Sunday, December 26, 2010

JARED REVIEWS DOCTOR WHO THE BOXING DAY SPECIAL



To make sure I actually get a review done, I ought to write it immediately after watching it... I've already buggered that one up, haven't I since it's 2 hours after the fact. But I'm not slowing myself down with the sort of pointless research that would see me actually know what the name of the episode is or any such extraneous details. So...

DOCTOR WHO AND THE KILLER SONG SHARKS OF GING SENG

Steven Moffat in an odd way is now the off-spring of RTD in the world of television, in spite of the fact that they're roughly the same age and RTD is also a homosexual. Succeeding as he has, growing under his wing and Oedipally toppling his predecessor by destroying him with the critics as his knife and going on to seduce Julie Gardner, his mother he is now uncontested in his adulthood and mastery of the House Doctor. To paraphrase Laurence Fishburne in Predators THIS IS HIS FUCKING HOUSE!

Moff has stamped himself all over his opening season as we thought, and some of us were surprised by the amount of suckage (nil after episode 2 more or less) in the undercurrent of the tide of self indulgence. He has been a proud and majestic feline, dedicated to his craft to the point of making sure every inch is covered in his own distinctively fragrant urine. More to the point, he has set out to out-do RTD in every turn of event bigness, which everyone thought was impossible. But he did a bigger finale. Now he sets out to do a more Christmas-y Christmas special.

I was concerned by this idea. After all, even RTD was giving up on the idea of making Christmas actually relevant - frankly it just got in the way of The End of Time and was introduced by a sneering Timothy Dalton referring to it as a 'pagan ritual' (Hang on... side note.... who the fuck was Timothy Dalton telling the story to when he was narrating? Have people stopped thinking about the logic of these narrations? Was he telling the High Council what had happened as though it was a bedtime story or something?) Centering on the idea of Christmas seems a backwards step to the progenitor of this dubious sudden tradition, The Christmas Invasion...

Moffat outdoes that, though as you would have suspected from the trailer which basically was "HEEEY, we're doing A Christmas Carol.... AGAIN!" and left me with no real enthusiasm, by making Christmas spirit a central theme... kind of the whole point of the story. The entire moral is a little.... esoteric in the way it's handled. In this case The Christmas Spirit takes the form of being arsed to flick a switch and save 4300 people from certain death, which I think we can agree sets the bar fairly low BUT I guess that was necessary. The Doctor spends 60 minutes convincing Ebenezer Scrooge to give Tiny Tim a ham roll you'd start to wonder why he has nothing better to do, and why the sanctimonious git doesn't give him one of his Tim Tams.

Moff's promise was also "it's every Christmas movie you've ever seen". This could well be true, if you watch the movies edited down to five seconds then spliced together on a television set submerged in a fish tank filled with fluorescent paint and glitter whilst upside down on peyote. The last ingredient being the most important. In terms of "How could this not have been written on drugs?" this story scores very highly - the random combination of elements makes me wonder if Moff is starting to nick ideas of primary school children. So... to try and describe the baffling plot....

The Doctor is on the planet Steampunkville, which for reasons unknown is the destination of the liner Rory and Amy have stowed away on to have kinky cosplay sex during their honeymoon and is now about to crash. Unfortunately, Michael Gambon in a Fake Beard rigged up all the clouds in the planet under his control in order to become King of the Flying Fish when he was done freezing people for protection money. His son, Michael Gambon Without a Fake Beard, has inherited the apparently lucrative business and is thus the only person who can save Rory, Amy and the other unnamed characters' lives.... if you ignore the fact that the TARDIS should be able to either land onboard and shuttle everyone out or at least tow the bloody thing to safety.

See, that's the trouble with elaborating on the TARDIS' powers. This thing was already fucking powerful BEFORE 2005, now it's God on wheels. BUT not in this particular story. Well... not in THAT particular part of this particular story...

Because the Doctor reacts to Gambon being a prick by reenacting Christmas Carol (although the scene where he decides to do so suggests it is as much a laugh as anything else) deducing that what Mickey really needs is to get laid when he's younger by a cute blonde who charms avian-marine life with her freaky opera singing. But, wouldn't you know it, the stupid git picks the girl who's got 8 days left to live, so we're back to square one as it leaves Gambon as bitter as I was in the immediate aftermath of Kaylagate.

So.... you know stuff happens whatever. Eventually the day is saved when cute blonde does some Murray Gold karaoke boosted through the Gambon family antenna, using a scientific-ish explanation that was far more confusing than the end of The Pirate Planet to me, but by this stage I'd kind of given up working what was going on. Following this story was starting to seem like a bad trip, and really a bit too sweet for me. Okay, somebody is definitely dying in the form of Abigail (whoa, just remembered a character's name) so it avoids the ultra cheery disposition of that awful Cybermen story... but I think the problem may well be that I just don't like A Christmas Carol that much.

I mean, really, why is it so celebrated? Isn't it a bit... basic? The moral of the story is "Don't be an arsehole!" Everyone knows the plot, not everyone believes in the message.... do we need another version? Even one about flying fish that was written on cheap smack by a sweater-wearing Scotsman?

To not lose perspective... special effects are good and solid. The dialogue was possibly too good, as every line that wasn't a snappy line seemed to be a set up for one or a call back to another snappy line, and the cast were excellent. We were spared any of the like of Jackson Lake's horrifically cute and androgynous.... son? in favour of young Gambon's that looked human, continuing the trend of excellent young actor casting in Moffat's era that began with the very first guest cast to appear on screen. Design is also good enough... I mean they asked for a Victorian London world were every second person wears cool glasses to make it Steampunk, I imagine it's difficult to fuck up.

One of the problems is that this is one of the stories where, in his own way, the Doctor (and the TARDIS) is overpowered. Remember when the TARDIS could barely land anywhere so there'd be no question of "Why doesn't the Doctor just hop back 20 minutes and press the other button", whereas Moffat's vision seems to have that option as a centrepoint. How long can this stay fresh? Don't get me wrong, I laughed girlishly when the Doctor travelled forward 50 years to hear what numbers Gambon was yelling at the screen (though it beggars the question of how he reached the TARDIS..) but I do believe so far Moffat's tenure has averaged five onthological paradoxes per minute and the rate looks set to rise...

In practical terms, where would we be if the Doctor was always this fluent? If he just travelled into Davros' past to save him from his disfiguring injury? If he popped back with tea and scones to smooth over the Osirians split with Sutekh? And if he'd called Child Services before Tekker's father had molested him? Ohhhh the possibilities for dully resolved stories is limitless, but it's one of those things where the Doctor's done it now and the question will hang over every episode - why doesn't he just go back in time?

Maybe he finds it a little confusing, as he seems to create three different versions of Michael Gambon Without a Fake Beard's life and he remembers all of them, but doesn't make a big deal about it for some reason.

I guess another problem is the absence of a companion character. Sure, we have Amy and Rory but they may as well be locked in a room for the whole story as they only speak to the Doctor in passing once during the action... and Gambon? When the Doctor travels back in time, as he does for most of it, he gets reduced to being a viewer rather than a companion in a way reminiscent slightly of the Trial scenes and Cal in Silence of the Library. Something else in Moff's bag of tricks, eh? A character becomes a viewer, making sure it's a metaphor of sweet FA when he happens? The closest companion roles are the young actors, but Child Gambon is a fleeting presence and Teen Gambon is, understandably, only interested in getting his end away.

Anyway, it all lumbers towards a happy ending with a magical sprinkling of snow predictably and then we get to see that Moffat is quite serious in his dedication to trailers it's difficult to get excited over crammed with guns. Obviously nothing could have excited me less than the promise of River Song in PG13 nudity. I WANT NIPPLES OR YOU CAN PISS OFF, WHORE!

The real question this episode leaves us all with is... why doesn't the Doctor get US laid?

6/10

Oh, yeah, in the cold hard light of the next day I realise I didn't elaborate much on the fact that with its relentless sitcom-y humour and the Where's Wally-esque struggle to follow the writhing pants-snake of a storyline gave this a definite wadge of entertainment value. Hence a positive score.

ALTHOUGH some people take issue with this. Such as my housemate, when she pressed me to give the cousin she wanted to set me up with a score out of 10 I gave her exactly the same as this episode, and was further angered when I gave her OTHER cousin (who incidentally I would quite like to engage in intercourse with) an 8. Well, SORRY, but I'm a literal person! A 10 is a fucking 10 - that's 100%! Perfection! That is Scarlett Johansson carved out of... something... and covered in honey and or crackling.



So... how bad was the Force Unleashed? That's like 2/10. YOU GOT ANY PROBLEMS WITH THAT, NAOMI???


I don't know WHAT THOSE OTHER LOSERS SAID.... post something in the comment section if you want me to write one...

AAAAARGH - the story of an Australian cricket and music fan

Actually, I don't want to talk cricket. It's too depressing. Basically, it's a non-stop marvel at the incompetence of three people who apparently know nothing about what makes a good side doing their thing, as they are continually hornswaggled by a pack of useless players who prove unable to contribute anything over an entire year of cricket being once more unable to contribute anything at the crunch time a month later.

Just.... the Australian team should be thus:

1. Chris Roger
2. Shane Watson
3. Usman Khawaja
4. Cameron White
5. Michael Hussey
6. David Hussey
7. Brad Haddin
8. Mitchell Johnson
9. Nathan Hauritz
10. Mark Cameron
11. Ryan Harris
12. Doug Bollinger

And a preferable selection panel would be

1. Dame Edna Everidge
2. Bernard Black
3. A 2 litre bucket of pigs vomit


Suffice it to say, the cricket has been turned off in this household today because the Boxing Day morning has been the time of morning that crushes childhood dreams of sporting heroics under its heel, then brews the dust into coffee with the addition of hellish urine and throws the brew into the faces of every orphan in the country while filming it before sending the results to Australia's Funniest Home Videos and somehow escapes justice.

The tragedy being just a week ago we had one of the great of the great cricketing victories.... that I was THERE to witness! Yes, I was in Perth last weeekend! The guy who barely ever leaves his house, went not only to another house, but to house in another state! What's more, it was a PUBLIC house! And I still didn't get laid.

Ah, were those the finest 50 minutes of my life, seeing the majestically and disproportionately large-bottomed Mitchell Johnson along with Ryan Harris, seemingly a parallel universe version of myself raised by wolves to eat chips and kick arse (there was a severe potato shortage in W.A that weekend...) tear the English two new arseholes and an extra mouth, because if a job is worth doing it is worth overdoing. The roar of the crowd when Jimmy Anderson's middle stump went cartwheeling was amazing, all the moreso because I was in one of the smaller grounds of this fair country. The only downside was being forced unwillingly to cut short my improvised soliloquy on the astronomical amounts of inbreeding within Graeme Swan's veins by the standards of his backward nation when I remembered I was surrounded by English supporters, including one who was especially pissed off apparently due to being too pettily annoyed during the auditions for Grumpy Old Men.

The real purpose of the visit to WA was to see the [second] greatest live act on the planet!!!! Who are Muse, by far the best three-man meterosexual Queen tribute act to make the Billboard charts on a regular basis. Aha, I jest - their music is the stuff of Triple J sad-acts somehow given ascension into the forms of angels with unlimited talent. And, yes, that is actually a compliment.

