Tag Archive: TV show


RIP Rik Mayall

Drop Dead Fred

Comedy genius and actor Rik Mayall passed away today at age 56. I’m sure most people have no idea who he was and I probably would’ve been the same about 10 years ago. I actually first discovered him in the corny, bizarre, but really funny 1991 film Drop Dead Fredthough I had no idea it was him until years later. In fact, I for some reason always confused him with Aussie comedian Yahoo Serious. I didn’t really appreciate him until I saw him in the BBC Comedy Blackadder from the 1980s, where he played the outrageous and hilarious Lord Flashheart in the second Elizabethan-era season of the show, as well as in the fourth season as WWI flying ace for the RAF. He’s such a great character because he only appears for a short amount of time but is always more popular and steals the ladies from the main character Blackadder (masterfully played by Rowan Atkinson). Mayall is quoted as saying this after being offered the part of Flashheart, “I was surprised when they asked me. Very honouring that they asked me. ‘Alright,’ I said, ‘I’ll do it as long as I get more laughs than Rowan.'” Mayall is one of the reasons season two of Blackadder is my favorite one. He’s also really famous for the alternative comedy shows The Young Ones, The New Statesman, and Bottom. He will be missed. To see more of his best work, check out this article from The Independent. Below is my favorite clip of his:

50th Anniversary Special2

My husband I finally finished watching the first seven of the new seasons of Doctor Who for the 9-11th Doctors, including the 50th Anniversary Special (pictured above) and the 2013 Christmas Episode. Once you’ve seen the Anniversary Special, which discusses what exactly the War Doctor (the one in between the 8th and 9th Doctors – played by the amazing John Hurt) did, you’ll understand more about the later Doctors, nine through eleven. The War Doctor was the one at the very end of the Time War between the Time Lords of Gallifrey and the Daleks (their sworn mortal enemy) of Skaro.  All of the later incarnations are always feel ashamed or very conflicted about what they did  and whether or not it was the right thing to do. As I’ve not watched a lot of the older episodes, I really had no idea, so it was nice for them to explain it a bit more.

donna4

I really enjoyed watching all the episodes and I definitely gained a new appreciation for Matt Smith, who played the 11th Doctor. I talked about the 9th and a bit about the 10th Doctor in this previous post, both of which I loved watching. David Tennant (the 10th Doctor) is my favorite version. Plus he had my favorite companions, Rose and Donna (pictured above). I actually liked Martha Jones, the 10th Doctor’s companion in-between the other  two, though my husband did not much care for her. FYI all the links to the Doctor Who Wikia above for Rose, Donna and Martha do give away a lot of plot, so if you want to watch the episodes, don’t read all the way through the articles).

Amy, Rory and the Doctor

The 11th Doctor took a little getting used to as he was totally different from the other two, and not just in the fact that the actor himself was quite a bit younger. The 11th Doctor is also brooding, but he gets really angry, while at the same time managing to act very child-like. It’s hard to explain without watching the show, but I think the child-like wonder and curiosity part of his personality is why he got along so well with the women in the show, as they share this trait. He discovered Amy Pond when she was 7, and he is frequently dealing with children throughout the show. He sees River Song when she is a baby and can calm her down no problem. This was also the first show where there was a husband and wife companion team, in the guise of Rory Williams and Amy Pond (pictured above), who the Doctor loved to call “The Ponds”. Rory definitely grows on you, though it did take a season or two. Despite what my husband thinks, I actually like Amy as a Companion, though I much prefer Clara (pictured below). She was more like Rose and Donna – feisty, curious and not taking any crap from the Doctor. Another reason I like Matt Smith’s time as the Doctor is that one of my favorite writers, Neil Gaiman, wrote two of the episodes. I loved The Doctor’s Wife episode as I could totally see the TARDIS behaving like that is she was a real person. In Nightmare in Silver, we saw the two halves of the Doctor, and it was very Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.

doctor-and-clara3

The only problem with 50th Anniversary Special and a few others during Smith’s tenure, including the last Christmas episode and most of the ones we deemed “too weird” like the one where there are two Amys (The Girl Who Waited), or the last Amy/Rory/Weeping Angels episode (The Angels Take Manhattan) are that they were written by Stephen Moffat. He is the show’s lead writer and executive producer, who took over after the brilliant writer Russell Davies left for Hollywood. You know that gesture where you shake your fist at the sky bemoaning a particular fact. Well my husband and I apply that to Moffat whenever he gives us insanely weird plots or paradoxical endings, like the final non-Christmas episode of Season 7. Despite this, I still think he is a good writer, as he did write for the BBC show Sherlock and the movie The Adventures of Tin-Tin (both of which I enjoyed). Plus I do like the majority of his episodes, and he has written some pretty memorable Doctor Who quotes. I can’t wait to see Season 8, though it sucks that it won’t start until August.

