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Belated Doctor Who reaction post for “Kill the Moon”

We just finished watching last week’s Doctor Who, “Kill the Moon”–because we’d gotten behind what with my having to do a hard press through finishing Victory of the Hawk. But even aside from that, I’d been having a very hard time mustering up enough give-a-damn to actually watch this one. I did ask Dara and Paul if we could watch this one finally back to back with this weekend’s episode, and as it happened, we just watched “Kill the Moon” without moving on to today’s episode.

Dara just declared herself done with the show until Moffat’s gone. Me, I’m not sure if I’m bailing completely yet, but the show’s now on very thin probation with me.

(ETA: Adding in a cut tag because I do have a spoiler for the episode in here.)

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Welcome back to awesomeness, Avatar Korra

Dara and I never finished up watching the second season of Avatar: The Legend of Korra while it was airing, so we missed the finale at the time. We were feeling ambivalent about the whole thing, given that through several of those initial episodes, the characters felt like flat caricatures of themselves–especially Lin Beifong, which was just unforgivable. And I found much of what they were doing with Bolin and his relationship with Eska from the Northern Water Tribe painfully unwatchable.

But now that season 3 has started airing and I’ve been seeing delighted buzz about it, and since our housemate Paul was going to ASPLODE FROM SPOILERS if we didn’t hurry up and get caught up, we made a point of doing that this weekend.

And wow, I’m glad we did. The last few episodes of season 2 were utterly delightful. Bolin stopped being annoying. Lin finally stopped being stupid. Eska and her brother returned to being the Vulcans of this entire cast, which was great. Tenzin and his siblings all got great character development.

And Korra, oh my mighty and awesome Korra. She was amazing in the finale.

Now that series 3 is starting up, that momentum is continuing. A few spoiler-y comments behind the picture and the fold!

Mako, Korra, and Bolin

Mako, Korra, and Bolin

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Open letter to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Dear cast and crew of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,

After seeing this interview linked to by userinfojames_nicoll, I’ve got to ask: seriously? Seriously? Did your lead actor just call those of us who’ve bailed on watching your show “not geeks”? And “losers”?

If so, I’d like to note that just in case you were wondering, this is not an effective strategy to get those of us who tried your show and bailed to come back and check you out again. I’M JUST SAYIN’.

Because look. I get the whole idea of “not all heroes are super”. I really do. I am coming at this out of general love for the universe that Marvel’s set up in the movies; I don’t have any particular history with Marvel comics outside a few years in my adolescence reading the X-Men, so I have no particular investment in whether specific characters out of the comics show up in your show. But specifically because of the affection I’ve built up for the portrayed universe in the movies, I wanted to like your show. I really did. I swear.

I didn’t bail because you had no superheros in your cast. I bailed because with the exception of Coulson and maybe Agent May, I didn’t like any of your main characters. And for the most part, I’m sorry to say, your stories just were not engaging me, and that’s not accounting for the parts where they were actively pissing me off.

This isn’t a question of me being impatient for stuff to happen, either. I also understand the notion of a show sometimes needing several episodes to get its feet under it. I gave Torchwood a good season and a half before I finally bailed on it–again with the primary reason being “not liking any of the characters”.

And I’m sorry, if I just don’t like your main cast, I don’t see much reason to be spending time hanging around hoping they’ll change my mind. What incidental other characters you bring in to drive the plots means very little to me if I’m not invested in your central cast and what happens to them.

Before you tell me I’m not patient enough either, I’ll point out that I hung in there through Babylon 5’s first season as it got its act together–because even though it was rough out of the gate, I was nonetheless engaged by the characters and the plots. Likewise with Castle. Castle was REALLY rough in its first short season, and Castle as a character had all SORTS of flaws. But he was engagingly flawed, enough to keep me watching.

I’m just not getting that with S.H.I.E.L.D.

I’d say I’m sorry if you think this makes me “not a real geek”, except I’m less sorry and more pissed off by that, too. If any of you have awareness of geek culture at all, you’ll be aware that geek women have been fighting against accusations of not being real geeks for too damn long as it is.

For the record, cracks like “those aren’t geeks, those are losers”?



Edited to add:

Other places reporting on this. I’m seeing in particular in those articles that Mr. Gregg appears to have realized that shooting his mouth off in this particular fashion is, shall we say, unwise. I’m glad he’s realized this, but still, I’m not pleased at the waffly tone of “I guess I don’t mean to say that people who have been frustrated by that discovery period are necessarily losers. I just think they should be, perhaps, a little more patient.”


Thoughts on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I’m beginning to see rumblings going around the Net of disappointment in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and as much as I hate to admit it, I’m beginning to sympathize with the rumblers.

Cora Buhlert calls out some race and gender fail in the show here, and has a followup post here. Likewise, James Nicoll has a big discussion on race fail in the show here on his LJ.

And Dara’s got strong opinions on the politics of the show over here.

Likewise, I saw two different critiques pop up on the Whedonesque blog. and have disappointed reviews, and meanwhile, the aforementioned Cora links off to’s thoughts on how the show could be fixed.

