Category Archives: TV Talk

Game of Thrones 5×02 and 5×03 Quick Thoughts

No time for full reviews but here are some random thoughts at random points throughout the last two episodes…

5×03 – High Sparrow

Littlefinger: “You’ve been a bystander to tragedy from the day they executed your father, stop being a bystander.”

Me: Well, considering you were instrumental in getting Ned captured by the Lannisters she should start with gutting you right then and there but oh well.

Littlefinger: “There’s no justice in the world, not unless you make it.”

Me: Touché.


Marrying Sansa to Ramsay? Whooooaaaaaaaaattthhheeeeefffuuuucccckkkkk?!! It eliminates the ‘imposter Arya’ storyline, that I’m kind of glad about, but holy heck Ramsay is a psychopath. Sansa’s been through enough already. (That pan over to his crazy hunting partner girlfriend pal was a bit ominous, no?) Props to Sansa, however, playing the game and putting her poker face on when facing Roose Bolton. Littlefinger’s been teaching her well, yeh? And yes, old lady who takes Sansa to her rooms, the North remembers.


Damn Lord Commander Snow was very reminiscent of that first ever episode, on top of the return to Winterfell with Sansa. Jon was very Ned in his execution of Slynt. I knew he couldn’t backtrack with his decision to execute, but damn I was still a bit surprised when he went through with it.


5×02 – The House of Black and White

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There’s just something about Arya Stark that makes you want to be her, no? An internal steeliness that she’s developed since the start of her journey, granted it came from having your entire family ripped from you starting with watching your father get beheaded.


Brienne has been rejected by Arya and now Sansa, ouch.


Jaqen! But not… because it’s not really Jaqen- just a face. But it’s comforting for watchers of the show to see a familiar face. Yeah?


Snow for Commander!


The moment Tyrion and Varys went to a brothel I knew we were going to be seeing Jorah. I like that they’re accelerating the pace of this storyline- the show’s definitely going to exceed the books with some characters soon.


Qyburn is having fun playing Dr Frankenstein up in there. I love how nonplussed he was about the Mountain thrashing about- despite being, you know, dead. But dead is relative in Game of Thrones, amirite?


Dorne and Braavos looking pretty cool. Pretty cool.


Cersei and Jaime arguing over what to do about their daughter in Dorne having received obvious threats from none other than the sand snakes, is intense. Both their hands, well both Cersei’s and one of Jaime’s (badoom tush) are tied. They can’t very well go over and basically declare war, can they?


Which means more Bronn! Trying to get his castle ins. But nope, it’s off on a buddy film adventure you go with Jaime.


Greyscale is rough. No pun intended.


Expectation: Oh hey Drogon, been a while- how’s it been? Killed anymore children?

Reality: *sobbing and incomprehensible mumbling*

Guess this means we’re going to get some dragon riding at some point. Surely. I am so ready for it.

Game of Thrones 5×01 – The Wars to Come Review

Game-of-Thrones-logoTyrion summed it up rather nicely when he said, “the future is shit, just like the past.”

The first episode caught us up with some key players, the mourning Lannisters, the murdering Lannister and the Spider, the Highgarden (Tyrell) siblings, the mother of (two locked up and one missing) dragons, Littlefinger and Sansa, Night’s Watch patrollers with Stannis & Co. Am I missing anyone? Oh yeah Brienne of mother-effing Tarth and her squire who’s not really a squire, because Brienne’s not a knight. Her words, not mine. But that’s all we get from them as she’s not sure what to do at this point having lost Arya and still not found Sansa, Brienne’s sulking in abeyance.

Things are sort of in limbo for everyone right now, Cersei and Jaime are trying to hold off the noble folk after the death of Tywin- that scene beside Tywin’s body gave us more of the same with both characters. Jaime defending Tyrion, Cersei reprimanding him for it. The problem is Cersei is still coming off as less of a multifaceted character and more of a jealous queen trying to keep her title. The prophecy flashback, while brilliant, didn’t help. Mostly because Maggy the Frog’s prophecy to little Cersei, who was just as haughty then as she is now, was incomplete. They cut a potentially crucial element out but I think it’s slightly spoilerous, so thoughts on it below in the Book Spoilers Ahoy (BSA) section. How about that child actor though, she nailed her adult counterpart’s characterisation.