I’ve written a little poem, which describes the show and the different Doctors (nine through eleven once again) and their companions. I don’t get excited to write poetry much anymore, so I’ll take inspiration from wherever I can find it.

Raggedy Doctor and The Destroyer of Worlds
My hubby and I started re-watching
the new Doctor Who series
that started back in 2005,
at the end of last year.
We’ve seen them all before,
or at least through the end of the sixth season,
when my hubby lost interest the first time around.
Now it’s funny
because my two-year old son gets so excited
and can’t wait to watch the show.
Watching them again
has made me start watching
some of the old doctors from the 1960s and 70s.

I can name most of the major villains
including Daleks, Sontarians, and Cybermen.
I know the meaning of the word TARDIS,
and can identify the sound of one landing.
I wish I had a Sonic Screwdriver,
and find that the phrases Allons-y
and Are You My Mummy?
have become part of my Whovian lexicon.
I frequently get the show music
stuck in my head.
I’ve even thought about wearing
a Doctor Who costume
to my local Comic Con.

The Ninth Doctor
sadly only lasted one season.
I loved Christopher Eccleston’s portrayal of the Doctor
because he was so brooding,
probably contemplating his role in the last Time War,
which had occurred not that long ago.
Yet you can see
how much he wants to help people.
The flip-side of his personality was
that he was always saying something cheeky,
making you want to slap him for his impudence.
Rose was his companion,
and we got to see her go from
a loud Chav to a person willing to fight for the people she loves,
and changing the Doctor for the better.

The Tenth Doctor is my favorite.
David Tennant just brought so much curiosity,
quirkiness, and passion to the role,
as well as a real love of all things Whovian.
Rose really fell in love with this version of the Doctor,
and was devastated
when she was trapped in a parallel universe
without him.
Martha Jones was his next companion,
and she really grew into her own with him,
as an independent woman and as a doctor,
though she had to leave
because of her unrequited love.
Donna Noble was his last companion,
and in my opinion the best.
“Donna Noble has left the library;
Donna Noble has been saved,”
was one of the most memorable lines
during her time as a companion.
Though a bit daft,
she could hold her own with him,
and would always tell him her opinion.
She was one of the few women
who could travel with him
and not fall in love.
Sadly, he had to leave her behind,
with her memory erased.

The Eleventh Doctor,
Matt Smith,
really helped to mainstream
and popularize the show
in the US.
Amy Pond’s Raggedy Doctor
first shows up
when she is seven years old,
and shows up again twelve years later.
She is reluctant to go with him,
and will only do so
if he returns her in the morning.
She is engaged to goofy Rory,
who loves her more than anything,
but you can’t help but wonder at first
if she is settling,
because the Doctor wasn’t there.
My hubby believes
Rory is the most annoying person
on the planet,
and at one point
made a drawing of him
being blown up by Daleks.
He is the reason
my husband stopped watching
the first time around.

There is a crack in the universe
that manifests itself on Amy’s bedroom wall,
and this allows her to become an anomaly
in regards to space and time.
This becomes especially apparent
when Rory is erased from space and time,
but comes back as the last centurion,
Someone every woman wishes she had,
the man who waited for 2000 years
for his true love.
Amy and Rory are the first wife-husband team
to travel with the Doctor.

River Song should be mentioned
in this ode to Doctor Who
even though she’s not technically
his companion.
She’s the badass archaelogist
with enough spunk
and knowledge of the TARDIS
to impress anyone.
Ican’t give too much more away,
because that would be “Spoilers”,
as she likes to say.
She’s my favorite character on the show.
Sometimes I wish they would do
a spin-off show,
where we can see more of her adventurous hijinks.

Clara is the last companion
of the eleventh Doctor,
and she is one of my favorites.
She,
like River, Donna, and Rose
have the most personality.
She is someone I would want
in my corner
if I was ever in a bind.
The Doctor can’t figure her out,
as he keeps meeting up with her
throughout history.
This conundrum
is eventually explained,
But finding out,
definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat,
until the answer is finally revealed.