Their tour, I believe, cost them something in the area of $155 million to setup and you can see every cent lavishly being wasted before your eyes. If film isn't being projected onto a surface, a strobe light will. Anything that can explode into anything will, and also into something else. If there is any oppurtunity to transform a guitar into a 2 billion candle power spotlight whilst somehow playing it like an air-raid siren, it shall be taken and use to violate a special member of the crowd. Speaking of the crowd, they are video and displayed at various times on the walls, on the instruments, and on Matt Bellamy's junk. All of this only happens after the band has descended using pneumatic elevators from 20 foot high towers erected in the stage. I believe that the eletricity is all generated using a furnace that runs exclusively on dodo souls, on sheer principal of badassery.

This is quite nice to look at. But I wouldn't say the experience was entirely positive. Firstly, the events staff went out of their way to be dicks. Because the cricket ended so early, we were there at Bassandean quite early - about five hours early. We weren't the only people there, though, because most of the population of Perth is unfamiliar with this 'music' we have on the East Coast and is keen to see what all the fuss is about. I was #77 in line, a number I remember because I was instructed by staff to write it on my hand as the first 100 got in early, and something extra special.

What was it, I hear you ask me. What, Jared? Did you get to meet Matt Bellamy? Did you hold his hand? Did you get his phone number? Can *I* have his phone number? Does Dom want to watch? Is he allowed to join in? Enough of this!

The answer, is ..... nothing. Like the confectionary in Valve's Portal, it was nothing but a lie to keep us docile.

But because I thought we were getting in early, when security told me that opened drinks were not allowed I left my 2.0 litre bottle of vanilla coke unmolested as would be logical, keeping it by my side for four and a half hours UNTIL the line started moving (or at least people were told to stand up and jerked around further) when I was helpfully told that we weren't allowed to bring in anything but water and it would have to get thrown away.

Keep in mind.... this is fucking Perth. It's hot. I've had a glass of water and a Sprite all day. Now, I skull what of the Coke I can in a few minutes, because I'm told we're going in any minute.....

40 minutes later, we get in.

1 hour after that, we get to see the support act.

1 hour and FIFTEEN MINUTES after THAT, comes the actual act.

Because my friend always wants to be at the front, that's where we are. Because Perth never gets any concerts, and because they've been left to wait for a ridiculous amount of time, the crowd of human beings has devolved into a rabid pack of fucking dogs and the Mosh is out of control. And by poor herd instinct, there is a baffling scenario where all the middling-to-well-built shirtless guys are to the right of the stage, and all the fragile teenybopper girls are to the left. Helpfully, I'm standing on the frontline and get pressed into a makeshift and incredibly sweaty shield-wall midway through the third track.

Incredibly jumping along to the music along with all the waiting gets me dehydrated and soon I'm only held upright by the crush of half naked sweaty men... insert 'business as usual' joke here.

To make things even more heavenly 20,000+ people need to get out of the grounds through three ever-narrowing gates WITH TURNSTILES that act as the most brilliant bottleneck ever. Colonel Richard Sharpe would be having wet dreams about us as a French army if he'd seen the lumbering approach to the exit, imagining a single company of redcoats station by the ticket window who could utterly destroy us.

Luckily the British hadn't declared war on us that day because we had to get to the airport in FIFTEEEN MINUTES.


Ugh.

The moral of the story is stay the fuck at home and listen t music on an Mp3 player. Guess what I got for Christmas? Coincidence? I think not...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Preserved rants

That was the title I chose anyway, about ten minutes ago when I decided I was going to essentially blog about all the things that 'grind my gears' that I haven't mentioned over the past three months.... then I get on Blogger and I can't remember what any of them were. Am I losing my fucking mind? This was literally ten minutes ago! But I'll play this by ear....


Publicity for Robert Downey Junior's Sherlock Holmes: Yes, this is going back a bit, but come on. This film was quite a fun romp where they expanded on throwaway lines in the book about Holmes being a former amateur boxer and mastering some obscure form of Kung Fu just in case he needs to throw a criminal mastermind off a waterfall some day. Other than that, it was surprisingly faithful. Watson was still the real action man of the two while Holmes was an affectionately bumbling 'survival' hero, and it was just a matter of script writers conspiring to have shit blow up AROUND our heroes to get cool stuff to put in the trailer. The exact same move was pulled in Without a Clue in London, one of the best Holmes movies ever made.

But, saying "Hey, we're doing a Sherlock Holmes film" apparently isn't good enough, won't get enough attention. Instead the approach needs to be "Guy Ritchies is bitch-raping a beloved classic to make Lock, Stock and Four Orange Pips and there's nothing you motherfuckers can do about it!" This nearly put me OFF the film entirely, then it turned out to be quite good and made me recommend it to my mum who was regarding it as a war crime level offense from the trailers and other publicity.

This wasn't helped by the writer doing interviews, where he bragged about what an awesome job he did deviating from the usual means of adaptation... ignoring the fact he was doing what everyone else has been doing since Basil Rathbone. Oh, what's that? Watson isn't going to be a bumbling idiot? Good Lord! Oh, you're going to do an original story because most of the canon works involve Watson and Holmes visiting a series of drawing rooms until they have enough info to solve the case? Radical!

The film was faithful enough to even have suggestions of Holmes being a user (alluded to in the vaguest possible way, naturally, this coming from Hollywood), showed his 'master of disguise' routine and mentioned Watson's service in Afghanistan. Oh, and I like Irene Adler. The actress wasn't the best casting, but I don't believe any nationality was mentioned in the books. The only downside to the film really was the fact that it was set at a stage in their relationship when Watson was sick of Holmes' shit and felt the need to express this with every single line of dialogue...


Brief WTF tangent Okay, NineMSN is telling me that Katy Perry will appear in a live action segment of an upcoming Simpsons Christmas special performing with puppets of the main cast and will show her tits. This makes so little sense I'm going to assume that window of Internet Explorer is a hallucination.


Mad Larry How long since I went off about Mad Larry? I don't know, nobody reads this blog and I'm included in that. But seriously... is there anyone who takes him seriously at this point? For those keeping track he hates..

* The entire BBC books range
* Pretty much all Big Finish
* All Hollywood productions
* Every new DW ep not written by RTD, plus half of those ones
* Every DW ep written by Steven Moffat a second time over
* Sherlock, Jekyll, anything else written by Moffat
* Neil Gaiman and everything he's involved with seemingly on 'principal' of the fact Gaiman is able to pick up chicks.
* Simon Pegg
* Robin Hood
* The Tudors
* The Mighty Boosh
* Nigel Kneale
* The cast of Blakes 7
* coffee shops
* The Radio Times
* actually watching the episodes that he's reviewing

What are the few things he mentions as being beyond reproach?

* The original Star Wars trilogy
* The Star Wars prequel trilogy
* The Clangers
* His own work

... I mean, fucking really?


Alan Stevens Yes, the other guy who came onto my blog to slag me off. Possibly. I re-read his stuff the other day and it occurred to me an analysis of how poorly he attempted to argue anything is tempting, but I really can't be bothered. This is the guy who thinks the entire point of Doctor Who being broadcast was to tell us that a tokenistic gold-faced alien monster that appeared in 78 was God, after all.


Sky Television How can these guys keep announcing shit that doesn't happen? Why tell us you're making a new Blakes 7 when YOU HAVE NO MONEY? Did you even make anything over the course of those years? I got the distinct impression from the articles I read that you were maybe halfway through pre-production. WHY DID YOU ANNOUNCE IT???

On that matter... screw the people getting me excited over the idea of a film version of Bernard Cornwell's Azincourt. I heard a film version in the works... no. There's a script. You know how many decades there was a script for Hitchhiker's Guide? And much the same for the people getting me excited over a movie of David Wong's John Dies at the End, which in this case is actually the author himself... but, really he bought the rights and you put up a massive newstory and links to 'THe movie'? The rights to nearly everything are floating around, do you not know how this business works?


Girls on RSVP specifically the ones who send me the automated reply "I think you should read my profile more carefully" I ALWAYS read the profile all the way through. For this reason I dearly want a "Fuck you, you witless fucking harpy, I know more about you than you ever will, I have looked into the darkest corner of your soul and seen an obsidian heart that has felt not love, not hope nor any kiss of light in its existence, a heart that is hollow and pathetic and not worth my time. I bid you a miserable existence in wont of me" automated response I can send back.

This goes double for the ones who say this with a profile of "Oh hey im like ur averge gurl i like to party out night in with dvd lol i really lik having fun want too here from u boys!"

But then that does raise the question of why I'm attracted to halfwits....


The Dee Why Hotel bugger me sideways I haven't posted about that shithole. Okay, I haven't been to many clubs but this one is staggeringly bad. Terrible music playing as Dylan Moran would say at a volume to make the chairs bleed. In spite of this nearly inch of ground is occupied with massive tables, that are large enough for everyone to have a giant plate of food, in spite of the fact that they didn't seem to sell any meals. There also seemed to be a thoroughly enforced ban on single women in the premesis'. What better place to get stranded on a Friday night?

This blog entry Dear God I have trouble thinking of things to write. I mean that last entry could have been a lot stronger. I didn't even go into detail about chatting up that girl while her possibly-boyfriend-possibly-flatmate in a shirt two sizes too small danced like he was on E shouting loud nothings at her across the room..

It is fascinating that I still feel an odd duty to write here, though, even if it isn't the stuff I've specifically said I'm going to talk about..

Also I'm writing this on a laptop right now. And laptops are the reason I hate The Cleveland Show. See, there was a throwaway line in one ep about 'those guys who get cancer in their balls from using laptops all the time'. Now I can't use a laptop at all without thinking of that line. I swear I can feel the radiation leaking into those little guys right now...

HOW CAN I LIVE KNOWING I'M JUST ANOTHER HARVEY KRUMPET WAITING TO HAPPEN???

On that note, have a nice day.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I,m writing this on a an iPad

Oh wyes, how uncharacteristic of the new head of the Holy Order of Armed Luddite bastards to do, but apparently in my work I Need to stay up to date wih the evolutionary cull-de-sacs of technology . So here begins then this particularly typo-ridden entry tint the annals of my bolo rem .... Eeeerm blog.. Please stop predictive texting me Mr Jobs. Just stop.

So, when I am no longer being a pretentious wanker with remarkably non-useful technology when I'm meant to be working what can we looek forward to? well not altogether that much , brut her,s a sneak peek

! Jared turns himself into a cripple emotionally AND phsyically playing laser tag!

! Jad watches some old Doctor Who DVDs and bitches about Malcolm Hulke"s grasp of drama. Jared also does something similar.

! Jared finds himself to be cast in the role of Tim from THe Office by God!

! Tim From The Office finds himself cast in the part of Jared by a BETTER GOD in the New Sherlock Holmes!

! I fess up about having watched the Robert Downey Junior New Sherlock Holmes ... And qute liking it!

! I sit on my are and watch stile more TV!



......... Jared writes quite a long and effortlessly witty post, then proceeds to lose it all due to the fact that the iPad has a massively ineffectual touchscreen that believes that when I say "Pubslish post" I smear for it to DELETE EVERYTHING, Steve EJobs.... Yosu are without a doubt the weakest, most spineless dog ever to attach 1s and 0s together in semi meaningful clumsps. YOUD Mke me ME SICK!!!! DON,T EVER DESIGN A LAPTOP AGAIN!!!!! GAAAAAAAAAAAAAaAAaH!!!!! DOUBLE THE FIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


... Oh, wait a minute, its still here.. This thing that just can't frigging scroll. Ah well... Back to our scheduled programming...

! I fuck up an annoying running gag by ceasing to refer to myself in the third person!

! I recount wanting to starting to write a suicidal blog entry about Internet dating literally minutes before it started to work!

