The Name of The Doctor: Almost Weekly TV Thing

Even in kind of black and white she is hot

For those who were looking for The Name of The Doctor (Matt Smith) to be relieved during the season finale will be disappointed; it was only ever spoken by what could be argued to be an imaginary friend. It can’t really be called a letdown, though, because whatever they could have named him would have been dumb, overly complex, retconned in two seasons, or possibly all three; it seems that the only real purpose of the episode was to set things up for the 50th anniversary that is due to air this November. It did manage to answer the questions about the impossible girl, but only in the most convoluted and almost passive aggressive way.

Sadly there were more than a few moments that felt like a teenager trying to write a time travel script after watching Primer, it seems like they just put everything neat they could without really diagraming or proof reading it. The real problem comes from the fact that we all know that Doctor Who is, when at best, more like Back to the Future 2– non-caring about how time travel really works and just more interested in showing off zany aliens who barter with memories instead of money. It isn’t all bad, mainly because it almost felt like Moffat was beholden to resolving the plot than anything– although there were moments that the show seemed to steal neat ideas from episodes past.

You know, because... Dreams

Opening with the current active group of Doctor friends, like Scooby-Doo but with more fake ghosts, doing something along the lines of a Google meet-up or hang-out, I forget what they have rebranded the Gmail chat now, for time travelers. The urge to call complete and total bullshit on the entire thing at this point is kind of strong due to the fact that I can think of a dozen or so times that lighting a candle to have a chat with someone would solve a dozen issues, but if we stop here we will never get anywhere. Among those called are the female lizard Sherlock Holmes (Neve McIntosh), her lesbian slave girl (Catrin Stewart), the mongoloid body guard (Dan Starkey [I know, right?!?]), current assistant(Jenna Coleman), and River Song(Alex Kingston).  The entire thing seems pointless because the only thing that is accomplished is getting information to The Doctor, which could easily have been done by mailing it to him through Clara instead of drugging her to attend the most useless business meeting outside of any network board room (cancel Arrested Development now Fox!)

Seen here, this episodes best idea

So everyone basically heads to The Doctor’s grave and the TARDIS attempts to go to a possibly more interesting episode instead. Like I said before, most of the neat touches are stolen from previous episodes as this was taken from when Captain Jack grabbed a ride to the end of time. I will, though, give props to the best idea I have seen in a while; when a TARDIS dies it becomes the size it should be, which is touches very close to being inspired if I am honest.

This is, also, where the plot starts not really making much sense. The new groups of baddies –the silent men– chase everyone to the spot of Doctor’s death. Now, is it just me or does Moffat seems to have a habit of inventing additional and amazing bad guys when he still has a stable of old ones that he could attempt to salvage? The weeping angels were amazing, until they proved to be popular and managed to be driven into a Statue of Liberty sized hole in the ground. So Instead of trying to use, say, The Silence (personal favorite) he created something almost identical and put it in the wrapper of the supreme intelligence (Richard E. Grant) taking the shape of Dr. Simeon–so that is nice and confusing too. If you don’t know who that is, don’t worry as I didn’t either.

"I am sorry, who are you?"

So this is the bad guy from the Christmas special that everyone forgot about; aside from whatever the amazing and wonderful Clara was doing that is. It was entirely forgettable. Snowmen attacked the population of Victorian London, controlled by what was a personality in a jar that closely resembled the snow globes terrible relatives would give you as a present. I love Doctor Who  but that information either was gone from my head and replaced with a terrible Harlem Shake Porn Parody or was placed in the same area that I keep the calorie count info on a Big Mac, under useless and not to be consulted ever. It turns out that this guy has appeared several times before (I have learned via Wikipedia), although is seemingly only known for using robotic yetis as body guards. I am glad that Moffat is digging into the back catalog to try and make the time lines seems fluid.

Here is another major issue, all the Supreme Intelligence had to do to kill the Doctor was not jump into his time line and screw with him. If the story is to be believed Clara saves him even when he wasn’t being attacked or messed with, he would have died in the Christmas special and the asylum of the darleks without her– all he did was make her a thing. Also The Doctor clearly has a bad memory as Clara has always been there but it is only when he encounters her three times in a very close proximity that he figured something was up. That sort of has to make you wonder what one needs to do to make a lasting impression on the guy, and why robotic yetis count–insanity factor?

If you were wondering, yes, I took most of the pictures based entirely on Clara

As stated before the impossible girl angle was handed… acceptably. I understand that the special coming up this winter is one of the more important things that has happened to the series in twenty years, but the last ten minutes played more like an Internet teaser trailer for what was about to come than it was the conclusion of a plot line. If more of the episodes followed this logic it would be five minutes of either cases or witty dialog followed by a to be continued bumper with a date.

