Monday, September 26, 2022

Doctor Who: The Power Is Still On?

Up until recently, all the news related to Doctor Who concerned whatever Russell T Davies is up to for 2023 rather than what Chris Chibnall was up for his big finale with Jodie Whitaker for 2022. 

All we know about the big Doctor Who special celebrating the BBC's Centenary was that it would be 90 minutes long coming our way in October and it's gonna be epic.

And that nugget of info came from...  Russell T Davies. That's right, we heard more from RTD than from Chris Chibnall about Chibnall's own production.

Whatever embargo there was on Doctor Who's Centenary special lifted a bit last week with the release of a new issue of Doctor Who Magazine that announced the title of the special would be "The Power of the Doctor".  

 


And we know about the cast joining Jodie Whitaker for her last go round as the Doctor.  In addition to the Doctor's current companions Yasmin "Yaz" Khan (Mandip Gill) and Dan Lewis (John Bishop), classic companions Ace (Sophie Aldred) and Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding) are set to make a comeback. 

Sacha Dhawan's Master is also confirmed to return, along with the Cybermen and the Daleks. 

Jemma Redgrave will be reprising her role as Kate Stewart and Jacob Anderson will be returning as Inston-Vee Vinder. 

Here we have Yaz, Teegan, Ace, the Doctor and Kate Stewart. 


Here we have Jodie in the recurring orange space suit that I seriously hopes gets fumigated between regenerations. 



Jodie's Doctor will be regenerating in this special but regenerating into who is a big question.

While Ncuti Gatwa has been cast as the 14th Doctor, we've seen David Tennant on the set of Doctor Who doing whatever the hell RTD is up to for Doctor Who's 60th anniversary. 

Could Jodie regenerate into David Tennant (with a classic Tennant look of shock and an accompanying "What?")?   

Well, we will have to wait until...

Damn it! Something else we still don't know.  We know the special is coming in October but there is no release date as of yet. 


Sunday, September 25, 2022

Cinema Sunday: On The Town

This week's Cinema Sunday takes us back to 1949 to a 1949 Technicolor musical about 3 sailors who hit New York City looking to see the sights, get laid and some other third thing.




This week we present  On The Town starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, and Ann Miller.  This film is also the directorial debut of Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen before they would go on to direct Singin' In the Rain.  


Three US Navy sailors – Gabey, Chip, and Ozzie – begin their shore leave, excited for their 24 hours in New York. While riding the subway, Gabey (Kelly) falls in love with the picture of the monthly "Miss Turnstiles," whose name is Ivy Smith. He imagines she must be the most sophisticated kind of celebrity to be named "Miss Turstiles". And he makes it his mission to find her.

Chip (Sinatra) does not have to go looking for love. Love throw itself at him in the form of Hildy (Garrett), a New York City cab driver.  

Ozzie's own quest for love resolved with an encounter in museum with leggy anthropologist Claire who is played by leggy actress/dancer Ann Miller. Claire is attracted to Ozzie because of his resemblance to Cro-Magnon man. Which is because Ozzie is played by Jules Munshin who had a passing resemblance to Cro-Magnon man.  

The "Boy, This Did Not Age Well" Department

There is an extended musical and dance number early in the film in the museum where Ozzie and Claire first meet. It's a very clever and intricate piece of choreography but this is the awkward part, it involves our characters dressing and behaving like various indigenous people from around the world. Watching a group of white people acting like people from "primitive cultures" is a bit off-putting.

Since Gene Kelly is behind the camera, the film has a surreal dreamscape dance sequence. If you've seen An American In Paris or Singin' In The Rain, you know the drill: a fever dream of a dance scene where you wonder what drugs Gene Kelly was taking.  

The "It's That Person Who Was In That Thing" Department

Betty Garrett is Brunhilde "Hildy" Esterhazy, the sex mad cab drive with an overheated mad on for Frank Sinartra's Chip.  And if a young woman with a burning passion for Frank Sinatra's character seems a tad familiar, it's because Betty Garrett played the same damn role in Take Me Out To The Ball Game.  

A strong part of On The Town's New York vibe is Gene Kelly's insistence that some scenes be shot in New York City, including at Columbus Circle, the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Bridge and Rockefeller Center.