Christopher Eccleston and Doctor Who

DOCTOR WHOChristopher Eccleston as Doctor Who with Billie Piper as Rose, his Companion

I am a huge Doctor Who fan. It has been on for 50 years, from 1963 – 2013. Ok, yes I was late to the series, having only started watching it in 2005 when they redid the series, but I still consider myself a true fan. I hope to one day be able to watch the series from the beginning, though I think it might be a little like early Star Trek episodes, aka so corny and bad, they are hard to watch. If you have never watched the show, I recommend checking out this article that was posted for the 50th year celebration. It is meant to be corny and a bit low-budget, so don’t let that turn you off. It has a really great story and some creepy villains.

Season 1 Doctor Who commentTaken from “The Empty Child” episode 9, Season 1

I stopped watching it during Season 7. The BBC since finished Season 7 and about to start Season 8 now that they’ve announced the newest Doctor, Peter Capaldi who will start on the Christmas Special 2013. Although I personally liked Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor for Seasons 5-7, my hubby (who always watched it with me) did not and him plus Rory (one of the main characters of the show and a secondary Companion) equaled a boring time in my hubby’s eyes. So I stopped watching it. That is, until we discovered the first seven seasons of the show are on Netflix. We’ve started watching them again and I must say that although David Tennant will probably always be my favorite Doctor, Christopher Eccleston is really quite good and I’m sad that he only stayed on the show for a year. Yes, he is not the most attractive Doctor, but if you look back on the early Doctors, they weren’t either. Eccleston’s Doctor seem more expressive, pained, and conscientious of his actions (really more human which is ironic as he’s a 900 year old alien). He fights liking Rose from the beginning and pretends to be disinterested, but despite his best intentions, by the end of the 1st Season you can see how much love they share for each other. Plus he’s a bit of a cheeky bugger and that makes me like him even more. The show was just better when Russell T. Davies was still writing for the show, as he did from 2005-2010. Plus the first season is when we are introduced to Capt. Jack Harkness (played by the wonderfully campy John Barrowman), who later has a spin-off show in Torchwood, which is also a great show to watch. He is my favorite non-Doctor character on the show.

Hard Out Here

So I usually try to stay away from commenting on pop music’s latest thing, mostly because I tend to stay away from it. But I do get some exposure from Glee, which I love watching (again, if you read my posts you will know I love musical theater so this should come as no surprise). Anyways, I was catching up on the last couple episodes of Glee and the current one I’m watching (Season 5, Episode 5) is called The End of Twerk. The first major song they did was Robin Thicke’s uber-controversial song Blurred Lines, which even if you don’t listen to popular music you’ve probably heard of or at least had an inkling about because of the raunchy performance he did with Miley Cyrus at the VMA’s. Yes, it is a super sex charged song but frankly I thought it was pretty catchy (would much rather have Matthew Morrison performing it than Robin Thicke). So while trying to figure out what the song was really about, I stumbled across this other song by British pop singer Lily Allen. I had heard of her before, just realized she wrote another Glee-sung song SmileI realize that she is making fun of the music industry and the lengths women have to go through to be successful but it was so in your face about it, I couldn’t quite decide if she was being really sarcastic or what. I’m still not sure if repeatedly using b**** is empowering or just offensive. Here are her comments, and here are her inspirations.  I will give up a warning though, the video is explicit and definitely not something you want to watch with children around. I would really like to know what other people think about the video or of Robin Thicke’s song, so please leave some comments below.

Enterprise-Schematic-star-trek-the-next-generation

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. Last week got kinda crazy. My boss’s fiance gave birth the week before last so he was out of the office pretty much all of that week and most of this past week. We had just been slammed with work and on top of that, my son and I got either food poisoning or this one-day stomach bug that’s been going around the Phoenix area. Then my hubby got sick and had to see a doctor. Last weekend I got to see the new Star Trek movie, which was awesome. I saw it in 2D but I know it would’ve been pretty cool in 3D as well. I had heard pretty mixed reviews on it, so wasn’t sure it was going to be all that great. I must say though, Benedict Cumberbatch made a very interesting villain, most of all because of his deep gravelly voice (so sexy). Not to mention Chris Pine playing the hero Captain Kirk, with that roguish bad-boy charm, who has to make some incredibly hard choices to get the job done. The movie was full of male and female eye candy, but a good story and a lot of action and adventure to keep everyone entertained as well. I’m hoping they’ll continue making more of these movies. I’ve always been an on-again off-again Star Trek fan, but right now I’m definitely a fan. I grew up watching Star Trek: Next Generation and ST: Deep Space Nine, which I just loved. Probably one of the only reasons I have any idea who Wil Wheaton is today is because of that show. Well that and he now does some of the best teen audiobook narration ever. I watched a bit of Star Trek: Voyagerand think that Janeway was a pretty good captain. I know I’ve watched the movie Star Trek Generations, and the latest Star Trek movie (2009), but I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the other movies. I’m gonna try to watch the original Star Trek series with Kirk, Scotty, Dr. McCoy, Spock et al, but it’s so spectacularly bad (low budget), I’m not sure how long I’ll last. Then I was hoping to tackle 1-6 of the original Star Trek movies.