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Tyrion is understandably jaded, he escapes from prison and his looming execution to find his dad (who’s never loved him, apparently) had taken up with Shae (who he thought had loved him) so he kills them both and is squirreled away on a ship (forced to stuff his shit through holes- hopefully not the same holes his food would have been stuffed through) for weeks. Yeesh, that’s enough to turn anyone into a drunk. The show really cut down the traveling time for him- cutting out a good few hundred characters (just kidding, or am I?) along with it. I liked that they sent Varys along for the ride, it makes for an interesting change and gives Tyrion more direction than just ‘anywhere far far away from King’s Landing’. Varys, up until this point, has been rather cryptic in his purpose, ‘spymaster for the good of the realm but more to save my own hide’ is the vibe I initially got off him, but he fully laid out his intentions to Tyrion this episode. Dany fans would be inclined to back his campaign 100%.

Daenerys Targaryen seems to be the right candidate for the Iron Throne, no? She has the lineage, the right entourage (maybe) and the swag. The falling statue scene was powerful, it easily set the tone for the goings on in Meereen. Dany seems compassionate but is not a pushover and has shown the strength to do what needs doing. What she’s lacking right now, however, is a hold on her dragons and the complete devotion of the people she’s freed. She’s also in a state of limbo, it seems, because of this. Her growth will surely be linked to the ability to rein in her dragons. Right now Viserion and Rhaegal are losing their minds being chained up and the monstrosity that is Drogon is still at large, wreaking havoc no doubt.

Littlefinger and Sansa may not be in limbo per se but Littlefinger’s plans take time and there are so many things a’brewing. Sansa’s getting smarter but she’s not at ‘master manipulator’ just yet and I like her slow- but sure- development. But her storyline’s already a huge diversion from the books and it looks like it’s going to keep changing. Depending on how they continue to develop her character this can be great, or flop-central.

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And at the wall I knew Mance was a goner but damn burnt at the stake like a witch? Ouch. Also, Melisandre’s invasive questions were a bit rude. But perhaps she can’t sacrifice virgins? We’ll see what the show does with that, yikes at him training the little sprite that shot and killed Ygritte. The ending of the episode was striking. His respect for Mance won out over his care for anything Stannis said. Jon knows (funnily enough) what’s up with needing to put aside petty throne grabs for the bigger problem at hand. Imminent Whitewalker danger, yo. There are wars brewing from every direction, Stannis doesn’t quite see it yet. He may have his current war with the Lannisters over the throne but the unknown war coming at them from North of the wall isn’t something to laugh off. Dany’s fighting a war in Meereen, subterfuge from the Sons of the Harpy who oppose her and internal conflict regarding her dragons, but Varys and Tyrion are looking to bring her into the messy war for the Iron throne- the very one she seems determined to keep putting off.

No Arya or Sandsnakes yet, but they are on their way. Along with other key players mentioned but not shown in the first ep back. Introducing the concept of Dorne through Loras’ Dorne-shaped birthmark tho’. Really? It was all for the man-on-man action, for sure. However Margaery and Loras’ relationship is weirdly awesome. Natalie Dormer is sass incarnate and with more moments of sassery to come I’m definitely hyped.

Oh what a season to look forward to.

Honourable Mentions:

– “I am not a politician, I am a queen.” YASSS DANY SLAAAYYY

– The unsullied visit them brothels to be the little spoon. Plain and simple. It isn’t, really, but if I think about it too much it’ll make me so sad.

– Ah here be Sparrows! (Introduced through the atoned Lancel This is good, setting us up for what’s to come that has a lot to do with religious beliefs and the consequences of certain actions.

– Yikes, four episodes leaked before the premiere- much to the delight of pirating fans and chagrin of the producers.