Basically there's not much more On The Town than what I said in the opening paragraph,  just a story about 3 dudes hitting New York City looking to see the sights, get laid and some other third thing.

As our principals run about New York City, getting into and out of trouble, falling into, out of and back into love,  On The Town is basically a love letter to the city that never sleeps where anything can happen and anybody can meet anyone.   

In 2006, On The Town ranked No. 19 on the American Film Institute's list of Best Musicals. In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Me, I thought On The Town was OK. I think I wanted there to be more stakes for our trio of sailors.  But maybe that's asking too much.

Sometimes it's enough of an adventure to watch 3 guys run around New York City to see the sights, get laid and some other third thing.   


Saturday, September 24, 2022

It's Saturday #8 (The End!)

IT'S  Saturday.

IT'S  September 24th.

IT'S   the end of the world as we know it

IT'S   the end of the world as we know it

IT'S   the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!

IT'S finally the end of "It's Saturday!"  

IT'S  the last time you'll see this on a Saturday!  


IT'S  the end of this!  

IT'S  about damn time!    

Friday, September 23, 2022

Your Friday Video Link: Old Glory Robot Insurance

Howdy!  Howdy!  Howdy!  Dave-El here and where is here? It's my blog,  I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You!

Since we are in that sweet spot between Thursday and Saturday, what humans call "Friday", it's time for...

YOUR FRIDAY VIDEO LINK! 

A new season of Law and Order kicked off with the venerable Sam Waterston as New York City District Attorney Jack McCoy.

But as iconic a role as Jack McCoy is, it is not Sam Waterston's best work.

That distinction belongs to his role as spokesperson for Old Glory Insurance.  




Thursday, September 22, 2022

Super Heroes Vs. Bad Grammar

Last week, I mentioned I was reading DC's latest "world's will live, world's will die" crossover epic, Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths. 

The precipitating event leading into the Dark Crisis was the death of the Justice League.

We can't forget about this tragic event as we are constantly reminded:

"The Justice League Are Dead!"

"The Justice League Are Dead!"

"The Justice League Are Dead!"

Except....

Does anyone but me have a problem with that sentence.

The Justice League is not plural. It is a single entity,  a group, an alliance, however you want to define it. 

There was a Justice League. 

There was the Justice League,

The term "Justice League" is singular. 

The subject in this sentence...

"The Justice League Are Dead!"

...is singular. 

But the verb in this sentence...

"The Justice League Are Dead!"

...is plural.   

The subject (Justice League) is not in agreement with the verb (are).   

The correct grammar for this sentence would be...

"The Justice League Is Dead!"

Bad grammar is the knife blade to the heart of drama.




Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Swimming While Black

 I wish I could say I was surprised by this by I am not. People perpetually live down to my lowest expectations.   

When Disney provided every one a first ever glimpse of 2023 live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, the reaction has been disheartening to say the list.

No, people are not distressed that Disney is once again going to the well of turning an animated feature to a live action movie. Disney's lack of originality is not an issue here.  

The bug up a lot of ignorant butts is that the part of Ariel the Mermaid is being portrayed by Halle Bailey who is black.

Super racist fuckers are working overtime to come up with reasons why Ariel can't be black.  

For example, ‘The Little Mermaid’ is a Danish story, therefore Ariel should be White.  Yes, the story was written by Hans Christian Anderson of Denmark and first published in 1837. The same story that describes  Ariel and the rest of her mermaid kin as living “far out in the ocean” at the “bottom of the sea.”

In other words, not Denmark. 

Get a load of this damn argument: Mermaids are a European mythological figure and therefore Ariel should be White.  

Europeans do not have a god damn monopoly on mermaids. East Asian and Oceanic folklore has a lot of stories of underwater kingdoms and merpeople. 

So Mermaid does not equal European. 

Also not all Europeans are white.    

OK, apparently casting Halle Bailey as Ariel will cause all your copies of the animated Little Mermaid to be erased? 

Making Ariel Black is ruining childhoods and changing the character. 

Your copy of The Little Mermaid still exists. Geez! 

Our racists fuckturds also bring science into this. Or try to.  

Mermaids live under the sea and therefore would not have dark skin.