phoenix-comicon-logo

This weekend was the Phoenix Comicon. For those who have never been to a comic convention, it is definitely an interesting experience. This was my third one, and it was definitely the biggest and craziest one I’ve ever been to. I went to my first one totally by accident. I had a friend who was interning at the Museum for Comic Book Art in NYC and they were having one at the museum, and I was visiting, so I got invited to it. I wanna say that was the summer of 2003. Even though it was small, it had some really big name people there. Frank Miller, who created/illustrated the series From Hell, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns300, and Sin City just to name a few. My friend had an art-gasm being that close to a legend and got him to sign his copy of From Hell and he did a little drawing too. I discovered a few really cool things like Edward Einhorn, who did an Oz spin-off book called Paradox in Ozwhich was illustrated by the now pretty famous Eric Shanower, who does Oz comics/graphic novels. I’ve read his 5 volume set Adventures in Oz. I also discovered the series Max Hamm: Fairy Tale Detective by Frank Cammuso. That first comicon really opened my eyes to comics, though I probably didn’t really start reading them till around graduate school. My second comicon was last year in Tempe, and it was a bit bigger. I saw a lot of creators/illustrators I had never heard of and some that I had. It was a fun event.

The one I went to yesterday was similar but about 5 times bigger. It took me three hours just to walk all the way through all the vendors/artists/famous folks. They had actors/actresses from many sci-fi and fantasy shows like Babylon 5 (apparently this year was the 20th Anniversary of the show so they had about 14 cast members plus the shows creator there), The Walking Dead stars Laurie Holden, Chandler Riggs, and Michael Rooker (and I was impressed how friendly the last guy looked, not at all like his TV persona), some anime voice over actors, Wil Wheaton, and John Barrowman (star of Torchlight and a frequent guest of David Tennant’s Doctor Who). I would’ve really liked to have met the last two but everyone was charging a minimum of $20-50 for pictures and signatures, so I just checked them out from a far. One of my current favorite writers was there, Adam Rex, but he just happened to be away from his table when I was over there and wouldn’t be back for a half hour. It’s a good thing I’m not claustrophobic, as I have never seen so many people in one area. There must’ve been more than 1000 people in the giant halls they blended together to have one giant space for all the vendors and creator/illustrators. The Society for Creative Anachronisms was there, along with L.A.R.P. (Live Action Role Play – another friend of mine used to do that). I have never seen people in so many different costumes in my life. There were people dressed up like unicorns, any number of superhero and anime stars, Disney princesses, zombies (even saw a zombie Snow White), Catwoman, and there was a guy dressed up like a Tusken Raider from Star Wars and his son was dressed up like a Jawa. There was one random pair of girls in literally just heels, underwear with something written across the butt and a very short top. There was one whole section just for this Star Wars charity group, but they had Lego Star Wars models (Millenium Falcon, Death Star, Star Destroyer). There was this one guy who did these almost pin-up versions of sci fi girls like Princess Leia and others. They had a lot of steampunk jewelry for sale, which I liked, but most of it was out of my price range. Lots of guys and girls were dressed up like Doctor Who, which I was pretty surprised about, to be honest. I mean I know more and more people know about it, but I didn’t think it was that popular. For some reason, that kid’s cartoon show Adventure Time was also really popular and there were quite a few teenagers dressed up like those characters. From a people-watching perspective, it was a very interesting time. There were a ton of families there with small children, though I’m glad I went by myself as I know my son would not have been a happy camper for that long there. His toddler patience is shorter than mine. I didn’t manage to make to any of the panel discussions even though there were quite a few that I had wanted to attend. I think if I decided to do this again, or even better, go to the San Diego Comicon (my ultimate goal), I would buy a two day or weekend pass far in advance. That way I could hit all the vendors one day and then take another day to do panels.

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