! Jared conspires to cock-block his indefatigable Dutch housemate!

! Jared conspires to commit copyright infringement!

! Jared is wrongfully arrested and then ritually acquitted of child pornography charges. Wheile NAKED!

! Jared almost seems to subconsciously wish to be fired since he's typing this.... On. A work computer no loess!

! Jared stars in the most tepid film of this summer. Maybe!

! Jared fails to overcome writer,s block!

! Jared contemplates going into Young Adult writing because they'll clearly buy any old rubbish!

! Jared gets a haircut!

! Jared goes "ZOMG SGU COMING BSCK!"

! Jared notices that there has actually been a critically Fellated new series of Doctor Who and passes some form of unnecessary commentary riddled with needlessly lowbrow humor and homophobic slurs against Messrs All&

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wanker's Cramp (Or Blogger's Block, if you will)

"Dude, I'm like, fucking, Valedictorian at Harvard." - Jason Mewes

I have nothing interesting to talk about at all. So... you know.

When you're just wandering from working day to working day, to massive depression on the weekends and whenever you're at your house there's a massively demanding dog that isn't yours wanting you to throw a cong endlessly and you're still trying to work off a four-hour sleep deficit from the last night you felt like killing yourself there really isn't much to say.

I don't want to blog about my housemates, because it seems impolite and they're nice people. (And I've already been impolite about them on FaceBook)

I don't want to blog about the dog because I don't like him very much and he's much like any other dog, just stupider and with much worse ADHD.

I don't want to blog about why I'm depressed because as often happens when you have depression there's only 200-odd small reasons rather than one good one that just makes you sound like a dickhead.

I don't want to blog about TV shows because there isn't really anything on. I mean, IT Crowd was funny but definitely not mindblowingly so and Futurama is much the same.

I don't want to blog about the new Doctor Who season because I've got all the shit I wrote at home, and I need to watch most of the episodes again. And I don't want to watch them again because I suspect they won't be as good as I remember and I'll get more depressed. That and the fact that again, retarded dog taking up most of my free time.

I really, really don't want to blog about my upcoming birthday as it may be #1 on aforementioned 200 small reasons countdown.

I can't blog about any games, because I haven't had much time for playing them but also the computer I'm using can barely play a podcast and surf the net at the same time.

I would like to blog about Inception but sadly the film is inextricably linked to something that depresses me now.

I don't want to blog about my best friend's birthday, because they were a few of the 200 reasons there (The ones with tits) and that was also the night that made me want to kill myself that I mentioned earlier. Nor do I want to blog about my other close friends upcoming birthday because I uninvited myself, afraid that the same thing would happen again.

I also don't want to blog about the unusual coincidence therein that three of us have birthdays three weekends in a row, because it went from being a cool "Hey, we'll be getting fucking wasted this month" aside to a horrifyingly macabre paranoid theory of "Somebody up there desperately wants me off this fucking mortal coil".

I don't want to blog about the one thing there is to say about my 'love life' that I'm handling rejection well now because along with everything else in my life it feels over half a decade too fucking late.

I don't want to blog about work because I have a friend who got fired for that very reason. Interestingly, work is the only thing I'm actually enjoying right now.

Oh, I also didn't want to blog about my best friend because we ended up having a massive screaming match over absolutely nothing on FaceBook, presumably because we're both on edge. Though he doesn't tend to tell anybody so I figured he was just being a complete dick.

I don't want to blog about the Federal Election, for reasons that really apply to everything else, because everything I have to say has been said by others better.

Basically, I don't have anything to say because I'm massively depressed, which I guess stands to reason.

"I don't like watersports at the best of times. And these aren't the best of times." - Kerr Avon

Monday, August 2, 2010

Eulogy or Jared Goes Emo

I guess 3 am in the morning, when I am only on the computer in order to listen to the thumping electronica bass of Sir Kele Okereke and thus block out the noise from my crippling indiscreet housemates fucking is the best time to pen an utterly depressing entry.

I spend a lot of time as a closed book, and I'm not sure if it's because I do not wish to share or because I assume nobody else will be interested in what I have to say. Recently I've been feeling that I don't say enough, however, and so I want to chart the course of my relationship from innocent beginning to equally innocent but bastard-flavoured ending. So, yes, this is a heap of emo shit. How about I open with a poem, just to make it even worse?


Hazel eyes, black hair
Then she dyed it.
She texted me, over there
And I died. Shit



EXCELLENT! Now I just need some black highlights in my hair and to closet myself some more.


Anyway, I think I've referred to a girlfriend ambiguously in this blog once or twice, and in some of my half-written reviews even gave her a nickname - 'Little Miss Paradox', a smug knowing gag of the type I love and devour about the odd state of our relationship at the time of writing. Now, like all good jokes this one turned out to be founded a lot more in truth than I thought - the end was just a resolution of that paradox quite definitely. And I can say there's nothing worse than opening Schroedinger's box and finding that the pussy is nowhere to be found.

She does have an actual name though, and that name is Kayla. We were set up by our best friends who happened to be dating, and such a concerted effort to get two people to fuck I have never seen before. It's as if I was Ric Moranis and she was the love interest in Ghostbusters and our friends were Zuel. (Remember that? I am the key master, I am the gate keeper? No? Cool....)

To their frustration we just talked for five hours, because the amount of common interests we had was really quite amazing considering that we were only introduced because she liked the New Series. (Yes, really. It's not rare enough to justify that kind of thing now..) Though eventually when we were penned into a bed by our friends we did end up making out and, somehow, deciding we were an official couple and swapping contact details.

This is when I became pretty much the worst boyfriend ever, as I only got in touch by email (though to be fair getting her on the phone was fucking impossible) and didn't make a massive amount of effort to see her since she was in Sydney and I didn't have a car at the time. At the same time, so full of myself for actually finding a human female willing to consider sleeping me I was riding high on my confidence and fighting off the urge to drop the term 'my girlfriend' into every second sentence I spoke.

With no exaggeration whatsoever, I can say we probably saw each other 6 times when we were 'going out', (this is over the course of a year or so) something I now question if we even did. And, crucially, we never had sex. Which for those of you following at home, means *I* have never had sex, something I generally refrain from mentioning (but my mate Daniel seems to enjoy bringing up as often as possible in mixed company) but of course if I'm open is a big part of my issues.

The irony is that I had sweated blood to NOT have sex when the oppurtunity presented itself the second time we met. I must have old fashioned ideals, wanting it to be special, and didn't think that it would be so if we were both half paralysed from drinking a river of Jaegerbombs and so restrained myself after the first hurdle and then awkwardly spoon for the night.

Please note... never, ever do this. The Universe will go out of its way to make sure there's no opportunity for sex ever again and it will just fan speculation about your sexuality / genital wellbeing.

The fascinating thing about a relationship is how your intelligence seems to evaporate. If anybody else had been in such a half-arsed effort and told me that they got a break-up email after 10 months or whatever it was I'd have shrugged and said "What did you expect?" I was genuinely surprised. Why? I'd taken her for granted.

A big part of this was probably the fact I was in what I know refer to as my peak physical condition, 79 kilos with a hint of toning on my blinding pale pecs after a year at the gym and I wasn't yet uncovering more of my bald pate every day. From my confidence levels you'd think I'd been voted Sexiest Motherfucker Outside of Hollywood by Time Magazine, furthered when I was hit on by a girl at a party for the first time ever. (A different girl who was interested in dating me for precisely three days. Fucking narrow windows..)

Now, Kayla I would describe as unconventionally beautiful and at the time slightly overweight (but with a thickset build in general, which I seem to find strangely attractive - a chunky girl with a nice face gets my attention quicker than a thin girl with the same face would). If any female reads this by freak chance, I need to explain that guys operate on appearance to a ludicrous degree so I believed there would be little competition, and that she would be happy to have me even if I wasn't always around.

I know. I was a prick.

BUT I saw the error of my ways and knew I should make up for it. I decided to take the 'let's be friends' line at face value, and kept sending her emails as she went through her HSC (oh, didn't mention that did I? According to the legal experts in my TAFE class I belonged in gaol..) to comfort her and asking how things were going, etc.

It's probably a good idea not to do this, either. I mean, it doesn't seem directly responsible for bad shit happening but I don't trust causality right now...

She did find my emails very comforting and so we got back together and made out, thus getting ourselves into our undefined relationship status and my Little Miss Paradox was born. Tragically, I managed to forget she changed her email address so looked like a G-rated wham-bam thank you ma'am type until I looked back through our correspondence and saw the discrepancy. I got back in touch, and we were kind of back, ambiguous as ever.

Again, intelligence seems to vanish utterly. Though we were effectively going on dates, she stood me up, cancelled, and refused to spend any credit on me, along with providing any feeble excuse for me not to see her. It was apparent at the very least she wasn't head over heels, but the part of my brain shouting this information out till its throat was raw was cushioned under a euphoric feeling of 'heee boobies' that clouds my mind when I'm with any female with any suggestion of attraction.

Last Monday was the end. It's a shame because it happened right after watching Inception with her, which is an amazing film. When watching it, I spent 10% of the film thinking of things to write in a blog post about it (no, I'm serious). I spent 100% of the time AFTER leaving the cinema thinking of killing myself, though, which really threw the evening out for me. Simply put, we said a very weird and stilted goodbye. How weird? How stilted? Hmm, okay I guess I am an analogy kind of guy... imagine a ventriloquist dummy and K9 talking about the themes of Waiting for Godot in strict Iambic pentameter.

Forever.

After she left I felt the need to text her and ask her what the deal was. THAT was when I wanted to kill myself, not when I got her response which was pretty straightforward I can tell you. The simple fact I had to ask gave me the answer and I had one of the rare epiphany moments in my life. I'm not sure if I want another one.

Again, she said she wanted to be friends. Maybe my reaction wasn't justified, I don't know. I suspect I may be the arsehole through and through all of this, but I made my intentions apparent over the last couple of months and she did nothing to do so... wait, why didn't I just write 'leading me on'? My argument is that friends are honest with one another, friends give, and friends try to understand one another and she did not do these things so I can't count her as a friend, a case I made in a very long email that I impressed myself with by not using the words 'fuck' and 'cunt' at all in. I then set about making a break as clean as you can without a lightsabre - blocking her email, deleting her facebook and erasing her contact details from my phone.

I think I've made the right decision when I consider the paranoid theories I have about virtually everything - in this case I imagine that she was setting me up for heartbreak while wringing as much money out of me as she could, as a revenge-best-served-cold for being such a crappy boyfriend to her. The thing is... I prefer this alternative. Malice is relatable to me, and it's proactive. The alternative is self-absorption, or cowardice.

Now, I figure when the idea of your ex-girlfriend being a James Bond villain in the way she handles her relationships cheers you up... I'd say it's a good thing to break it off.

This is all extra reasons why my tolerance for my housemates fucking is pretty low, as you'd imagine.

The annoying thing is that in the story of my own failed relationship I don't get to be the good guy. I like to consider myself a good person, but there are times like this when I question it. I think I do take too many people for granted, and that I'm too selfish for my own good at times, and I question msyelf so much to the point that I even wonder if I've ever had depression in the first place or if I'm just a wimp who needed an excuse to not try harder.

Even this blog post, the fact that it exists, marks me as a twat. This is just me venting, writing things I need to write to feel better. It's so selfish. And everytime I do anything selfish I hate myself.

Sorry, 4 am now and my wheels have falled right off. I'm meant to be working in five hours, and I think my funny gland's completely exhausted. But I suppose I should end this rambling post with a word I don't use nearly enough...