Best and Worst of Last Week’s TV: 4/28/13 – 5/4/13

Mythbusters at their best: Breaking things

So Mythbusters makes it come back, and I am here complaining about everything else.  Quickly, without judgment as I still don’t even know how I feel about this episode, I would like to say that I both enjoy this show and thought that it stopped being a show two years ago.  It turns out that instead of gracefully bowing out they brought it back and are planning on bringing more guest stars, also known as the worst episodes, in to do more awful myths that no one believed in the first place.  Also, on the off chance that you are wondering, they disproved the jet car thing, finally, and there was very little of the “build team” (mythbusters junior) this time around.

Good
Community

Not check IMDB forums.  Will be frightened by braces conversations...

Where: NBC
When: Thursday at 8:00 PM
Why:
Abed (Danny Pudi) makes a family tree, styled after the web of insanity from A Beautiful Mind, of chance encounters by the group for the previous year before they all decided that they would go to Greendale.  Basically it is the events leading up to the first episode, in much the same way that Muppet Babies was a show about how Kermit and Miss Piggy always had a non-standard abusive relationship between two awesome tasting food groups.  It is like seeing the origin stories of the world’s most boring super heroes who only have the power to discuss other heroes, sort of like what the DC universe would be like if Kevin Smith wrote it.  This of course turns the entire group against each other, but only so long as it makes the audience feel better when they finally come back together afterwards by learning about their differences and how important growth is—just like the aforementioned Muppet Babies reference during a Gonzo based episode, but this has more of Annie (Alison Brie) looking stupid hot even though she has braces on.

The only complaint that I have about this show is that the rest of the cast is constantly surprised that Jeff (Joel McHale) used to be a completely shady lawyer.  It wasn’t even that long ago that he was getting drunken Englishmen off of reckless endangerment charges for money instead of moral reasons; this isn’t like trusting a reformed criminal who has done their time, this is a man who for all logical reasons has been presented no cause to change besides the friendship of a rag-tag group of educational failures.  No one, save the Dean (Jim Rash), is the same person that they were at the start of this show four seasons ago.  That complaint aside the show was more about how far everyone had come than worrying about the now versions of them bitching about closure.

Bad
Bones:

Wait. 1 Bullet did that?  Sure it wasn't... Face... AIDS...

Where: Fox
When: Monday at 8:00 PM
Why:
Because I am so tired of Pelant (Andrew Leeds) and every story that they try and force down the audiences throat about how evil he is and how science is the new Harry Potter.  Most of the time the show manages to conclude the evil villain BS in a under a season, two if they are really having a hard time coming up with story lines, but at this point they are pushing three, if not four, seasons using the same mechanics to make us freak out about computers and how people can track us/destroy our lives if they want.  I love that the theory that it is creepy when it’s just some guy doing whatever, but it is neat and science when a cop does it.  Because I guess it isn’t an invasion of privacy, or at the very least an expectation of privacy, if it is a “good guy”.

Because this is the last episode of the season it needed to be some kind of cliff hanger, because nothing attempts to force a studio to renew a show faster than not letting the world in on how things resolve.  Since that has never worked in the past, but people keep doing it, we pretty much have that same exact thing happen here.  If this had been any other episode it wouldn’t have had cyborg Dumbledore Pelant pulling the strings and would have just been a normal murder thing, also we would have been left with a warm feeling about Booth (David Boreanaz) and Bones (Emily Deschanel who is oddly Zoey’s sister) getting together and about to start a family.  Too bad that this is modern TV with a show that is getting later in its run, because that stuff just cannot be allowed to happen anymore until they get a movie deal.  I am willing to bet money right now that in the first two episodes of next season they admit to each other what has happened and have some kind of stupid and secret/private wedding.

Good
Modern Family

Something about covering that section of her face....

Where: ABC
When: Wednesday at 9:00 PM
Why:
I always feel like when I talk about Modern Family I am doing it some kind of stupid and terrible disservice. It is like trying to describe an analogy to someone who doesn’t have the internet, sure they might understand what you are getting at but they aren’t able to get distracted by porn along the way; that was the entire point! The show is slowly getting away from any plot points that involve the children, which is good because it feels like one of those times that people are telling cute kid stories that you just don’t get because you don’t have children and hate people that do; but it also is weird because they built the five of them up to be characters who kind of just seem to be shoved into the background at this point—namely Alex (Ariel Winter) who doesn’t seem to have more than 3 lines of dialog in the last year.

