Viewing posts tagged capaldi

Before Your Ancestors Had Turned the First Wheel (The Pilot)

And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China

Just a quick update on our Patreon fundraiser, we're just $28 a week from our final "help El actually be able to build savings instead of constantly bleeding out her Kickstarter money" goal of $700 a week. Thank you all so much for making this possible. I'm unbelievably excited to be going back to being a full-time writer. That said, this final threshold is important, so of you can help put us over this final line, please stop by the Patreon. Your support is extremely welcome. (Also, I've got Game of Thrones reviews for $2 patrons...)

It’s April 15th, 2017. Harry Styles is at number one with “Sign of the Times.” Lower in the charts, the remnants of the Sheeraning continue, along with Clean Bandit, Drake, and Martin Jensen. Since Sherlock, meanwhile… well, let’s start with UK news. It’s simpler. The UK triggered Article 50 and began the actual Brexit process, starting what was at the time a two year clock to departing the European Union. The new pound coin was released. And that’s basically it for major news. In the US, meanwhile… ...

Pop Between Realities, Home in Time For Tea: Broadchurch

I want to start with an update to yesterday's appeal. When I made the appeal for boosting the Patreon by $200, I kind of doubted it could be done. Actually, not even kind of. It felt like the longest of long shots—a desperate appeal to avoid having to give up writing despite the fact that it obviously made the most sense for my financial security. Instead, we've blown past 2/3 of the goal in a single day. As I queue this up before dinner, we only have $61 to go, and what felt like an impossible dream is looking like it very well might happen. I am humbled and stunned and above all grateful to be so widely and deeply supported, and so, so thrilled that I really might get to continue on this mad ride. But we're not there yet, and if you clicked away yesterday because it felt like a pipe dream, well... it's not. But I still need your help. The Patreon link is right here. And with that said, let's get on to dragging Chris Chibnall.

Act I: The Woman Who Fell to Earth

The most impressive thing about Broadchurch is ...

Outside the Government: The Final Problem

It’s January 15th, 2017. Clean Bandit have been knocked off of number one by the dawn of the Sheeraning, as Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” debut at number one and two respectively, heralds of his forthcoming album that will, on its release in mid-March, lead to Sheeran occupying 14 of the top 15 slots in an absolutely unprecedented (and before the streaming era impossible ) turn of events. JP Cooper, Starley, and Jax Jones featuring Raye also chart.

In news, the Justice Department concludes its lengthy investigation of the Chicago Police Department and concludes that, yeah, they’re really bad. Trump gives his first post-election press conference and mostly attacks the press. Much of the London Underground is shut down due to a strike. Martin McGuinness, the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, resigns, sparking the collapse of the power-sharing government. And the Playboy Mansion goes up for sale.

On television, meanwhile, Sherlock reaches its presumptive end with The Final Problem. The central and defining mechanic of Sherlock is as it has always been: a sense of unrelenting, propulsive motion. It’s just that with The Final Problem this motion is not aimed anywhere. The result is like ...

Outside the Government: The Lying Detective

CW: Discussions of Jimmy Savile and sexual assault.

It’s January 8th, 2017. Clean Bandit remain at number one, while Zara Larsson, Little Mix, Neiked, and Louis Tomlinson & Steve Aoki also chart. In news, the British Red Cross declares there to be a humanitarian crisis in England’s NHS hospitals, and the US Intelligence Community releases the results of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. On television, meanwhile, Sherlock’s fourth and potentially final season reaches its hump episode, which this time around is the one written by Steven Moffat.

Faced with an impossible task, Moffat took the obvious approach and failed. The Lying Detective does not fix the stumbling fourth season of Sherlock. Indeed, its efforts to do so are by and large its biggest problems, a point we will get to in good time. But I’m still coming off of two months of talking about why Class failed every week, and my next two posts are the finale and Broadchurch, so let’s put off that perspective for as long as we can and see what else we can do here.

After all, this is the first time Moffat has opted to give himself the middle episode ...