Sorry.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MEANWHILE on the Northern Beaches

DOCTOR: Jared... does it ever bother you that your life makes no sense?

JARED: What do you mean?

DOCTOR: Your job.

JARED: What about my job?

DOCTOR: You have no experience and only patchy qualifications. How did you get it?

JARED: I did the best storytelling read that they'd ever seen in a job interview.

DOCTOR: Oh. And your job involves reading stories to children?

JARED: No. Oh... I see what you're getting at...

DOCTOR: Also, you live in Sydney with no car.

JARED: I lent it to my brother.

DOCTOR: Why?

JARED: Because he wrote his other one off and lied about the fact afterwards.

DOCTOR: Okay. You realise that that's pretty retarded on your part, yes?

JARED: Definitely.

DOCTOR: And somehow, in the space of a fortnight, you earn yourself a profitable job with a Municipal Council and move into a beach house in Sydney. Practically OVERNIGHT. Your only skills and experience being excessive masturbation and bitching about sci-fi shows, some of which you haven't even SEEN.

JARED: Yes.

DOCTOR: And you think you're too busy to review my new adventures?

JARED: ... is that what this is about?

DOCTOR: Yes. Come on, I've had my best bloody year. What are you doing? NOTHING!

JARED: I'm working eight hours a day. And it's my first ever job!

DOCTOR: How many times do I have to tell you cloth-eared apes? Your job is irrelevant! You need to sieze the day, do what you love!

JARED: When I was doing nothing but updating my blog I was suffering sporadic depression. The clue's kind of in the name, in fact.

DOCTOR: Okay. Do something you love OR tell me how fantastic I am.

JARED: ... you're a bit of a dickhead.

DOCTOR: Yes. I am. That's my gimmick this time. The last bloke had short temper and tried to eat his own chin when he spoke. So I'm rude. You Antipodean twat.

JARED: I'm getting that. Where are Amy and Rory?

DOCTOR: Amy's been kidnapped by the Sposh of Naq'Toon and Rory's dead.

JARED: What, again?

DOCTOR: He'll be back.

JARED: So why are you here?

DOCTOR: I need to face my greatest nemesis..

JARED: Holy shit, The Master's in Dee Why?

DOCTOR: No. No he's dead for real this time after Sutekh punched him in the nads. I probably used the wrong term. Definitely not my GREATEST nemesis. More, sort of, my most pathetic - but my most irritating. By some margin.

JARED: Oh... the Raxicorricalfallapatorians, who keep irritatingly keep getting referred to as Slitheens out of context?

DOCTOR: No, but you've reinforced what I was talking about.

JARED: Wait... is it me?

DOCTOR: Yes. You and ever prat like you. Now come on, all you do is bitch that my adventures suck. THEN when there's one's you can't deny the quality of, what, you shut up shop?

JARED: Not deliberately. I've been busy, man.

DOCTOR: Oh, look at me! Mr Busy! What do you do exactly? What do you DO?

JARED: I scan boxes full of foreign language books into the library system and then distribute them between four branches.

DOCTOR: Oh, wow. THat sounds so difficult. To think just this morning I LOST MY BALLS TO A ROGUE JUDOON BOUNTY HUNTER WHEN CHASING DOWN THE NEXT EVOLUTION OF THE DRASHIGS!

JARED: Bloody hell.

DOCTOR: Luckily he preserved them in a pickle jar in the 51st century so River was able to re-attach them. Though the Selachian warship made things difficult.

JARED: I'm not sure if we can live by your standards.

DOCTOR: And why not?

JARED: Well... you're kind of fictitious, you know?

DOCTOR: And you aren't? You're 50% invented online persona!

JARED: Irrelevant point.

DOCTOR: What was that?

JARED: I pointed out that your point was irrelevant, and nitpicking... oh God.

DOCTOR: Aha, now you see. Why you're one of my many nemeses. You're a gestalt. When you stare into the abyss does the abyss not stare back into you?

JARED: Scandalous suggestion!

DOCTOR: Within you, is every aspect of every online user. Every hypocrisy. Every ridiculous theory. And oh so many rape jokes.

JARED: How can I expunge this evil?

DOCTOR: By updating your blog saying how awesome I am.

JARED: ... this makes very little sense...

DOCTOR: You think THIS makes little sense?

(A walrus falls on them)

JARED: Ow.

DOCTOR: Don't be a baby, it's mostly made of jelly. So, are we sorted?

JARED: I guess. Fuck me.

DOCTOR: Maybe later, still not worked out this body's sexuality.

JARED: You too, huh?

DOCTOR: Yup. Anyway.... ooh, I was going to say 'allonzee'. Can't do that, can I? Need to be original....

JARED: SKip to the end.

DOCTOR: Oh, alright...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Vagina Triumvirate : A Success Story

As of today, Ms Julia Gillard is the 27th Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia. This is a monumental event for Australia. Firstly... we've beaten those fucking Yanks to the punch once again. Aha! Secondly, there is a now a Prime Minister of this proud nation that I would have sex with, which as I have state on FaceBook, has not happened for 65 years. Yes! Not since Jack Curtin.




It's a respect thing, not a physical thing you understand. And I realise he wouldn't be into it.

Anyway, this is quite a good thing, though, centre-of-left pinko scumbag that I am, I shall miss Tin Tin Rudd, who failed at every turn to be the Steel Rudd that we had hoped for. To the average Gen-Y'er who voted for him he became disappointing by not supporting the policies that seem no-brainers for us, like gay marriage, and advocating policies that Yahtzee Croshaw would call 'pants on head retarded' - the extremely under-trumpeted plan to censor all the internet to make sure no man, woman or child anywhere in Australia will be able to see a penis. Plus he never stood up for the Chaser, even if the ABC got some more cash.

He also lost most of the gains he got from his home state of Queensland, because while the policies above were at least pink-necked, his neck was never fully scarlet. He actually had views on the environment and climate change, and was willing to pursue them no matter how faded the curtains should get as a result.

Astonishingly, for a PM that seemed like a Julius Caesar of Web 2.0 in the lead up to the election, Rudd showed a dire misjudgement of the media and how to handle it throughout. Vitriol was drummed up about the ETS left, centre and especially right for the sake of selling newspapers and the facts were lost - the judgement was that people didn't care about this toss and a double dissolution would be a complete disaster. Bizarrely, he announced the idea was to be shelved until 2013. The shelving was questionable. Putting a date on it was downright suicidal.

The double dissolution is not a conservative strategy for sure, but that is why it was brilliant. Ironically a fine column in the equally fine Syndey Morning Herald described Rudd in the lead up to the election as reading up on George Washington's famous Valley Forge campaign, where the general crossed a near-frozen winter at the height of Winter to attack three near-impregnable forts and then march on the city the British held right afterwards. Surprise was his only weapon, but so powerful was it that the victory is among the finest in history. The writer summed up Rudd as learning from history and practising such bold tactics in his political campaigning.

Sadly, this sort of verve evaporated when he took the office. Apparently it is quite true that courage is much easier when you have nothing to lose.

The situation further proves how perverse indeed politics can become - the ETS did not even fail because of the mindless hatred of the Liberal party to planet Earth, but rather of Bob Brown to other politicians. The Greens crushed the bill utterly, and all credit should go to them for the fact that the Federal government has no climate change policy at the time of writing. They would not accept anything less than an absolte plan, and so got nothing, like that fucking dog trying to grab the bone in the water we keep hearing about. In spite of this, when Labor flagged, where was their vote going? The Greens. The most 'do nothing' party out there.

This would actually mean that Tony Abbot would become PM. If you recall his climate change plan, labelled 'Thunderbirds are Go! Direct Delta Action Team Act NOW!' is to pay the country's biggest polluters millions of dollars, creating a "Please don't pollute anymore" credit scheme which is a slush fund for the CEOs who donated the most money into the party. The Greens say they support this. Because it's better than Labor's now non-existent policy. The policy THE GREENS FUCKING DESTROYED!

Ahem, nevertheless, this issue fades into the oblivion of yesteryear's politics now. When it became clear that our erstwhile PM could not actually sell the no-brainer of taxing the most disgusting money-grubbing wastes of oxygen in the country of a few extra percent of the 4.9 billion dollars that they are making right now while tearing up our country, he was a shot bird. Rudd is gone.

In some terms this is a good thing, definitely for the labor party which is, after all, why it happened. He was only a wild card candidate, grudgingly accepted by the party because they could see the potential for some short-term voter appeal and that he offered them in spades. And most of the people I have talked to have wanted to see Julia Gillard as PM in the first place, a view I certaintly held, and were wondering if she would actually have the chance given that Rudd's position, prior to this year, looked quite unassailable.

After all, let's not forget the fact that Labor did lead Australia through (well... that's the current HIGHLY optimistic line laid down) the Global Economic Crisis as one of the only Western nations to not officially go into recession. Is that not worth anything? Not really. In an election year, after all, everything is the present.

The present would definitely seem to play into Gillard's hands as well - she is already a popular and charismatic politician with only a limited amount of the electorate even aware of the minor controversies she has undergone as Education Minister, especially this is but one of three (!) portfolios that she has held. She has a strong basis and will furthermore undergo a honeymoon period, against an opposition leader who is well into the broken-crockery-and-black-eyed-spouse period.

Ah, Tony Abbot. With an unarguable human being at the other end of the debating table I can only hope that people begin to look harder and realise that you are just a Terminator-style robot under a thin synthetic layer of skin sent back in time by the Catholic Church to battle the Atheist's time travelling robot. (Hint - he's one of the Mythbusters, and he's not in the Scooby Gang)

If we lose this election I may just cry tears of blood. However, Gillard could still have the Double Dissolution card in the sleeve, though nobody would dare advise that move at this stage. But clean leader, clean slate? Force the race as soon as possible and leave an opposition unsure of how to hit a girl in public unsure of how to find their feet? Insanity, but it could be worth a shot. Or it could be all the Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged I've watched on YouTube getting the better of my strategic understanding. (Throw the tortoise at the flying castle, damnit!)

What struck me as I drove home, though, was that no matter which way you cut it, Australia has a female head of state. Isn't that a wonderful thing? Oh, it's the head of the Royal family? Elizabeth II. No, the Governor-General? Ms Quentin Bryce. No, screw that you say? The PM has the real power? Well that's ME JULIE! It's Fem-TAS-tic!

As I was saying, I see this as evidence that the much-touted Glass Ceiling is no more. Yes, I know there are articles saying that it still exists, but these articles hinge on one or two things...

1) There are men who have high-ranking positions who hate women

Really? Isn't that bloody surprising! There are men shovelling shit who hate women, too. I'd go so far as to say there's no shortage of them, for various reasons, most too deep to go into but I'd dare say things aren't helped by some perceived inequalities around now and attitudes of many bratty young ladies around.

Put in its simplest possible and most justifiable sense, that there is active discrimination in the upper echelons against female employees this is the thousandth case of the obvious fact that you cannot change the perceptions of an entire population overnight. If it can be proven the bodies are out there now to address the issues on a case by case basis - as fair as anything else in life at least.

2) There aren't enough women in the top jobs!

Now... it may well depend on how you define 'enough'. As far as I'm concerned, more than one should be enough, as it will demonstrate that it can happen and not be a fluke. As it is we get dozens of stats that the average board of, say, 20 members will have 1 female member, the small number of female CEOs, figures on middle management positions. The key assumption being that women WANT these jobs, and I have seen little calls suggesting this. It's also focused on areas male-dominated, instead of say, the number of female library managers and principles around...