Book Spoilers Ahoy:

– THE VALONQAR?! Maggy the Frog (Maggy being a nickname that refers to what she is, which is a ‘maegi’) doesn’t make any mention of the valonqar (High Valyrian for ‘little brother’). It’s important element. Like, we get it- Cersei’s wary of Margaery (seeing her as a threat, even without the added element of a prophecy about it). And while we know she hates Tyrion but at least this would have added another facet to the reasons behind her detestation. An element of fear to her hatred of Tyrion makes her hatred far more complex than ‘he’s an imp and his birth caused our mother’s death’.

Doctor Who Catch-Up Thoughts

Playing catch-ups with the past few episodes of Doctor Who. Episodes 8×05 – 8×07.

Doctor Who 8×05 ‘Time Heist’

There must be some logic, right? Too right, character I didn’t care too much for. Too right. The premise of the episode is somewhat exciting, and things happen -I suppose- but all in all the episode is rather lacking. The storyline doesn’t all converge in a way that feels satisfying and the characters feel somewhat restricted, not sure if due to mind-swipe or my general disinterest in any, if any, character development presented.

You can’t say you didn’t see the whole ‘the Doctor IS The Architect’ twist coming, because well the Doctor’s rather quick to just ‘go with it’ isn’t he? Sure they’re already being chased by security and their memories have gone bye-byes so they appear to have no choice BUT to run, however the fact that he doesn’t really push against The Architect’s instructions seems a bit suspect, no?

Heh, I’ll shuttity up now. F***ity bye.


Doctor Who 8×06 ‘The Caretaker’

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Oh Doctor, Doctor, Doctor. Tells Clara’s he’s going deeeeeeeep undercover only to turn up at Coal Hill (where Clara and Danny work- also incidentally where the Doctor’s own granddaughter “attended” school) disguised rather poorly as the school’s temp caretaker. It’s hard enough that Clara’s trying to maintain two separate lives, as his companion and as a normal English teacher- who’s got a thiiiiiing going on with the Math teacher (hello again Danny Pink) but when those two lives seemingly collide it pushes her into a comprising position where she’s forced to lie to one of them. Clara thinks she’s got everything underwraps but she does not.

We knew that once the Doctor and Danny (properly) met there was going to be some headbutting, but the Doctor’s continued jibes about PE and refusal to accept that Danny was a math teacher kind of got grating after a while. Don’t get me wrong, the Doctor’s haughty remarks are often on point, but I don’t know it was telling how much he kept chipping away at Danny.

Not that Danny or Clara helped at all. Honestly it was like an episode of who can be the most flawed, Clara’s attempts to lead the double life stretching her thin, the Doctor’s pettiness (although his approval of the bow-tie clad teacher was cute) and Danny’s inability to understand Clara’s relationship with the Doctor. Although to be fair she did have a huge crush on him for most of series seven so…

Epilogue: Promised land? The nethersphere? So all these are hinting to what, exactly? And at what point will the Doctor or Clara find themselves here? Because this arc’s ‘mystery’ is becoming a little less intriquing and a little more annoying. But that could just be me.


Doctor Who 8×07 ‘Kill the Moon’

Literally?

The Doctor can’t take a mean comment back so instead takes Courtney Woods (The Disruptive Influence who snuck aboard the TARDIS and the Doctor said mean things to) on a ride along, to the moon circa 2049 where tumblr is something your grandparents did. We find out that the moon’s an egg and the big decision this week rests on the shoulders of one Clara Oswald, or rather is thrust upon her by the Doctor who checks out- washing his hands of the responsibility of making the call between an innocent life (the moon egg baby thing) and the lives of everyone on earth. Fun fun.

It got a bit serious there, didn’t it? And Clara’s angry outburst at the end at the Doctor, while not completely unwarranted, wasn’t entirely understandable? Almost as obscure as the Doctor’s reasons for gapping it in the first place. In order to address this we need to have a quick look at the Doctor’s relationship with the human race. It’s bumpy at best, he loves us… he loves us not…he saves us…he expects us to save ourselves. Honestly for me the words that echo in my mind when the Doctor pulls a stunt like this isn’t even from an episode of Doctor Who but rather from Torchwood: Children of Earth by Gwen Cooper:

I wanted to know about that Doctor of his. The man who appears out of nowhere and saves the world. Except sometimes he doesn’t. All those times in history when there was no sign of him, I wanted to know why not. But I don’t need to ask any more. I know the answer now. Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame.

