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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Tuesday (3/27/12) 2:22am - ... wherein Peter posts a Weekly Media Update.

Movies:  <none>
TV:  Doctor Who [6x08-6x13] [spoilers], Archer [season two]
Books:  <none>

Doctor Who [6x08-6x13] [spoilers]
Season six finished out more or less the way I expected it to:  the puzzle-box got *incredibly* complicated, though the show did a great job of laying out all its plot curlicues in a straightforward fashion, and it did a fine job of answering all the questions it had laid out.

But at the same time, it often didn't engage me that much emotionally.  They sort of took the wind out of the sails of the season's biggest question -- "Does the Doctor *really* get killed at Lake Silencio, Utah?" -- by introducing at least two easy outs:  the gangers (who can emulate any person) and the Teselecta robot (which can emulate any person).  So instead I just watched all the plot-churn sort itself out.  (Those who've seen the LOST finale may wish to compare and contrast here.)

Some individual episodes had that puzzle-box feel, too.  "The Girl Who Waited" and "The God Complex" had literally sealed-off settings, with the alien quarantine facility and the hotel, respectively.  In both of them, it ended up feeling like an elaborate exercise in strategy -- "How do we deal with this hostile building?" -- until the emotional wallop at the end.  (For the first one, sacrificing quasi-old Amy; for the second, booting Amy & Rory from the TARDIS.)

And of course I was happy to see Craig and Sophie back for "Closing Time".  That also made a lot of sense from a "shape of season" perspective -- it felt good to have a light, funny breather after the heavy, heady adventures leading up to it.  (Though really, I could do without seeing Cybermen ever again, at this point.)

All in all, I was happy with it, though.  If it was dry, complicated, and logical, it was at least *interesting* in its dry and complicated logicalness.  And even though I don't empathize with Eleven as much as I did with Ten, I felt really engaged by Rory and Amy, much more so than in the previous season.  With Rory in particular, they've done a great job of growing him past his 'harmless dork' introduction, which in turns adds depth to Amy's relationship with him.  Her speech from "The Girl Who Waited" about falling in love with someone who's not necessarily the most physically stunning bloke was very touching -- now that Rory actually has some weight and nuance as a character, such a speech is possible.

And now that's it for all the new Who.  Overall, my impression is that its best episodes ("Blink", "Human Nature") are among the best sci-fi hourlongs I've seen.  But overall, I can't put the show on the same level as, say, Battlestar Galactica or (sacrilege!) LOST.  In the end, there's something neat and tidy about Doctor Who, something kind of safe and contained.  The great episodes can be truly great, but when the show fails, it fails at doing something perfectly well-understood and normal.  The show provides fun, cheerful, clever adventures-of-the-week in space and time, and you only get little  glimpses of what it would be like if it were something *more*. 

But oh, what glimpses they are.

Archer [season two]
I briefly played hooky from watching shows as research for performances, and figured I'd finally watch the new Archer season that just showed up on netflix streaming.

That said, I don't think I have much to add to my commentary about season one, which was pretty sparse as is.  It's just tough for me to say much about Archer beyond "It's funny."  They do some great things in season 2, as they keep adding details to the characters, they experiment with story arcs (cancer!), and the writers throw in homages to a giant bucket-list of their favorite spy and action movies.

Is there really much else to say?  I'm stymied.

For next time:  who knows?  Right now I'm re-watching some Freaks and Geeks for the Highball show.  I suppose I should watch some rock operas, but there doesn't seem to be anything on netflix streaming.  Maybe circumstances are trying to get me to finally watch Terriers.

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Mood: [mood icon] contemplative · Music: none
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