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Study of Running
30-Day TV Meme 
Monday, May 31, 2010 at 22:48:00
In an effort to spend at least five minutes today not thinking about awesometopia (which you should all join, especially if you're into pirates, fish, or dragons), I'm going to catch up on a couple days' worth of this meme. I keep forgetting about it. :\

BTW, since I'm advertising things and the rest of this post is about RTD-era Doctor Who, I might as well mention rewatch_tennant . It's a live-blogging-style rewatch of Tenth Doctor episodes. We meet Sundays at 9AM PDT. I think Gridlock is next. Some of us are conspiring to make the mod do Hamlet at some point.

Day 06 - Favorite episode of your favorite T.V. show

I don't really know if I have a favorite. I could maybe give you a top ten list for anything that makes a good show, like the best-written episodes, though only with a disclaimer that there's probably something even better buried in nearly 50 years of canon. Worse still, peeking ahead in the meme I see that there's a day for an episode I've watched more than five times. The one I was going to put as my favorite is the only one I'm sure I've seen that many times, and I haven't got enough to say about it to fill two posts.

My standard answer when I'm asked for more than one is "the Moffat episodes and Midnight". There are serials that could be my favorite if they were about half as long. The Sea Devils comes to mind, followed closely by everything else with Jo in it.

Taking favorite to mean best, and best to mean the one I'd show a new viewer to hook them, I'll pick The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. The writing is clever, there are televised Who's first ever genuinely scary moments (you heard me), the OCs don't suck, the plot mostly makes sense, and everything is just so cool.

And then there's Jack. I'm iffy about Jack. He kind of creeped me out the first time I saw him. He has that sort of you're-supposed-to-find-this-attractive vibe that I get from pop stars, models, and the occasional actor (mostly in older films). I could go on trying to explain that, but it's not really the point and it wore off eventually. But Jack has his moments, and some of his best are in these episodes. Plus they set up the Nine, Rose, and Jack dynamic, which is one of the best Team TARDIS dynamics there's been.

Though they have a sad lack of Mickey. And now I sort of want to rewrite this to talk about how great Boomtown is. But I wouldn't use that to sell anyone on Doctor Who.

I'm also iffy about Nine, but he's the Doctor and I can't bring myself to dislike a Doctor. Even Matt Smith won me over in like three episodes.

Day 07 - Least favorite episode of your favorite T.V. show

Love & Monsters.

Well first, the episode at face value is this: our heroes have only a cameo, there's some terrible music, then a really horrible monster shows up and saves us from the terrible music. Gross-out "humor" abounds. The Doctor shows up just in time to trap an innocent girl in a slab of concrete forever, and then she gives her boyfriend a blowjob.

The more horrific the events on the screen, the harder they're played for laughs.

The meta is this: fans of the Doctor are dorks. Giant honking dorks like can never have friends. They're so creepy in their obsessive, fannish ways that only other fans of the Doctor can stand to be around them. Their fannish works are amusingly bad and serve as physical evidence of how pathetic fans of the Doctor are. Also, filk sucks.

Fun fact: RTD started his Doctor Who career by writing profic.

I just don't get why Love & Monsters happened.

I have no idea what to do for the next two days, but I'm sure at least one of them won't be about Doctor Who. This meme starts with the obvious questions and then gets more creative, so my answers will get more varied as it goes on.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 17:53:04 (UTC)
Yeah. I hate L&M for all of what you said above.

And the meta, putting things in perspective, makes it like RTD is making fun of us - and by extension, our fandom. :/

I like to pretend that episode doesn't exist when I go suggesting marathons. Same to all the Slitheen episodes (except Boomtown, which is exceptional and amazing).
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 21:07:26 (UTC)
Yeah. :\ It's like when Steven Moffat puts in a line just to offend the biggest fans, but this was an entire episode about how crap we are. I don't get it.

Love & Monsters is the only one I won't rewatch. I did once, a couple years after it aired. It was as bad as I remembered it. Never again.

The Slitheen episodes are just okay enough (there are actually a few scenes that aren't just fart jokes, even if no examples are coming to mind just now) that I'll rewatch them for the sake of going through things in order.

Boomtown is quite good, isn't it?
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 21:15:07 (UTC)
Hey what? What lines? :P

I rewatched it once but only because I was too lazy to change the channel.

And the Slitheen episodes (minus Boomtown) only hold value for me thanks to Harriet Jones, PM (but you know who she is).

Boomtown is incredibly good because it focuses on the characters, not the fart jokes. I know Moffat considers DW to essentially be a children's show that adults can enjoy, but at least he is creative with his baddies. RTD seems to almost be insulting fans by giving us the Slitheen. But that's just my opinion.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 21:48:26 (UTC)
In early S5, there are some lines that serve no purpose except to see how many fans will get upset. The only example I can think of right now is when the TARDIS noise -- an important part of the show for the last 47 years and something instantly recognizable to any fan -- was dismissed after all that time as being the Doctor leaving the parking break on. Stuff like that.

The running "joke" about him banging Queen Elizabeth seems to just be there to upset people, too. Like, in case someone watching isn't a long-time fan, what can we throw in there that would offend a more general audience? Bonus points if it also upsets long-time fans somehow.

There was an interview that I barely remember, but I think someone asked Moffat if Doctor Who is a kid's show and his answer was along the lines of "if you're watching it, it's your show." I like that version.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 21:58:13 (UTC)
That just made me laugh and then instantly go WTF WAIT A MINUTE I LIKE THAT NOISE TOO.
The Queen Elizabeth running 'joke' is definitely annoying. They should really just stop with it now. :/

I like that reply better than it being primarily a kid's show that adults enjoy watching. Mainly because everyone who remembers the Classic series when they were kids are all grown up now (like my dad and some good friends who watched Three/Four/etc in college)
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 22:01:38 (UTC)
I don't get how it can be a kid's show with stuff like Midnight, Turn Left, Father's Day, and Human Nature/Family of Blood. Plus if Doctor Who is already a kid's show, what does that make The Sarah Jane Adventures?

A show can appeal to kids without being specifically not for adults.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 22:14:47 (UTC)

SJA is for kids, sure. And Torchwood is definitely not.
Doctor Who is family-friendly and appeals to everyone.

It's like trying to pinpoint any specific genre to the show when I describe it to non-fan friends. Sci-fi more often than not, but there's also fantasy elements, historical, just plain creepy stuff...
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at 22:23:27 (UTC)
Genres are an out-dated marketing convention. The market for pure scifi, pure fantasy, pure historicals, etc. is really small. A show isn't considered good anymore unless it makes a point of breaking some rule.

It's kind of annoying, really.

Everything you can possibly think of has its own genre by now, to the point where there are so many that it's pretty much impossible to make something be only one genre.
and now there is nothing to hide our real world behind