Me, I’m just a bit sad that something with Whedon’s name on it so far is just completely failing to grab me. Just about all the critiques I’m seeing aired are ones I’m agreeing with. I find the cast mostly really bland, even Coulson–and I’m sad to have to say that given how awesome Coulson is in the movies. But he’s only occasionally gotten interesting in the episodes that have aired so far. Telling us with big stone hints that OH HEY LOOK SOMETHING MYSTERIOUS HAPPENED TO COULSON is feeble characterization. I liked it much better when we saw Coulson’s frustration at having lost his skill at the quick draw. That was a tantalizing little bit of characterization, showing us his actual reaction to what’s happened to him, rather than trying to drop anvil-sized hints on our heads.

No one else in the cast is impressing me yet, either. Particularly Agent Ward, who Dara dubbed Agent Truthserum. And really, that’s about the only really interesting thing he’s done so far. About all I can say about his characterization is that he’s gotten slightly less assholish in five episodes. But this is not enough to get me on board with his character.

I’d like to like Agent May, since she seems to have the greatest concentration of clues–except that so far she has no interesting characterization beyond “stereotypical female badass”.

Likewise, I’d like to like the nerd duo–except that they have no interesting characteristics either. And in fact, they’ve been specifically set up to be so interchangeable that their own teammates have trouble thinking of them as individuals. Instead, they’re “Fitzsimmons”. Because it ain’t like the brains on the team need to be interesting characters above and beyond spouting nerdy technobabble.

And I’d like to like Skye, of course. She at least has had glimmers of character development, and she’s been generally entertainingly competent by comparison to the others in the cast. And I did like the reveal of her motives in the last episode that aired, at least a bit.

But after seeing what Dara’s pointed out about where the show’s going with its politics, and seeing the trend of problematic treatment of the PoC guest characters… well. I don’t have much time for TV as it is, and I especially don’t have time for TV that’s got too much fail in too many ways.

Just sayin’, S.H.I.E.L.D. I’d like to stick around. Get your shit together, won’t you? Thank you.


Doctor Who: Asylum of the Daleks reaction post

I’ve gotten out of the habit of posting in-depth TV episode reviews, but here’s this, because I wanted to get this out of my system and provide an opportunity for folks to yak about it with me if they so desire.

Spoilers will of course ABOUND behind the cut, and in the comments! Don’t clickie if you haven’t seen “Asylum of the Daleks” yet!

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Book Log, Television

Book and TV catchup

Let’s clear out the backlog of new ebook and print book purchases, shall we?

Picked up in print from the Norwescon dealers’ room:

  • The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks, and The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks. The former is a graphic novel adaptation of a section of the latter. I’d already listened to an audio copy of the latter but didn’t have a print copy, so picking one up was required!
  • Dawn of the Dreadfuls, by Steve Hockensmith. This is a prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, basically setting up how the Bennett sisters became such infamous zombie slayers! Okay, yeah, I couldn’t resist.
  • Chicks Dig Time Lords, by assorted folks. This is the essay collection I wanted, billing itself as being all about Doctor Who, by the women who love it. Pretty much required reading for me!
  • The Mystery of Grace, by Charles de Lint. Urban fantasy. Because apparently I still need more Charles de Lint in my life!

And, yoinked in ebook form down from Barnes and Noble:

  • Dead Matter, by . Book 3 of the Simon Canderous series. Urban fantasy.
  • Embers, by Laura Bickle. Urban fantasy. Bonus points for the heroine on the cover actually having a head!
  • Compromised and Revealed, by Kate Noble. Historical romance. Bought on the strength of the review of the forthcoming The Summer of You, and which I will also be buying as soon as B&N has it on their ebook store.
  • Master of None, by Sonya Bateman. Urban fantasy. Heard some nice buzz about this one and have to frankly admit that I was drawn to it because the guy on the cover kind of looks like Sawyer on Lost. (Mmm, Sawyer!)
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, by Max Brooks. SF/Horror/Humor. Bought in ebook form, and this time NOT as a replacement for the print copy, just because this book is that awesome.

This brings the total for 2010 up to 104. And it’ll be going up to 107 as soon as Barnes and Noble lets me buy ‘s Changes, Ann Aguirre’s Hell Fire, and the aforementioned Kate Noble!

And as soon as I buy the brand new Amelia Peabody, A River in the Sky, it’ll be 108. There is, indeed, a new Amelia Peabody. Y’all may remember I have expressed some disappointment in Ms. Peters’ last few efforts, but this one? This involves the Ark of the Covenant. As an Indiana Jones fangirl, I think I’m morally obligated to check this one out. Plus, I did engage in the handy “Get a free sample” B&N ebook feature, and it started out strong enough that okay, yeah, I’ll be buying this too!

Meanwhile, , , and I did a lovely doubleheader of this week’s Castle and the brand new Eleventh Doctor tonight. Picoreviews: speaking of Indy, as an Indy fangirl, I am now solidly in favor of Nathan Fillion playing Indy if they ever pry the part away from Harrison. He just looked too adorable in the fedora. 😉 And, Eleven? Yeah. He’s a keeper. Brand new icons will be required. And I’ll be posting more in depth about the new Doctor tomorrow, I think!