My Initial Impression Of the Twelfth Doctor

Last night Peter Capaldi properly debuted as the Twelfth Doctor.  I happen to really like what I’ve previously seen of Capaldi, both as an actor and as an actor being interviewed (I can’t claim to actually know him as a person).  I must admit that I rooted for Capaldi to have a fantastic first appearance.

But did I like him as the Doctor?  I honestly don’t know yet.  I imagine this is what a lot of people are saying, because the first episode is just that – the first episode.  I wasn’t sold on the Ninth Doctor or the Tenth Doctor when they first appeared.  The Eleventh Doctor won me over immediately, but how could he not when he was so kind to little Amelia Pond?  Most Doctors need a little time to bounce back from the regeneration, and most actors need a little time to really sort out their interpretation of the icon.  The good news is that I’ve ended up loving all the Doctors, and I have no doubt I’ll love Capaldi as well.

But, frankly, I don’t love him yet.

There’s a few things working against him, most of which are beyond his control.  For example, like most fans I worked myself into an anticipatory frenzy awaiting his debut – and it was a long wait.  Could his debut ever live up to that kind of prolonged excitement?  Furthermore, I didn’t really enjoy the actual story of his debut episode.  Let’s be honest – most Doctor Who episodes aren’t very complete from a pure story standpoint.  Oftentimes the actors outshine the story, so no one notices, and that’s totally find with me.  I’m there for the Doctor.  (Of course there are exceptions, and there have been some brilliantly written episodes.  I’m speaking in generalities.)  Lastly, I don’t think he got enough Doctor moments.  In fact, the episode seemed to focus on Clara more than anything.  I understand this approach – giving the fans an anchor for which they are familiar makes sense.

But, even with all that being said, the Twelfth Doctor had a few standout moments.  For example, describing his frown to the homeless man really proved a pleasing moment.  The final scene on the streets of Glasgow also proved effective and gave Capaldi a chance to show his range.

Speaking of which, I saw some wonderful acting from Capaldi, and I am positive he will probably be the best “actor” of the recent group, but I’m not yet certain he has that intangible charisma that made Ten and Eleven so dynamic.

But that’s okay.  Most of Ten and Eleven’s magnetism came from funny, sweet moments, or outright silliness, and that does not suit Twelve.  It’s already obvious that Capladi will not don goofy hats or sneakers.

Where will Capaldi take Twelve?  I don’t know, but I am of course along for the ride.  I’m sure by the year’s end I will be raving about Twelve, but as of right now, I’m just not totally enraptured.

For a Guy Who Doesn’t Watch a Lot Of TV, I’m About To Watch a Lot Of TV

I’ll be honest, I don’t consider myself much of television guy, but when thinking about my DVR settings I realized that next season I will be a full-0n couch potato.  Here are the shows I currently watch …

  • Doctor Who
  • Sherlock
  • Orphan Black
  • Mountain Men
  • Arrow

The good news is that most of those shows have very short seasons, so I don’t have to commit too much of myself to them.  Unfortunately, that’s all about to change.  Here are the shows I want to add to my viewing …

  • The Flash
  • Gotham
  • Constantine
  • Scalped
  • Preacher
  • DMZ

Yes, these are all shows based on comic books, and if that surprises you then you don’t really know me at all, do you?  But hey, The Walking Dead came from the comic book realm, and it seems to be doing okay (even if I did quit it).

Oh, by the way, the list would be even longer if I had Netflix.  You could add Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and AKA Jessica Jones.

Which of these new shows will I stick with?  I can pretty much guarantee The Flash (lifelong fan), Gotham (lifelong fan), and DMZ (amazing Vertigo comic series).  The others are “wait and see.”

Honestly, added on to my love of NFL football, this is just too much TV.

 

Why I Quit AMC’s The Walking Dead

I’ll be honest with you, when AMC’s The Walking Dead came out, I touted it as the next L O S T.  The acting wasn’t superb, but the production was magnificent, the effects breathtaking, and the storylines captivating.  It thrilled me on a weekly basis, made my palms sweat, and kept me coming back for more.  The dynamics between the characters intrigued me to no end, and I truly cared about them.  When they started dying off, it stunned me, but it didn’t anger me.  As a fan of Cormac McCarthy, I’m accustomed to major characters dying.  I actually relish it in books and movies, when done intelligently, because it heightens the suspense.

Seasons One and Two just blew me away.  And though some serious characters were killed off, characters who drove storylines and oozed charisma (Shane and Dale, in particular), they were replaced with worthy men and women such as Michonne and Hershel and allowed existing characters such as Daryl the chance to rise to the top.

Season Three tried my patience, but I stuck with it.  Lori’s death advanced the plot, but I knew the end was near for me with the birth of Judith.  I knew of her fate in the comic books, and I remember telling my friends that if they show that sort of thing on the TV show, I’m out.  Andrea’s death seemed completely pointless, as did much of the violence of the season.  With each character’s death, the dynamic got smaller and smaller, and so the characters were, as a whole, suddenly becoming less interesting to me.  Rick, honestly, has never been the hook in my eyes, and so now the show rested primarily on Hershel, Daryl, and, to a lesser extent, Michonne.  Woodbury proved an interesting premise, but it got stale in my eyes, and the prison took away one of the aspects that I found most entrancing – survivors constantly on the move.  Suddenly they were in the same setting all the time, and not a very interesting one at that.  The Merle plotline saved a largely tiresome season, but I think we can all agree it didn’t live up to Seasons One and Two.  But, I was still an avid fan.  I still had to watch it the night it aired, could not stand the idea of watching it on DVR after the fact.  Had to talk about it the next day.  There were some trends forming that I found disturbing, one that started with Sophia, but I could deal with it.