Outside the Government: The Six Thatchers

It’s January 1st, 2017. Did you guess that Rockabye were at number one with “Clean Bandit”? If so, well done. Zara Larsson, Little Mix, Bruno Mars, and Wham also chart, the latter with a post-Christmas surge for “Last Christmas.” In news, US troops withdraw from Afghanistan, Obama imposes sanctions against Russian intelligence agencies for interfering with the election, and Nevada’s marijuana legalization goes into effect.

While on television, the puzzling failure of Sherlock Season Four begins with The Six Thatchers. Let’s begin with the obvious, which is that the death of Mary is a terrible idea. There was a bit in comments a few weeks ago about fridging, including a discussion of the fridging of male characters. But it’s worth de-genericiding the term a bit and remembering exactly what it is and why it’s bad. Because fridging is not simply character death in the general case. It is not even character death as a means of motivating other characters, a category that can also include plot beats like the mentor figure dying so that the hero can step up. Fridging was a term created by then comics journalist and now comics superstar Gail Simone in 1999 to describe ...

It Could Be The End of the World, But One Thing At a Time (The Return of Doctor Mysterio)

 
Sure, yes, you feel pain, but tell me... do you bleed? 

It’s December 25th, 2016. Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye” remains at number one, while Rag ‘n Bone Man, Little Mix, Zara Larsson, and the annual re-charting of Mariah Carey also chart. In news since Class got lost, the CIA reported to Congress that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election, which President-elect Trump described as “ridiculous,” the Obama administration allowed a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory to pass, and a riot broke out in a Birmingham prison, the worst British prison riot since the Thatcher era. 

On television, meanwhile, for the first time in a year, Doctor Who. When this aired at the brutal end of 2016, suspended between Carrie Fisher’s heart attack and her death and in the immediate wake of George Michael’s, it felt like a baffling way to bring the show back after its longest gap between episodes since Rose. Two years and change later, it feels like a baffling artifact from another world. At its heart, it features Moffat making a well-earned return to autopilot. He will not phone it in for the entirety of Series 10, mercifully, but he is ...

Pop Between Realities, Home in Time for Tea: Mr. Robot

A thing we will inevitably have to address is what it looks like for Doctor Who to respond to Trump. Or, in the UK context, Brexit, but let’s go ahead and just use Trump as a metonym for the catastrophic politics that form the backdrop of the Moffat-Chibnall handover. This is, of course, something it is not fair to ask Class to do. It’s not fair to ask most of Series 10 to do it either—Trump’s election happened late in the block where they shot Oxygen and The Eaters of Light, which was in time to work the “too orange” gag into The Pyramid at the End of the World (although more on Trump and that episode when the time comes) but nowhere near early enough for anything in this season to be conceptualized as an intentional response to his Presidency. (His campaign is a different matter.) Even with Brexit, the vote took place four days after filming started—enough to have some impact (we know that Gatiss was considering an explicitly Brexit-themed script), but still fundamentally after the series was well underway. On the whole, Series 10 emerged from the midst of 2016’s turmoil; it is the Chibnall era that ...

Outside the Government: The Lost

It’s December 3rd, 2016. Clean Bandit remain at number one. Weeknd and Daft Punk get a seond song in the top ten, while Neiked, Maroon 5 ft. Kendrick Lamar, and Bruno Mars also chart. In news, a plane crash kills the bulk of Brazillian football team Chapecoense. Donald Trump sparks a touch of  international incident when he calls the President of Taiwan, while a fire in an Oakland art space known as the Ghost Ship kills 36. A man opens fire inside a Washington pizza restaurant because, basically, Mike Cernovich said there were pedophiles there. 

While on television, the season and de facto series finale of Class, “The Lost.” “The Lost” hangs over the rest of Class. Without it you have seven well-meaning episodes of various levels of success—a show that could frequently have stood to be a little braver, but that always meant well and wanted to be good. With it, however, the picture gains an ugly, cynical tinge. “The Lost” is not Class’s first bad episode. It is its worst episode, which is never a good thing to have happen with your finale. But more damning than its general crapness is the particular ...

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