A suggestion I see worryingly often is for set numbers of women in positions. This is a system that was around in the 70s, often with very patchy results - my dad lost his position as a groundskeeper at a university to a paraplegic woman, because the staff hit on the genius idea that she was two minorities for the price of one. She was also completely incapable of actually doing any work, so my dad was re-hired as the asssistant groundskeeper. Basically he did the exact same work for a lot less pay. Good times.

All such a system results in is in so-called 'positive' discrimination, in which the best person most likely does not get the job as the actual highest priority becomes what minority is represented by the candidate, as this is something that now has actual legal representations.

I think the dark days are well and truly over for the movement, with the proof being in the pudding. I mean, right now we have a G-G, a PM and two premiers without a single testicle between them. And this wasn't true just six years ago. It's quite remarkable. And I think something to be proud of.

The only possible downside is some issues down the road with selecting the Prime Minister's XI...

Oh, fuck, I just read she was born in Wales. IT'S A SLITHEEN!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jared Reviews Time of the Angels (Kinda)

Okay.... now where's that load of crap I wrote about the episode a couple of weeks ago? Ah, here we go....


Well.... at the time of writing it's currently a week since I got a copy, nearly two weeks since it was shown and I've just got my copy of the NEXT episode and I still haven't watched Fanwank of the Angels, so it's clear that I have no real enthusiasm for the prospect at all.

But Jared, you ask, are you not swayed at all by the squeedom of all other fans? No. I am not. My entire online persona, after all, is based upon a near-certain delusional belief that I am better than all other fans, those fools who believe The Seeds of Doom is somehow genius television and demand at knife-point where the fuck I get off putting The Greatest Show in the Galaxy in my top ten. If these people are jizzing themselves screaming that "this is the single greatest ever story in the history of the show since Midnight!" then it's all the more reason for me to assume that it's terrible.

Dear God the prospect of pressing the 'play' button in Windows Media Player rests like a sack of rocks upon my shoulders. But I have to bite the bullet... I must do this, not for my own entertainment, not by a long shot of heroin in the arm, nor for vindication and not for the chance of being proven wrong, but for the sake of the 1.5 people who read my blog on a semi-demi-pseudo regular basis. I must do this. And I can.


I can.


I totally can.


....awww, fuck it, I'm watching Farscape.

FARSCAPE: 1.18 DURKA RETURNS

His name's John Crichton, he's an astronaut, radiation hit and he got SUCKED THROUGH A WORMHOLE! Now lost in some distant part of the Universe in a SHIP a LIVING SHIP surrounded by STRANGE ALIEN CREATUREShelphim being chased by an IINSSAAANE military commander. Doing everything he can to find a way home, apparently. About on par with Alex Drake in that department so far...

That was a pretty good episode. The Aussie painted blue and speaking in an American accent this week was Tiriel Mora, best known as Martin DiStazio from Frontline and the bloke who swears a lot over his photocopier in The Castle, with a surprisingly unrecognisable performance. He's an emotionless mindwiping alien who talks like Truman Capote (or at least Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Truman Capote) who arrives with two prisoners - one of whom is the Durka of the title, and the other of which is new crewmember Chiana (not to be confused with the most memorable Ben Chatham character ever written), who seems thus far to be a sociopathic and whorish version of Vila from Blakes 7. That is to say, she's nothing like Vila at all, aside from the fact she's a thief.

The episode's name had me confused for a while, given the fact that no villain named Durka had appeared. It turned out that he had actually.. for about five minutes eight episodes ago in a flashback Rygel had set near a hundred years in the past. So... yeah. It turns out this dude's been kept alive by super-duper-advanced alien technology from Blueman Capote and had all the I-want-to-torture-frogs-yeah! code wiped from his mind to be a peaceable and productive member of society. Naturally he starts killing people and takes over the ship. And the good guys win, with barely any of the usual going crazy and trying-to-kill-one-another that occupies a lot of time in Farscape. Unless we're counting Chiara as part of the crew already, in which case her default mental state seems to be batshit insane and she tries to kill three people.

Man, I like this show.


Anyway... Doctor Who...

After I finish listening to Ben Folds. I love this track. It's Fair, btw. Just coming up to the cool drums bit. Oh, yeah, there we go. Now there's something in the background that could be synth or cowbell, grooving really well. It's the final bridge, where Ben keeps going "I'm lonely and I'm right." He just said "Yeah!" in that really cool way, so now we've got a minute of honky-tonk. Go you good thing. Soon it's going to fade out, though and we're left with the weird ending were it's just the bass and the drums going on their own. I'm assuming it was the last track on the album. Erm... not that I would not know that because... you know, I purchase the albums and stuff because I like... legal music so much. And Ben's one of my favourite artists, after all. Obviously I would support him. WHY ARE YOU ACCUSING ME????

Now some Tom Petty cranking. "So if I come to your door, let me sleep on your floor, I give you all I have, and a little more". He does sleep late Down South. I love the random function. I wonder who the hell Samuel Clemens is and why exactly Tom Petty would pretend to be him? Does he have the same girlishly long hair worn about a decade after it's time to cut it shorter? No offense to Tha Pett but he makes Bill Bailley look extremely well groomed and non-frightening. Last time I saw him anyway. Or maybe the time before that. One of the times he had giant glasses and a bandana on. Looked like he could be halfway towards being The Invisible Man. A stoner 70s Invisible Man who liked playing piano.

Bah. Beatles. There's nothing funny to say about them. Well, I guess except for the fact that I only realised there was a pun in their name a couple of years ago. Those bowl-headed fuckers had me mispelling 'beetles' for years.


So...Doctor Who...

After some porn.

No, I'm joking. It really is Doctor Who time. Though pornography has seen me quite pre-occupied lately.

As an added twist with this review I will be adding and subtracting points on the fly, as this episode has to win my respect before I deem it worthy of having been made. Now, the initial thought that I had was to give it 1/10 to begin with because obviously something is better than nothing and especially the fact that I have continuous new Doctor Who and have had for the past 5 years... BUT the fact this episode is proving popular makes me reset it to 0/10, because the happiness of others irritates me. Ha! This is my blog. MY RULES!

I'm so lonely.

Now time to press play..

0:07 Seven second establishing shot? Jesus Christ are we back in the Lovett Bickford era? Has the world gone fucking mad? -1

0:32 Drugged out dude gets action and pisses off butler. A situation we can all relate to. +1

0:40 Oh, hallucinogenic lipstick. So River's an even bigger manipulative slut than I thought. -1

0:40 Christ, I'd forgotten for a glorious period this episode has RIVER FUCKING SONG in it. -2

1:12 ...'12, 000 years later'? Once again Moffatt is being unnecessarily cute and smug in presenting something weird. Unless this comes back in a cool way -1

But also +1 for seemingly turning River into Kate Tollinger. But that's also a -1 for inconsistent characterisation oh you cannot win my porridge loving opponent!

1:24 The Doctor taking a companion to a modern day museum? This is exactly how EVERY Ben Chatham fic starts. -1,000 going by previous efforts.

1:31 Okay, so it's an alien museum. +999. But -1 for making me look bad and -5 for having yet another 'biggest thing ever'. What is Moffat's obsession with bigness? Is the Doctor going to take Amy to see __ somewhat-proud owner of the world's biggest penis? (13.5 inches before you ask) I'm going to assume yes and that's -1 for just plain inappropriateness.

Also +1 for no reason so you can't claim I'm writing the most unfair review ever.

2:24 Yo man what the fuck Stevie Wonder? You keep telling us you don't like the Time Lords and the backstory bullshit... well, first of all you give the Doctor more baggage than he could ever fit in his fucking Narnia wardrobe by plonking a Sarth Effriken wife on the poor bastard (who only sounded South African in one scene but I like saying that a lot) which incidentally still counts as a -1 2 years down the track but FURTHERMORE you have Old High Gallifreyan in the FOURTH EPISODE once you're in charge. What the Hell, Hero? -1. Could be points back if it's cool.

2:37 Oh, here we go the writing is going to be "This way up" or something similarly unimpressive. OR 'cum and c mi sweetie love Prof Song Snog Bunnybuns"

2:41 Second try, not bad though I say so myself. How much does River Song suck? -1

3:26 The Doctor can HACK into security camera footage from a 12,000 year old spaceship. -1

4:27 You can't hear it through the vaccuum clearly, but the butler dude is currently saying "You know, this rapidly depressurised airlock doesn't suck quite as much as she does at least!" HA! +1

4:57 Oh? The 'follow that ship' bit from the trailer was meant to be the hook? FUCKIN LAAAAAAAAAAME! -1

Incidentally, why go through all this bullshit when River's meant to be able to send the Doctor messages on the Psychic Paper? It's not as if the fact that things ended up so bad the last time (what with her actually getting the wrong Doctor and then BEING DEAD HAHA (+1)) since they haven't happened yet would stop her. Besides she was shown to enjoy the lottery effect of getting maybe the right Doctor and maybe a wrong one. Presumably from a pool of two. No... make that hopefully. I don't want to see her as a recurring character for years and years to come. Oh God no. Especially considering the fact that bafflingly every appearance from hereon in will have to be her at a younger age than when she first appeared.

That's a -1 I just hate River Song.

5:32 You know they say every story with 'Time' in the title is crap? -1

6:01 River knows the TARDIS better than the Doctor. Who the fuck she think she is, Romana? I want Romana bitches. -1

6:11 Although if the idea is to actually give people the ability to talk in the TARDIS without falling all over the place then THAT is cool. +5

6:16 "You call that flying the TARDIS? HAH!" Yay, grouchy Doctor ftw! +1

6:32 Cue revolting Mary Sue-ishness. -200 points for Slytherin

6:52 Fuck you Moffat, it makes the noise. It makes the noise all night long. There are tons of stories where you don't hear the dematerialisation noise from inside the ship! Infact, clue's in the name, motherfucker DEmaterialisation. It plays when the ship takes OFF the planets for the most part - how can he have the 'brakes' on then? -500

7:08 Heh, kind of reminds me of the wonderful environment check from Destiny of the Daleks, one of my favourtie Tom Baker moments - "Ooh, look, rocks!" Hehehe. Sadly I'm still annoyed about that diss of the Radiophonic Dept's fine work. -500

7:27 Okay, I just dissed River for being a Mary Sue but the Doctor's being a God Mode Sue. -10

7:36 "It's a shame you were busy that day" Jesus Christ, River Song has been taught the ways of the TARDIS by THE MASTER???? I guess it explains why she has the cooold, dead eyes... of a killer. +1

8:13 "She's the future... she's MY future..." Okay, hold the phone... is there some little fight going on here between RTD and Moffat? I thought the Doc said basically in a throwaway line in The End of Time that he met River properly inbetween that story and Waters of Mars. Now he claims not to have met her properly? I CAN'T STAND THE CONFUSION IN MY MIND! -1

8:39 I guess I have to grudgingly admit that getting Amy's first alien planet after 3 eps is impressive, though. +5

10:11 I still hate River Song. -1

12:40 So... the Doctor's saying the Weeping Angels are the most malevolent and dangerous and evil and powerful lifeform ever? So this Moff admitting the Doctor just says that about anyone and hence Vashta Nerada and the Daleks do suck balls. FanTAStic! +10

13:12 Take THAT, motherfuckers! You dare tell me River Song being the Doctor's wife isn't explicit? Fuck you! Fuck you! I was right. You are wrong, so very wrong every retard fuckcake on IMDb and Gallifrey Base that insisted she wasn't the Doctor's wife I LAUGH at you. I bet you didn't get Klein/Utterson on Jackal, either, and didn't realise Benjamin was a bad guy but still felt legitimised in guessing that I was too dumb to watch the show. You mouthbreathers are the stupid ones and Moffat has just smacked you down. You all suck. Everybody but me with an IMDb account sucks the balls of Atlas himself, and furthermore are too stupid to even know who Atlas was in mythology so deliciously are unaware of the insurmountable horror of being condemned to suck his balls for all eternity when you are sent to the circle of hell reserved for Fucking Morons. +400

13:39 We're in the 51st Century again? -1


15:43 Sorry, took a break to watch ABC News. Now I'm going to listen to a badass shred-metal cover of Beat It.