And then Season Four Point One arrived.  Okay, the prison is now a refugee camp, that’s a neat idea.  I can roll with that.  Oh, a deadly flu breaks out.  I like that.  That definitely raises the suspense – that can’t be fought using their conventional methods.  Children are being taught to kill … I don’t know if I like where this is going … Children are sick and orphaned.  Hmm.  The Governor is back, has adopted a family, has a little girl to be like a daughter to him, goes nuts again, wants the prison for his own camp, is willing to kill to make it happen.  I’m kind of tired of that – didn’t we do all that already?  We did that in Season Three.  I like the Governor’s character, and I love David Morrissey, but I really had no interest in his return.  And what’s going on with Rick’s baby?  Does the guy ever interact with her?  Frankly, when she first arrived, as already mentioned, I had a sneaking suspicion she was there for shock factor, that they had something dastardly planned for her …

Then the mid-season finale came.  The Walking Dead has always been a violent show, but it, for the most part, seemed to play a role in the actual storyline unfolding.  Yes, there were moments of ghastliness, but they were usually reserved for the dispatching of zombies.  The finale seemed to abandon all attempts at a meaningful story and just go for our throats.  The prison raid had been done before, the Governor had been done before, and while I like that the survivors are on the move again, I cannot abide the “shocking” scenes involving children shooting adults, Hershel’s graphic beheading, and the bloody baby carrier.

In fact, violence against children has turned into quite the trend with The Walking Dead.  There is much I can turn a blind eye to, but this is not among those things.  I knew the moment they introduced Judith that they planned to kill her, and while she may not actually be dead, as some have suggested, the bloody baby carrier was simply done in poor taste.  Seriously, during that attack, Rick’s only action should have been about guaranteeing both of his children’s safety.  Trusting his prison mates to keep his child safe is a character flaw I cannot overlook.  In fact, the idea that no one stopped to keep Judith safe, that not one adult took it upon themselves to save a baby, is something that has deterred any interest for me in following these characters.  But it doesn’t end there, yet another child died in the Governor’s foster daughter, which was, again, over the top.  Finally, the absolutely unnecessary dragging out of Hershel’s decapitation did not thrill me, it sickened me, it made me wonder what was wrong with the people producing the show, and it sealed the fact that this show had no intention of telling a story any longer.

The Walking Dead has sunk to a gratuitous low.  This show was once about human interaction amongst a horrible set of circumstances, but now it has simply become about killing off characters and abusing children for the sake of “shock value.”  I cannot continue watching it if this is the direction it’s taking, and, from all indications, it is.  You should know that I’ve thought about this since the night the finale aired.  I wanted to give myself time to really mull it over, to make sure I wasn’t having a kneejerk reaction.  And while I certainly do not bemoan any who continue watching the show, just know that it is no longer for me.

My New Favorite TV Shows

Note: Originally Posted 10-18-06

If you know me personally, you already know I’m perpetually behind the curve when it comes to all things, “cool” in the world of television and music.  Because I don’t have time to write a twenty-page entry, we’ll focus on TV today. Take LOST for instance.  It was well into its second season before I got hooked.  Same thing with Arrested Development

Well, keeping with my trend, I’ve recently discovered two new shows that I LOVE (new to me, that is).

The first is the HBO original series, Rome.  I love Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, so this one is right up my alley.  My wife is a big history nut, so it fits nicely into her tastes as well.  The show highlights Caesar’s rise to power while focusing on all the power players of the time period as well as the daily lives of two Roman soldiers.  It truly is a fascinating show as it gives us glimpses into what history may have been and the drama of lives purely imagined.  As you may have heard, the costumes are incredible, the acting is very well done, and each episode feels like a mini-movie, which makes sense on a network called Home Box Office.  My wife and I were stunned at the level of nudity and sex in the first two episodes (even for HBO, it was very graphic), but that quickly tapered off and the meat of the storyline got rolling with episodes three through five.  I personally think that they included all the sex and full frontal for the causal viewer who couldn’t care less about Caesar or Rome in order to get them hooked on the actual story as it took place between sex scenes.  We haven’t finished the entire season yet on DVD so I can’t comment on how it ends.  I don’t believe the second season has started yet.  It will be interesting to see if they merely take it up to Caesar’s assassination (don’t tell me I spoiled it for you, you’ve been in World History), or if they will take it all the way through the aftermath of his murder as did Shakespeare.

My other new favorite show that I’m way behind the curve on is Entourage.  It’s just plain funny.  There’s no other way to say it.  The characters are completely hilarious and charismatic.  The show has that something that makes it hard to resist.  If you’re not familiar with it, it is also a show on HBO that follows a young up-and-coming actor in Hollywood with his two friends and older brother.  One of his friends is the responsible pseudo-manager, the other friend is the wanna-be ladies man gopher, and the older brother (my favorite character) is a washed-up actor living vicariously through his younger brother and picking up any scrap parts he can manage.  The young actor’s agent is completely a scum sucking jerk and side-splittingly funny.  I’ll admit it, this show is kind of a guilty pleasure.  If you give it a shot, beware.  The F-Bombs drop like they’re going out of style. 

So there you go.  My new favorite shows.  I’m well on my way to becoming a TV junkie.  Crap.