 

But this time it’s the Doctor’s actions that are shameful, because he doesn’t even know why he gapped it. Respect for Clara? Should have just stuck to ‘it was a decision for humans’ buddy. His actions put Clara in a difficult position, in a way that made her question her own morality I suppose. So I guess her outburst is understandable. I mean if she had went with the majority vote she could have justified it with ‘well majority rules’ but would she have been able to live with herself? Would the Doctor have been able to look at her the same way? I can’t say ‘Kill the Moon’ is a solid ep, but it posed some interesting questions- and set up some conflicts that have been brewing for a while. Even if it felt a bit sudden.

All I know is I’m not sure I would have been able to make a decision. Well… that’s not entirely true because them bacteria spiders would have meant we never even find out that the moon’s an egg- because if those things jumped out at me this is what would have happened: Kill it with fire

Doctor Who 8×04 ‘Listen’ Review

They did some scaring this episode, but did the questions raised and the familiar scare tactic bog it down? Is our complicated love-hate relationship with this episode’s writer and showrunner tainting our enjoyment of the show? Maybe, but I’m going to allow the little part of myself that did enjoy the episode to take over for a bit.

‘Listen’ isn’t about a tangible thing that goes bump in the night, it’s about the nothingness that engulfs the space around you when you’re sure you’re alone. That thing underneath your bed doesn’t exist, it’s your own fear that holds you captive, but if Clara grabbed the Doctor’s leg all them years ago when he was a scared lil timebubby starting this whole tulpa/thoughtform, then why has it taken so long for the Doctor to remember to ‘Listen’? It boils down to the idea that fear is a companion, always with you. “Fear makes companions of us all.” Oh hi ‘Unearthly Child’ feels.

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Moffat hammers in, again, the idea that Clara has seen the Doctor through some fearful moments of his long life- even if he didn’t know it. Capaldi’s initial monologue is great in that caught our attention and I do believe those first few minutes elicited some small amount of terror- however I can’t say I felt the same amount of ‘fear’ as earlier work from Moffat. Because I still don’t blink when walking past angel statues.

The monster in this episode was your own imagination, well the Doctor’s own, brought to life- sorta. I immediately thought of Supernatural, ‘Hell House’. Remember the tulpa? If enough people believe it it’ll come to life, right? I half expected Sam and Dean to burst into the TARDIS and tell the Doctor to change the story, and suddenly a crossover AU fanfic was born. However all it took was Clara’s maternal touch and a heartfelt speech, not sure I was exactly wowed by the anticlimactic resolution but it worked so I can’t complain too much.

Extra thoughts:

– The side romance of Clara and Danny made a few steps forward, a jump or two back before hopping into a car and going full-speed ahead. They do work well, Coleman and Anderson have an interesting chemistry that I like. I’ll give them that. Are we to believe that Orson (the Pink line are not kind with names) is a descendant of Clara and Danny then? I still need Danny to meet the Doctor, that is all. Well, properly meet him, as an adult. Especially considering Danny became ‘Dan dan the soldier man’ thanks to his influence.

– “He’ll never make a Time Lord!” Is that person from the Doctor’s past the original cereal guy?

 

 

Doctor Who 8×03: Robot of Sherwood Review

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Uh, what did we just watch? Anyone know what Gatiss was smoking when he penned ‘Robot of Sherwood’ and can we have some? I’m playing, but really it was a rather silly episode, wasn’t it? And it served to remind us that Doctor Who, at its core, is a children’s show. Where episodes like ‘Robot of Sherwood’ shouldn’t be so surprising. And yet, it was.