This episode is about Cam (Eric Stonestreet—who has an amazing last name) and Mitchell (!) (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) trying to teach their daughter, Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons who is quickly becoming the best part of the show), about the importance of being truthful and honest.  It sounds dumb, but it also resulted in Haley (Sarah Hyland) dressing up as the sexiest Tooth Fairy ever seen outside of the oddest frat party kegger.  There is also something about Claire (Julie Bowen) wondering if being a stay at home mom is really all that she should do with her life, but considering that most of it is filled with penis joke it is really hard to take that as a plot thread.  Although with that in mind I guess I can’t describe anything Always Sunny does as “story”.

Bad
The Simpsons:

Pictured here, future meth addicts. Even Flanders.

Where: Fox
When: Sundays at 8:00 PM
Why:
So Reverend Lovejoy (Harry Shearer) proves to be so terrible at his job that the guy above him, in whatever denomination it is that town worships, comes in with a new priest to replace him.  This being the Simpsons the next logical move is for him to take up selling hot tubs, because I guess that when you leave a job that you aren’t good at the next step is to take a job that showing up sober is considered a B- grade in the grand scheme.  The confusion, for me, comes in the fact that I never really saw him “quit” his job makes me kind of think that he is either trying to ride two paychecks until someone notices and boots him out, or whatever religion he practices has some weird “forever” clause much in the same was as the Crypts and Bloods.

There is also something about Homer (Dan Castellaneta) being a deacon or something, because if it doesn’t directly involve the core group of people it simply cannot be an episode I guess.   I think that it is kind of bad that all of the more recent episodes are blurring to the point that I can’t even remember if there was another odd plot about Marge (Julie Kavner) or not.  When your show has successfully became the kind of bland that people in the 50s in Canada would speak up about it being hallow maybe it is time to, at the very least, shake things up every now and then on the show.  Instead we get boring and forgettable garbage I hate watching every second.

Best:
Doctor Who

The look of happy surprise

Where: BBC
When: Saturdays at 6:15 PM (GMT)
Why:
Because while it probably wasn’t the best episode, even of the season, it had these moments that I just simply loved.  The Victorian take on Sherlock Holmes, “Madame Vastra” (Neve McIntosh), both being a woman and a lizard is possibly one of my favorite plot points of the recent series.  Her “Watson” assistant, Jenny (Catrin Stewart) while not Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) hot manages in her own right.  Also, the on the Doctor’s (Matt Smith) face when she rips off her clothing to have some kind of leather judo suit on is awesome.  Very, “Not what I was expecting, but I will take it!” which is almost the motto of the show since Moffit took over.

There is seemingly some kind of poison, or disease traveling around the north of England that is turning people red and then painfully killing them.  Granted, it is kind of annoying that this was another one of those “not where I meant to end up, but adventure!” episodes tropes that are getting really annoying at this point.  I know that it is kind of a long standing thing, but it isn’t like the Doctor doesn’t get into trouble when he just goes on vacation—why can’t they just do more of those episodes.

Worst:
The Big C:

HAWKEYE!!!

Where: Showtime
When: Mondays at 10:00 PM
Why:
The Big C is about Cathy, (Laura Linney who is terrible in everything) a woman who is diagnosed with cancer and decides that she hates her entire family.  Normally this kind of thing would be interesting or zany or at the very least enjoyable, it is none of those.  Instead we are treaded to one of the most annoying people on the planet pushing her beliefs on everyone else, all the while using the fact that she is going to die as an excuse to be a total and insufferable jerk. For the first three season her husband, Paul (Oliver Pratt), stood by while she cheated on him, spent every penny of their savings, and stopped just short of killing a young couple; when she was told that she was going to live he decided to leave her after she pushed his mentor, literally, under a bus. As I am writing this I kind of realized it hard to be funny about something you have active disdain for.

Last season ended with her swimming away with a random fisherman to live a peaceful life in the tropics and presumably die a quiet and peaceful death.  It turns out that none of that happened, probably because it would be too hard to conclude inside of a season, and that it was simply the cancer returning and attacking her brain.  If the before descriptions sound like something that you may not want to sit through, this is basically the same crap just cranked up—she has been told that she is dying, there is nothing that she can do, and now it seems that she wants the entire world to know just how miserable she is.  The only redeeming thing about this show is that Alan Alda plays a doctor, and even that makes me sad because Hawkeye is getting old (my heroes should forever stay young and witty).  M*A*S*H forever!