Twice. Awwww, dat was metal.

Okay back... now I'm confused. Amy's just seen the angel move but didn't River Song say it was just a tape she filmed of the angel on loop?

16:03 Oh, okay, so they're addressing it..

17:11 Incidentally, this is another Moffat script where TVs behave in a magical way...

18:14 That was an oddly convenient bit for the Doctor to read out seeing as it didn't really answer his question. Also the fuss about pictures seems pretty odd considering the fact that we have adjectives and such and not a lot of writers also draw. -1 Ha, I'm a harsh marker today!

18:24 Wow, gee, River, I think it may mean that if you have, say, something that is an image, and this image depicts an Angel... then that's A FUCKING ANGEL! -10

18:42 Okay, and the Angels have been boosted up nu-Dalek style for this story with the ability to manipulate the physical world? Hmm, right...

19:56 If the Doctor DOES tell her what the Angel does then it's a let down because she just vanishes into Time. Which, you know, ain't grand but she LIVES. And he may be able to find her if random shit that the TARDIS can do keeps getting introduced. But he's just grabbed the book so I'm sensing retcon. -1

20:09 And... yes. Going by that the Angels are now able to possess people...

20:40 That escape sucked. It can 'deadlock' the entire ship, including IT'S WIRES, but can't stop the remote's pause function? Not buying it. Not even looking twice at the packet. -1

22:19 The Bish just commited grand-theft voicebox to poor old Paul McGann. -5

23:02 So River's a serial rapist. Finally some justification for her apparent mental imbalances. +10

Bored now. Watch the rest tomorrow...


So I didn't watch the rest tomorrow... instead I watched some more Farscape...

A HUMAN REACTION continues the theme of the series of making sure nobody at all bar John Crichton get a decent swag of screentime or contribute too much to save the day which gets mildly irritating. To assuage this the story decides to fully embrace just how fucking Aussie this series is by entering it into canon that John's mission didn't take off from Cape Canaveral as it appeared in the pilot but rather from somewhere in the general vicinity of Sydney. And so the guest cast needs even less effort than usual in disguising their accents.

For a parochial person this bring obvious benefits - Sydney (or possibly even Gosford in an early scene) scenery that you can recognise and the hilarious sight of John introducing Aeryn to beer as they share stubbies of VB of all things. Some oddities follow, such as John insisting that even if you're an Australian you would have to know who won the Superbowl, apparently ignorant that we of the wide brown land give not a toss for whoever should win the first-grade comp in a sport nobody else on Earth bothers to lower themsleves to. This one's made even worse by the fact that it's apparently a clue to the truth of the scenario.

Yes, it could not be more obvious that Crichton cannot simply go home than in this story and when his crewmembers start being dissected by the evil strictly-surname-basis ocker jumpsuited goons that are apparently Crichton's former allies it becomes even clearer that this is a dreamscape made by evil aliens. Specifically the sort of evil aliens who just copy and paste from Crichton's mind people's he's met onto Bondi so he's able to work it all out when he thinks to the strange fact that every single person he's met he already knows, and every 'extra' on the streets of Sydney is somebody he knew with three-four degrees of separation. Fucking lazy aliens.

Though, to be fair, the twist is that they aren't REALLY evil aliens. And the episode contains some great sequences where we hear Zahn, Dargo, Rygel and Aeryn talking in their 'native' accents as Australia, as with broadband, is well behind when it comes to getting neurally-implanted translating microbes. I think this ep demonstrates the strenght of the show, nobody does filler like Farscape...


Unfortunately THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS goes on to demonstrate the possible down side is nobody else seems to do as MUCH filler as Farscape, though the story contains some character development as well it's time for the "Oh shit we've got no budget!" ep where the script writers panic and scramble for a bottle episode using nothing but the main cast and the standing sets. Results seem tedious as all fuck to being with, as Pilot tries a sudden Star-burst to show off and soon has left the whole cast sprawled around the dinner table and they all make like lambs to the kebab shop as they each go through the doorway even though the first person who does glows bright and then vanishes and results really don't vary. Then we get a ton of time taken up by Crichton finding Aeryn and them both shouting visibly while the audience gets nothing but white noise. It all feels so much like a rejected B7 script that it staggers belief.

Things pick up when it's revealed that the ship stalled mid Burst and is now spread across 4 parallel Universes, and furthermore has earned the ire of a creature that lives in the void naturally. The crew themselves have spread across, and broadly the alternate realms assault the senses - Dargo is in a world where everything is blinding, Aeryn in one where there is constant deafening noise, and Rygell in one where everybody laughs like complete fuckwits at EVERYTHING. It's all quite fun. Once it got into it's stride it's all very, very well scripted and tightly plotted, the one downside for me being the fact that the actress playing Chiana can barely do an American accent and says half her lines in a completely Aussie accent. Is the character meant to be vocally schizophrenic?

Then.. A BUG'S LIFE. It's pretty cool. Crichton puts on a kind-of-convincing British accent and some black leather to make out like a Peacekeeper when the badass commandos who cameoed earlier comeback, only this time with the monster from B7: Killer they have somehow managed to capture. And so grey-chick and Rygell break it open to set it loose as soon as possible. Everybody but the heroes die, especially the dude who has the audacity to set him up as a potential love interest for Aeryn. You Sebaccean n00b!

*

AFTER THE FACT EDIT: Holy shit, just re-read that for the first time. Was I on something? Incredibly hostile, and unusually I didn't acknowledge where I was plain wrong - I'm sure at that stage they made it clear that the Angels have been upgraded from 'conscientious objectors' to 'insta-kill machines', also a retarded read on my part of the video scenario. Strangely I left out my biggest quibble....

...okay, let's take a moment. Using its magic bubble technology the Angel is able to 'deadlock seal' an entire shipping container basically. It generates a power source for the TV so it can't be unplugged. It does... something to the wires on the outside. But... it cannot stop a cheap remote from beaming a 'pause' command to a future-y VCR? That solution bugged the hell out of me. Come on.

Anyway, here's the stuff I wrote tonight which is mildly sane...


Now, then.... the irony of this weird and pathetic excuse for a review is I managed to stop writing at the precise moment that the story actually got good. But unfortunately also at the stage where not much sticks in the mind about it a month or so after the fact. Because I never did actually watch the second half until it came on television...

And... well, pretty damn good actually. As demonstrated in Jekyll Moffat is extremely gifted at turning on a dime from comic to scary and intense. This episode was not particularly scary but set all the pieces in place, and led to a good cliffhanger, albeit one that was driven by the annoyingly predictable stupidity of bit-part soldiers.

If you ever find yourself leading a battalion of soldiers in the Whoniverse... never assign two of them to do anything, EVER. If The Sontaran Stratagem did not make it clear, nor the hundreds of Pertwee stories in which it occurred then you'll never learn clearly. When faced with any potential danger they will inevitably walk straight into it, because when there are two soldiers you will have one who is timid and sensible, and another who's boisterous and fucking retarded. That said, they'll both be equally adept at exchanging middling-to-entertaining banter about their predicament.

Don't think for a moment this rule is universal, however. In Stargate, for example, if you leave two soldiers on their own, the odds are that they'll be either O'Neill and Teal'c; Scott and Greer; or possibly Shephard and forgettable young black guy, and those dudes are indefatigable killing machines. If their name contains a '#', though, forget it.

Incidentally, after writing two paragraphs on the subject I can't actually remember if there are even two soldiers who get eaten by the Angels or maybe three. Anyway, the story ends up feeling a little bit to me like Moffat secretly read my blog and thought to himself "Fuck, I need to win the one bloke on Earth who didn't stain his trousers over this crap I wrote while high and have no memory of to once again be Crown Prince of TV-Writery!" because he brings back another element and makes it more reasonable, and actually disturbing..

Unlike the unbearable tedium of "Hey... who turned out the lights" droned by a hung-over accountant and then played on a loop like this is the lead in to a Chemical Brothers track, we get the spooky disembodied voice of .... god, I so vaguely remember this...

..sorry, I'm going to go to TARDIS Wikia. I never do this normally...

BOB! So, yes, we get the spooky disembodied voice of Brother Bob, once again speaking through a walkie-talkie (scientifically proven to be the most disconcerting form of communication), this time without a contrived explanation about walkie-talkies having a psychic link to the people who use them even though they still press buttons to transmit etc. Furthermore, given there's only one female guest character it doesn't serve as support for the famous Moffatian paper Sitcom Eugencis: Quantumn Correlations of Porkability & Mental Retardation. What I love is the brutal simplicity of the explanation - Bob has had his vocal chords torn out and the Angels use them for their own sordid ends.

What makes this genuinely frightening, as opposed to what sounds like a toneless wav file that just won't stop frigging playing (THE DOCTOR TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS!!! HE KINDA MENTIONED IT!!!) we get the viewpoint of somebody ruthless and cruel, expressed with the voice of somebody gentle and naive. An awkward discourse that, fascinatingly, even seems to suck in the Doctor a little bit as he's prone to chat with the disembodied voice of 'Bob' in quite amicable terms.

Really, the episode doesn't lead to anything special - the crew just gets cornered as has happened in so many recent cliffhangers. But it's a taut, well-written journey.

But, seriously, fuck River Song.

7/10

Oh, yeah, I ditched that whole running score joke.

Incidentally, the score for this excuse for a review is

0.5/10

WHAT THOSE OTHER LOSERS SAID

Jesus Christ! First time I go to Gallifrey Base in ages and I find a giant disembodied pair of Tennant's eyes staring at me. Bloody scarier than anything in this ep...

Crack fuelled TotalSciFI Response: Steven Moffat must like a challenge. His multi-award winning season three story Blink is widely regarded as one of the best Doctor Who stories of all time; a haunting one-off that left us with a distinct sense of unease around statues.

(You fucking serious?)

Crack fuelled IMDb Response: I believe that to be a red hering. River Song said she was trained to fly the Tardis by the very best, but told the Doctor he was busy that day. Now we can assume that she could be talking about a future verison of the Doctor or maybe it was someone else who can fly the Tardis. If Memory serves there were six people before who flew the tardis. Remeber A Journey's End. Dona tells Jack Harkness that he is best one. Jack and River are of the same time 51st Century. He would be considered a hero by many many people. I may be a million miles off with this thoery but like they say "time will tell".

Crack fuelled Gallifreybase Response: Taught to pilot by the best... The Master? Oh man want to know some spoilers!

(Okay, clearly time for me to get in on the act.... *SNOOOOOORT* Whoah... hey, you fuckers! I drag-raced TARDII and I can say the best motherfucker for piloting that shit is Greyjan the Great! Know what this means? Season finale is sequel to THE MOTHERFUCKING ANCESTOR CELL!!!! We're gonna see sooooooooooooome SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!! Amy, naked in a Klein Bottle while Timmy Dalton gets fucked up by giant spiders. Remember - called it! ME! MEEEEE!)