The Doctor lets Clara decide their next destination and with much fangirling she reveals that she really wants to meet the legendary hero himself- Robin Hood (played with much ha ha ha-ing by Tom Riley). They do and much slapstick humour is to be had, with a grating amount of fake laughter and much too merry men. I don’t know, I felt a bit like the Doctor myself the entire episode. Perhaps if I had a little more Clara in me I might have enjoyed the episode a bit more, but there seemed to be a forced atmosphere to it that I couldn’t shake. Was it the generous amount of sun in Nottingham? As the Doctor pointed out. Or the smile that didn’t reach Robin’s eyes? Or was it the irritating way he laughed, as Jess described, with a pause between each ha.

Perhaps it was the conflict between the two heroes. The man, the myth the legend… the Doctor or Robin Hood? Both rooted in their respective histories, from the page to the screen we’re all fine to accept them both in the show as ‘real’. Well at least Clara is, the Doctor -and by extension us- isn’t so sure. He spends the majority of the episode trying to expose Robin Hood as a fraudbot. Because he can’t possibly be real, that jawline and perfect teeth can’t exist. While it made for good (eh) banter, it grew ever so slightly tiresome by like the fourth round of pot-shots. All the while the Doctor was forbidding banter altogether. No banter from the Doctor? Sounds like a Tui Ad.

I agree, with Jess, that the storyline left a lot to be desired. A bit weak, saved only by the actors’ convictions to be their characters. Because what was even happening this episode? Seriously, The Sheriff of Nottingham is stealing gold to power a spaceship because he wants to fly to London and take over England with his robot army? Oh…kay. But this (is Doctor Who so what are you even complaining about?!) episode isn’t trying to bring the gravitas, not even a little bit. It’s slapstick and tongue-in-cheek humour with robots in a forest circa 1190AD-ish. They’ll take us back to the series-long arc soon enough, but for now enjoy a bit of the funny.

Next week they’re bringing the scary/creepy, you know how I love the scary/creepy!

Honourable Mentions:

– Them hair extensions tho’.

– History is a burden, stories can make us fly.

Doctor Who 8×02 ‘Into the Dalek’ Review

What did we learn today? There’s no such thing as a good…anything, really. Everyone has flaws, humans, Timelords, Daleks…the Doctor (yeah, yeah he’s a Timelord, but let’s put him in his own category anyway). This theme’s been a’cooking for a while now, and this episode clearly lays the foundation down for a series-long study of the Doctor’s moral makeup. With a Dalek (who the Doctor dubs Rusty) suffering from morality (taking us right back to series one’s ‘Dalek’ innit?) as the central plot, the Doctor, Clara and a few soldiers are shrunken ‘Honey I shrunk the Doctor!’- style and off into the heart of the Dalek (darkness) they go.

The Doctor saves a soldier, Lt Journey Blue (VOD! I mean Zawe Ashton), who establishes herself quite firmly from the get-go. Heh, I would still like to see Zawe Ashton as the Doctor some day, and seeing as you can explain away a guest-actor becoming the Doctor once, why not a second time? Keep that in mind, guys. Right so humans are locked in a battle with the Daleks, and they’ve got one Dalek (Rusty) suffering from ‘morality as malfunction’. We learn about the insides of a Dalek, which is visually comparable to the inside of a Teselecta, well crossed with a jumble of tubes- them human remains though.

Surely the Doctor should have known that by ‘fixing’ Rusty, the Dalek would revert to his natural state of hate. Was a bit dumb. However through this central plot-line the Doctor is faced with an idea that’s been giving him intense internal turmoil for the the better part of 2000 years. Because when Rusty gets a glimpse into the Doctor’s mind there’s a hiccup as he picks up on the Doctor’s hatred of the Daleks. And the age old ‘we’re not so different, you and I’ rears its familiar head.

