffat’s writing style so much.  He throws the characters into an unknown situation, usually with a dark or menacing feel to it, but is able to turn it around at the end, and it doesn’t feel forced.  There is a dark secret on Starship UK, one that keeps the people in check with creepy Smiler enforcers, and in blissful ignorance.  I won’t say anymore, as I try to keep these impressions as spoiler free as possible, but suffice to say, it’s a national shame, all the more because it didn’t have to be that way.

Doctor Who SmilerAmy really shines in this episode, as she first tries to save the Doctor from the truth, and then later saves him from making the biggest mistake of his life.  Even though she’s good in the first episode, it’s in this episode that she proves she’ll be a great companion.  She’s smart and sassy, and is willing to stand up to the Doctor when necessary to tell him he’s wrong.  Or in this episode’s case, shows him since he won’t listen. She seems to have a knack for putting pieces of information together. Pieces the Doctor misses, mostly because they have to do with him, and only an outsider could put the pieces together. This episode is an affirmation as to why the Doctor needs a companion. And best of all, there’s not any “lovey-dovey” stuff developing between them! That’s the worse thing one can do to a companion.  They may feel something for the Doctor.  It’s hard not to love him for all his quirks and arrogance, but please spare us the meaningful looks.

Overall this was a strong second shot for the season, boding well for Moffat’s inaugural series.

It’s NOT About The ‘Shipping!

BonesRecently the TV show Bones showed it’s 100th episode.  Usually these episodes are about fun, looking back and celebrating making it for 5 years, an accomplishment that a lot of shows don’t get.  The episode “The Parts in the Sum of the Whole” got only one of these right.  This episode retconned a whole case from before the first episode, where Booth and Brennan met and worked together.  It was nice to see Zac Addy again (yeah Zac!  How I’ve missed you!), and Brennan was her old “straight-forward, resort to violence” self, but the whole dynamic of the lab was off.  Zac and Hodges were at each others throat.  Angela was dragged in to do the reconstructions, and Booth and Brennan were trying to jump into each other pants.  So over the course of one year, Angela creates and becomes a compute graphics whiz, Zac and Hodges are the best of buddies (most likely, but still doesn’t feel right), and Booth and Brennan then take on 4+ years of cases without a hint of what happened in the first case?  I don’t think so.  It stretches my suspension of disbelief just a little too far.

What was the real deal breaker for me was the whole Booth confessing to Brennan thing at the end.  That whole scene just felt wrong.  Neither Booth nor Brennan seemed to be acting like themselves.  Not even the words felt right, and the episode ended with a down feeling instead of a feeling for hope for many more seasons to come.  I think want irked me the most was an article written on  The writer wasn’t happy with the episode either, but for the wrong reasons.

Bones has never really been about the forensics (and neither was Brennan’s book in last week’s episode, “The Bones on the Blue Line”). In fact, this show could be a sitcom and it would still be watchable. As much as I hate Hart Hanson for keeping this ridiculously indulgent fantasy alive…

Brennan-ZacBones has ALWAYS been about the forensics.  It got through it ‘s first season no doubt because of David Boreanaz’s fangirl base.  The SDCC panel for it after it’s first year was filled with fangirls who just wanted to profess their love for David and kept other fans from asking any real questions.  One girl was nearly in tears asking David to accept a letter from her.  It was really pathetic.  And this writer just reflects that same attitude.  The show is not about the actors or the characters love lives.  It’s a police procedural show.  It’s the cases that come up and how Brennan and the team work together to find the clues and answers to the solve them.  Relationships are just part of the character building, but if they ever become the focus, than this show will have lost it’s magic and be done.  The episode before this, “Bones on the Blue Line” showed just how the producers felt about people’s emphasis on the relationships.  Brennan spends the whole episode protesting that her books are about the science and no one listens to her.  Mr. Hanson must feel the same way with so many fans demanding that Booth and Brennan get together, and the 100th episode was ruined by telling those fans it’s not going to happen.

I for one don’t want it to happen.  Booth and Brennan have a great relationship without being romantically involved.  It reminds me a lot of the 10th Doctor and Donna Noble’s relationship.  Donna was a better companion because she wasn’t always making googly-eyes at the Doctor and was an equal of sorts with him.  Booth and Brennan are the same way.  They are equals in their own fields.  Brennan is the scientist and find the answers while Booth is the intuition and sees the interpersonal relationships that fills in the blanks that science alone can’t.  That’s what makes this show great.  They can bicker and disagree all they want, but at the end of the day, they are equals in their own fields and sometimes even learn something from each other.  Quite frankly, Booth has been a disappointment to watch, with his mooning over Brennan.  I want them to get back to their old buddy, bickering selves and leave all this romance behind.  It’s all about the forensic and cases, and not about the ‘shipping.

Daleks, Now in Fruit Flavors!

d11s01e03_wallpaper_11It’s the third episode of the new season of Doctor Who.  In the first two episodes (reviews to follow), Matt Smith has proven himself to be the Doctor, and no one can dispute this taking the role.  Karen Gillian, his new companion of Amy Pond, proved herself a worthy companion in the second episode.  This episode hits it’s marks and follows the pattern first set up by Russell T. Davies with the revival of the series.  And I guess I’m alright with it.  Some consistency is good, but at the same time I’d hate for the series to get into a rut.