Let's have  far-right pundit Matt Walsh do the heavy lifting on this bullshit. "From a scientific perspective, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have someone with darker skin who lives deep in the ocean.” 

So undersea creatures can only have pale skin? 

Nobody mention that to the manatee which decidedly does not have pale skin. I mention the manatee because a lot of mermaid myths arose from ancient sailors spotting manatees and describing them as mermaids. 

Also of overriding importance to all these arguments: 

The Little Mermaid isn't real.   


Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tuesday TV Touchbase: Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Hacks and Kevin Can F**k Himself


Last week, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy returned to launch new seasons. Wheel made some minor updates to the graphics and set with an emphasis on the color blue.  Pat Sajak is once more physically interacting with the contestants after 2 years of distancing due to COVID. 

Despite the breathless enthusiasm expressed by Pat and Vanna for the show's 40th season, I can't help feel some tiredness from our beloved duo.  And Pat in a recent interview has made it clear his time as host is close to the end.  

On Jeopardy, Ken Jennings is now introduced as host and seems to be particularly bolstered by the return of a studio audience which had been gone for 2 years due to COVID.  

Ken did run into a controversy when one contestant was allowed to change an answer and another was not. The incidents were not identical but the trolls were out in force calling for Ken's head for the perceived lack of fairness.  

A few weeks ago, I wrapped up the second season of Hacks on HBO Max.  The aging diva of comedy Deborah Vance has been unmoored from her residency at the Palmetto Casino in Las Vegas. Vance hits the road to break in a new act that she is sure will put her back on top.  The new act is co-written by Ava Daniels.  It is a relationship complicated by the lawsuit Deborah has against Ava for violating her NDA with that invective filled email Ava sent at the end of season 1.  

When Ava first met Deborah at the start of season 1, Ava had zero chill for Deborah's aging ego driven white privileged abusive arrogance.  

When Deborah first met Ava, Deborah had no tolerance for Ava's  anxiety driven self righteous angry arrogance.  

Over the course of 2 seasons, Deborah and  Ava have grown in fits and starts to a mutual understanding of where the other is coming from and a mutual affection for one another.

Even if Deborah doesn't drop the lawsuit until the final scene of the final episode of season 2.   

The season ends with Deborah recording a television special based on her new act which is absolutely killing it with audiences thanks to Ava's insights. 

Ava is suddenly in demand as a writer and Deborah lets her go so Ava can take advantage of her moment. Ava for her part doesn't want to go, preferring instead to stay with Deborah. 

Jean Smart as Deborah Vance is an extraordinary character, the epitome of someone who is hard to love but damn it once you do, it's hard to let go as Ava discovers by the end of season 2.

So Kevin Can F**k Himself is back for it's 2nd and final season. So what happened with Neil's discovery of Allison's plot to kill Kevin? 

OK, SPOILER: Neil tells Kevin. 

OK, not so much of a spoiler: Kevin isn't listening. Kevin is too self-aborbed to listen to his alleged best friend.   

Non-sitcom Neil is a very sad character. 

As you know, the premise of the show is that when Kevin is on screen, the format of the show switches to sitcom with the garish lighting and the canned laughter. In season 2, we find out it switches to sitcom for another person. 

In a flashback to the funeral for Allison' dad, the show switches to sitcom when her mom shows up. Played by Peri Gilpin (Roz from Frasier), Allison's mom engages in the same passive aggressive insulting shit that Kevin does to her.  The same flashback episode shows how Allison first met Kevin and how she found his antics... charming? And if Patty's eye-rolling at this meet-cute was any more severe, her eyeballs would pop out of her head into Neil's ears.

It seems Patty was crushing on Allison when they first met. 

Yeah, I said it.  

Anyway, we're halfway through. How will this end? Will Kevin ever exit sitcom world to see Allison for how she really is in the real drama world?  Right now I have no clear expectation for how any of this is going to end up.

OK, that's a wrap for this week's Tuesday TV Touchbase.

Coming up in a future post, we've got She-Hulk and Stargirl.  

Until next time, remember to be good to one another and try to keep it down in there, would ya? I'm trying to watch TV over here.  


Doctor Who: The Power Is Still On?

Up until recently, all the news related to Doctor Who concerned whatever Russell T Davies is up to for 2023 rather than what Chris Chibnall...