Strawy McStrawman Response: If you’re really looking for signs of massive progress in the world of Doctor Who, then just compare the savvyness of Karen Gillen’s Amy Pond to the likes of Bonnie Langford’s ever-screeching Mel from the 80s.

(If you're really writing a review of the new series, try not to mindlessly bash the easiest targets outside your own genitalia.... unless it's Larry Miles. Yes, I'm hypocritical, it's my blog.)

Paranoid Response: Yet as brave, charismatic and attractive as Amy Pond is, there remains an element of uncertainty surrounding who she is and what she wants from the Doctor, which taints our impression of her.

Best Friend Response: Seriously? You haven't watched it yet? What the fuck, dude?

Ewen Campion-Clarke Response: No, seriously, it's good!

Steven Moffat Response: Why do so many people have a problem with River Song? I think she's a great character.

Observant Reader Response: Do you just find a heap of random quotes you want to mock in the space of five minutes from GallifreyBase?

(Silence!)


Next week: "Did I mention the whole 'not blink' thing?" "Roughly 200 times" "Do.... not... blink" "*Sigh* Very well..." .... there really aren't any other gags in that trailer...

Friday, June 4, 2010

The 220th decade is when everything changes...

Because that is when Jared Peter Hansen esquire of Cedar Brush Creek got broadband and ALSO an internet connection in his own room. Hell, now I don't know what can convince me to leave this room. I can only imagine I'm doomed to die within the space of a week in a horrid death in my own squalor. I can think of no better way to go, except perhaps for something involving one of those new-fangled 'women' contraptions.

In all seriousness, I consider this pretty sweet, because once I'm done writing whatever is about to fly off the top of my head I'm off to watch Zero Punctuation, something I generally NEVER get to do. Zero Punctuation is basically a psychotic British man who hates everything ranting about video games over images he's made in Flash in the space of about five minutes... and it's BLOODY BRILLIANT! However it took a good hour and a half to load on dial-up and then I also needed to keep the volume on the ancient speakers of the (*spit*) family computer turned down so that my parents wouldn't be alarmed at hearing a Middle English man decrying something as 'a barrel-load of cunts in a nunnery' or something similar.

Jared, you ask, why is this so important? The ability to absorb the minutae and offal-esque detritus of society at a level of rapidity previously unavailable to you, the lack of a motivation to leave the second hand chair that is virtually the only piece of furniture in the gloomy space you call your bedroom thus contributing further to your inevitable Costanza-ish premature atrophy? Is this what you hold important? In what way are you better than the penis-measurers, Novocastrian binge-drinkers and the people who write the 2 billion words dedicated to Anime series with fucking weird names on TVTropes that you constantly rail against? You believe this is your divine purpose in life - to drown yourself in memes of absolutely no importance to anybody? After we believed in you. YOU WERE THE CHOSEN ONE! YOU WERE MEANT TO BRING BALANCE TO THE NET, NOT HUFF IT!

My only response to this could be: woah. Calm the fuck down. Are you a crazy person?

Even if anybody would ever actually say this to me, at this moment it could not bring me down. Firstly, because I have broadband and secondly, because I am listening to Evermore's new album. Even though my quasi-ex-potential-new-girlfriend-slash-female-friend-slash-dalliance-slash-I-have-no-idea-what-to-call-her....

Okay, let's end this now. From now on the girl I hang with every now and then that is not actually my girlfriend and kind of wasn't but also kinda wasn't and kinda could be, shall be referred to as Little Miss Paradox. Anyway... she dissed the new album. WHATEVA! She also dissed K9, so I look forward to ignoring her some more when it comes to the important issues.

Now, in more seriousness (seeing as the last time I said 'in seriousness' what I said wasn't really serious at all - it seemed to be 'I like hearing British people swear!') I think this could be my year. After all, didn't Paul Kelly say 'the darkest hour comes right before the dawn'?

Okay, you say, this prick has gone right off the rail. It isn't enough that he spends half his life looking for Cao-Dai subtext in episodes of Sharpe to justify his unseemly appetite for the adventures of a hunky Yorkshiremen in tight pants, now he's seriously suggesting that a company accepting a submission for his house to receive an ADSL connection is directly due to a tilt in the balances of the Universe, rather than, say complete coincidence combined with a snail-paced roll-out of fibre-optic cables throughout the stinking backwater you occupy like a bloated diabetic toad. After everything so dismissive you have said about religious people, you reveal yourself to be equally as flighty and irrational. I can only hope that you are anally violated by Christopher Hitchins while Richard Dawkins watches on, having sex with Lalla Ward as he does so in the orgy of intolerant rationalists. THE UNIVERSE WILL FUCK YOU OVER EVEN MORE!!! And Evermore's new stuff SUCKS!

Why are my imaginary Devil's advocates so hostile tonight? Anyway, the feeling has cemented with a positive attitude of mine that has been strengthened greatly by receiving my second ever job interview... in some odd circumstances. It was miraculous I got it at all because they naively decided to contact me on my mobile which I pretty much never use living outside of any connection range, and I only get the message while drunkenly dancing in a friends' grandmothers' living room to some Muse performed on Senor Daniel's Christmas present guitar and am able to process the very unfamiliar words.

This happened to coincide with an inexperienced Telstra worker attempting maintenance on the local exchange and somehow re-wiring half the phones in Yarramalong Valley to our phoneline, possibly to set up some sort of Three's Company or Frasier storyline, and then after being barraged with complaints, 'solving' this issue by disconnecting our line entirely. This left me with no option when replying to the missive but to drive a couple of ks down the road to... and I'm serious about this... the gum tree next to the Old Mill's Gate, one of the only spots in the valley to have mobile reception.

Furthermore, when I call the woman who picks up apparently is using a headset she's unfamiliar with, that has the volume turned right down. I can barely hear a word, assuming the line is bad, and she puts down the headset to adjust the settings without mentioning it to me, so I'm treated to several seconds of completely dead air on the line. I look at my phone, and it's panel, too, is dead. So I hang up, not realising what's happened. Yes, I HUNG UP on a potential employer.

It gets worse, because once I phone back this is all explained away, so my instincts hurriedly hunt for another way to fuck this up. Thankfully, Mother Nature was watching over me and decided to start up the torrential downpour that had been going on earlier that day. Now, at this stage I have the phone cradled between my ear and shoulder, as my hands are occupied with a notepad and a pen I have to take down the details that I need. As the details are imparted, I am hit with so much water I am soon so cold that I am actually shivering and desperately trying to shield the notepaper by impersonating the hunchback of Notre Dame. She asks me if I have any questions, and I do actually have a few. BUT by this stage I am incoherent enough to sound like Leonardo DiCaprio in What's Eating Gilbert Grape and end the conversation very prematurely.

So first impressions = mentally deficient man scarcely able to operate a phone.

Furthermore, the job is one I applied for months ago and can barely remember. All files related to it on my computer have been deleted, because even though I haven't received a rejection I assume it's been way too long to hear back. I don't even have a copy of my application. I don't really have anything to read about it to prepare...

But, well... I prepared as thoroughly as I could over the week and the interview was one of the most pleasant experiences I have had. Everyone I've described it to agrees that all the signs were very good.

In addition to this, a couple of weeks ago I had a bizarre moment where I realised that I know at least three avenues to submit a script - a friendly producer I have met and studied under in the past, a director who is married to a former agent, and a friend who goes to a school ran by several people in the industry, ignoring the people I know with friends in the ABC and other more tangential avenues. And so, I've committed myself to writing a sitcom pilot over the next month or so and sending it around. Bizarrely it's an idea I've had for at least 3 years but haven't done much about. But that's gonna change, dudes!

So... I'm pretty happy and with an optimistic outlook at the moment. And that hasn't happened too often before. Watch this space! As it remains creepily devoid of life.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Jared Reviews Victory of the Daleks!

Oh, yes, this one of the old-skool efforts I wrote while watching it for the first time.

1:19 Please note, as 'By Mark Gatiss' came up on screen I said 'Fuck.' This is probably an overreaction, though...

2:03 In trying to emulate the famous cadence of dear old Winnie Ian McNeice seems to be performing all of his lines with a mouth full of licorice allsorts...

2:20 ... sorry, Amy thinks she's a genius for working out this is the war room? *Sigh*

3:27 When he starts talking about the 'Narsey' menace I begin to wonder how seriously McNeice is taking this all. I guess I'll see soon whether it's with good reason..

And I guess it takes away any wonder that this is only the third WWII story to show up on screen - in pop culture terms, which Dr Who actually does use a lot to deal with its history - even back in the supposedly much more serious Hartnell era - WWII has become comic book territory. The Curse of Fenric and The Empty Child combatted this effect by stories well off the beaten track - they mainly both used WWII as a vague context for the stories and focused on odd tangential stories. TEC had nothing to do with the army, after all, swinging the spotlight onto the terrified civilian life living through the Blitz and Fenric while seemingly improbably disarmed a lot of the typical WWII fodder by making the bad guys Russians... and then making them NOT bad guys at all!

Incidentally, what some people have regarded as the biggest barrier to finding Fenric credible, aside from the generally overlooked fact that the Doctor has to make certain that grey, mutated vampires rule the Earth in just a century's time (seriously - why does nobody question that bit???) , that the Russians would conduct a commando raid against Blighty in secret at the time when they were allies isn't as incredible as you think. I just recently read about how Polish-speaking American paratroopers were actively recruited for a top secret OSS mission, where they were to be dropped into Poland to arm and train the resistance to fight the enemy. Only, the further the men got into their briefing the clearer it became that 'the enemy' was actually the forces of the USSR. As it happened, the plan didn't go through, as the Russians advanced too quickly to contain. Makes you think, though...

Anyway, back to something that probably won't be quite as grey-on-grey...

3:45 GAH! That professor looked a little bit Gatiss himself!

3:56 .. okay, that bomb dropped close enough to illuminate Amy's entire body with it's flash and they're in no actual danger?

4:41 Sorry, small detail - they said earlier that the targets were usually out of range, indicating that they aren't now... but those planes were very close. AA should have been on them not long after first visual. Also, the planes were flying in a very abnormally close formation and seemingly quite low for a bombing run of this sort. I don't think we should give props to the Daleks at all and just pin it all on bloody suicidal Kraut pilots.

So.. how silly is the idea for this episode? How many times have the Daleks missed their targets in the classic series, dealing with blokes running not-terribly-fast over a distance of about fifteen feet max? Now they're fucking crackshots at anti-aircraft fire of distances of miles? Pretty odd considering the fact that their guns are shown to have a fairly cosmetic effects on metal and most things inorganic, since they were designed for the sole purpose of genocide of shirtless hippy blokes (or Soviet expies who didn't believe in body armour, depending which origin story we go with this week..)


5:49 Okay so this week Amy's parochial enough to insist that Bracewill's smarter than the Doctor because he's Scottish? Jesus Christ. Even when I compliment Gatiss I have to say he isn't flattering to any female companion he writes for..

6:25 "When I rang you a month ago I admit I had my doubts", ah retconning how I have missed you...

6:37 ... Winnie's in love with the Daleks because of their 'absolute hostility' and the power of their weaponry.... so he assigns them to move files around the office? Somehow this reminds me of Warbot From Accounting...

6:50 "They invaded your world, planets in the skies, you don't forget that..."