Just like every season before it, this season is following the patter of first taking the new companion to the future, and then they taking them to the past to meet some historical figure.  In this episode, it’s to meet Winston Churchill, during the blitz of London.  Now, I wasn’t bother with the Doctor already knowing Churchill.  It was a nice change to see him know a historical figure instead of always seeing him meeting them for the first time.  He’s traveled throughout Earth’s history for a good amount of 900 years.  You’d think he’d know some of the people of important.

Like most Doctor Who episode with the past, there is a bit of the fantastical.  This time it’s in the form of an old enemy that just won’t stay down. The Daleks.  While I knew it was inevitable that the Daleks would be back, they are in the promo wallpaper the BBC released for the new season, I have to say I wasn’t really looking forward to it. The Daleks have gotten rather tedious, as they have been the big bads for 3 of the last five seasons.  You can see them be destroyed only to come back again only so many times before you start rolling your eyes.  This episode was a lot like that for me.  The whole point of the episode was just bring the daleks back.

New DaleksAnd not only do they come back, they are back bigger, badder, and in fashion colors!  As I watched them roll out, I thought, “It’s a rainbow of fruity flavors!  The iDalek!”  I can’t say I blame Steven Moffatt for wanting to bring the Daleks back.  They are popular in Britain, and it is a British show.  And with all the other reboots, the Daleks were sure to get theirs.  What I do hope is that this is all we see of the Daleks for the rest of the season.  Let them go wherever in time, and start to rebuild their fleets.  There seems to already be an overarching story arc going, as the end of the episode showed.  Just please, don’t let it involve the Daleks.  Moffatt comes up with such great baddies on this own.  Every episode he wrote in the 9th-10th Doctor seasons were the best and always had original monsters.  The Weeping Angels, the Vashta Nerada, the Clockwork Men, all Moffatt’s creations and all fantastic.  Even this season with the Smilers.  Keep adding more great monsters to the Doctor Who pantheon, and let sleeping Daleks lie.

More Manga For Sale

I sold most of my manga from the first batch I put up on eBay.  Thanks so much if you bid!  But I’ve still got more I have to move out.  The next batch has gone up.  Please look and bid if you’re interested:

Inuyasha Volumes 6-10

Inuyasha Volumes 11-15

Hunter x Hunter Volumes 1-5

Hunter x Hunter Volumes 6-10

Hunter x Hunter Volumes 11-14

Tsukoyomi Moon Phase Volumes 1-5

Tsukoyomi Moon Phase Volumes 6-9

Starting bids are the price of one manga, so you’re essentially getting 5 (sometimes 4) for the price of one.  I will combine shipping for multiple wins.  Thanks for looking!

No Respect

Why do I read so much manga instead of American comics? Let’s take Marvel’s latest story line in Amazing Spiderman as a good example. It’s riled up a lot of comic fans, and been kind of hard to avoid if you follow the forum boards at all. Basically, in the story line called “One More Day”, Aunt May is dying. She’s old, it was bound to happen. Peter, who’s been married to Mary Jane for the last 10 years, just can’t seem to accept that. Peter “with great power comes great responsibility” Parker decides he can’t live without Aunt May, and goes to the Marvel Universe’s version of Satan to make a deal (like those always turn out soooo well). He gives up the last 10 years of his life, and his wife, so Aunt May can live. He’s doing this over Aunt May’s protests, by the way. Mr. Responsibility turns into a selfish 2 year old.

So what’s Marvel done here? In technical terms, it’s called the “Big, Red Reset Button”. They are wiping out 10 years of continuity to turn Peter Parker back into a young bachelor, unencumbered by the hassles of a wife, to be a carefree swinger again. Why? To appeal to a younger audience, they claim, since they wouldn’t be able to relate to an older Peter. Screw the older readers that had stayed with the book for the last 25+ years and supported Marvel even through it’s hard years. They don’t matter. Just the young kids that are looking for the Spiderman they saw on the movie screens. So, all those Spiderman compilations you see on the shelves at Barnes & Noble and Borders, they have just become meaningless thanks to Joe Quesada.

This “retconn”ing as it’s called is a big reason I stopped reading a lot of comics, Marvel and DC in particular. There is no point in reading and becoming attached to characters, since in a few issues it can be wiped away by a new writer with new ideas. Continuity has become a meaningless word and readers are coveted only for their money.

There is no retconning in manga. It’s one writer creating one story. A story that has a beginning, middle and end. Even manga that has been going on for years (Detective Conan) has an end. There are no musical writers, and no “take backs” on story. If a title is popular, then sequels or prequels can be written to continue the story. So the investment I make into the characters and story will pay off, instead of the cheap thrill Marvel wants to offer.

This is just lazy writing and bad editorial decisions. And the worst of this is that, readers will take this slap in the face and keep buying and reading not only Amazing Spiderman, but all of Marvel’s titles. They will whine, bitch and moan, but they won’t do anything about it. So Marvel knows they can do it again without reprisal. And will.

Even though I do continue to read some comics, none of them are from the Marvel Universe, and probably never will. I’m not going to waste my time and money on something that’s going to be trashed anyway. I’d rather waste my time and money on something that at the end of the day will be something I’ll want to read again.