Is the Doctor a good man? He makes quite a few judgement calls that could be deemed cold, but this isn’t new. Clara’s answer, that she doesn’t know if he’s a good man but the fact that he tries is the point, works. The Doctor often needs his companion, or carer, to slap some sense into him.  And in this instance Clara literally does. Capaldi’s stint as the Doctor is shaping up to be rather excellent, and I welcome all the coldish zingers with open arms. He’s looking to be less apologetic in the sense that he doesn’t beat around the bush about the facts. The Doctor’s dynamic with Clara is, in my improving, Clara should be glad he forgot her in Scotland (which isn’t too far from her home, and is thankfully in the same time and on earth). Also, our introduction to Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson) was great. I can already see the Doctor not liking Danny- not just because of his alpha maleness (even if he’s socially awks) but because he was a soldier. Even one with enough of a conscience to reflect upon past deaths and shed a tear in front of a class of students. Way to make us all uncomfortable, sir! I’m already living for any and all his interactions with Clara. I bet you’re living for it. That’s what I said. I bet you say that.

Next week we’re off to Sherwood Forest!

Honourable Mentions:

– Why couldn’t the Doctor have taken Journey with him? Think of all the puns!

– And Missy, once again in ‘heaven’ greeting those who’s ‘passed on’ during the episode. Nobody guards the dead, aye?

– Danny Pink, ladies and gentlemen. Lady Killer extraordinaire.

 

 

 

 

Doctor Who 8×01 ‘Deep Breath’ Review

For the past few regenerations there’s always an adjustment period during the new Doctor’s first episode, where he’s still cooking and getting used to the change- during that period those around him also take a moment to get used to the new appearance, voice, (at times) accent and characteristics. By ‘those around him’ I’m also referring to the audience, because just as his companions/friends need to come to grips with who the doctor now is, the audience must also adjust. Peter Capaldi’s debut as the twelth Doctor is rocky, in terms of the episode itself, but the man, the mystery, the timelord? Capaldi nails it. As a darker character than his predecessor I didn’t expect for him to make me laugh as much as I did during the episode. It was a pleasant surprise, I love that Twelce is incredibly crotchety and isn’t a hugging sort of person. And at over 2000 years old he’s picked a face that outwardly exhibits that age.

Madame Vastra: “He looked young, who do you think that was for?
Clara: “Me?”
Madame Vastra: “Everyone. I wear a veil as he wore a face- for the same reason.”
Clara: “What reason?”
Madame Vastra: “The oldest reason there is for anything. To be accepted.”

The episode itself was a bit, I don’t know, we saw a dinosaur materialising alongside the Houses of Parliament in Victorian London, and the Pasternoster Gang are relieved when the Police Box is spat up. But the appearance of the TARDIS doesn’t bring help, but rather a Doctor in need of it; newly regenerated, extremely volatile and questioning his self-worth. The only person that may be able to help him is Clara, whose name he can’t even remember in his discombobulated state, and she’s still grappling with the losing the Doctor she knew and loved.

Their new dynamic shows promise and I’m very much excited for more. So I found the appearance of Smith a tad unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Eleventh doctor, however bringing him back for that phone call with Clara was just a bit overboard. I suppose Clara needed that push to get her to accept that the doctor is still the doctor even if he looks, sounds and kinda acts differently now.

Honourable Mentions

– Who is Missy? (APART FROM BEING PICKWELL IN BAD EDUCATION- I GOT SO SCARED WHEN I SAW HER LOL) She said she loves the doctor, she lives in what she calls some kind of heaven. Sure she’s not the Master, because the Master had a very volatile relationship with the Doctor. And also, the Master refused to regenerate. It’s someone else entirely. But who, what where and why?

– Madame Vastra and Jenny are my OTP. Just, seriously. LOVE THEM.

– Fires of Pompeii: So we address that initial issue of ‘but he’s been on the show before!’ The Doctor talks about how he’s seen his face before but can’t place it and then goes talks about how the regeneration always chose his face from faces it knew. Remember when we saw this face, Ten learned that, to a certain extent, time can be rewritten, that even though history says everyone in Pompeii died, Peter Capaldi’s character and his family were saved. And at the end he tells Clara he’s made a lot of mistake and that he’s going to start doing something about it. Interesting.

– Who placed the ad? Same person who gave Clara the TARDIS phone number way back when?

– Strax is still amazing.
– Until next week! ^_^

The LOL is silent.

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