I actually was lucky enough to have forgotten that. Now there's ANOTHER reason this isn't making sense. But, of course, this line is the sound of the script editor's pen scribbling madly. Let's hear what Gazza came up with...

7:07 Oh. So we're being enigmatic, then. Lindsay Duncan remembered them...

9:00 - Incidentally, Churchill did actually go to a bunker especially set up for he and the War Cabinet during air raids in the London Underground. I know this because Billy Connolly went there. Sometime after the war I'm sure...

9:34 WOULD-YOU-CARE-FOR-SOME-TEA???? Okay, I lol'ed at that. The hostility in the sentence was very amusing. As the Daleks get more and more milked out making them say funny things has become a big factor in writing stories for them I've noticed. After all, what point did Legacy of the Daleks serve other than to have Daleks quoting Shakespeare? Or Brotherhood of the Daleks aside from Daleks singing in a Soviet chorus? Or, indeed, The Stolen Earth aside from that one scene where Daleks shouts in German, which is basically everyone's favourite bit, several listing it as the one good bit in the story. (Impressive for a 5 second scene..)

9:44 - OH YES! This is the scene that got leaked when they rehearsed it the night after Matt Smith OD'ed on mescaline and had to come in and do it on his hospital bed. Let's see how much the delivery has improved...

10:38 "Yes, DOCTAH! DEATH TO MY ENEMIES!" Change the fucking record, Churchill. Jesus Christ can we get a scene without your larger-than-life bloodlust here?

10:45 "Yes, Winston, and death to everyone else, too!" ARRRGH! STOP REPEATING YOURSELVES!

10:47 I was going to make a joke about the Dalek offering tea again... and he did it! He bloody did it! YOU MANIACS! YOU BLEW IT UP!

12:17 "I AM THE DOCTOR! AND YOU ARE THE daleks."

Definitely an improvement.

It occurred to me this scene would be cool if I hadn't seen and heard it around twice a year since 2005. Dear god, Rusty, what have you done?

12:52 Yes! That miniature of the Dalek ship was very shoddy! The special effects are definitely worse this year. THIS FUCKING FANTASTIC! We're getting some alien planet for sure.

13:19 Phew. Lucky thing Churchill waited so long to call the redshirts in, or they may have gotten some lines.

14:12 ... now this is looking like a generic Dalek story....

14:23 The rogue janitor is activated???? So... they're sending Neil Flynn in?

16:18 I was about to complain about the idea of the TARDIS having a self-destruct but then I realised it's pretty definitely a bluff on the Doctor's part and he's just holding a novelty-sized Life Saver.

16:45 Oh, yes, one ship survived and 'fell back through time'... seriously, who the fuck cares by now? Can't we just go back to the glory of Sawardian exposition now?

THE DOCTOR: Wtf? You're dead, I killed you!
MASTER: As if. Dying's for queers.

Ah, those wonderful days..

17:49 So far as I can follow these are survivors of the mongrel Daleks that Davros somehow made by scraping meat off his own ribcage and that makes me think on from that... what a wasted opportunity to NOT make these inbred excuses of Daleks weaker than the 'pure' deal from Time War era and The Cult of Skaro that the Doctor faced. Seriously, give yourself some storytelling wiggle space. Sadly, these fuckers are able to fly.


ARRRRGH! I still grapple with this one. Hovering is plausible, hovering and no other action - hover devices roughly Dalek size have been made but - come on! The power of anti-gravity?? It's not as if the Daleks were fucking bereft of impressive powers to begin with, is it? God they suck. Daleks suck so much. They're like a televisual black fucking hole. Times like this when I think about what god-awful super-powered suckage lumps of entertainment anti-matter they've become in their modern bastardisation I wonder why the fuck I watch this show, I really do. In fact, fuck it, I'm going to watch some Fringe...


ARRRRGH! They open with a fucking recap. I HATE RECAPS MORE THAN I HATE DALEKS. So.... I guess we carry on.

18:37 Oooh... luckily despite my not-even-really-about-this-episode rant what follows is pretty damned clever. The Daleks are actually underpowered here given their ship is on the verge of collapse and so are unable to attack. So their attack - switch London's lights on. I was about to complain about the idea because this isn't really possible but then I realised - it is.

Well... not quite possible. We don't have the technology to do it but completely plausible. Tesla had a handle on the wireless projection of electricity back round the turn of C20 and though it required an awful load of electricity that's precisely what the Daleks canonically have in abundance. (Even if I'm going off David Whittaker's notes on Daleks mentally, which is basically Chuck Norris Facts with a Find-and-Replace done in Microsoft Word)


20:34 ... wait, Moffat's even introducing new Daleks as well? Cor, was he happy with NOTHING in the RTD era?

...okay, that question was a little ironic coming from me...

Also, they had the DNA... where do they get the massive Dalekanium casings from?

22:28 So THIS is how we get to Biggles Exterminates Some Kaled Arse....

23:20 These new Daleks are pretty fat. Why did they get Michael Kilgarrif as an operator?

23:48 ...so the Daleks are just broadcasting everything they do out from their spaceship if anyone's interested in watching it?

24:43 Oh my god, the self-destruct wasn't real! Who would have guessed it eight minutes ago?

25:08 Daleks have fallen back quite a bit, haven't they? Quoting Shakespeare one day, Pauline Hanson the next..

25:28 .... remember what I said about Daleks not being able to hit guys five feet away when they were running in the classic series?

28:23 I quite like 'Oblivion Continuum' - what a wonderful tautology. I do find self aware nonsense is the best kind...

28:47 Wait.... how can these newly-born Daleks even have any memories about the composition of the Bracewill android?

29:38 ...incidentally, the problem with this plan is that currently the Daleks should know that the Doctor is returning to Earth so there is no reason whatsoever for them to honour the bargain and NOT destroy the planet...

29:56 "DALEKS-HAVE-NO-SUCH-WEAK-NESS!"

"....YEAH-I-KNOW-THAT-AL-READY"

"JUS-SAYIN"

"FROM-NOW-ON-JUST-SAY-THAT-SHIT-IN-YOUR-CE-REB-AL-NODE-MOTH-ER-FUCK-ER"

30:03 So now we know why the Doctor runs into a room and punches out a random dude!

...actually I'm not 100% sure. Let's keep watching...

30:27 Hehe, the Daleks still use Rels. Awesome. Also the sonic screwdriver has a 'dissolve Android flesh in a PG13 way' setting.

30:34 HOLY SHIT a piece of alien tech that the Doctor isn't instantly familiar with! Who's heard of that in six years or so?

30:47 "Amy, you're a female in a Mark Gatiss script. So you're not helping."

31:33 Okay... the day is going to be saved by making a middle aged man go emo against his will?

33:57 Amy has saved the day for the third time in a row, giving her a 100% success rate.... but in the most wishy-washy way ever. Come on. "Hey, I want to bonk fringe-boy here senseless!" defuses a bomb. Give me a break, that made very little sense...

35:39 ... Amy just asked Churchill "What now, then?" .... Jesus Christ. He's PM, and there's a war on. He's got some plans in mind!

35:56 "She looks very upset." Jesus Christ. Is she channelling Poirot right now?

37:38 They walk right in on Bracewill's Dr Strangelove impersonation..

39:06 ...couldn't the Doctor have just said "We aren't going to de-activate you"? Do 45 minute stories need padding now?


Nothing interesting happened in the next two minutes.


Well, annoyingly I was just reading some of Ewen's blog, so my opinion is a bit uncertain - I need to resist in future until I have actually finished my review! As it stands... well... the good outweighed the bad by some margin in this mixed bag of an episode. Being Gatiss, it was all fairly straightforward and, if we're honest, at times worryingly patriotic and insular with some flat characters. Is it possible this is the biggest waste of a celebrity historical on screen? Too fucking right it is, because Churchill does very, very, very little of note and relates very little of his character. Amy is terribly handled.

On the other hand... Daleks are handled well. Yes, that comes from me - the familiar gimmick of Daleks being weird is wound up very early on in the story, really, and once Daleks are being Daleks things are actually surprisingly well written and interestingly handled... well, in relative terms. The Daleks are defeated using logical means, no deus ex machina in sight through the use of a Chekhov's Gun against their Achilles Heel. Nobody performed any Ass Pulls. Also, get this - the Daleks lived! They are the Harry Potters of Daleks! We have a story where the alien menace is not wiped out for ever and ever and ever and ever for a change, so we can actually have a sequel where they don't just pop up and say "Doctor - you forgot to say NO RETURNS! BWAHAAHAHA!"

Now I talk myself back into it, this was pretty fun when it came down to it. And the show's on what I regard as the right track. The Doctor wasn't infallible, the bad guys got away after being defeated by a sort of weird logic. So.... I guess 7/10. Though it could easily have been improved, don't worry about that.

I guess my appreciation of this story, compared to my relatively unimpressed response last week, should prove as testament to the sad truth that the effort you put into a story isn't directly related to its quality. Because this was so under-written in comparison to The Beast Below it doesn't bear thinking about, but was just plain old fun to watch.


WHAT THOSE OTHER LOSERS SAID

Casual response: My Dads a casual fan, but hes watched every episode this year so far. He thought this weeks was crap, and I dont think it won Matt any points with him either.

Authoritative fan-consensus response: By far its not the worst. Its not the best but it was still a fun romp.

Best = Rememberance of the Daleks
Worst = Genesis of the Daleks

Clean-living response: My son said he liked Churchill's "smoking thing", so it has worked as pro-smoking propaganda!

Six year-old response: She needed a bit of input throughout - we'd discussed WW2 and Churchill in preparation, but the "put that light out!" stuff and why Churchill "kept blowing into that brown stick" prompted questions.

Great unwashed response: Partner, best friend, online friends all in disappointed agreement.
PANTS.

Darkhorse response: VotD had an interesting concept behind it, but fell flat on characterization and some very iffy things like spitfires, plastic Daleks, and an android bomb that just needed a wet dream to stop exploding.

My not-sure-what-to-call-her-potential/ex girlfriend-y response: It was so crap!

Ewen Campion-Clarke response: Jesus this is shit!

Mum's response: Fighter planes in space? What bullshit.

House of literary references response: Dad, when asked, said '.... yyyeeesss' through gritted teeth. 'It was alright to a point.'

'... which was?'

'The playdough Daleks that look like Richard the third.'

Minimalist response: Do we really need another "I hated Victory of the Daleks" thread? There's already about 500 or so on here.

Pissed-off-viewer hotline response: I received more texts and phonecalls from non-whovians after this episode than any other nu-who story.
They were universally negative.

The Daleks were derided as Dyson vacuums.

They all thought the plot was non-existent.



Obviously, I can't look at the vitriolic response without realising this is shaping up as everybody's least favourite aside from me. But, hey, how many classic series guilty pleasures do I have... Silver Nemesis, Claws of Axos, and Terror of the Vervoids it's good to have a story that everyone HATES in NuWho that I can enjoy. Certainly makes a nice change. (The Long Game doesn't count. Or Fear Her. Those stories are of such quality I'm sur everyone online was joking about them sucking.)


Next Time: "Quick, name your favourite Phoenix brother!"... The Doctor bombs the Statue of Liberty... River Song asks Amy if she watched Larry Miles' favourite episode... River showcases the most boring Reality TV pilot ever... somebody steals Paul McGann's voice... the Doctor calls in the cast of Black Hawk Down... somebody hits Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V in their word processor... River makes the mistake of picking up The Book of Monotonous Foreboding... and an angel statue doesn't do very much....