It’s TV time! But, then, in my house, it’s always TV time. For a few months, while I was hiding out in Los Angeles, I became a TV scavenger, catching an episode of Fringe on Hulu here; an episode of The Clone Wars on iTunes there. Sometimes, I’d interrupt major events in sports bars, so I could change the channel and watch The Vampire Diaries. So, I’m very happy to be settled for a couple of months in an abode with full cable privileges and two DVRs. Huzzah! Bring on the shows!
|Doctor Who “The Impossible Astronaut”
The Eleventh Doctor is back, and he’s in America! The United States of! I’ve watched this episode five times now, and I have a lot to say, but I’ll try to sum up. First, River Song has become one of my favorite characters ever. It really makes me want to go back and watch all her episodes together. Luckily, all the episodes are on Netflix, so I can stream them. Back to River. It’s very interesting to me that future Doctor considers River his most trusted companion. I really hope they don’t give too much away about her relationship with the Doctor; I kind of like the mystery, actually. Meanwhile, I was a little worried that the Amy/Rory thing would be boring now that they’re married, but I’m really liking what they seem to be setting up, in terms of Amy’s psychological dependence on the Doctor and Rory’s increasing insecurity. Matt Smith is still doing a lovely job, too, infusing the Doctor with just the right amount of mania and menace. It’s very telling, I think, when River says, “This is cold, even by your standards.” It continues to imply that for all his dedication to humanity, he may not have the same standards of human empathy we have. I quite like the new monsters, as well, though their motives are still a mystery by the end of the premiere episode. Of course all of this is being held together nicely by Steven Moffat, who brings his own brand of darkness to the proceedings, while keeping Russell T Davies’ legacy of pulling all the right heartstrings. Finally, there’s a surprising amount of gay stuff going on here. First, the Doctor teases us that two of America’s founding fathers “fancied” him. Then, the guest hero of the episode, former FBI man Canton Everett Delaware III, implies he was booted from the FBI for wanting to get married. A marriage viewed as illegal. Hmmm. Keep it up, Doctor! The gays are watching!
|Fringe “6:02 AM EST”
I’m thinking Peter Bishop must be pretty good in bed. After a little lovin’ from Peter, even Fauxlivia is betraying her own universe in order to save him. I can usually predict where things are going in most scripted television, but I really have no idea what’s going to happen next. I almost think that the original Peter Bishop might still be alive; either saved or resurrected somehow by William Bell, and it will be up to the two Peters to bring balance to the Force. Either that, or wave their magical dicks around and save both universes. I vote for that idea.
|Game of Thrones “The Kingsroad”
I’m still not feeling this series, exactly, but I am intrigued by the developments in this week’s episode. I’m not talking about the political intrigue. No, I’m talking about Daenerys’s discovery of the power of being on top. Khal Drogo, like many of us, just wants to come home after a long day of pillaging, take his partner roughly from behind, then go to sleep. Daenerys, however, would like to actually enjoy the proceedings and even engage emotionally with her partner. Ugh. You realize, of course, this is the beginning of the end of poor Khal Drogo. She’s going to Lady Macbeth him to his doom now. At least we got to see his ass.
In a better world, there would be a three-hour block of DC superhero dramas on Friday nights on the CW. Joining Smallville would be Star City, starring Oliver and Chloe. Then, Blue and Gold, a Booster Gold/Blue Beetle team-up. I suppose it’s too late for all that, so I’m grateful, at least, that we’re getting so many cool cameos in the final season of Smallville. In this episode, Booster Gold, Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes all show up to impart a valuable lesson about something or other. I can’t really recall, because I was distracted most of the time by Booster’s bulge, which may have been meant as a joke, but I found very appealing, nonetheless. We only have a couple more episodes to wrap all this up, defeat Darkseid and the Darkness, bring Lex and all the heroes back and finally answer the most important question of the series: How will Tom Welling look in tights?
A Wild West episode? Really? At least it furthers the story in a couple of important areas. The boys now have a weapon that might work against Mother. Meanwhile, Bobby gets his soul groped once again, this time by Castiel. Despite a few humorous moments thanks to Dean’s cowboy fandom, the episode still has the feeling of a filler episode. Come on, Winchesters! Get back in the saddle already!
|The Vampire Diaries “Klaus”
I’m so glad that the unusually close conversations/arguments have returned to The Vampire Diaries. For the uninitiated, whenever the Salvatore brothers talk to each other, they get as close as they can to each other, without actually penetrating one another in some way. It must be a vampire brother thing, because Klaus and Elijah do the same thing. Ordinarily, I would think this intense brotherly closeness is hot, but I can’t help imagining that they’d be really annoying in a threeway, so intent on one another that I’d eventually get bored and see what was on TV. I think Elena probably shares my suspicions, because she’s getting more and more independent of the brothers. For all her faults, Elena has become a strong, independent female character. She’s the perpetual damsel in distress, but she sort of reinvents that role by being smarter and more strategic than your average teenage girl in a horror movie. She may fall down in the woods and twist her ankle, but at least you know it’s all part of her greater plan. That’s progress, isn’t it?