Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Dr Who: Let's Kill Hitler... a late review

I wrote this a while back and meant to post it but didn't. Here's how I felt about Let's Kill Hitler in a rambly post:

I’m really and truly honestly mixed about how I feel. In one sense, it was good ol’ DW porn, it was witty, clever (loved the stuff with Rory and Hitler) and had good monsters and action scenes. In the other sense (and I don’t like saying this) I feel like Moffat has lost the plot a bit. I admired the 5th series for having a decent plot (Silence, cracks, etc) that wrapped up nicely and left us wanting more. Now I feel that this series is making things up as it goes along, and I feel that the whole River being Amy and Rory’s daughter was a bit of a cop-out, though it may make for a couple of interesting story-lines. She was cool enough from the Library episode by seeming to be the one person the Doctor trusted and loved the most. I would have respected the daughter thing more if Mel had been seen or existed even once in previous episodes.
I am also growing weary of this Kenny-esque attitude Moffat has taken. If you want to have dramatic, heart-wrenching moments, there are so many things you could do instead of just having a character be dying and then miraculously get saved. Watching Rory die has completely lost its drama now, and then having the Doctor come close to death (which was important for the River storyline), the whole dying-for-emotional-reaction is getting exhausting.
I guess I had built up the Eleven/River storyline too much. When she talked about the first time she met the Doctor and he knew everything about her, the way she told that story made me think it would be a much more tender, exposed and emotional moment. She tried, but it wasn’t really in the script, given this Melody Pond twist.

They also need to give Amy something substantial to do. I don’t feel like there’s really been any character development from her since episode one of season five, and there is so much potential.

I guess to sum it up, it’s starting to feel a bit like a fan-fiction, with Mary Sue tendencies, pregnant protagonists and constant dying and coming back. Feel free to disagree, and I know I’ll keep watching it, just how I keep reading long-running fan-fictions that lost their original story-line and continued to weave an unplanned plot.

I still love River (she was a bit annoying when she first regenerated; I would have liked to see her a bit stronger and less self-obsessed) and I admire Arthur Darville for really turning my opinion on Rory.

Also, (I’m almost done ranting, I promise) I’m really looking forward to next week. Moffat in the RTD era wrote just my acceptable level of creepiness and I loved his episodes. Now all that excitement and thrill is lost in a convoluted storyline (The Impossible Astronaut being an example… I loved the creepiness of the Silence, but their creepiness was not the focus of the episode, which saddened me. I know the plot focused on fighting them, but I wanted more scenes like the orphanage). Even Silence in the Library, though it had a pivotal Doctor plot, mostly focussed on the horror of the shadows, leaving you constantly on edge.

Right, we’ll see how it goes. Sorry for the rant; I did actually enjoy the episode, it’s just more the recycled story-lines and fan-fiction basics that Moffat keeps using that are getting to me.

A god-less union

Right, yes, I was gone again. I'd like to say I was wandering the halls of an enchanted castle, leaping from era to era and worlds to worlds, but no, I was working and dealing with other things, which are now going to get a rant here.

Well, since my last update which was about weddings in New York, something funny happened, I got engaged! No big declarations of undying love on top of a world monument with airplanes, helicopters or dinosaurs, but just a nice simple decision to get married.

However, that's when things got complicated. Apparently there are family members in ones life who have been planning your wedding since the day you were born. It's true. Thankfully, these people are not my parents, so I am a bit free there. What I am dealing with, however, is the slew of opinions, advice and expectations from others.

I am not much of a quiet person, but I am rather reserved about my relationship and romantic sensibilities. I prefer quiet, mostly unspoken declarations of love and commitment, so a big wedding is actually really uncomfortable to me. Don't get me wrong, I would put on a great show, but it would cease to be about the two of us and more about some fantasy I had at 16 when the man I was marrying was faceless and fictional. In other words, the two of us want to get married, not have a wedding. And this really makes people angry.

In addition to being crazy in love and opinionated, I got a little angry. Here is some back-story. I am an atheist, but I was not always one. My parents, though atheists as well, thought that they should at least take my brother and myself to church and Sunday school, both to appease family members, but mostly to prevent a rebellious "born-again" moment when we were frustrated with our later teenage lives (a common thing that happened to a lot of my friends in high school or college... churches know how to recruit!). Our parents said that once we went through confirmation at the age of 14, we would be free to make our own choice. Actually, it was a good age for that. I don't remember many years of resenting my parents for taking me to church, but I also remember having the time to think about it myself (a budding scientific mind and all that). So, I turn 14, leave the church (not a big deal, it was a small ELCA Lutheran Church) which promptly pisses off my cousin and her husband, some 30-ish born-again Christians. Since then, I never really saw, nor heard from them... until now.

With the (excited) announcement of my engagement, essentially going viral within the family circles, came lots of congratulations and wedding expectations (good and bad). The aforementioned god-fearing cousin emailed me with a link to their online(?) church and said that I should seriously consider it because faith has helped her through her marriage.

I have a few things to say on this:

1. I don't really mind people who believe in a deity, as long as they formed that belief themselves and it is a peaceful one (does there really need to be so much hate?). I do think organised religion is a pox on the world and will be our eventual doom, but that's for another day!

2. I appreciate the seemingly thoughtful message that she genuinely is giving me advice for this new step in my life... however....

3. This is how I reacted: "REALLY?!?!?! You DARE to stay out of my life, only to come in and tell me how to run it?! I think I developed into a damn awesome human being, without the influence of you or your god, so why would I need you now?!?" ... maybe a bit of an over-reaction, but part of me still thinks this is a valid reaction.

Here's my main point: 
How/Why/When did it become socially acceptable to do this? To recommend a Christian church and a completely unique and different lifestyle to essentially a stranger for the so-called improvement of her life? It would never ever occur to me to tell a friend, family member or stranger something like this (I cannot think of an analogy, that's how much the idea abhors me)

My future husband was there when I read that email and I had a massive freak-out. He handed me a beer, told me it wasn't that big of a deal and just write back "We don't need your stinkin god. We have sex, drugs and rock and roll to get through our hard times" ... I think he's good for me.

Also, and this is just a side-thought and I am not trying to generalise or anything (yes, I know, nothing good can follow that...), but out of all the advice, stories and tips I have been given in the last month, it is the super-religious people who have warned me that "love/marriage is the hardest thing you'll ever have to do" or something along those lines. Seriously? Jeebus Cracker, it's the effing easiest thing in the world! Yes, we have our ups and downs but so does life, and actually having someone there who is understanding and loyal makes life EASIER! If it's the hardest thing, then guess what, you're doing it wrong!

You can look forward to more anti-traditional wedding rants in the months to come! Aren't you lucky?